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Inquiring about Logic for Scoring to Video?


zblip2

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Hi, just scored a movie with pro-tools8 and it wasn't fun. The studio I work for is open to new ideas so I'm checking out Logic, nuendo, DP, .... It would be nice if some one here was nice enough to give me insight regarding Logic's capabilities. Here are some questions for starters:

 

Is LP ''pro'' enought to handle big scoring jobs?

 

Does LP support freeze?

 

Does LP's engine sound good?

 

Does LP support most of the midi gadgets (''Learn'' fonctions on knobs, midi loops creation, retrograde, etc? (PT is lousy in this department)

 

Does the "quantise audio" work?

 

Does LP handle acid/rex loops?

 

Does the tempo track work well and is simple to use?

 

Is LP stable?

 

Does the piano roll feature work well?, is it intutive and well designed?

 

Can one radomize midi start times without actually quantising?

 

Is ther a "fit content" in the piano roll window so you don't waist time looking around to find midi events in the piano roll window?

 

Are there midi plugins, like transpose, arpegiator, velocity compression, step sequencer (PT is again lousy in this department...)

 

Can one import and export midi and audio tracks from a project to another?

 

Can one define multiple song start inside one project with different tempo and mesure couts? Usefull when scoring?

 

Can one ''Lock'' midi events/portions to time code so that when ajusting cues earlier in the timeline will not screw up the timings of the folloing cues?

 

Is working to video stable?

 

Is working to video complicated?

 

If I make a selection in the time line, will LP tell me it's legnts?

 

Can I switch between "time code" and "bar/beats" display in grid, nudge etc

 

Here is a typical situation:

 

"I've recive 29.97 fps video which has a burn-in timcode starting at 09;59;58;00. I want to work with this video in a session that starts at 09;59;30;00. I want to leaves 28 sec of blank before synchro beep at 09;59;58;00. My composition starts on a 4th beat and I want it cued to 10;00;00;01.

At 10;09;35;12 I've got a second cue to write. It has a different tempo and is a 6/8 instead of a 4/4. The melody starts on a 4th beat. Both cue need a one mesure click track pre count for recording live musicians.

The client wants a quicktime of each of my cues (that means two of them) for approval"

 

Now.Can I do the two cues inside one session? Can LP do the above in a streamline way witout resorting to work arounds or other programs?

 

Thank you

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Does LP handle acid/rex loops?

 

Yes to everything up to here, I'm not sure about Acid loops - maybe no. Rex = yes

 

Is ther a "fit content" in the piano roll window so you don't waist time looking around to find midi events in the piano roll window?

 

I'm not 100% sure what you mean by "fit content"

 

Can one define multiple song start inside one project with different tempo and mesure couts? Usefull when scoring?

 

You can set markers with different tempos if thats what you mean

 

Can one ''Lock'' midi events/portions to time code so that when ajusting cues earlier in the timeline will not screw up the timings of the folloing cues?

 

I'm not sure what you mean

 

Is working to video stable?

 

Is working to video complicated?

 

I don't know.

 

To all other questions the answer is yes

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Thanks for reply

 

"Fit content"

 

This is a simple click fontion that brings all the midi notes into view in the piano roll. Often in PT you open up piano roll view and you don't see the notes. You have to scroll up and down and zoom in or out vertically to see them. In Sonar, the daw I use at home there is a fonction call fit content. You press fit content and Sonar resizes everything so you see all the notes, makind shure you don't miss any.

 

"Can one define multiple song start inside one project"

 

In PT there is something called Song Start. It places "Mesure Number One" at a given time code inside your session. Trouble is you can only set one per session which is a non sense. When Scoring to picture each cue is a song actually so why shoud the composer be stuck dealing with startin a new song at mesure let's say 485, when he's doing a cue 30 minutes into the show? The composer did't write a 500 mesure song with 460 mesures of silence in the middle. The reason that it is like this is because the DAW isn't adapted to how the composer is working. Each cue should be considered as a diffrent start point because that is truely what it is. That is Logical isn't it? like.... Logic (I hope) :)

 

Can one ''Lock'' midi events/portions to time code

 

Imagine you have two cues in the same session, one at one minute into the show, another at three minutes. In pro tools, if you tweek the tempo of the first cue, the second one will move around because the preceding tempo isn't the same anymore. This again is stupid. It is obious that if you are tweeking the first cue, you don't want to scew up the timing of the second one. There should be a way to say to the daw "lock the elements in this region to time code so that if I move other stuff around, it won't be affected".

 

 

Is working to video stable?

Is working to video complicated?

 

Are there any codec issues? Is it easy to place a video file at a given time code? Sometimes you have a very long video but only have to work on a small portion. Can one shave off the usseless part to keep things tidy? Can One have multiple video files in one project? Miltiple video tracks? Can one mix down to a selection of the video or does one have to mix down the whole video even if he wrote music to a small portion of it? Can One move video around in the time line as if it was audio?

 

 

 

 

Does LP handle acid/rex loops?

 

Yes to everything up to here, I'm not sure about Acid loops - maybe no. Rex = yes

 

Is ther a "fit content" in the piano roll window so you don't waist time looking around to find midi events in the piano roll window?

 

I'm not 100% sure what you mean by "fit content"

 

Can one define multiple song start inside one project with different tempo and mesure couts? Usefull when scoring?

 

You can set markers with different tempos if thats what you mean

 

Can one ''Lock'' midi events/portions to time code so that when ajusting cues earlier in the timeline will not screw up the timings of the folloing cues?

 

I'm not sure what you mean

 

Is working to video stable?

 

Is working to video complicated?

 

I don't know.

 

To all other questions the answer is yes[/quote

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"Fit content"

 

This is a simple click fontion that brings all the midi notes into view in the piano roll. Often in PT you open up piano roll view and you don't see the notes. You have to scroll up and down and zoom in or out vertically to see them. In Sonar, the daw I use at home there is a fonction call fit content. You press fit content and Sonar resizes everything so you see all the notes, makind shure you don't miss any.

 

I know in the arrange window with all the audio and midi regions deselected you just press z and it brings the whole arrangement into view, if you have a region selected and press z it zooms in on your selection. I am not sure if this also works in the piano roll (I don't have logic in front of me to check at the mo) but I am guessing there would be a function for it as you can do it in the arrange area with regions.

 

Can one ''Lock'' midi events/portions to time code

 

Imagine you have two cues in the same session, one at one minute into the show, another at three minutes. In pro tools, if you tweek the tempo of the first cue, the second one will move around because the preceding tempo isn't the same anymore. This again is stupid. It is obious that if you are tweeking the first cue, you don't want to scew up the timing of the second one. There should be a way to say to the daw "lock the elements in this region to time code so that if I move other stuff around, it won't be affected".

 

Yes you can as Beer Moth stated: SMPTE lock. You just selected the regions you want to lock in position and in the Region menu chose Lock SMPTE Position, now if you make any changes like time tempo changes the locked regions will still be locked to the same position in the video.

 

Sorry I can't answer the others as I don't really work to video very much (well almost never) so don't have the knowledge!

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Is LP ''pro'' enought to handle big scoring jobs?

There are people using Logic for big scoring jobs, including people who are more happy with Logic than they are with Sibelius. But Logic can't do everything eg. Finale or Sibelius can do - so it all depends on what you need and how you work.

 

Does LP support freeze?

Yes.

 

Does LP's engine sound good?

I don't think engines generally have a sound, but if they do, the answer is yes. :)

 

Does LP support most of the midi gadgets (''Learn'' fonctions on knobs, midi loops creation, retrograde, etc? (PT is lousy in this department)

I don't know how Learn works in PT, but Logic has a learn feature and MIDI loop creation. I don't know what you mean by 'retrograde'.

 

Does the "quantise audio" work?

Yes but (not surprisingly): the more complex the material is, the more manual fine tuning (of transient and flex markers) may be needed.

 

Does LP handle acid/rex loops?

Yes.

 

Does the tempo track work well and is simple to use?

Yes.

 

Is LP stable?

Yes. The only major problem I have in 9.1.3 is a serious beat mapping (reclock, Identify Beat) bug. Crashes don't happen often.

 

Does the piano roll feature work well?, is it intutive and well designed?

Yes, I think so. You can eg. enable Region Colors, which means that if you select more than one region, and they have different colors, events from these regions will be shown in the piano roll, each with their own color.

 

Can one radomize midi start times without actually quantising?

Yes. Look for the Transform feature.

 

Is ther a "fit content" in the piano roll window so you don't waist time looking around to find midi events in the piano roll window?

Yes.

 

 

 

Are there midi plugins, like transpose, arpegiator, velocity compression, step sequencer (PT is again lousy in this department...)

There are no MIDI 'plugins', but there's an arpeggiator, real time (non-destructive) MIDI velocity compression and transpose on all MIDI tracks, and a few step input options.

 

Can one import and export midi and audio tracks from a project to another?

Unfortunately you can't export a selection of audio tracks (with plugins and all) as a new project, but you can both bounce and export audio tracks (including exporting all audio tracks in one operation), import/export MIDI, and selectively import audio tracks from existing projects (and define what you want to import...plugins, sends, automation etc) per track.

 

 

Can one define multiple song start inside one project with different tempo and mesure couts? Usefull when scoring?

 

No. There's only one song start - Logic isn't tailor made for working with multiple cues in one large file. But you can define bar offset (so eg. bar 150 is shown as bar 1 in Score).

 

 

Can one ''Lock'' midi events/portions to time code so that when ajusting cues earlier in the timeline will not screw up the timings of the following cues?

You can lock events and audio to time code, but if you change tempo in Cue 1, cue 2 will look wrong in score, even if it sounds the same as it did before you changed cue 1. The tempo edit pre Cue 2 combined with having the MIDI events locked means that they won't match the grid unless you reclock (beat map) them again. There's a long thread about this topic somewhere on this forum, including suggestions from a few of us re. how this could be improved in Logic.

 

Is working to video stable?

Last time I tried it was...

 

Is working to video complicated?

Except the lack of proper support for multiple cues in one project file, no. And you can't have more than one video clip in Logic at a time.

 

If I make a selection in the time line, will LP tell me it's legnts?

For regions/events: yes. For the marquee (selection) tool: it will show either bars or time, but not both at the same time.

 

Can I switch between "time code" and "bar/beats" display in grid...

Yes; Bar, Time, Bar and Time and Time + Bar.

 

....nudge etc

Here are Logic's nudge related key commands:

 

 

•Nudge Region/Event Position Right by Nudge Value

•Nudge Region/Event Position Left by Nudge Value

•Nudge Region/Event Position Right by Tick

•Nudge Region/Event Position Left by Tick

•Nudge Region/Event Position Right by Division

•Nudge Region/Event Position Left by Division

•Nudge Region/Event Position Right by Beat

•Nudge Region/Event Position Left by Beat

•Nudge Region/Event Position Right by Bar

•Nudge Region/Event Position Left by Bar

•Nudge Region/Event Position Right by SMPTE Frame

•Nudge Region/Event Position Left by SMPTE Frame

•Nudge Region/Event Position Right by SMPTE Bit

•Nudge Region/Event Position Left by SMPTE Bit

•Nudge Region/Event Position Right by 1/2 SMPTE Frame

•Nudge Region/Event Position Left by 1/2 SMPTE Frame

•Nudge Region/Event Position Right by 5 SMPTE Frames

•Nudge Region/Event Position Left by 5 SMPTE Frames

•Nudge Region/Event Position Right by Sample

•Nudge Region/Event Position Left by Sample

•Nudge Region/Event Position Right by 1 ms

•Nudge Region/Event Position Left by 1 ms

•Nudge Region/Event Position Right by 10 ms

•Nudge Region/Event Position Left by 10 ms

•Nudge Region/Event Length Right by Nudge Value

•Nudge Region/Event Length Left by Nudge Value

•Nudge Region/Event Length Right by Tick

•Nudge Region/Event Length Left by Tick

•Nudge Region/Event Length Right by Division

•Nudge Region/Event Length Left by Division

•Nudge Region/Event Length Right by Beat

•Nudge Region/Event Length Left by Beat

•Nudge Region/Event Length Right by Bar

•Nudge Region/Event Length Left by Bar

•Nudge Region/Event Length Right by SMPTE Frame

•Nudge Region/Event Length Left by SMPTE Frame

•Nudge Region/Event Length Right by SMPTE Bit

•Nudge Region/Event Length Left by SMPTE Bit

•Nudge Region/Event Length Right by 1/2 SMPTE Frame

•Nudge Region/Event Length Left by 1/2 SMPTE Frame

•Nudge Region/Event Length Right by 5 SMPTE Frames

•Nudge Region/Event Length Left by 5 SMPTE Frames

•Nudge Region/Event Length Right by Sample

•Nudge Region/Event Length Left by Sample

•Nudge Region/Event Length Right by 1 ms

•Nudge Region/Event Length Left by 1 ms

•Nudge Region/Event Length Right by 10 ms

•Nudge Region/Event Length Left by 10 ms

Set Nudge Value to Tick

Set Nudge Value to Division

Set Nudge Value to Beat

Set Nudge Value to Bar

Set Nudge Value to SMPTE Frame

Set Nudge Value to 0.5 SMPTE Frame

Set Nudge Value to 5 SMPTE Frames

Set Nudge Value to Sample

Set Nudge Value to 1 ms

Set Nudge Value to 10 ms

 

 

 

 

Here is a typical situation:

 

"I've recive 29.97 fps video which has a burn-in timcode starting at 09;59;58;00. I want to work with this video in a session that starts at 09;59;30;00.

 

It's late here, but I'll try to explain how this is done in Logic:

You should drag the song start bar backwards by 1 bar, to bar 0, and use this setting: "Bar position 0111 starts at 09;59;30;00". (Edited post to add a caution: Using Logic with the song start block before 1111 is still buggy, so try to avoid this solution!)

 

 

 

My composition starts on a 4th beat and I want it cued to 10;00;00;01.

First create a tempo event in the tempo list, saying that 1111 shall appear at 09;59;58;00. Logic will set a tempo for position 0111 automatically, to make sure that 1111 appears at 09 59 58 00. (I just tried it: This tempo will be 8.5651, which is the tempo it takes to get from bar 0 to bar 1 in 28 seconds).

Create an new tempo event in the event list at position 1 4 1 1, and define it's SMPTE start as 10;00;00;01.

Logic will now set a tempo for the area between 1111 and 1411 to make sure that that note starts at 10;00;00;01. (I just tried it; that tempo is 88.4360).

 

 

At 10;09;35;12 I've got a second cue to write.

Repeat the procedure in the tempo list. Create a tempo event saying eg. that bar 150 should start at 10;09;35;12. Logic will now adjust your last tempo event (create a dummy event after your last note) so bar 150 starts at 10;09;35;12.

 

But you want this position to appear as a new 1111 in score, so you need to double click on the bar number in score, and enter "-149" as your bar offset. Now Cue 2 will look right (in terms of bar numbers) in score, but Cue 1 will look wrong, sincethere's only one position 1111 per song.

 

 

It has a different tempo and is a 6/8 instead of a 4/4.

Not surprised. :) Place the playhead at the correct position, and change to 6/8 in the transport bar (or score editor).

 

 

 

The melody starts on a 4th beat. Both cue need a one mesure click track pre count for recording live musicians.

Logic has only one time line, so you can't count in in bar 150's tempo when you're at bar 149. Just record an audio file (in bar 150) with the count in, drag it to somewhere before 150 1 1 1, and use the key command Shuffle Right to get it where it should be. You need to place a (dummy) region at 150 1 1 1 so your count-in audio region's right edge shuffles to exactly where 150 111 (your new 1111) is.

 

 

The client wants a quicktime of each of my cues (that means two of them) for approval

I usually only send an audio file, but there's a way to give them a movie file with your new music as well. Not sure if you can do this without an extra app, and It's 3.15 AM here so someone else should tell you how. :)

 

Due to the shortcomings re. how Logic deals with multiple cues, it may be simpler to have one project file per cue, and import bounced audio versions of the other cues (the ones before and after the current cue) into the cure you're working on, to get the transitions right.

 

Ski is a mod here and also gives Logic film scoring classes - he may chime in with more info and correct my possibly too-complicated solutions.

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Thanks FP. I'll see if I can add something useful later that FP (especially!!) hasn't already covered.

 

Four things real quick until I have a chance to reply later...

 

1) I hold FlowerPower in the highest of esteem, but I must caution you with respect to his advice of starting a Logic project in the negative bar area (which includes bar zero, or, 0 1 1 1). Doing this can corrupt your song. In short, even though Logic lets you set a project start (song start) to before bar 1, never use that feature.

 

2) I don't understand why you need to start the movie 28 seconds prior to the 2-pop. Can you please explain? (If your t/c at the top of the reel is 09:59:58:00 then why do you need 28 seconds before? There's no picture there!)

 

3) Stability of picture: always request a QT movie, using a DV codec when you talk to your editor about delivering work prints to you. Not MP4, not H.264, always -- and only -- DV. Then you can be assured of stability of movie playback. (Yes, there are other codecs that work well too, but the shortest distance between two straight lines is to get a DV work print).

 

4) You have two cues, starting at the various timecodes you mentioned. The solution is to start your second cue in a separate Logic song. However, if there's a segue between the two cues (continuous music) there is a neat trick for aligning a count-in click that's independent of Logic's tempo. Let me know if that's something you need and I'll post about it.

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1) I hold FlowerPower in the highest of esteem, but I must caution you with respect to his advice of starting a Logic project in the negative bar area (which includes bar zero, or, 0 1 1 1). Doing this can corrupt your song. In short, even though Logic lets you set a project start (song start) to before bar 1, never use that feature.

 

Thanks for the confidence, Ski - and I'm aware of the old problems associated with starting a song before the real 1111, but forgot to add a warning that this may still be problematic (I never do it myself, so I wouldn't know if this still is buggy). Are you sure things are still not fixed - I certainly hope they are.

 

Personally I work with separate project files for separate cues. What I started to write in my first post here was a solution where one could use the bar offset feature, and not start with a negative start position, but this isn't a really good solution, because you'll still see all the non-offset values in the event list, bar ruler etc.

 

I vaguely think I remember that Logic earlier could, by tweaking some parameters, show 1111 not necessarily at the (factory set) song start position, but at, say, the (factory preset; the original) 150 1 1 1 position. But I'm not sure if/when this was possible, or if only was a wet dream. :) If that would be possible, we would be one step closer to a workaround for some common situations.

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I agree with never moving the project marker from its default 1 1 1 1 position. It triggers multiple bugs, and they are still around (been here for a while).

 

For example, if you copy/paste automation from one track to another by command-clicking the automation value fader (right of the track header in automation view) and then Command-C and Command-V, the automation on both tracks will not be in sync.

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I just tried, and your're of course right. I've made a habit, I guess, out of avoiding things that has been known to cause surprises in the past, so I haven't worked with song start pre 1111 for years. IMHO it would be best if they disabled the option to have a negative song start until doing this doesn't create any problems.

 

Again, my real problem with anything film composing related is how beat mapping has changed since Logic 8: beat mapping something (MIDI) in the middle of the song messes up previous notes, and there seem to be no workaround available to fix these songs. Although this doesn't happen in L8, importing L9 projects into L8 (as a workaround) - not surprisingly - causes error messages. But that's a topic for a different thread.

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