Every DJ Mixer has a cross-fader. In fact every DJ Mixer has three essential functions. A volume fader for one audio source, a volume fader for a second audio source and a crossfader. The crossfader allows the DJ to fade out one source, while fading in the other source.
Here's how to create a basic, but very effective crossfader in Logic's environment. This tip is useful for Logic 5, 6, 7 and 8 users! You can use existing Audio or Software Instrument tracks, but for this example I'm going to create a crossfader to mix two audio tracks.
Step 1 - Start with two tracks
Create two new stereo Audio Tracks and import your audio files onto each track in the Arrange area.
Step 2 - Enter the Environment
Let's open the Environment window: Window > Environment and navigate to the Mixer Layer.
Logic's Environment enables the user to route signals, control faders, create custom objects and much much more.
Click on The Layer drop down menu in the Inspector and select the Mixer layer.
Step 3 - Time to Transform
We can connect objects to each other very easily in the Environment. Simply dragging the output of an object (in the top right of the object) and dropping the cable on another object will create a cable from one to the other.
If you connect the channel strip 1 to channel strip 2 and move the volume fader on the first channel strip you'll notice that you now control the volume fader on the second channel strip too.
For our crossfader we want the changes we make to the volume fader on one of the channel strips to be reversed on the other channel strip. So, when channel strip 1's volume fader is at it's highest level, channel strip 2 is, in essence, muted... Here's how we do that.
New > Transformer
Cable the output from channel strip 1 to the Transformer. Now cable the output from the transformer to channel strip 2.
CS1 > Transformer > CS2
It should look something like this:
Step 4 - Reversing the Data
Double click on the Transformer to view it's options. If this is your first time in the Environment this may seem a little daunting, but don't worry, this bit is not complicated, and you don't need to delve too deeply to get this working.
A Transformer can, as it's name suggests, take data it receives and transform it into some other kind of data. For example, we might want to transform MIDI note events or volume or pan data into something else.
In this case, if we leave the Conditions row blank we are not going to filter out any data coming in to the Transformer. We do, however, need to change the value of the volume data to reverse it. This is reflected under Data Byte 2 in the Operations area.
Click on the DB2 drop down menu and choose Reverse.
Now, move the Volume fader on channel strip 1 and you'll notice that channel strip 2's volume fader moves in the opposite direction! We have a Crossfader!
Step 5 - Round-Tripin'
If you try adjusting the volume fader on channel strip 2 you'll notice that nothing happens to the volume fader on the first channel strip. This is because the volume fader data is not being sent out from the channel strip.
Cable the output from channel strip 2 to the Transformer & from the transformer to channel strip 1.
CS2 > Transformer > CS1
Now try moving the Volume fader on either of the channel strips and you'll see it works just fine.
Step 6 - Creating the Crossfader
Although it works fine, it's no fun dragging the volume fader on one of the channel strips to cross fade between two tracks. Let's create a bigger crossfader.
New > Fader > Horizontal 4
Now, it's completely up to you to choose the appearance of the fader. You can always change it later by choosing the desired Style in the Inspector.
You can re-size the fader by dragging the square in the bottom right corner of the object.
Make sure to cable from the new Horizontal Fader's output to one of the channel strips.
We now have a fully functional Crossfader!
Step 7 - Make a floating Crossfader
You may now want to take your new crossfader from the Environment into the Arrange area. We need to make your Environment into a floating window, but first turn off Link mode in the Environment window.
Now, position the Crossfader in the top left of the Environment window. Right-click on the grey background of the Environment window and make sure that Protect Positions and Hide Cables is ticked and also Frameless Floating Window too.
You can now resize the floating environment window to show as much or as little as desired and have access to the Crossfader whenever you are in your Arrange area.