Work with percussionists in Logic Pro X

Learn how to add percussion to your Logic Pro X song using Drummer.

In Logic Pro X 10.3.2, you can use Drummer to add dynamic percussion parts to a song. You can use the parts as the primary rhythmic element for the song, or as a supplement to other Drummer tracks. Logic Pro provides three percussion styles—Latin, Pop, and Songwriter.

        

Add a percussion track

To get started, click  above the track headers, or choose Track > New Tracks. Then, choose Drummer from the New Track window. If the Details section isn't open, click Details, then choose Percussion from the Genre menu. Click Create. Logic Pro creates a new Drummer track played by a default percussionist.

In Logic Pro X 10.3.2, you select drummers and percussionists using the Library. To select a different percussionist for the track you created, select the track header of the new Drummer track. If necessary, click  in the control bar to open the Library, or press Y on your keyboard. Under Drummer, select Percussion, then choose one of the percussionists from the list.

Adjust the percussion performance

After you add a percussionist, you can adjust the performance using the Drummer Editor. To open and close the Drummer Editor, double-click a region in a Drummer track. You can also select the track, then click  in the control bar, or press E on your keyboard. The Drummer Editor appears at the bottom of the Logic Pro window.

To quickly get some percussion happening in your song, click a preset to the left of the editor. To customize the performance, you can use the various controls in the Drummer Editor:

  • Use the X/Y pad to change the complexity and loudness of a performance. Drag the yellow puck up and down to raise or lower the dynamic intensity, and left or right to adjust the complexity of the performance.
  • Use the instrument selector to the right of the X/Y pad to adjust the individual percussion instruments in the preset:
    • To hear a percussion instrument, click it so that it’s selected.
    • To mute a percussion instrument, click it so that it’s dimmed.
    • You can also adjust the pattern played by each group of percussion instruments by dragging the corresponding slider to the left or right.
  • Use the Fills knob to control the frequency and complexity of fills. Turn the knob all the way to the left to turn fills off.
  • Use the Swing knob to control how much swing the performance will have. Switch between 8th and 16th note swing with the corresponding buttons.

Mix the percussion track

To quickly mix the percussion track, you can use Smart Controls. For greater control over the mix, use the percussion Producer Kits.

Use Smart Controls

To use Smart Controls, select the percussion track, then click  in the control bar. Smart Controls for the percussion track appear at the bottom of the Logic Pro window.

  • Use the controls in the Mix section to adjust the volume of the different groups of percussion instruments in the track. 
  • Use the controls in the Effects section to adjust effects such as compression and ambience. 

Use Producer Kits

When you add a Drummer percussion track to your project, Logic Pro loads a percussionist and a default stereo instrument patch that provides the drum and percussion sounds associated with that Drummer. This default patch has a corresponding multi-output patch, called the Producer Kit, which routes each instrument to an individual channel. This offers greater freedom to adjust levels, effect plug-ins, and routings for each sound independently. It also makes it possible to replace individual percussion instruments.

  1. Click  in the control bar to open the Library, or press Y on your keyboard.
  2. Under Sounds, select Producer Kits.
  3. If you liked the sounds in the default patch, click the name of that patch that has a “+” at the end of its name. For example, if you chose Isabelle–Latin Percussion, choose "Latin+." You can also choose a different Producer Kit, but it might sound different from the default patch.
  4. You can then adjust each percussion instrument in the patch using the Mixer or Smart Controls. 
    • To use the Mixer, click  in the control bar. Then, click  at the bottom of the percussion track's channel strip to show each percussion instrument on its own channel strip.
    • To use Smart Controls, select the percussion track in the Tracks area. Then, click  to the left of the track icon to show each percussion instrument on its own subtrack. Select the percussion instrument you want to adjust, then click the Smart Controls button  in the control bar.
  5. To replace an individual percussion instrument in the patch, select the percussion instrument in the Tracks area or in the Mixer. Then, choose a new sound from the Library.

When using Producer Kits, make sure that plug-in latency compensation is set to All in General Audio preferences. This ensures phase-coherent playback of all channel strips in the multi-miked percussion kit mix.

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