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Logic and live performance


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Hello all,


The last time I performed live was in the mid 90s, using Opcode's Vision on an early model Mac Powerbook running midi to an arsenal of hardware synths and drum machines. This always worked well for me, but obviously times have changed dramatically. Now, I am no stranger to production in Logic. Been doing it for years. However, it has always been in a studio setting, and I'm getting close to the point of starting to do gigs again. Thus, I'm looking for advice as to the best way to optimize logic for my needs for a flawless live performance.


I write mostly electronic/EBM/Electro House type music and all of the synths and drums, and even backing vocals are recorded as audio. I have hardware synths that I will be playing live, so I have no need to use soft synths. I strictly want to use logic to run backing tracks and drums. Vocals, leads and guitars/bass (when needed) will be played live.


I have seen many shows in which laptops run backing tracks, but everyone seems to have different techniques. I do NOT have a tech, so I will have to be able to control it all myself. So, my questions are:


1) I obviously need to bounce all of my backing tracks down to a single track to run to the front of the house. However, should I separate the drums from the synth tracks and run them on seperate outs on my sound card to FOH separately to give the FOH more mixing control? Or should I make one single audio file?

2) Should I bounce down with mastering fx, or should I let them apply house verb, compression, etc?

3) what is the best way to manage separate song files? Should I do one long file for the entire set?

4) I have seen several performances where the laptop is side-stage with no tech and no obvious control by those on stage. Yet the set goes flawlessly both sound-wise and at start-stop points. How do they do this?

5) what are the live performance optimization techniques that will help prevent lock-ups or crashes?


You can answer my questions if you wish, debunk my potentially NOOBish presumptions above, or simply give me some pointers on how you all perform live with Logic. Just looking for whatever context I can get for flawless live performance.


I thank you all in advance!

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Ive pretty much always done it this way...


Logic/Laptop > Firewire to device of choice (currently motu ultralite) > multiple analog outputs to portable mixer on stage > L/R out of mixer to FOH.


That gives me control over all the sonics, and cos there are lots of i/o on the motu, i can have channels set up as FX send returns for additional fun. Means no bouncing down and more creative dropping in and out of parts if you so choose. It also means you can run all your Hardware keys into your own desk as well. As long as you have good onstage monitors, its rad.


For songs, i normally run them as individuals not as one file for the whole set...thats just me. Depends if load times are a factor, i found that the gap was easily covered by FX/synths/Saying a polite thanks to the 1 person clapping.


More live Logic i say!




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if i use firewire, what's a good and affordable audio interface?


What do you want it to do? I choose the motu cos it had lots of analog i/o on jacks and i knew that would suit my set up, at the time it was the only game in town at a reasonable price, there are bound to be others now!


So yeah, start by deciding how much i/o of what kind you want.


Maybe check out the Motu Ultralite or 828 mk 3, maybe the mackie 400 or 800 fw pre?




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Thank you, fadercraig! One follow up question:


If you don't bounce down, how do you manage core audio overloads? Ever have any problem with this live? How do you avoid?


As lame as it is, for a couple of projects when ive had overload issues, ive tried to single out the plugin or instrument thats been causing the issue, then ive begun a new project and rebuilt the song/project (copy/paste wav/midi regions etc) but seeing if i could avoid that plugin/inst/preset. Now if that doesnt work, id bounce that track in particular.


As for live, i go with the idea that one day itll crash mid set, so when that happens, ill let you know what i did! :D




edited to make actual sense

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