Logic Pro X Drummer (Complete Guide)

Logic Pro X – The Great Drummer

Logic Pro X DrummerHello Logic users, Mike here. And I will now share my Complete Guide + Top Tips for improving your drums, beats and percussion workflow in Logic Pro X, using the Great Drummer Track.

Here’s my ultimate guide on the Logic Pro X Drummer.

PS. Feel free to Bookmark this Page for future reference! =)

Control the Energy (The X/Y Pad)

Every region will have an independent performance based on the AI smart control with the X/Y controller for strength and complexity.

This is the main way to shape the drummer’s performance, so make sure to add variation to each region, and add more regions for more detailed control.

Shape the Style per Region (Beat Presets)

You can use independent beat presets for the drummer on each region inside the drummer track.

Create More Regions (Scissor Tool)

The Drummer AI works per region, so by creating more regions you can add more variations into your drummer track. I personally use 4 bar regions as my “standard length”, because often drummers add a little fill or variation at the turn of every 4 bars.

Control the Transitions (Create Transition Regions)

If you want even more control over the drummer track in a transition from one section to another in your track, you can simply cut a small extra region just before the transition point.

For example 1 bar, or even half a bar if you want to be really precise

Change the Instrumentation (The Drum Kit)

You also have independent control over the parts of the drum kit used, per region. You can simply select or deselect any part of the drum kit.

Take advantage of this for adding even more variation between your regions.

Drum Part Variations (Part Variation Sliders)

You can apply variations to the main parts of the drummer’s performance, with the sliders beside the drum kit.

These sliders will change depending on the drummer’s style, but mainly they are percussion, hi-hats & shakers , and the main beat (kick, snare, clap).

Control the complexity of Fills (Fills Knob)

You can use the Fills knob to dial in the strength and complexity of the fill the Drummer adds to a region.

The main fill will always be focused at the end of a region, but the Drummer can also add for example a cymbal crash in the start of a region, and some small extra details in the middle depending on the setting of this Fills knob.

Add some Swing (Swing Knob)

Swing is when the players don’t follow the straight beat, but rather play in a swing fashion. Full swing will be a triplet groove. But you can dial in how much the drummer will swing the beat with this dial.

You can also set if the swing will be based on 8th triplets or 16th triplets feel.

Both the Fills knob and the Swing knob can also be locked, so that you can try out different beat presets without these dials changing.

Polish the Finish (Details Button)

You can shape and polish the performance with the details button, which has different features depending on the drummer style.

For the rock drummers you can control the Feel (Pull vs Push), Ghost Notes (Less vs More), and Hi-Hat preference (Closed vs Open).

And for the electronic kits you can control the complexity range per drum part, as well as the humanize level and phrase variation.

And again, what is so powerful is that you can control all of these per region.

Keep your Settings (Cog Wheel – Keep…)

You can lock your settings so that you can change the drummer while still having the performance intact that you already created and shaped with the features inside the drummer.

You can even lock the drum kit so that it will remain even when changing to a completely different style of drummer. For example, having a rock drum kit played by a hip hop or EDM drummer.

Both of these settings are in the cog wheel beside the beat preset list.

Add some Refreshments (Cog Wheel – Refresh)

You can lock your settings so that you can change the drummer while still having the performance intact that you already created and shaped with the features inside the drummer.

Convert to MIDI (Convert or Option-Drag)

Right-click (or Ctrl+Left-Click) on any Drummer Region and you will get a menu. Find “convert” and then choose “convert to MIDI region”.

Now you can go in and adjust each drum hit individually. Add or delete notes, control the timing, velocity and so on.

If you want to use the drummer as a workflow booster for percussive MIDI parts in the rest of your music composition, you can simply (Option+Drag) a drummer region to a MIDI track, which will automatically convert it to a MIDI performance as well.

Follow the Drummer (Shift+Option-Drag)

If you want to use another drum plugin, but still get the performance of the drummer track, you can simply create an “alias”.

I personally call this “the mimic method”, because it is essentially mimicking the region you create the alias from.

For example: Create a new track below the drummer and assign another drum plugin and kit. Then (Shift + Option-Drag) a drummer region to the new track below. Then you can mute the drummer track completely, and the other drum plugin will still play the performance based on the drummer.

Make the Drummer follow you (Follow Feature)

When using the drummer in Logic Pro X it can sometimes be a bit difficult to get it to “behave” in a way that suits the timing of other rhythmic parts in your composition.

This is why I love the almost hidden feature in the Drummer simply called “Follow”. When checking this checkbox you can choose which track inside your project the drummer will be influenced by when creating its performance.

However, it is not always working as expected so you might want to double check. Also, if you change the track it follows, you need to refresh the drummer region.

Now, as with almost anything inside the drummer track, this feature is also region based. So you can have one drummer region be influenced by your bass track, and the next region by perhaps a shaker track.

Bonus Tip – Percussion Part Creator 

Now my personal favorite way of using the drummer in Logic Pro X, is not to create complete drum performances. I like to instead use it as a “Percussion Part Creator”.

For example: adding fills to my epic cinematic toms. Or spicing up the high-end with stick hits using the hi-hat performance from the Drummer track, and so on.

Basically: pick and choose drum part, the drummer, the style, shape the performance, and then drag and drop the final MIDI to the track I want to use it on. Then finally, polish the MIDI in the piano roll.


Master Logic Pro X for Music Production

Check out my Logic Pro X Tutorials, Tips & Tricks Videos here

 


My name is Mikael “Mike” Baggström, and I am a composer, sound designer, artist, video creator, coffee lover, science geek and true nerd…

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2018-12-05T15:11:38+00:00