Before adding audio to your arrangement, it's often helpful to listen to the audio file first so you know exactly what it is! Indeed, songs can get complex, sometimes using dozens or even hundreds of separate audio files. With that many files to juggle, you'll be forgiven if you forget which file sounds like what. Thankfully, you can easily audition audio files and Regions directly in the Audio window before adding them to your song. To do so, you'll use the Audio window's monitoring feature.
Position the Arrow tool above the Beat waveform.
The pointer turns into a speaker icon.
Click and hold the Beat waveform.
The Audio Region plays from the exact point where you click.
Select the Beat.aif file. (Alternatively, you can select the Region instead. For the sake of this example, it makes no difference because there is currently only one Region associated with this file.)
Along the left edge of the Audio window, click the Audition button (the one that looks like a speaker). The Beat.aif file plays once and then stops. If you should so choose, you can also tell Logic to loop the file as you audition it.
Along the left edge of the Audio window, click the Toggle Cycle button, then click the Audition button to begin playback. The Cycle mode is enabled in the Audio window and the Beat.aif file loops continuously.
Click the Audition button or press the spacebar to halt playback.
Auditioning Audio in the Sample Editor
Many of the same auditioning features you just saw in the Audio window are also available in the Sample Editor. Let's open the Sample Editor and explore its auditioning features.
In the Audio window, double-click the HH Region.
The HH audio file opens in the Sample Editor.
At the top of the Sample Editor, click and hold the Arrow tool above the waveform overview. The pointer turns into a speaker icon and Logic plays the waveform from the Arrow tool's position.
On the Sample Editor's left edge, click the Audition button.
The selection loops. Why? The Sample Editor's Cycle mode is permanently linked to the Audio window's Cycle mode. Consequently, if you activate it in one window, it is automatically activated in the other window.
To demonstrate the point, do the following:
Position the Sample Editor so you can see it and the Audio window at the same time on your screen.
On the left edge of the Sample Editor, click the Toggle Cycle button to disable it. The Audio window's Toggle Cycle button is also disabled (this works even if the window's link buttons are disabled).
Click the Toggle Cycle button again to turn it back on.
Press the spacebar.
The Sample Editor's Audition button is activated and the loop in the Sample Editor plays.
Click the Sample Editor's Audition button to halt playback.
Scrubbing Audio in the Sample Editor
You can also use the Sample Editor's Solo tool to scrub the audio file in forward or reverse.
Scrubbing in the Sample Editor while recording your system's audio outputs is a great way to make sound effects!
From the Sample Editor's toolbox, grab the Solo tool (the square with an S on it).
Click and drag the Solo tool back and forth along the waveform in the Sample Editor's display area.
The sound scrubs back and forth, following the Solo tool.
Close the Sample Editor.
Setting an Audition Channel
As you audition audio in the Audio window or Sample Editor, you may want to hear it through the effects of the Arrange window track to which you will eventually add the audio. To facilitate this, Logic employs a cool little trick: Along the left edge of the both the Audio window and Sample Editor is a channel setting. This setting determines which of Logic's audio track channels you will audition throughand this includes the channel's inserted DSP effects. The channel setting works the same way in both the Audio window and Sample Editor, so the following steps show you how to set the channel in the Audio window only. Once you understand this method, you'll be able to set it in the Sample Editor just as easily.
In the Arrange window, select the HH track (Track 3). In Lesson 1 you learned that the Arrange window's channel strip always updates to display the channel strip for the selected track. With the HH track selected, the Arrange Window channel displays an inserted Stereo Delay effect. As you can see, a stereo delay has been applied to the HH track.
Back in the Audio window, select the HH Region and then click the Audition button.
The HH Region plays. The Audio window's Toggle Cycle button should still be activated, so the HH Region will continue to loop as you go through the next few steps.
On the left edge of the Audio window, double-click the channel setting. A text box appears. Let's set the Audio window to audition through channel 3, the same channel as the HH track with the inserted Stereo Delay effect.
In the text box, type 3 and press Return. The sound of the auditioned file changes. It is now playing through channel 3 and thus through channel 3's inserted Stereo Delay effect. In fact, if you take a close look at the Arrange window's channel strip, you can even see the level meter pulsing along to display the HH file's level.
Position the Arrow tool above the Audio window's channel setting and drag up until the channel is set to 24.
You probably don't want to audition all of your audio through the Stereo Delay effect. In fact, in most situations it's best to audition audio files dry (without effects) so you can hear what the source file sounds like. If you set the Audio window's channel setting back to 1, any effects you insert into the Kick track in the Arrange window (channel 1) will be applied to all auditioned audio. By setting the channel to a very high number, such as 24, you are less likely to accidentally audition audio through a channel with any effects inserted, because it's less likely you will use that channel in your song. (But it can still happen if you add 24 audio tracks to your song, so watch out!)
The channel setting refers to the audio track channel that the Arrange window track plays through, and not the track number or order in the Arrange window itself. In Lesson 12, "Setting Up the Audio Environment" you will explore audio channels in detail, but as a quick heads-up you can see the selected audio track's channel number in the Object Parameter box, next to the channel setting. This is the actual channel you are choosing in the Audio window's channel setting.