OMG, I can do that in Logic? part 2

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 12:40

This is part two of the series "OMG, I can do that in Logic?", where I show those hidden little secrets in Logic, waiting for you to implement them in your Logic workflow in the endless quest of mastering Logic Pro X.

Draw the Waveform in Stereo

This is a little tip if you are into destructive editing and like to draw directly into the waveform in the Audio File Editor (warning: you can really mess up your audio file, your speakers and you ears if you are not careful).

Audio File Editor

When zoomed in far enough in the Audio File Editor, you can use the Pencil Tool to re-draw the waveform of an Audio Region (its Parent Audio File to be specific), which is very useful to "smooth out" nasty clicks ➊.

  • Tip 1: If you work on a stereo audio file, you don''t have to perform the drawing twice if the click appears on both channels, just hold down the option key  and whatever you draw on one channel ➌ will be applied to the other channel .
  • Tip 2: As I mentioned already, you have to zoom in far enough before Logic lets you draw into the waveform. However, you don''t have to manually switch to the Zoom Tool. Logic is smart enough to know when you have to zoom in further and automatically switches to the Zoom Tool when you click on the waveform. This lets you drag a selection to zoom in and when you release the mouse cursor, it switches right back to the Pencil Tool so you can draw (or zoom in more if required).

Recent Edit Commands

Usually, the various Main Menus or Shortcut Menus always contain the same menu items. That''s how you can remember which menu to open to access a specific command. However, there are so-called dynamic menus like the Edit Menu that changes the listed menu items depending on what object is currently selected, for example, a MIDI Region or an Audio Region.

Region Shortcut Menu

  • There is one menu that acts dynamically, which you might never have noticed and that is the Region Shortcut Menu  that opens when you right+click on a Region in the Workspace.
  • The top five menu items ➋ listed in that Shortcut Menu (above the divider line ➌) are the last five commands that you used, the most recent command listed on top.
  • Please note that a command will only be listed in that section if you used the command from that Shortcut Menu. Using one of those commands listed in the Shortcut Menu command as a Key Command or from the Main Menu doesn''t move it to that selection.
  • A command is grayed out ➍ if it doesn''t apply to the currently selected Region. In the screenshot, I have selected a Take Folder Region, which cannot be added to the Loop Library, that''s why the command is grayed out.

So keep that Shortcut Menu in mind when editing. Whenever you used a command by navigating through the submenus on that Shortcut Menu and you have to use that command again, it will be right there on top when you open the Shortcut Menu, ready to be clicked on without drilling down the submenus.

Select Regions in Cycle Range

Before applying any edits to a Region or multiple Regions, you first have to select them. Of course, you can click on the Regions or lasso around a group of Regions. Remember that you can also select the Regions by clicking on the Track Header. This command has two variation you have to be aware of:

Cycle Off

The Preferences ➤ General ➤ Editing pane has a checkbox labeled "Select regions on track selection"  (I think it is enabled by default). Now when you select a Track by clicking on a Track Header ➋, all the Regions on its Track Lane are automatically selected ➌. Of course, you can sh+click or cmd+click on additional Tracks to add their Regions to the selection.

Cycle On

And here is a variation of that functionality. When you enable the Cycle Range (Key Command C or just click on it), it turns yellow ➍, and now, when you click on a Track Header ➎, then only the Regions (or portion of the Regions) on that Track Lane that fall inside the left and right locator of the Cycle Range will be selected ➏.

Input Metering

This is a very important feature that is not mentioned in the official User Guide or any other Logic book, the option to monitor the level of your connected Audio Interface directly on the Track Level Meters in Logic.

Here is one of the many signal flow diagram from my book "Logic Pro X - How it Works". It shows what you really see on the Track Level Meter under what circumstances.

Post Fader (Post Pan)

If the "Pre-Fader Metering"  option is disabled in Logic, then the Meters show the signal after the Volume Fader (and after the Pan) ➋.

Pre Fader (Post Effects)

If the "Pre-Fader Metering"  option is enabled, then the Meters show the signal before  the Volume Fader (after the Audio Effects).

Pre Effects

However, the Audio Tracks have a third option that affects the Level Meter when the Record Enable Button ➍ is activated:

  • The Pre-Fader Metering setting now has no effect.
  • The Track Level Meter reads the audio signal at the input of that Track, before the Audio FX.
  • This status lets you see the level of the audio signal that is recorded onto the Track .
  • Because the Level Meter reads the audio signal on the Track''s Input, it represents the signal coming directly from the Audio Interface ➏, so you can use the Level Meter in Logic to monitor the signal input of the Audio Interface.
  • Using the Audio Device Controls ➐ on the Audio Channel Strip, you can (remotely) adjust the gain of the Audio Interface directly in Logic, if it is supported by the device (and at the moment only to adjust mono channels).

Search for Assigned Key Combination

The Key Commands Window (opt+K) lists all the available Key Commands in Logic ➊. Luckily it has a search feature that helps you find a specific Key Command among the 1400+ Key Commands. But did you know that there are two different ways to search?

A Word About Terminology

First, lets get the terminology straight. Although the term "Shortcut" is often used, I like Logic''s term "Key Command" better, because it describes exactly what it is. It is a "Command" that is triggered by pressing a "Key" (or multiple keys) and not by selecting a menu item (which would be a "Menu Command").

A Key Command has two elements. The "Command"  is the description of what happens when you use the command, which is listed in the Command column ➌ of the Key Commands Window. In order to use a Key Command, it has to have a key or key combination on your computer keyboard assigned to it (Control Surface triggering is a different topic). The assigned key(s) is also referred to as a "Key Combination" or "Key Equivalent", which is listed in the Key column  of the Key Commands Window.

The Key Commands Window lets you search for both, the name of a Key Command or search for a used Key Combination.

Key Command Search

This is the standard search, where you enter a text string in the Search Field   in the upper right corner. Whenever you click on that field, it gets a blue frame ➏ around it to indicate that it has key focus (meaning, whatever you type on your keyboard will be entered here). Also, this is an "eliminating search". While typing into the search field, the list  on the left automatically eliminates all the Key Commands that don''t match the search query, without the need to press the enter key. It only displays the relevant results, instantly updating the list when you type in your search.

Key Combination Search

Instead of searching for a specific Key Command and see if it has a key assigned to it or to add an assignment, you can also search the other way around, enter a Key Combination and see which Key Command is using that Key Combination.

  • Click on the X-button ➑ in the Search Field to remove any remaining text.
  • Click inside the Key Commands List ➒. This will make sure that the Search Field doesn''t have key focus anymore (no blue frame ➑), and instead, moving the key focus to the Key Commands List. When you click on it, you select a line that turns blue.
  • Now press the Key Combination on your keyboard you are looking for, a single key or a combination with modifier keys (i.e. opt+C). The list will scroll to the Key Command with that Key Combination assigned to it ➓ (it will be selected, blue). If that Key Combination is not yet used, then nothing happens in the Key Combination List.

Proxy Icon

Here is a hidden feature that I show in my book "Logic Pro X - Tips, Trick, Secrets #1", the Proxy Icon. It is so small that many users might not even be aware that it is there. However, it provides a few nice functions that are worth mentioning. This is actually a macOS feature that also applies to other apps.

You mean that little thing?

The Proxy Icon is that little icon in the center of the Window Title Bar, in front of the file name, visible in most document-based applications.

  • Icon: In Logic, the Proxy Icon is only visible on the Main Window, displaying a miniature icon of the actual Logic Project File icon ➊.
  • Saved - Unsaved: The icon has two appearances that correspond to the status of the red Title Bar Button ➋. If the Project is saved (the red button is solid  ➋), then the Proxy Icon is dark ➊. If you made changes to the Project since you last saved it manually (red button now has a dot  ➌), then the Proxy Icon has a lighter color ➍, which is a very subtle change.
  • File Path: Cmd+click on the Proxy Icon to open a menu displaying the File Path ➎ where this Logic Project File is stored. Select any folder on that menu to open that Finder Window.
  • Create Project Alias: After you saved the Project (dark icon), drag the Proxy Icon to the Desktop or any other open Finder Window to create an Alias of that Project File. A ghost icon with the alias arrow ➏ tears off while dragging.
  • Create Project Copy: After you saved the Project (dark icon), opt+drag the Proxy Icon to the Desktop or any other open Finder Window to create a copy of that Project File. A ghost icon with the typical green + symbol ➐ tears off while dragging.


That's it for the second batch of my series "OMG, I can do that in Logic?". I already released two books that reveal much much more of those hidden and lesser known features and functionalities in Logic Pro X that are often not found anywhere else, not even the official Logic User Guide. No matter whether you are a beginner or an advanced Logic user, with many of these tips and instructions, you will speed up and improve your Logic workflow right away, guaranteed.

Graphically Enhanced Manuals

I hope you found this tutorial useful. If you are interested in learning more about Logic Pro X, check out my books "Logic Pro X - How it Works", "Logic Pro X - The Details", "Logic Pro X - Tips, Tricks, Secrets #1", and "Logic Pro X - Tips, Tricks, Secrets #2". They are available as pdf, printed books on Amazon and interactive multi-touch iBooks on Apple''s iBooks Store.

For a list of all my books in my "Graphically Enhanced Manuals (GEM)" series and all the links, go to my website.



Thanks for your time and interest,

Edgar Rothermich