Basic Mixing and Pre Fader Metering in Logic Pro
Basic mixing and the moving of faders is easy in Logic. All producers should know how to properly do so in order to acquire the right levels for their tracks. Without the right levels, tracks can be either too quiet or too loud. If tracks are too quiet, they can lack punchiness and not be consistent with other tracks. If tracks are too loud, they can clip and distort your sound. To properly move the faders around, you will need to open the mixer.
The mixer is where you can find all the faders for your tracks. Here you can change the levels of faders, add plugins, and route your tracks. The mixer is very similar to the inspector bar, except it shows every track opposed to just the one that you are selecting at the time. To open the mixer, select “Window” in the top toolbar, then select “Open Mixer”. The shortcut to open the mixer is “Command + 2”.
Balancing your Levels
Now that you have your mixer open, you can start to balance the levels of your track. A good tip for doing so is to turn them all down. You can turn them all down at once by selecting them all, then moving one of the faders. They should all turn down at the same time. Turn up the levels of each fader one by one. Each time you raise the level of a track, hear and see how it fits in with the tracks already playing. This allows you to fine tune your levels and get your mix the way you want it. In addition to moving the faders, you can also change the gain of the virtual instrument or the makeup gain of a compressor that is on a specific track. When changing the gain of a plugin, notice how the signal in the fader also changes. Use both the gain knob inside plugins, along with the fader levels in the mixer to balance out your tracks.
Pre Fader Metering
Another tip is to balance out your faders while in they are in pre fader metering mode. When you tracks are in pre fader metering mode, the signal that shows, is the signal after plugins, but before the fader. To turn on this mode, click on the little arrow on the right side of the control bar display. Click “Customize Control Bar and Display…”. This will bring up a menu where you can toggle certain buttons to show up in Logic, one of these being the pre fader metering button. Once you toggle this on, you will see the pre fader metering button in the control bar. Select it to turn it on. During your production/mixing process, it is a good idea to go back and forth between pre fader metering and post fader meter (the default metering), to balance out your tracks.
Balancing your tracks is a very essential part of producing your own tracks. With these new tips, you can get the right mix and be on your way to producing a great song.