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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Logic PRO 2018 > Master your meters

Master your meters

Using Logic Pro’s suite of metering plug-ins and increased headroom can transform your mixing. Mark Cousins shows you how to improve your signal flow…

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Imagine if there was a suite of plug-ins, held deep within Logic Pro, which could radically transform not only the sonic effectiveness of your mixing, but also your ability to navigate the mixing process. Where previously you might have struggled to achieve punch and precision in your mixes, suddenly, your music takes on a new life – with an ability to breathe, conveying the full depth and dimension of the sounds within it. While this might seem too good to be true, there are some simple workflow solutions, alongside a set of associated plug-ins, which can improve any mix produced in Logic Pro.

So, what are these elusive tools for a perfect mix? Well, the answer lies with a delve into Logic Pro’s sample-accurate metering plug-ins: combined, of course, with a revised approach to mixing. In truth, many Logic users have got used to a shoddy method of working, partly defined by the deficiencies and problems of working in the digital domain, but also because Logic Pro’s old metering really didn’t help the process of mixing. The newer plug-ins, however, are clearer to use, sample-accurate, and most important, have ‘good practice’ hard-wired into their DNA.

Parking meter

For a better understanding of why the improved metering in Logic Pro helps, we need to take a quick look at the bad practices that have developed with DAW-based mixing, and how Logic’s old meters didn’t really help with this. On a traditional analogue console, engineers made deliberate use of headroom, with meters calibrated to ensure headroom was left in the equation at all stages of the mixing process. Yet in the digital domain we’ve got used to sailing ‘close the line’ – mixing right up to 0dBFS, with little or no headroom to play with. The approach is akin to producing mixes that sound like masters, but in actuality contain a poor balance of their constituent parts.

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