How to do a mixdown in logic pro

Written by chris anzalone
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How to do a mixdown in logic pro
(Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Logic Pro allows you to record and edit original music using a digital multi-track recorder. When you first open the software, you will see a list of long, horizontal bars, labelled in the left column with names like "Audio 1" and "Inst 1." These are your "tracks," or recording spaces, on which you can record your individual parts, like guitars, vocals and drums. When you finish recording a song, you can do a mixdown of your final product by making the proper adjustments to each track and converting the project to a simple audio file.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Open your “Mixer” window in Logic Pro. Click the “Window” option on your main menu bar at the very top of the screen, and select “Mixer” from the drop-down menu that appears. Your main mixer will then appear on your screen, indicated by an arrangement of all of your pre-recorded audio tracks laid out like vertical bars in a row.

  2. 2

    Adjust your volume levels on each track so that all of your parts blend smoothly into the mix. For example, if you have difficulty hearing the bass in your mix, raise the volume of your bass track. If your guitars dominate the mix, lower the volume of your guitar track(s). The volume faders appear near the bottom of each vertical track space on the mixer, and resemble a thin vertical line with a small slider attached. Move the slider up the line to raise the volume, and move it down the line to lower the volume.

  3. 3

    Adjust your EQ for each track. You should see an image of a graph at the top of each track space, indicated by the words “Channel EQ.” Double-click the graph on any track to open your equaliser, which looks like a larger line graph and allows you to adjust the frequencies corresponding to your track. To raise the lower frequencies, use your mouse to move the line upward on the left side of the graph. To raise the higher frequencies, move the line upward on the right side of the graph. Move the line down to lower your selected frequencies. For bass tracks and kick drum tracks, the lower frequencies should appear higher on the graph, and for brighter tracks like lead guitars and keyboards, the higher frequencies should appear higher on the graph.

  4. 4

    Add effects to your tracks. Click and hold the “Inserts” boxes in the centre of any track on your mixer to see a list of effects and filters that you can apply to your mix. For example, if you select “Dynamics” from the list and choose “Compressor” from your drop-down menu, you can apply compression to your track, which alters the amount of volume assigned to that particular region (this is very useful if certain tracks continue to blend into the background even as you raise their volume). You can also use your mouse to select effects like “Reverb,” “Pitch Correction” and “Distortion” as needed.

  5. 5

    Pan your tracks to the left and right to create more of a multidimensional sound. Above each volume fader on your mixer, you will find a “Pan” dial, which looks like a small knob. Move the dial clockwise to transfer the sound of a track into the right channel (or speaker), and move it counter-clockwise to transfer the sound into the left channel. For example, you might want your snare drum to appear more dominantly in the left channel, to emulate the sound of a live drumset, and move your rhythm guitar track into the right channel to prevent it from blending in to your lead guitar. Use your own discretion when panning tracks, but always keep the kick drum, bass and lead vocals in the centre. This is essential to the balance of the recording.

  6. 6

    Bounce your track. “Bouncing” is an industry term that refers to flattening your tracks into one clean audio file, like an MP3, for your final mixdown. Click “File” on your menu bar and select “Bounce” from the drop-down menu. Select an audio format from the list of options and enter a name for your song or composition in the “Name” box. Then click the “Bounce” button to export your finished product.

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