Thursday, November 11, 2010

Taste the Rainbow: Practical Use for Logic's Color Palette

I'm currently working on some music for a video game. I can't really reveal too many details, but the process basically involves creating loopable pieces of music that can be smoothly cross-faded between according to what's happening in the game, thus creating a more 'real time' soundtrack.

This obviously requires some thinking not ordinarily involved in writing music - namely, that the pieces need to be in the same tempo and key to allow cross fading to sound natural. So in the process of composing these pieces, I needed to be able to compare them to one another easily to check that compatibility. As you might imagine, this can quickly become an organizational nightmare. Enter Logic's "Color Palette" feature.

The Color Palette function allows you to assign colors to specific audio or MIDI regions in your arrange window. In this case, I arranged the colors according to the different pieces so I could quickly and easily know which regions belonged to which pieces. Obviously, there are tons of other uses for this feature, but any time you need to get things organized in an otherwise chaotic arrangement, this is the perfect tool for the job.

Assigning colors to regions is dead simple:

1. Select the region or regions you want to color.
2. Control-click over the regions to bring up a menu and select "Open Color Palette". (You can also bring this menu up by right-clicking the regions if you have a two-button mouse,
3. Select the color you want to change the regions to.


Sean said...

Good tip, although I usually have to force myself to colour anything other than the default puke green. Looking forward to the video game!

fractured said...

This sounds like a use for mute groups, as well.

Tom said...

@Fractured - Yeah, I obviously use mute groups to mute the pieces I don't want to hear (or unmute them to check them against other pieces to check that they're compatible), and having each piece assigned its own color makes it easy to see which tracks to mute or unmute at a glance.

kaizohh said...

Tom, when the game's released make sure you let us know, will be interesting to hear the results.

Happy birthday BTW!