Producing Songwriting Demos with Logic

Authors:   •   Course Code: OSONG-231

If you ever want an established artist to cover one of your songs, you need to have a demo that shows just how much potential your composition has. This course is designed for the songwriter interested in producing and engineering high-quality demos at home using Logic Pro X. The course acts as a springboard for the novice producer/songwriter to jump into the world of producing, recording, and mixing songs to a professional level. The curriculum begins with active listening, analysis, and exploring the producer’s role in recorded music. You’ll explore Logic Pro X techniques, drum programming, synthesis, sampling, guitar and vocal recording techniques, EQ, compression, reverb, and other effects. Producing Songwriting Demos with Logic concludes with you assembling all of these musical elements together with mixing. The course will be taught via a combination of listening and analysis, discussion, and video demonstration. The projects are hands-on and include recording other instrumentalists/vocalists.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • analyze productions and apply active listening to them
  • identify various genres for stylistic study and influence
  • apply basic to intermediate Logic Pro X techniques for self-production
  • identify and use synthesis techniques and develop electronic patches
  • apply drum programming and electronic textures realistically
  • apply sampling and create realistic-sounding instruments using the computer
  • apply guitar recording and production techniques
  • apply vocal recording and production techniques
  • identify EQ basics for mixing purposes
  • apply basic compression for mixing and for effects
  • identify mastering basics to make mixes louder for radio

Lesson 1: Course Introduction and Review of Logic Pro X Operations

  • Finding Your Production Voice
  • The Three P’s of Active Listening: Pieces, Placement, Processing
  • Review of the Logic Pro X Interface, Making Templates, and Track Types
  • Review of Tempo Operations, Markers, and Recording In

Lesson 2: Starting the Process: Where Do We Go From Here?

  • Genre Exploration
  • Types of Producers
  • Same Song, Different Productions: Remixes
  • Production Timelines and Game Plans: “Beyond the Demo”

Lesson 3: Drum Writing and Drum Programming

  • Introduction to Drum Samplers (Drumkit Designer, Drum Machine Designer)
  • Choosing the Right Samples for Your Song
  • Drum Programming Writing and Arrangements
  • Programming Styles for “Acoustic” and “Electronic” Samples
  • Creating More Realism with Advanced Quantization

Lesson 4: Synthesis and Synthesizers

  • The Role of Synthesizers in Production
  • Choosing the Perfect Preset (ES1)
  • Adjusting Presets to Make Them Work for You: Oscillators, Filters, Envelopes, and LFOs
  • Beefing Up the Arrangement with Layering Synth Techniques

Lesson 5: Samplers and Realistic MIDI Programming

  • Synths vs. Samplers
  • The Role of Samplers in Music
  • Adjusting Sampler Presets, MIDI Controls, and Velocity for Realism (EXS24)
  • Sampler Layering and Creating Motifs

Lesson 6: Guitar Recording and Production

  • Acoustic Guitar Recording Techniques
  • Electric Guitar Recording Techniques
  • DI vs. Amp and Bass Recording
  • Amp Simulators and Layering Your Recordings

Lesson 7: Vocal Recording and Production

  • Vocal Recording Setup
  • Problem-Proof Your Recording: Preventing Plosives and Proximity Effect
  • Compiling Vocal Takes
  • Modern Vocal Layering and Harmonies

Lesson 8: Introduction to Mixing (EQ)

  • Creating the Right Balance with Volume and Pan
  • Tweaking Frequencies to Get the Perfect Mix: EQ Basics (Channel EQ)
  • Targeting and Eliminating Troublesome Frequencies: “The Peak and Sweep” EQ
  • Adding Brightness and Eliminating Boominess: Filters and Shelving EQ

Lesson 9: The Mixing Process, Part 2 (Dynamics)

  • Evening Out Louds and Softs: Compression Basics (Logic Compressor)
  • Controlling Varying Dynamics: Compression Techniques
  • Eliminating Background Noise: Noise Gates (Logic Noise Gate)
  • Reducing Breaths and Targeted Volume Changes: Volume Automation and Region Gain Settings

Lesson 10: The Mixing Process, Part 3 (Ambience)

  • Types of Ambience Techniques
  • Choosing the Perfect Room: Reverb Types and Setup
  • Reverb Components (Space Designer)
  • Delay and Doubling Techniques (Logic Tape Delay and Logic Stereo Delay)

Lesson 11: Advanced Production Techniques and Mastering

  • Changing Your Effects Over Time: Plug-In Automation
  • Making Room for the Kick Drum with Sidechaining
  • Creating Groups and Submixes to Process Similar Instruments Together
  • Getting It Loud!: Using Limiters to Make Songs Radio-Ready

Lesson 12: Course Roundup

  • Self-Promotion Techniques
  • Using Soundcloud Tags, Networking, and Distribution
  • Forming Your Production Style
  • Review of the Course and Self-Evaluation

Prerequisites

Students should have some basic knowledge of songwriting and arrangement (to be able to discuss about and manipulate the different sections of a song,) and have some familiarity with the Logic Pro X environment. You should also be comfortable recording yourself. If you already have some experience with Logic Pro X and would like to further expand upon your skill set, consider taking Berklee Online’s 12-week Producing Music with Logic course, which is not a prerequisite, but does provide an additional understanding of Logic Pro X.


No Required Textbooks


Software Requirements

  • Logic Pro X (Logic Express is not supported in this course)
  • OS X 10.9 Mavericks or higher (click here for system requirements)
  • Latest version of Google Chrome

Hardware Requirements

  • A condenser microphone and pop filter are needed
  • MIDI controller
  • Audio interface with at least 2 inputs (XLR and ¼”), 2 outputs, and phantom power
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 500 MB hard drive space
  • Speakers or headphones (preferred)
  • Webcam
  • Internet connection with at least 4 Mbps download speed ( http://www.speedtest.net to verify or download the Speedtest by Ookla app from your mobile app store)

Comments

Got a question? Contact our Academic Advisors by phone at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.), 1-617-747-2146 (INT'L), or by email at advisors@online.berklee.edu. We can also answer basic questions in the comments below. Please note that all comments are public.




  • Level
    Level 2
  • Duration
    12 weeks
  • 3-Credit Tuition
    $1,479
  • or
  • Non-Credit Tuition
    $1,229

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