When I first started this Logic Pro from A to Z series, back in July 2014, my first post, for the letter A, was about using Aliases in Logic Pro. Taken more abstractly, the notion of an alias refers to something false; a false name or identity.
Zeroing in On Creativity
To end this series I thought it fitting that for the last post in this series, to try and zero in on what it is we are all ultimately looking for in our relationship with our DAWs. And that is, something authentic and individual. Something unique, creative, and personal.
With tools like Logic Pro available to us, what are the obstacles in our way that prevent us from reaching our creative potential? The answer will, of course, vary for everyone; but there are some collective hurdles we all share simply by being part of the same Logic Pro “family.”
The Need for Solitude
Ultimately, creativity does not spring from a collection of Apple Loops, Alchemy presets, synth filters, or Arpeggiator patterns. It comes from inside of us. It is the creative life force inside of us that ultimately drives us. The opposite of this creative energy is entropy. And entropy is always a threat in a closed system.
Let me explain.
Logic Pro is its own little universe. We immerse ourselves in it. We put our energy into it. Gradually entropy takes hold. It is as natural as stars burning out and ice cubes melting. But we are not stars or ice cubes. We are living breathing human beings who can replenish our energy, and evolve and grow. Our bodies replenish by extracting energy from food, air, and sunlight. Our individuality and creativity replenish by extracting energy from quiet, introspective solitude. And this is not something to which the Logic Pro universe lends itself naturally. We are distracted by loops, plug-ins, filters, knobs, sliders, lights, colors - all with easy and quick payoffs. But on one level, they suck our creative energy out of us and entropy creeps in.
So what is the antidote to creative entropy?
We are conditioned to feel that with solitude, one becomes calm and passive at the expense of achievement. But it is the unfocused pursuit of achievement that, to me, leads to depleting our creative energy. It becomes a vicious circle. We try desperately to create something unique and individual, using all the tools we can get our hands on. We are drained by the effort and left with an absence of meaningful results.
Solitude and individuality are scarce resources. Logic Pro’s bells and whistles intrude rather than help. It is too easy to succumb to the pressure of using the newest plug-ins, sounds, loops, etc. Solitude gives us the freedom to explore, dream, and think differently about music, and about the tools we use.
When I was a kid my favorite thing to do to relax was to stare out the living room window and daydream. In fact, it still is. It is a refuge. It is a space to reclaim my solitude. To zero in your creativity, I would suggest, as an exercise, leave Logic Pro out of it for the most part. Find some quiet time, a quiet place, and just be by yourself. Mindfully. And let your mind wander freely.
As a starting point, I highly recommend reading the book "Effortless Mastery" by Kenny Werner. I read it years ago, and it resonates today more than ever. To get a taste of the quiet inner reflectiveness and mindfulness he prescribes give yourself a break from working in Logic Pro and watch this; it will be time well spent:
There are also some very inspiring guided meditations available for free download at his site here:
I can virtually guarantee you that after spending a bit of time with either or both of these resources, you will “feel” differently the next time you sit down in front of Logic Pro with a sound called up and your fingers on the keyboard, ready to play.