Over 100 Songs But My Logic Projects Don't Come Together Greatly -Digital Music Tips?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by MICHAELSD, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #1
    Huge Xmas love for somebody with a tip! I've got over 100 songs that sound good to great without instruments but since my composing skills are inadequate I'm not as blown away by final projects as I'd like to be. I kid you not, I've been working on one album of ~ 13 songs for 4 years while writing plenty more songs. I'm more interested in perfection since I know this could be a great album if my DAW composing skills were better. Just haven't been happy with recordings or get frustrated with putting in a lot of work for mediocre instrument tracks that don't come together as well as they do in my head. Lynda's courses were okay and I've found many YouTube tutorials but still want a professional record label sound... Or at least the ability to craft full song demos with instrument track within a few hours. No, I don't have any songs online yet :).
     
  2. Destroysall, Dec 26, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013

    Destroysall macrumors 65816

    Destroysall

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    #2
    I'm afraid I don't understand the question completely. What is it that you don't like about your songs and how they sound? I know you said they aren't coming together as you had imagined, but what do YOU want? My other question would be if you are using Virtual Instruments or are you actually recording your material?

    On another note, don't worry if they sound "mediocre" (whatever that means). As a musician, your goal should be expressing what it is you want. Art is not a business, therefore competition in art is an anomaly.
     
  3. MiesVanDerRobot macrumors member

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    Aug 28, 2012
    #3
    The position you are in is precisely why musicians hire producers, recording engineers, and mastering engineers to help them turn songs into an album.

    Certainly, modern technology makes it possible to play all of those roles yourself. But don't underestimate the value of a fresh perspective or technical expertise. Sometimes you just need another set of ears, and sometimes you need the technical know-how of someone who has been there and done that specific thing you are trying to do (such as making a viola sound magnificent).

    If you can find someone in your local community who is self-producing recordings that you respect, befriend that person and ask them to help you produce your album while showing you some of their techniques along the way. It may cost you money, or at least a bunch of beer, but it will be dollars and suds well spent.
     
  4. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #4
    I want the instrument tracks to be as nuanced and varied as you'd hear in a major label song. They sound basic and some don't meld together too well. They're all digital instruments, unfortunately I can't play any though I wish I could lol.

    If there were a better Logic course available cheaply then I feel my songs could be much improved. Just don't want to sound so amateurish.

    No need to compete, just looking for as close to perfection as possible in a DAW. Which seems pretty close when I hear other major bands' DAW-produced songs.
     
  5. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #5
    I'd create a band if I could but I don't think I know enough music-minded people that would be interested. I have a feeling professional production wouldn't pay off unless the person is willing to go with beers.

    Good advice so far! :)
     
  6. Destroysall macrumors 65816

    Destroysall

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    #6
    Most professional work incorporates layers and layers of harmonics and overtones to get the sound you hear. This is why a lot of groups sound much more different when they perform live because they do not have the same tools and method they used in a studio.

    On the note of Logic, it really hasn't gotten any better when it comes to mastering. Mastering is the process where panning is done and where EQ and compression is done. I think Soundtrack Pro can assist better in terms of Mastering than Logic can. If you can, save for Pro Tools. I have used Pro Tools for mastering myself, and I think I've achieved some noteworthy results. The EQs made available in Pro Tools do sound much better than the ones in Logic.
     
  7. everfangomanga macrumors member

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    Jul 12, 2008
    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    #7
    Granted, I'm just starting out with Logic Pro X, but something that helped me with some of the finer details of using the program was to check out the demo they provided. I looked closely at the segments that I heard and thought were interesting, or that sounded like something that I would like to recreate and it gave me insight into what I should do in my own projects.

    /Library/Application Support/Logic/Logic Pro X Demosongs

    EDIT: There are also (though limited for LPX) templates on the web. If you can find some then you can do the same thing as above.
     
  8. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #8
    I'll give Pro Tools a try after my album is completed.

    What I really need is a good 10-20 hour course to teach me proper songwriting in Logic which also includes theory. A lot I find cost $1k+ :(. There are plenty of tutorials but I'd rather just one well-structured course.

    ----------

    Yeah, I've considered looking through templates. I've also heard that trying to construct your favorite songs from scratch in Logic is a great way to learn but I'm hopeless at distinguishing notes and chords to do this lol.
     
  9. Destroysall, Dec 29, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013

    Destroysall macrumors 65816

    Destroysall

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    #9
    If I assume properly, you are talking about music notation. Creating music the "old" way can be extremely tedious if you don't understand theory. Utilizing Logic's software for songwriting with music notation can be even more extreme, I'd bet. However, the internet is your friend. There are countless of websites and even books that will walk over the basics of theory. A great book on Music Theory is this one.

    I would stick with building your songs from scratch however. If you have ideas, get a keyboard (if you haven't already), and start messing about with it. Just by learning the keyboard's layout can allow you to understand at least how the notes sound and work.
     
  10. MiesVanDerRobot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    #10
    I'm not suggesting you hire Timbaland at $2000/hr or whatever the heck he charges. Or start a full band. Just find someone who knows a little bit about music production or songwriting that you don't and learn from them.
     
  11. MWPULSE macrumors 6502a

    MWPULSE

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #11
    It kinda sounds like you need to possibly look at bolstering up in the skill department. Particularly pertaining to the mixing/production of the tuneage that you are creating.

    Its a fine line between having a piano, pad, bass, and drum beat playing together, and them actually sounding tight. I say fine line, but it can take some precision editing. I remember spending 2hrs or so going through editing an 8 bar section which only had 3 instruments in.

    It also depends very much on the style of music that you are making as well. There are particular types/styles of mixing that are generally associated with different genres. Hiphop/R'n'b/ for instance are generally quite bass heavy. Trance and dance as well, with more emphasis on the high and mid range.

    You should also aim to follow some basic principles for instance, bass and kick/snare should always be locked tight like super glue. (you can vary to what degree, and get some interesting grooves and feels but thats personal taste to an extent) I would also suggest that quick passages of notes are played with a short decay sound.
    This will help in terms of defining the note as its played. Making it more distinct from the previous and next notes around it. For instance, a french horn might not work so well doing a rapidly moving passage. Where as a trumpet might.

    I might suggest looking for books like http://www.amazon.co.uk/Music-Produ...d=1394250858&sr=8-2&keywords=music+production which will give you a good oversight as to how to go about crafting some more complete songs.

    Finally if theres one thing I have learnt doing my music (hybrid rocky, electro, dance, electronica) it's don't force it, start off simple and work from there.
    This also stands with inserts, and effects. Psychologically it can feel great to have all these channels using all these effects. But in actual fact it can end up making the mix more complex after a point. So, start with simple things like making sure that you are organised in your recording/mixing/songwriting process, then from there start to build good habits.

    If you have Logic (even Logic Express) you are basically 60-70% the way there in terms of gear, for a beginner at least. I personally loath Logic, but understand its usefulness, its incredibly flexible and versatile. I would recommend getting a relatively decent keyboard for about $250-300 though, as this will increase the quality of your playing experience tremendously.

    I would also consider spending some decent money on headphones and speakers. (if you haven't already) as this will help you when listening and help to show you what sounds wrong, even if you don't know how to fix it at that point.

    Hope that helps.

    Pete
     

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