"Let life enchant you again." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Sounds
October 12, 2011

Mutli Output With Logic Pro And EZdrummer

NOTE: With the update to EZdrummer 2 and Logic X, things have changed a little sine I wrote this post. So, you may want to also take a look at the more recent post Multi-Output With Logic Pro And EZdrummer2 Readers asked a number of questions in response to my recent post on using Logic […]

NOTE: With the update to EZdrummer 2 and Logic X, things have changed a little sine I wrote this post. So, you may want to also take a look at the more recent post Multi-Output With Logic Pro And EZdrummer2

Readers asked a number of questions in response to my recent post on using Logic Pro. In particular there was interest in using multi output.

Soft synths and sample players usually default to a stereo or mono signal, but you can set some of them up to feed Logic with a multi output. The number of output tracks will vary, depending on the product. If you have the processing power, I think it’s almost always better to use multi output. That’s because you do the mixing in Logic, rather than letting the softsynth or sample player handle the mixing for you.

And, once you start mixing for each indivual sound, or instrument, you will have more creative control.

Here’s a quick rundown of how I do this with Logic and Toontrack’s EZdrummer programme. You can apply this same idea to other sample players as well (later, I’ll follow this up with a workflow for using multiouput with Logic’s own Ultrabeat drum machine).

When you choose the sample player, you’ll see two options “Stereo” or “Multi Output (8xStereo).” Choose the later.

Choose Multi Output

Now you need to go into the EZdrummer interface and choose the mixer. One thing I like about EZdrummer is the way this interface makes it easy to see how the sample player is mixing the sounds. For those familiar with hardware setups, what we will be doing is replacing EZdrummer’s own sub-mixer and routing everything into Logic’s main mixer.

In EZdrummer, select one of the channels, scroll down and choose “Multichannel.”

In EZdrummer's mixer, chose Multichannel

Your mixer should now look like this, with different channel numbers under each sound.

EZdrummer Mixer with Multi Output

One thing you might notice is that the faders are flat, set to -4.8dB, with no panning. This is my preset for using EZdrummer in this mode. Since I’m mixing in Logic, I don’t need the EZdrummer mixer to do any extra work. Also, if I leave the faders at 0.0dB, the summed mix in Logic will distort and be too loud. In fact, if you don’t already do this, it’s a good habit to set all your soft-synths and sample players to lower output settings.

Although we set EZdrummer up in Mutli Output (8xStereo) mode, by default EZdrummer uses only 7 outputs (1. Bass Drum, 2. Snare Top, 3. Snare Bottom, 4. Hi-Hat, 5. Toms (in stereo), 6. Overhead Mics (in stereo), 7. Room Mics (in stereo)). Each soft instrument will have quirks like this and it’s worth exploring them before you start setting up the Logic Mixer – as we’ll see in a moment.

Now open up the Logic mixer (x is the keyboard shortcut to open the mixer window).

The Open Auxillary Tracks Button

Below the mute and solo buttons you’ll a button marked “+” that will open auxillary tracks for each output in EZdrummer. The trick here is to press it once for each extra track you need. You can in fact open up 8 tracks, but since EZdrummer is only exporting 7 tracks, that last track will be empty and silent. Once opened up, your mixer window will look something like this.

Multi Output in The Logic Mixer

From here you can mix and effect each track to your heart’s delight. For example, this is what my mixer window looked like, after applying track names, effects and mixer settings.

Effected and Mixed Multi Output

Take a listen to the clip below. The first bar is a funky drum pattern as you would hear it stright out of EZdrummer in stereo. The second is the same pattern, in Muti Output, with effects applied. There is group reverb and compression (with individual settings for each track) then each drum sound is individually EQd, with some other effects thrown in (distortion on kick drum, transient attack variation on snare top, tape delay on snare bottom, stereo spreading on hi-hats and complex delay on the room mics).

[audio:https://fernandogros.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Drums-3.mp3|titles=Comparison of Stereo and Effected MultiOut Drums]
Aknebehandlingar 13 years ago

greetings. Amazing text and a great blog

Frank 11 years ago

Thanks for this. I’m working on a friend’s drum tracks that are set up exactly as you describe here, in Logic 9. I want to go one step further and use their performance to trigger my own drum samples that I have set up as a software instrument. Their performance is in three passes (kick/snare, toms, cymbals) but they need to be separate tracks for each drum and use my samples. I can break out their performance to separate tracks if necessary, but – then what? Many thanks.

Fernando Gros 11 years ago

Frank – have you tried the drum replacement approach in the manual?(https://documentation.apple.com/en/logicpro/usermanual/index.html#chapter=9%26section=20%26tasks=true)

My experience with this approach has been good, but it pays to tweak the threshold a bit. If you don’t have enough separation on the kick and snare, you can try heavily EQ ing the track first. And, I would definitely separate each drum onto a separate track and load a sample player onto each track if you have the memory to handle that.

I hope that helps.

Frank Coleman 11 years ago

Thanks for your reply, Fernando. That’s close but not quite the scenario I have. Their performance uses the multichannel out of EZDrummer to route the individual drums to Aux channels in Logic’s mixer, but it’s still a MIDI performance. There’s no audio involved.

I think I’ve found the answer, though. First this:

Then the link you posted. Thanks again!

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