Logic Pro X has an extremely flexible recording, overdubbing, and punching system. One of its best features is how quickly you can return to a previously recorded section, set up an area that you want to re-record, and achieve this in a number of different ways. I’m going to outline two situations you might find yourself in and give you a tip on how to become a master of overdubbing quickly and efficiently.
If you’re going to deal with one or two musicians at a time, and the musicians really know the tune, you might be able to pull off a quick punch with little to no effort. All you have to do is arm the track for recording, make sure they can hear themselves (either through their headphone mix or out loud if you’re recording directly), and press play. When you get right up to the spot where they want to fix something, simply hit the record button. When you’ve past the point where they wanted to fix, press stop.
In this case, you don’t have to worry about overwriting any ‘good’ audio. Logic’s comp track feature allows you to go back and adjust the exact point where you want to bounce back into your original track. After they’ve finished recording, simply double-click the region and you’ll see the comp track open up. You can adjust the endpoints of where you want your little punch in to occur, double-click to close, and you’re done! Just keep in mind you’ll have to ‘flatten’ your final track before you can use anything like flex time or flex pitch on the track. To flatten the track, look for the icon in the upper left corner of the region. Only ‘flatten’ when you’re sure you’re done (or at least flatten to a new track and mute the old one in case you need to go back to it again!)
If you find yourself needing to be more precise with your punch areas, it’s time to enable auto-punching. This is great in a few different cases. Maybe you’re the musician who needs to fix something, and you can’t keep your hands on the mouse and play at the same time! Or perhaps you have an artist who wants to try a solo section a whole bunch of times, and then pick the best take later. Either situation is perfect for auto punch.
To enable auto punching, simply click on the auto punch icon in the toolbar at the top. If you don’t see it there, you may have to right-click in the general area and select ‘customize toolbar’. You’ll be able to enable any buttons that are missing at that point.
Once you’ve turned it on, you’ll be treated to a tiny little track at the top of the arrange window just below the measure numbers and just above the ruler. Click and drag around the area that you’d like to punch in. You may have to zoom in to be precise. Then, you can hit the record button as far back in the song as you’d like without worry, the only area where recording will occur is where you have marked off. Combine this with the cycle button to record a whole BUNCH of takes! You can even give yourself a few measures at the beginning or end of the punch area to get yourself ready for your next attempt!
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