Exporting from Logic for mixing elsewhere
This is more common than you might think! People who mix for a living usually use Pro Tools; artists who record music at home often use Logic. So when one wants to hand off to the other … you can see where this is going. Here’s how I like to do it.
If the artist knows what they’re doing — i.e., if their WIP mixes sound really good and have a bunch of intentional stuff going on — then I like to pick up from where they are, like taking a baton in a relay race. This is how I have them export in that situation:
Here’s my reasoning:
Export cycle range only: this is because I always recommend that people have an In marker and an Out marker in their session, and that they always do their bounces from In to Out. This way the bounce is exactly the same each time in terms of length, with no randomness. It also lets you set the Out marker at a place where nothing is getting cut off at the end, and forces you to think intentionally about how the song ends.
I recommend that people set a cycle range of 1|1|000 to the Out marker when exporting WAVs for mixing. That way the WAVs will line up to bar lines when I drop them into my session (assuming that the song is on the grid).
Bit depth: 32 float. This is in case the plugins or volume automation cause levels above 0 dBFS — in 32 float it doesn’t distort!
Format: WAV — that said, depending on the version, Logic might force the export to AIFF when you select 32 float? AIFFs are functionally the same as WAVs, so whatever, either one is fine.
Bypass effects plugins: checkbox unchecked — i.e., include the effects plugins! If the artist is doing cool stuff, I want to use it and build on it.
Include volume/pan automation: yes please, for the same reason.1
Now, what if the artist doesn’t really know what they’re doing quite as much? Like, maybe what they’re recording is really cool, but what they’re doing in their rough mix isn’t anything I’d want to preserve? Then I have them do their exports like this:
As you can see, the difference is that I do have them bypass their effects plugins and I don’t have them include their volume and pan automation. This is the “give me the raw tracks” way to export from Logic.
Logically — jamie
Note: including the volume and pan automation will make all the exported files be stereo files, including files that you would expect to be mono, like vocals / guitars / bass / individual drums in the kit / basically most things. For the longest time I tripped out about this, and spent all this time with a correlation meter going track by track and seeing which were actually mono and making mono tracks out of them. And then one day I was in a hurry and was like, what would happen if I didn’t do that? And, shocker, everything went fine. And, much more importantly, all of the artist’s volume balances were preserved exactly! So now I just do that. It’s weird to have stereo tracks, but honestly all the plugins I would be using work the same in mono and stereo, and it sounds the same. Weird but true!