Learn Logic Pro X Tutorial – The Interface Explained

Learn Logic Pro X Tutorial – The Interface Explained


In this tutorial we are going to cover Logic
Pro X’s interface and learn how it is laid out and what each area does. In-depth familiarity
with Logic’s interface will mean increased productivity when recording and composing,
and make following later tutorials much easier. Let’s launch Logic Pro X from the dock. Now
what happens after launching Logic Pro X will depend on your currently selected Startup
Action which we will learn to configure in a later tutorial, but most likely it will
launch this window here which is called the Project Chooser with a selection of Templates
ready for you to use or it will open your most recent project. If you get the Project Chooser select the
Hip Hop template and click CHOOSE. As you can see it launches a project with
a number of tracks already created for us, made up of software instruments including
a drum kit, some synths and a string ensemble — however the first time your launch Logic
Pro X it actually uses a striped back interface designed more to mimic GarageBand rather than
provide the professional features we want to be using throughout this video tutorial
series — so the first thing we are going to is enable the ADVANCED TOOLS. To do this click Logic Pro X in the upper
left of the MENU BAR>PREFERENCES>ADVANCED TOOLS then click the checkbox next to SHOW
ADVANCED TOOLS to enable the advanced features. This will quickly refresh Logic’s interface
and not only do we get additional features, it also removes the wood finished side bars
found in the BASIC MODE and as you can see in our ADVANCED TOOLS preference window we
get the ability to enable ADDITIONAL OPTIONS but for now we can leave as is and close and
start learning about Logic Pro X’s interface. Now what we see in Logic Pro X taking up the
whole screen in a single window is called the Logic Pro Main Window. In order to maximise
screen real-estate I like to hide my dock by clicking the Apple icon in upper left of
the screen, select DOCK then click TURN HIDING ON or you can use the shortcut COMMAND – OPTION
– D to hide and show the dock. Then just click the green jewel to have Logic fill the entire
screen. Alternatively we can use Logic in full screen
mode by click the full screen icon in the upper right of the main window. This hides
the menu bar but mousing over it will reveal it. To exit we can press the escape key on
the keyboard or mouse over to reveal the menu bar at the top and click the exit full screen
mode in the upper right. I prefer to have my menu displayed at all times without having
to mouse over it. As we haven’t recorded anything our project
looks very bare. To get more of an idea of what a professional project looks like we
can load the Foster The People demo project that comes with Logic Pro X. Simply click
HELP in the menu bar, then LOGIC PRO DEMO PROJECT. Click CLOSE and DONT SAVE as we didn’t make
any changes and it will start to load the demo project. Now that this looks a bit more
serious, let’s delve into the interface. The largest part of the Logic Pro’s Main Window
is the TRACKS AREA, and this where you record, arrange and edit the audio regions that makeup
your project. Audio regions are laid out horizontally with
the playhead which is the vertical white line with the v-shaped head at the top, moving
from left to right as it plays. You can click anywhere along the ruler to
have the PLAYHEAD jump to a particular location within the song or it can be dragged. We can use the vertical and horizontal zoom
sliders in the upper right of the TRACKS area to zoom in and out or use the short cut keys
COMMAND – LEFT/RIGHT ARROW to zoom horizontally or COMMAND – UP AND DOWN ARROW to zoom vertically. Each individual track is stacked vertically
with each row representing a track and it’s audio regions. As you can see in this demo
project we have three different track types that make up this song. We can see by the waveforms that Lead Vocals
A & B as well as Distorted Guitar represent audio tracks that have been recorded into
Logic Pro X. If we look at the BACKING VOCALS STACK track,
you will see in the audio region multiple rows of stacked lines and if you look at the
TRACK HEADER, you will notice a disclosure triangle next to our track icon. If we click
this it reveals the contents of the folder which actually contains multiple tracks. If we click the disclosure triangle next to
the SYNTH STACK you will notice that TRACK STACKS can contain both audio and midi regions
and we will learn how to create, manage and automate these in a later tutorial. Our final audio region type which we can see
on the BASS CUT UP track is graphically represented by blocks of MIDI data and these tracks are
whats known as software instruments inside of Logic Pro X. Now to the left of the TRACKS AREA we have
the TRACK HEADER CONTROLS which allow us to name each track, quickly mute or solo a particular
track, and if I drag this out a little I can reveal individual volume sliders for each
track. We can also configure what is visible in the
TRACK HEAD CONTROL by right clicking on a track header, selecting TRACK HEADER COMPONENTS
and for example, turning on SHOW PAN/SEND and if you don’t see it straight away, you
can drag it out to reveal it. If I start clicking the TRACK HEADERS to select
different tracks you will notice that the area on left changes. This part of Logic Pro’s
interface is call the INSPECTOR and it lets you view and edit the parameters associated
with a certain track. At the very top of the INSPECTOR you will
notice we have the QUICK HELP area which can be hidden and revealed by clicking the disclosure
triangle. If you don’t see this make sure the ? icon is turned on in the CONTROL BAR. This is a really neat feature for users new
to Logic Pro X as it will offer help as you move your mouse over different areas. For
example if I mouse over the track name it tells us we can double click it to rename.
If I mouse over the H button it tells us it is the HIDE BUTTON and explains how it works.
This is great if your not sure what a certain button does. Below Quick Help is the REGION INSPECTOR and
this will change to reflect your currently selected audio region. If I click the BASS
CUT UP audio region it updates and you will notice it allows to view and adjust the quantisation
or transpose the track. I’m going to pass over GROUPS and the TRACK
INSPECTOR for now but we will look at these in more detail later. In the lower part of the INSPECTOR we get
two channel strips: The channel on the left adjusts the selected track and one on the
right adjusts the MASTER OUTPUT CHANNEL. Above the volume slider and pan control, you
can view and open the AUDIO EFFECT SLOTS with their inserted PLUGINS. Running across the top of Logic Pro’s Main
Window is the CONTROL BAR and you will notice that on the far left of the CONTROL BAR the
INSPECTOR BUTTON is highlighted light blue. If we click this, it hides the INSPECTOR and
is greyed out again. Let’s open the INSPECTOR again and let’s also click the LIBRARY BUTTON
to reveal the LIBRARY which contains all our instruments patches and presets as well as
the TOOLBAR BUTTON which reveals additional edit buttons. These are grouped above the
left region of Logic’s interface as they directly affect the area of the screen below them. If we look at the next grouping of buttons
in the CONTROL BAR you will notice one is already selected and this is the SMART CONTROLS
BUTTON which opens the SMART CONTROLS at the bottom of Logic Pro’s Main Window. In effect SMART CONTROLS allow you to quickly
modify properties of the currently selected patch and you can see that it will change
if I start clicking through my tracks depending on the track selected and the plugins or patches
inserted on that particular track. If we go back up to the CONTROL BAR, next
to the SMART CONTROLS BUTTON we can display the MIXER or EDITORS in it’s place, but unlike
our side INSPECTOR and LIBRARY, we can only display one in the lower region of Logic Pro
X at a time. Next in the CONTROL BAR we have the TRANSPORT
CONTROLS that allows us to GO TO THE BEGINNING OF THE PROJECT, PLAY FROM SELECTION, REWIND,
MOVE FORWARD, STOP PLAYBACK AND RECORDING, PLAY FROM CURRENT PLAYHEAD POSITION, PAUSE
and RECORD. The middle area of the CONTROL BAR is the
LCD which allows us to view our current playhead position in BARS, BEATS and BEAT DIVISIONS
as well as set our projects TEMPO by BPM as well as the projects Key Signature and Time
Signature. In the far right of the CONTROL BAR we can
reveal our right region interface elements starting with the LIST EDITORS BUTTON which
will allow you to browse all the elements contained within your project and can be used
to make precise edits using numeric values. Next along we have the NOTE PADS BUTTON and
this allows you to make notes on the entire project or on individual tracks and is ideal
for collaborative sessions or reminding yourself where you left off on a project. Next we have the APPLE LOOPS BROWSER BUTTON
which allows us to search for and preview all our Apple Loops and drag them into our
current project. Finally we have the BROWSER BUTTON in the
far right which allows us to view all the elements in the current project, access audio
elements stored in your iTunes Library as well as your hard drive or external drive.
This is Logics file browser. Well that is Logic Pro X’s interface and we
will delve into how you actually use all these tools in later tutorials but once you understand
how Logic Pro X is laid out, it’s not as complex as it looks and is incredibly powerful and
easy to use. Anything we didn’t cover here will be featured later on, so now that we
have a good understanding of the interface let’s get into the really cool stuff.

10 thoughts on “Learn Logic Pro X Tutorial – The Interface Explained

  • December 7, 2013 at 10:24 am
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    Thanks! That was a very helpful overview!

    Reply
  • December 14, 2013 at 1:36 am
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    Very helpful!

    Reply
  • January 9, 2014 at 10:42 pm
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    Very helpful, clear and precise. Thanks for the tutorial and will definitely watch your other videos. Keep it up!

    Reply
  • June 5, 2014 at 10:12 pm
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    Question, so i broke the film down into seperate cue's and scored each cue, how do I put them all together to have one sequence or one film, what's the next step?

    Reply
  • August 11, 2014 at 3:26 pm
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    It's not often that I see a tutorial this clear, well laid-out, and well produced… Plus, it was really helpful.  Awesome job, sir!

    Reply
  • September 9, 2014 at 7:42 pm
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    Hello,
    Where can i find the follow up tutorials, or when will they be uploaded ?
    Really helpful, waiting for the other ones :)!

    Reply
  • April 19, 2015 at 5:27 pm
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    Very helpful, thanks!

    Reply
  • May 15, 2015 at 10:20 am
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    This guide so helpful! Thank you so much!

    Reply
  • August 17, 2016 at 4:22 am
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    Much appreciated. You do an excellent job going through the whole process. It's also a pleasure to listen to you

    …maybe it's because you're British 😉

    Reply
  • December 16, 2016 at 3:55 pm
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    Where did you get the track regions to Foster the People?

    Reply

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