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By de­fault, Logic Pro X won’t play back a MIDI note un­less the play­back bar passes through the start of the note. This can be an­noy­ing if you’ve set up a loop in the mid­dle of your track that ex­cludes notes trig­gered be­fore the loop ac­tu­ally starts. To fix this, go to File » Project Set­tings » MIDI and click Chase. Click the Notes check­boxes at the top and in Chase on Cy­cle Jump at the bot­tom.


Some­times, it can be in­ter­est­ing to ex­per­i­ment with the struc­ture of your piece by ‘jump­ing’ from one part to an­other. You could delete all of the notes in the sec­tion you want to omit, but this is pretty dras­tic if you’re still mak­ing up your mind. In­stead, loop the sec­tion you want to ‘jump over’, and then re­verse the lo­ca­tor po­si­tions


If you want to au­di­tion sev­eral sep­a­rate ap­proaches to the part for a par­tic­u­lar in­stru­ment, you don’t have to make mul­ti­ple copies and fu­ri­ously work the Mute and Solo but­tons. In­stead, try Track Al­ter­na­tives. As you’ll see in our video, this lets you try out sev­eral ideas be­fore choos­ing your favourite.


The Pen­cil Tool is a use­ful way of in­putting MIDI notes, but it can be time-con­sum­ing to have to click 16 times to in­put a row of hi-hat notes in a drum pat­tern. To do this quickly, se­lect the Brush Tool. This lets you ‘paint’ lines of notes as you click and drag, quickly cre­at­ing note runs.


You’re mov­ing from one In­stru­ment track to the next, mak­ing changes to key pa­ram­e­ters as you go. How­ever, the plugin win­dow for the synth on Track 1 stays ac­tive when you move to Track 2, so you’re con­stantly open­ing and clos­ing GUIs. Click the pur­ple Link but­ton in the top right-hand cor­ner of the plugin win­dow and the In­stru­ment on your cur­rent track will al­ways be the one in front of you.


You’ve got loads of plug­ins run­ning, maybe in­clud­ing some ‘lookahead’-com­pat­i­ble ones like Logic’s own Adap­tive Limiter in the out­put chan­nel. Sud­denly, any notes you play on the key­board start to lag, with an au­di­ble gap be­tween notes be­ing trig­gered and the cor­re­spond­ing sounds. Head back to the

Cus­tom­ize Con­trol Bar op­tions and se­lect Low La­tency Mode. En­able this when­ever you need to add notes to a busy project.


Group­ing com­ple­men­tary sounds to­gether us­ing Logic’s Track Stacks makes mix­ing much eas­ier. Sud­denly, all of your drums can share a sin­gle fader, whilst aux­il­iary ef­fects added to a Stack will af­fect all sounds in­side it in the same way. Se­lect the in­di­vid­ual tracks you want to ‘stack’ and then

right-click to se­lect this op­tion from the drop­down menu.


Rather than sav­ing mul­ti­ple Logic projects with dif­fer­ent file names for the dif­fer­ent ‘ver­sions’ you’re work­ing on, save them as Project Al­ter­na­tives ( File » Project Al­ter­na­tives). Th­ese keep the plug­ins as­so­ci­ated with a project ac­tive, mak­ing it eas­ier than load­ing a new ses­sion.


En­able Cap­ture Record­ing, and any­thing you merely ‘play’ can be­come a record­ing. Switch it on by Ctrl-click­ing the grey Con­trol bar at the top. Se­lect Cus­tom­ize Con­trol Bar

and Dis­play and choose Cap­ture Record­ing. You’ll see a sec­ond record but­ton next to the main one – press this after in­spi­ra­tion strikes and what­ever you’ve played will ap­pear as a new ‘recorded’ re­gion.


Need to grab a sound, some MIDI or au­to­ma­tion data, or a whole chan­nel setup you’ve used in an­other project? You don’t have to close the one you’re work­ing on. But how can you make your­self a mas­ter of im­ports?


Smart Con­trols can be use­ful – that is, un­less you want to ma­nip­u­late pa­ram­e­ters which aren’t among those of­fered by the de­fault dials. To edit the selections, click i in the top left-hand cor­ner of the Smart Con­trols win­dow, then click the dial you want to re­as­sign and browse through the pa­ram­e­ter op­tions that are avail­able for it.


When you’re pro­gram­ming beats, it can be frus­trat­ing to use the Note Edit win­dow to ac­com­mo­date notes which are some­times oc­taves apart, such as a pat­tern with a kick on C1 and a crash cym­bal on G4, for in­stance. Once you’ve in­cluded all of the re­quired notes that you’ll need in the pat­tern as a whole, click Col­lapse Mode and any un­used notes will be omit­ted from the in­ter­face.


One way to make glitchy, weird beats is to en­able Flex Mode and choose Tem­pophone as your Flex al­go­rithm. Click on the au­dio re­gion to cre­ate Flex Mark­ers and pull th­ese around, cre­at­ing high and low speed sec­tions in the process. Then try vary­ing the Grain Size on the left-hand side. It can sound like your beat loop has been at­tacked by grains of sand!


If you’re work­ing with third-party mul­ti­chan­nel plug­ins such as NI’s Kon­takt, you might want to host sev­eral in­stru­ments in one plugin in­stance. Match each in­stru­ment to its own MIDI chan­nel by se­lect­ing the right one on the left-hand side of the In­spec­tor. To set up the next MIDI chan­nel, choose Track » Other » New Track With Next MIDI Chan­nel.


Some­times the ve­loc­ity ‘weight’ of our con­troller key­board doesn’t suit the real-time per­for­mance of a part we’re adding. Rather than painstak­ingly boost­ing low ve­loc­i­ties and cur­tail­ing high ones, the Ve­loc­ity Pro­ces­sor MIDI ef­fect can do this for you. Al­most like some kind of ‘MIDI Com­pres­sor’, you can se­lect a Thresh­old point, above which the Ra­tio will set the amount of ve­loc­ity re­duc­tion.


Let’s sup­pose you’ve played a se­quence into your DAW with a se­ries of shorter notes, and then you sud­denly de­cide you want each one to sus­tain and last un­til the next note takes over. Rather than man­u­ally ad­just­ing the length of each note’s du­ra­tion, open the Note Ed­i­tor, se­lect all notes, then choose Edit » Trim » Note End To Fol­low­ing Notes (Force Legato).


Logic Pro lets you cre­ate au­to­ma­tion ei­ther for a spe­cific re­gion or across an en­tire track. So for ex­am­ple, if you want the same fil­ter move­ment in re­peat for ev­ery bar of a synth se­quence, cre­ate this with Re­gion Au­to­ma­tion se­lected. On the other hand, if you also want the synth to, say, fade in and out over a longer pe­riod of time, this curve can be drawn by set­ting things to Track Au­to­ma­tion mode.


If you want the depth and con­trol of­fered by a live drum record­ing ses­sion when work­ing with acous­tic drum sam­ples, try se­lect­ing a Pro­ducer Kit. You can choose th­ese from the In­stru­ment Li­brary in Drum Kit » Pro­ducer Kit. Se­lect one and you’ll see that in the Mixer, a close mic chan­nel is cre­ated for each drum, along­side over­head, room and leak chan­nels.


Along­side its time-cor­rec­tion Flex Modes, Logic Pro X also of­fers Flex Pitch, its very own Auto-Tune or Melo­dyne-style pitch cor­rec­tion mode. It’s worth fa­mil­iaris­ing your­self with the ‘hot spots’ around the edge of any de­tected note, as th­ese all con­trol dif­fer­ent pa­ram­e­ters. Fine Tune, Pitch Drift, Vi­brato amount and even per-note Vol­ume can all be ad­justed here, de­pend­ing on which cor­ner of the note you’re drag­ging.


Drum­mer, MIDI and au­dio re­gions all have a part to play in mak­ing great drum parts – here’s how

1 We’re start­ing with a ba­sic se­quence in­cor­po­rat­ing a puls­ing sub bass, a plucked synth line, a beat loop and a Solina-style string line. Now we want to add some­thing we cre­ated in an­other project… 2 We can browse to the rel­e­vant track with­out hav­ing...

Use the Brush Tool to du­pli­cate notes with the mouse

Smart Con­trols aren’t locked to their ini­tial set­tings – you can remap them to serve dif­fer­ent uses

1 This Drum­mer re­gion is us­ing a Mod­ern House kit. We’ve added a dark piano hook from Om­ni­sphere and a bassline from Ra­zor. We don’t have much con­trol over the de­tails of the drum pat­tern be­yond the broad changes we can make in the ed­i­tor at the bot­tom.

3 We con­vert the MIDI re­gion to au­dio us­ing Bounce In Place. Then, we se­lect the last two hits of the au­dio re­gion, mut­ing the rest, be­fore adding a slow-down ef­fect at the end. We mute the cor­re­spond­ing sec­tion of the MIDI. We also cre­ate a re­versed...

2 To have more con­trol, we Ctrl-click the Drum­mer part and se­lect Con­vert To MIDI Re­gion. This turns the part into a reg­u­lar se­quence, with in­di­vid­ual hits now rep­re­sented as MIDI notes. We can now eas­ily edit the drum pat­tern.

Multi-out­put in­stru­ments needn’t be a faff in Logic

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