In this Logic Pro X Tutorial, we will look at some of the built in Metering plugins, like the BPM Counter. Under Logic Pro X’s Audio FX menu, there is a group called Metering. If you are a musician, you probably never go into this menu 😉 But fear not, it’s not only for audio engineers. While there are several 3rd party plugins that do the same thing, you can’t beat free, so give these a try first.
Find the BPM of a song
Are you are trying to create a song in the style of another song? Or are working in a new genre, and are unfamiliar with the beats per minute of that genre?
It’s a simple as dragging an audio clip of the song onto a track, and inserting the BPM Counter. Hit the play button, and it’ll calculate out the beats per minute of the track. If it’s something like Trap, where it’s played at half time, then you can used the :2 or x2 to divide the bpm in half, or multiply by half.
Correlation Meter – Phase Cancellation
The correlation meter will show you your stereo balance. All the way to the right at plus 1 means both the left and right channels are in 100% correlation (in phase.) Values below 0 mean that phase cancellation may be occurring. This can lead to apparent drops in volume as one channel offsets the other channel. It’s a good idea to run this on your mix bus to verify that there’s no phase cancellation occurring.
This is your standard level meter of left and right channels measured in decibels. Be sure to pick Peak & RMS from the drop down. While it’s a good idea to make sure the peaks don’t clip, RMS shows the continuous output, and you want to make sure that’s at a reasonable level.
One nice feature of Logic Pro X’s Level Meter is the ability to set a target level. There’s a slider, with a small up arrow and a line across the meter. You can slide that to set a level, and anything above it will display in yellow.
The loudness meter measures LUFS (Loudness Units, Full Scale.) The 3 columns are M (momentary,) S (short-term) and I (integrated.) Just like the Level Meter, there is a target slider. Anything over the target is shown in yellow.
Click the Start button to start measuring the Integrated level, it’ll then turn into a Pause button. Pause will allow you to stop capturing data, but retain the integrated bar level. It’ll also capture the numeric LU Range and Integrated Level below the bars. Reset will clear the integrated bar and numeric values.
There are several standards, and -14 LUFS is what Spotify uses, for example.
Don’t forget to check out our other Logic Pro X tutorials.
The Logic Pro X Multimeter has two tabs, Analyzer and Goniometer. The Analyzer combines the previous tools on the right side. There’s the Level Meter, where you can set a target. The Loudness meter where you can also set a target in LUFS. Under those is the correlation meter.
The main window shows the frequency spectrum of your output. This can be useful to find problems in your mix. You can see if there is a range that is way to high, of can see if there are any “holes” or areas where maybe you can add some frequencies to make the mix sound fuller.
You can see in the image below that the 3 kHz range is a bit low, so it may be worth going back to see if adding an instrument or an EQ boost in that range could improve the mix. Also there’s a peak to the right of 500 Hz, that may need to be addressed. Overall the frequencies look pretty good, at least for modern music. There should be a big drop below 50 Hz to roll off the sub-bass. The low end will usually be high with a rounded decay as it goes right, toward the higher frequencies. The 3 kHz may actually be ok, and the issue is the frequencies above it are too high.
The Goniometer helps look at the stereo image and show phase cancellation. The Gain level can be raised for low level sources. Decay sets how quickly the images fades.
Pretty self explanatory. This one you may have used before, as it’s accessible from the icon near the transport window. Useful for tuning guitars and other external instruments. You can drag the 440.0 Hz to alter the tuning if need be. It’ll show what note it hears, and how many cents it’s off sharp or flat.
Get to know these meters and what targets you need for your style of music and distribution method (streaming, radio, film, etc.) Put each one on your mix bus (correlation, Level, Loudness,) and when you feel comfortable with each, replace them with the Multi-meter.
There are third party tools that do this stuff as well. Are they prettier? Yes. Apple has made these plugins pretty utilitarian. However, they are built into Logic Pro X, so it may be worthwhile playing with these a bit before spending your hard earned money on third party tools.