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Syncing percussion to Guitar


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I can't quite seem to figure out how to do this (if it can even be done). The guitar part was recorded live and is not in time with a metronome. I want to add percussion shaker/tambourine (which I have done in the studio), but the shaker/tamb is off at times because the guitar isn't set to a click track. I've watched videos on beat mapping, flex time, etc, but I cannot figure out how to get the percussion to line up to the timing of the guitar. Is this even possible?


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The guitar part was recorded live and is not in time with a metronome.


I think you're saying that the guitar part has a varying tempo, but you want to preserve that part as is, rather than altering it to make it steady. Right? So I think what you need to do is use beat mapping to make Logic's grid conform to the guitar, and then use flex to make the tambourine conform to Logic's grid.


Sorry if you already know this, but this method should work fine. Maybe you can be more specific about where you're running into trouble.


Can you get as far as beat mapping the guitar? If you've done that right, you should be able to hear the guitar and Logic's metronome playing in sync. That's a simple way to check if your beat mapping is correct.


If the guitar part is long and complicated, there are some tricks you can use that might help with the beat mapping. But those tricks shouldn't be needed unless the part is long and complicated.

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It will also help the beatmapping if you make Logic's tempo somewhere close to what the guitar's tempo is. You'll have to unlock the guitar part first to do this, or at least the ones after the first one. After that snug your regions back together; you might find the shuffle left setting speeds this up. Turn shuffle off when you're done.
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You can also try aligning the tambourine's flex markers with the guitar's transient markers.

First, use the Sample Editor to make sure the transient markers of both tracks are where you want them. In the Arrange Window, situate the two tracks one on top of the other. Then, enable Flex and create flex markers for the tambourine track. Then, drag the tambourine's flex markers to the corresponding guitar's transient markers. They will turn yellow and snap into place.


You should probably flex the guitar to get it in time first, or else the tambourine will be as out of time as the guitar.


Check out pages 538-539 in the L9 Manual.


I used this method on four harmony vocals to align some sloppy phrasing and it worked wonderfully.

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I think you're saying that the guitar part has a varying tempo, but you want to preserve that part as is, rather than altering it to make it steady. Right?


Yes, that is correct.



Can you get as far as beat mapping the guitar?


I've set Beat Mapping on the Global Tracks, selected guitar and pressed DETECT. The metronome does not play in sync with the downbeats of the guitar.


If I move Logics grid to match up to the downbeats of the guitar (this process takes a VERY long time, which is odd as the guitar really doesn't vary THAT much out of tempo), it automatically moves the shaker part seriously out of sync. The flex color on the shaker is green and completely out of sync in all areas. If the guitar isn't messed with, the shaker is 95% in time.

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I've noticed from various threads that there's a few misconceptions about how beatmapping, Flex and quantization interact.


Yes, beatmapping is picky and it's not automatic as you've discovered. The fact that the guitar is close to Logic's tempo doesn't really have a bearing on the technique; you still have to go down the line and drag the beats over to the guitar's transients one by one. One thing that can speed this up is to ignore subdivisions (you can always go back and do them later) and just map to the first downbeat of each bar. There are some advantages to doing it this way besides it being less time consuming. One is that the guitar's feel will be maintained across an even grid, rather than that grid conforming to the guitar's feel. So if you wanted to quantize one section of the guitar to the feel of another section, you can make a groove template out of a two or four bar section (and it must be a separate region to do this) and then use that on other parts of the track. But if you've beatmapped to every quarter you won't be able to get a snapshot of the feel as a separate entity from the grid. And note that this technique requires appropriate thinning of transients! Speaking of which...


From your screenshot of your shaker part it looks like you haven't done enough thinning of the transients in the sample editor. If all you want is to have a certain hit in each bar land on the first beat you may have to delete all your transients except for the those main hit points. Logic looks at all you transients when it's trying to quantize things and if there are too many or there are irrelevant ones, that could easily screw up the quantization.


But in your case this is what I'd probably do. I'd drop a Flex marker every couple of bars in the shaker part and then drag them over to the appropriate bar lines. This is a similar process to beat mapping except you are snapping Flex markers to bar lines. You might even try four bars intervals just to get started. After that you can judge for yourself how tight the shaker is.

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