English · Tips

Understanding Logic Pro’s “Audio Bin”

Hi everyone,

David Jones from Mix Asylum back again with another production technique you might not be aware of. This doesn’t specifically relate to production, but it is a handy tool to keep track of your audio file management, something I think we could all brush up on.

For my 4th blog entry, I’d like to talk to you about Logic Pro 9’s “Audio Bin” and hopefully share with you some info you may not have realised about it.

What is “Audio Bin”?

Up until about two weeks ago, I could not have answered that question myself, as I had never had cause to use it in my productions before. What I’ve learnt recently is that the Audio Bin is a virtual “store” of all of the audio files used in the particular Logic session you have open, listed in alphabetical order.

Why would I use “Audio Bin”?

Have you ever had this dialog box open when you first open Logic Pro 9?

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It can be REALLY annoying when this happens, as a file you may have worked days/weeks/months on can’t be found on your computer, so won’t be featured in your mix. The file may even be located on an external hard drive not connected to the computer, giving you much more hassle than you need. There are two options you can do at this stage:

a) Locate the file yourself from the ‘locate’ button (easier said than done, right?)

2b) Use the ‘Audio Bin’, which has automatically stored a copy of the file in the project window. Bear in mind, there is some locating involved, but this is a much more easier way!

How do I use “Audio Bin”?

  1. When the “Audio File not found” dialog box appears, press ‘skip all.’ For this example, I am going to locate the “Drone Wind 02.caf”, but this process can be used on all missing files.

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Your project will then load (with the missing audio files) and look something like this:

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As you can probably see, the audio file block is exactly where it is supposed to be in the track, but the audio waveform is missing (meaning no sound will play).

2. Press the ‘Media’ tab, which is the fifth item along the far top right of the Logic project:

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Ordinarily, users are presented with the loops view of the media window:

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3. Press the ‘Bin’ tab in this menu, where the audio bin is now presented:

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This is the Audio Bin, and from here it lists all of the audio files contained within this project. I am now just using the lever at the side bar until I come across the file I want to locate (“Drone Wind 02.caf”).

4. When you’ve found your missing file, you can choose to open a drop down list which shows you how many times you have used this file in the session (Logic gives each instance a separate name, like Drone Wind 02.1, Drone Wind 02.13 etc).

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5. To return the missing audio file to your project, double-click on the main file name…

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…and the following dialog box appears:

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Press ‘Locate’ to begin the process of finding your file.

6. This is where the scouting part begins, but don’t worry, because the Audio Bin has kept this copy of the audio file specifically in the session’s ‘Audio Files’ folder so locating it is very simple.

7. Navigate to where the session file is located on your computer. For this example, I have placed this session                         (called “dogs­_of_war”) onto the desktop. Double-click to open the folder’s contents.

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8. Open the folder called ‘Audio Files’ and locate the file you want to restore.

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9.Press ‘open’ to restore the missing file to the Logic session.

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Job Done!!! The file is now safely located in your session file. You can tell also because the separate sub audio files have lit up as well in the audio bin. Repeat this process for other missing files in your session.

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The final word

I hope you’ve found this tutorial useful and I hope it saves you a lot of wasted time that could be put to better use!

As I mentioned previously, I was unaware of what the Audio Bin did until about two weeks ago, when this very problem happened to me. Before using Audio Bin, if there were any files missing and I couldn’t easily locate them, I would add new elements to my pre-existing production to cater for the missing elements. Looking back, I probably wasted more time doing this instead of using the Audio Bin, but you live and learn I suppose!!

If you would like to discuss or comment about anything in this blog, then please send me an email to techniques-mixasylum@hotmail.co.uk or send me a message through my facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/mixasylum. I welcome all feedback (good or bad), or if you’ve got suggestions to make this tutorial better, then I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks, look out for my next blog soon!

 

David Jones

 

English · Tips

5 Things You Should Avoid When Making Music

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1.      Working on songs you don’t like

If you want your songs to be really good, you should have FUN working on them. You can work on a song for hours but if you don’t put your heart into it, it will never have that certain “Je ne sais quoi” – and people will hear that.

2.      Not coming to an end

A typical phenomenon in the music industry is the constant urge to edit a song over and over again. Many people find it hard to come to an end and to finish a project, so they keep rearranging the audio track and rewriting the lyrics. Congratulations, you will be getting nowhere if you are caught up in this loop of indecision! Remember: You can only make progress and improve yourself if you finish something and start with a new project, a new idea!

3.      Working together with annoying people

If you are not working on a commercial song, you can pick the people you want to work with by yourself. Nothing will stress you more out than a studio partner who is always late, who has nerve-racking habits or useless ideas. So make a wise decision concerning your co-workers!

4.      Wearing blinders

Maybe you are used to a certain way of producing your songs. This way might not be bad but you should prevent yourself from wearing blinders all the time. If you try out new things, like a new technique or a different musical genre, your music will take a big step forward. Not only you, but also your listeners will benefit from this development for sure.

5.      Being distracted

If you let yourself distract from other people, the phone, the TV, the radio … you can sure as hell not work on your song in a concentrated way. Being focused is the key to success. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a break while producing. Going for a short walk or for dinner with friends can be fun and refreshing – and you will have the energy to carry on with your work afterwards. Focused and productive!

by Sara Shirazi