We had a Logic related question come in recently from listener George Majerus via the Pro Tools expert podcast. It’s a subject that I’ve seen come up over and over in various forums and discussions. Thank you, George, for asking about time stamps and bouncing in mono. Let’s explore the answers:
George: Bounce which is easy will always create stereo files even if the file I want to export is mono.
Eli: Bounce which is easy will always create stereo files. This is true. Bounce with a little bit of set up though, will produce mono files very easily. Let me explain. When you invoke the Bounce function in Logic, whether it is via the channel strip button, or the Bounce Regions in Place, or Bounce Tracks in Place menu commands, Logic is bouncing the Output Channel Strip. And by default, everything in Logic is routed to the Stereo Output. So, when you bounce, you are bouncing what arrives at the output destination at the end of the signal path.
So when you want to bounce in mono, simply select a mono output in the Output field, rather than the default Stereo Output.
George: I also need to make sure I have FX or plugins disabled.
Eli: No problem. However, for this, the real-time bounce button on the output Channel Strip is not the way to go. Use either the Bounce Regions in Place or Bounce Track in Place menu command from the Bounce section under the File Menu. When you invoke these functions, a window will appear with the options to include/exclude effects and automation.
George: The best and most common tip is to go: Edit/export/export all tracks as audio files. Except I don't have that option.
Eli: This is because you don’t have all of the Advanced Tools enabled in the Preferences. The ability to hide or show certain advanced features is a way of easing users into the complex world of any DAW, in this case, Logic Pro X. They are off by default on the first launch after a new install, in order to help new users feel less overwhelmed. Turning them on is a simple matter of enabling a checkbox in the preferences. I personally don’t know of any users who _don’t_ have all the advanced tools enabled.
George: I can select multiple audio files and export those but then there is no option to select the range so that it starts at 0.
Eli: The whole idea behind exporting a Track, or multiple tracks, is that it exports the entire track for the entire length of the project. That is just the way this feature is designed. You can, however, export individual regions, or even selections, in Logic with a time stamp.
Simply select the Export Region as Audio File, or Export Selection as Audio File from the File menu’s Export category (or use the contextual menu that appears when right-clicking directly on a region). In the ensuing dialogue box, you will have the option to include/exclude effects and/or automation, as well as choose the file format. Choose Wav or Aif and the file will be timestamped automatically. You can customize the file name for the newly exported file here as well.
After importing it into a new session, simply use the To Recorded Position command from the Edit menu’s Move menu. Or via the contextual menu when clicking on the region in the Tracks Area.
If you want to use the Bounce function, it can easily conform to a custom range. When invoking the Bounce function, the start and end fields correspond by default to the locator positions in your project. So you can set a cycle length for the area you want to be bounced. Then call up the Bounce function and it is automatically set to that range. You can easily customize the range using the start and end fields.
George: I also wonder why the logic sessions start at 60'00''00 That's a minor nuisance but it somehow means that all the files I send to logic users starting at 0 will come back timestamped +1h.
Eli: Setting what Pro Tools users call the SMPTE Start Time is very simple to do in Logic. New Logic projects default to starting at 01:00:00:00. This is to avoid the “midnight” problem when working with timecode. Simply go into the Synchronization Tab of the Project Settings Window (you can get to it from the File menu). There you can set what SMPTE position you want to correspond with which bar. Set Bar 1 to correspond to 00:00:00:00 and you will be fine.
George: If you can help me with the export thing, I would appreciate it.
Eli: Hopefully this answered your questions. I think in your scenario, using the Bounce function rather than the export function will serve you better. You can easily route to a mono output so the bounce will result in a mono file. And bouncing also timestamps the audio files that are generated. Just remember to set your SMPTE time in your Project Settings window to the value you want. It won’t be 00:00:00:00 by default. When you then import the newly bounced files into a new project, the Move To Record Position function will snap them in place, just like Spot mode in Pro Tools! :-)