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Music

Quick Tip: How To Create Unusual Rhythms in Logic Pro

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:

The grid editor in Logic Pro is great for lining up your notes into multiples of 4 (8th notes, 16th notes, 32nd notes, etc) and multiples of 3 (triplets, sextuplets, etc). But what if you need a run with 7 notes in it, or a figure with 5?

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Requirements: Logic Pro
  • Summary: How to create rhythms of odd numbers (quintuplets, septuplets, etc)

Rather than just estimating what 13 notes in the space of 8 looks like, you can use this quick trick to make any unusual numbered figure fit into the space you need it to.

As an example, let's say that I have a high C on the downbeat of measure two and I want to make a nice clean run into that note. I want the run to start on the C an octave below and run up the C major scale. To go from C to C will require 7 notes in the space of a quarter note.

Here's the notation for the effect I'm going for:

First I'll enter in the 7 notes of the run that I want to use as 16th notes:

Next I'll trim the region so it only takes up the space of those 7 notes. Our 7 note figure goes all the way up until the 4th 16th note of beat 2, so that is where I will cut it off. I'm going to enter 1.2.4.0 into the transport.

Notice now that the playhead is lined up at the end of our run.

Now I'll go under the Region menu and select "Split by Playhead" to chop our region in half.

I'll then delete the empty part of the region, leaving us only our 7 notes.

Next I'm going to option+click on the bottom right of the region, and drag it in so that it ends on measure 1 beat 2. Option+drag allows you to "stretch" (or in this case, squash) the contents of the region across the amount of time you choose. Now our 7 16th notes have been squashed down to fit into the space of 4.

Our 7 notes are now mathematically perfect in time!

Now we just have to drag our 7 note chunk wherever we need it.

Here's what it sounds like, with a click so you can hear when the run is meant to start:

You can use this same technique to stretch or squash as many notes as you want into whatever space you need. No longer are we confined to the shackles of rhythms based on 3 and 4!

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