"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Sounds
September 24, 2009

A Little Grooving

Yesterday was a long day, so to unwind I kicked into Logic and tried to create something on the fly. In about an hour I had a song idea with some potential. [audio:https://fernandogros.com/audio/heythadren.mp3|titles=Heythadron DemoA|artists=Fernando Gros] There’s a lot I like there, in terms of vibe and elements. However, there’s a problem. I’ve using an audio […]

Yesterday was a long day, so to unwind I kicked into Logic and tried to create something on the fly. In about an hour I had a song idea with some potential.

[audio:https://fernandogros.com/audio/heythadren.mp3|titles=Heythadron DemoA|artists=Fernando Gros]

There’s a lot I like there, in terms of vibe and elements. However, there’s a problem. I’ve using an audio loop for the percussion that doesn’t quite groove with the MIDI bass and drums. Take a listen to the part where the drums come in over the loop (soloed, with the reverb turned off)

[audio:https://fernandogros.com/audio/percussionsoloed.mp3|titles=percussionsoloed|artists=Fernando Gros]

I want to keep the groove from the percussion and impose that on the MIDI. Now, if this was near the end of the project, I would just bounce everything to audio and use Logic 9’s cool new FLEX tools. But, I know that I”l be adding some different things to the bass and some fills to the drums, so I don’t want to do that yet.

The answer is to use Logic’s Audio to Midi Groove Template. Here’s the steps,

1. Select the Audio file you want as the groove foundation
2. Open it is the Sample Editor
3. Disable Snap Edits to Zero Crossings under the Edit menu
4. Select the MIDI region you want to regroove
5. Open Audio To MIDI Groove Template under the Factory menu (Control M)
6. Choose a suitable preset setting
7. Click Try

If the groove doesn’t quite work, try another preset or have a look at the settings, which might need adjusting, especially if the audio file has a lot of noise, extreme dynamic issues, or tons of reverb. Here’s what came out for me.

[audio:https://fernandogros.com/audio/percussiongrooved.mp3|titles= percussiongrooved |artists=Fernando Gros]

Subtle, but a noticeable improvement. I then applied the same change to the bass line and the resulting mix now sounds like this.

[audio:https://fernandogros.com/audio/heythadren2.mp3|titles=Heythadron DemoB|artists=Fernando Gros]

Incidentally, the Use button on the Audio To MIDI Groove Template window creates a muted MIDI region on the track you select. This is not useful here, but is a handy way to start a new MIDI region with the same basic groove information as the referenced audio loop. Handy if, for example, you want to replace and audio loop with sample information.

Responses
Mike Mahoney 13 years ago

That’s hot. I can’t wait to hear the finished product!

Toni 13 years ago

I really liked that early groove, and could near distinct improvements as you worked on the mix. My personal taste would be to reduce the drum content in order to boost the sense of both groove and space, but that might not take it where you want to go.

Like Mike, I’ll be fascinated to hear it through the next iterations.

Fernando Gros 13 years ago

Thanks for the encouragement guys!

At the moment the drum velocities are too hot and there’s not enough dynamics. That’s one of the next steps. To add some more fills and variations, and to manipulate the hit velocities to make it a little more open. One of the Berklee tutors called “white gloving,” which is a cool metaphor.

One thing I have learnt though, is that it’s a task best attempted when you have a solid 2-4 block. I seldom manage to do it well when I have to start and stop that job.

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