No one, and I mean no one, knows and uses every feature in Logic Pro X. I doubt even the individual developers know everything about every aspect of the program. Here are three features in Logic Pro X I’ve recently discovered.
Three Useful Features In Logic Pro X
As a music software instructor at Groove3, I need to inform myself as broadly as possible about as many of the functions as my brain can handle. Often after presenting a feature in one of my Logic Pro X tutorials and subsequently not using it for a year or two, I need to revisit my videos to reacquaint myself with the functions.
I have recently “discovered” three useful features from various discussion groups and videos that had previously, on one level or another, escaped my attention.
Are they game changers? Well, no. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t useful enhancements to my workflow.
Here I’d like to share with you what some of you undoubtedly already know about, but others, like myself, may not have been fully aware of.
Low Latency Safe Switch
I rarely work in low latency mode.
My Apogee Ensemble handles things nicely with a buffer setting of 128 which results in a very usable latency. There are times, however, when it is nice to use on heavy projects where the buffer is higher, and I still need to do some tracking.
If you activate Low Latency Mode, the signal paths of all sends that create a latency that exceeds the Low Latency Mode limit in the preferences are muted.
This is a drag because obviously, this limits the ability to monitor with send effects.
There is, however, a low latency safe switch. It has been around since Logic Pro 9 but is well hidden. It is only visible when Low Latency Mode is enabled, and only then if you click into the Aux send popup menu. Engaging this function will keep a particular send signal path open.
This setting is available in each Send menu of audio and software instrument channel strips, and in aux channel strips that are hosting live input signals. It's an excellent way to get the best of both worlds: low latency monitoring, while also being able to exclude specific sends that are important while tracking.
Learn Controller Assignment
Okay, I’ll admit it.
I’ve always been somewhat intimidated by Logic Pro’s controller assignments window.
It’s full of cryptic sysex code and arcane “zone” and “mode” settings. I use the Learn mode occasionally but have never properly taken a deep dive into the expert view.
I have recently been enlightened to a way of tapping into some of its power, suitable for the 99% of us who won’t go near Expert View.
There is a Learn New Assignment button in the Key Commands window that works just like learning a key command.
In Logic Pro X, making a new Controller Assignment is a simple three step process:
- Select the desired key command
- Click the “Learn New Assignment” button
- Press the button on your MIDI controller
This is an elegant and simple way to globally assign, for example, buttons on your keyboard 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. They will then be available for all projects.
Open/Close Track Stacks
I find myself using track stacks more and more these days.
One of their many useful functions is that they are a convenient way to collapse or expand the view of multiple related tracks at once in both the Tracks Area and the Mixer. It’s a great way to manage visual clutter. In other words, look at what you need when you need to, and collapse what is unnecessary.
In one of the recent updates, key commands were introduced to manage the opening and closing of track stacks. They escaped my attention until watching a colleague’s video recently.
I have since assigned Control Command + right arrow and Control Command + left arrow to open and close track stacks. It’s a small thing but enhances my workflow. There is also the option to use one function to toggle the open/close state. And another one to act upon all track stacks in the project simultaneously.
I’m not claiming to have discovered America here, but I am happy for these small but useful improvements to my workflow.
No one knows it all, and that’s why it is important to continually keep learning!