Sunday, November 21, 2010

Flex Time

One of the best additions to Logic 9 was “Flexible Audio.” Much like ProTools’ “Elastic Audio,” users can now zoom in and fix any audio they want to get that performance just right. And with Logic’s user-friendly design, this feature has been made easier than ever.

There are two approaches to using Flexible Audio. If you press ESC, Logic will open up a tool pop-up window listing several features. At the bottom, you will find Flex Tool (shortcut R). This approach to using Flex Time is the most easy and straightforward. When you click on the audio region you wish to edit, you will be shown a popup asking you how you wish to analyze the audio. These different options will analyze the audio differently according to its transients, depending on which one you do.

There are 4 options:

  • Slicing: Will separate the audio region into many different regions, useful for drum programming and editing.
  • Rhythmic: Meant for drums or percussion. Will NOT slice the audio, but allow you to make major transient adjustments. (Low CPU load)
  • Monophonic: Good for one voiced instruments and voice. (Medium CPU load)
  • Polyphonic: Best used for chorded instruments like guitar, piano, etc. (High CPU load)                                            
Using the best fit for your instrument, you will be able to make your adjustments with ease.

If you are looking to get more in depth with Flex Time, there is an option at the top of the Logic window labeled “Flex.” This will display a button on all of your tracks. Pressing the button, you’ll find that you’re offered the same options as before. However, when you enable one of the options, you’ll see the region go dark and become outlined with markers (see above). These markers mark the starts of the transients that Logic has recognized based on your selection (Monophonic, Rhythmic, etc.). This will enable you to manipulate the audio much further than you could with the previous option. As you alter your audio, the regions that you are stretching become Red, while the regions you are compressing become Green. To minimalize the audio effects of stretching the transients like this, be sure to find the place with least coloration. 

by Peter Brown


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