Logic is a huge programme. Sometimes, you may stumble across an action that was never even your intention and you have that sudden “huh” moment. Other times, certain features lay dormant waiting to be rediscovered. Today we’ll look at three useful features that might not be on the top of everyone’s “Logic Can Do This” list, but should help improve your workflow.
1. Open/Close Track Stacks
I use track stacks religiously. Whether it’s when I’m Summing (for submixing tracks) or creating a Folder (for organising tracks) this is one of Logic’s more useful features. In one of the recent updates, key commands were introduced to manage the opening and closing of track stacks.
To create a new Track Stack (with more than one track selected) choose
Track > Create Track Stack (shift+cmd+D)
Once created, you can collapse and expand the stack using control+command+right/left arrows. (You have the option of creating shortcuts like the ones below using Logic Pro X > Key Commands > Edit - or by using shortcut alt+K)
Ok, yes it’s a small thing, but I’d be surprised if this doesn’t enhance your workflow! It’s a great way to manage clutter, meaning you can look at what you need when you need to and collapse what is unnecessary, both within the Arrangement and Mixer windows.
2. Assign Global Functions On MIDI Controllers Using Key Commands
To use Smart Controls with a MIDI controller, you can assign hardware faders, knobs, buttons, drum pads, pedals etc on your controller, to screen controls. After you assign a hardware control to a screen control, the screen control receives the MIDI messages. In Logic X, you can do this the same way you assign keyboard shortcuts.
Choose Logic Pro X > Key Commands > Edit - or use shortcut alt+K
The “Learn New Assignment” button in the Key Commands window works just like learning a key command.
To make a new Controller Assignment:
Choose the desired key command > Click the “Learn New Assignment” button > Press the button on your MIDI controller.
This is a simple way to globally assign, for example, buttons on your MIDI controller to various key command functions. It’s very useful for anything from transport functions, to editing commands. Plus, the fact that the assignments are global means you only need to make them once and they will then be available for all projects.
3. Low Latency Safe Mode & Switch
Latency is essentially a short delay (measured in milliseconds) that occurs in the time when an audio signal enters and emerges from a system. Whether producing or recording, having lots of tracks that contain plug-ins can contribute to latency (particularly dynamics plug-ins with look-ahead functions). If you're using these kinds of plug-ins in a project, you can minimise the latency they produce while recording, using Low Latency Mode.
There are a few ways to enable this feature:
Logic Pro X > Preferences > Audio > General > Low Latency Mode > Adjust Limit
Record > Low Latency Mode
Customise Control Bar and Display > Low Latency Mode > OK
Which will then show the following in the Control Bar >
It’s easy to forget this mode exists, however it is super helpful to use when on projects with a heavy track/plug-in count, and there is still some tracking to be done (software instruments or live recording). Low Latency Mode bypasses plug-ins as needed, so the amount of latency doesn't exceed the Limit setting, thus restricting the delay you may be experiencing.
When Low Latency Mode is activated, the signal paths of all AUX Sends that create a latency when exceeding the limit are also muted. I know I know, this is obviously not ideal, right? What if we want the ability to monitor with Send effects?
Well, thankfully there is a Low Latency Safe switch. It’s a little well hidden (it’s only visible when Low Latency Mode is enabled) and you have to click into the AUX Send popup menu.
Engaging this function will keep a particular Send signal path open, which makes it a great way to both engage low latency monitoring, while also being able to exclude specific Sends that are important while tracking.
If you don't know these features I hope you enjoy trying them out and find them useful! Let us know what you think in the comments section!