This is where the real fun begins! By default, tracks in Logic assign themselves to stereo outputs. You will need to redirect them to your surround output. Once you assign them, you will want to control which of the speakers each track is heard from. This is done by way of a Surround control. The concept of the Surround control is similar to that of the Pan control; it's just a little more complex. The Surround control has to distribute sound not only between the left and right positions, but also between the front and back positions. Don't worryit's pretty simple to understand once you get into it.
Displaying a Surround Control
You've used the stereo Pan control in all the other lessons, but this control is not sufficient for mixing surround sound. Now you'll convert the stereo Pan control in the channel view of each track to a Surround control.
In the Arrange window, select the Bass track.
The Arrange window channel strip updates to display the Bass track's properties.
On the channel strip, click and hold the output assignment, and select Surround from the pop-up menu.
Notice how the channel Pan control changes from a stereo type to a surround type with a dot in the middle of a circle.
The default position is for the dot to be in the center of the circle. This position indicates that the sound for the track will be distributed to all of the speakers shown in the Surround control. Since this is a stereo track, the left channel of the Bass will be played partially from the center speaker and partially from the two left speakers, while the right channel will be played partially from the center and partially from the two right speakers.
Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the remaining tracks in the Arrange window. (And don't forget the tracks inside this song's folderthey need to be set to output in surround as well.)
In Logic, you can assign some channels to the surround outputs while others remain on the standard stereo output. Those assigned to the standard outputs (1-2) will simply have their audio mixed into the left and right outputs in the surround mix.
Play the song.
While the song is playing, grab the dot in the Bass Surround control and move it around.
Listen to the movement of the Bass sound as you move the dot. Also notice the output meters and how they reflect your movements. If you want to get a more isolated listen to what's happening, solo the Bass track.
Option-click the Bass Surround control.
This is a quick way to return a dot to the center position of a Surround control.
Using the Pan Window
The Pan window is an enlarged view of the Surround control. It allows you to control the pan position with greater accuracyand gives you access to some very cool features to enhance your panning control.
Double-click the Surround Pan control on the Bass channel. The Surround Pan window opens.
Play the song.
Move the dot around.
Notice how this moves the Pan control on the Bass channel as well.
Click the edges of the Surround Pan control.
The dot to jumps to the position you clicked.
Now that you know the Surround Pan control basics, it's time to learn some tricks with the Command and Control keys.
Hold down the Command key.
A line appears across the Pan window.
While the Command key is held down, drag the dot in the Pan window.
The dot moves only on the path indicated by the line.
Release the Command key. Drag the dot, and hold the Command key again.
Notice that the angle of the line is determined by where the dot is in the Pan control.
Release the Command key. Move the dot somewhere other than dead center.
Hold down the Control key.
A circle appears in the Pan window.
While holding down the Control key, drag the dot around in a circle.
The position of the dot when the Control key is held down changes the size of the circular path. Using the Control key is the way you can create perfect circular pan moves.
Option-click the dot to reset it to the exact center of the control.
Changing the Output Assignment
In some cases you may want to intentionally assign the output of a track to something other than the 5.1 setting you have now. An example is when you want to make the track play from the traditional stereo position (playing equally out of the left and right speakers), and not the center speaker. This is often referred to as the phantom center position. The problem is that if you position the dot in the front center position, the sound will come from the center speaker. Here's how to get around that.
Set the Bass channel to Solo mode.
In the Surround Pan window, place the Bass line's dot on the center speaker.
Click and hold the surround output assignment in the top left part of the Surround Pan window, and change the output assignment to 5.1 w/o Center.
Play the song.
Unsolo the Bass track
Notice that the Bass sound no longer plays from the center channel.
Working with the LFE
Sound isn't just something you hear; it's something you can feel as well. Film audio-mix engineers wanted a way to intensify the sound of special effects such as car crashes and explosions, so they came up with the idea of the low-frequency effect channel. It is designed to give you total control over what sounds come out of the subwoofer in your system.
Let's hear what the LFE channel can do.
If the Surround Pan window is not open, double-click the Surround control for the Bass track.
Play your song back from bar 9. During playback, drag the LFE slider to the right.
You should be able to feel the low-frequency sound increase in your room. Now you can use the LFE as an alternative to equalization to pump up the bass in your mix!
Click the small button in the top left corner to close the Pan window.