Logic never ceases to amaze me. No matter how much I think I know about the DAW, I simply never know everything. I am always picking up new tips and tricks from my friends and other content creators, and I am often mind-blown by the amount of small details and tricks I am constantly adding to my knowledge base. Today I thought I would share with you guys five of my favorite little-known Logic Pro X secrets which I utilize on a daily basis.
1. Capture Recording
You are probably aware of the fact that in Logic you can customize your control bar (the top horizontal bar which features the LCD-looking display, the play and navigation buttons, etc). When you right click anywhere on the control bar, a menu appears where you have the option to customize your control bar and display.
When you select the customization option, a big scary menu with a bunch of parameters and check boxes will appear. From here, you can check off an option called Capture Recording. Once you have selected this option, a new button will appear next to the record button on your control bar.
Note: if you have too many features checked off in the control bar, the capture record button may not show up, as it is one of the first parameters that Logic hides when there are too many control bar parameters checked off.
But what does capture recording do? Well, it allows you to unlock the power of Logic’s constant listening. What I mean by this is that Logic is always recording, even when you haven’t hit record. This means that any time you are playing your arrangement, Logic is taking note of what you are playing (assuming you are using a MIDI controller; audio cannot be capture-recorded). When you hit the capture record button, the last thing you played while the arrangement you have was playing will appear as MIDI notes on the timeline within whatever track was record enabled at the time you were playing it.
For me, finding out about the capture record function was life changing. It takes away that feeling of pressure that comes with hitting the record button and remembering what you played when you are trying to figure out a part. If you play something you like, you can always retrieve it. No more forgetting what you played three seconds ago!
2. MIDI Chasing
MIDI Chasing is the next feature which absolutely BLEW my mind upon discovering it. This was always something that bothered me about Logic, especially since Ableton, my other most-used DAW, automatically enables MIDI Chasing.
MIDI chasing basically refers to whether MIDI data will be heard if the arrangement is played from a spot which falls in the middle of a MIDI note. For example, you might have two bars of music. If one MIDI note lasts two bars long, but you start playing it from the start of the second bar, by default, you will not hear the MIDI data playing from the note that starts on bar one.
When MIDI Chasing is turned on, Logic doesn’t need the note to be triggered from its beginning for the user to hear how it sounds at any given spot on the note. This means that when MIDI chasing is enables, you will never be missing sounds; everything plays even if you start playing halfway through a piece of MIDI data.
To turn on MIDI chasing, make sure show advanced tools is checked off under the advanced tab in Logic's preferences. Then, open the project settings menu (file > project settings) and under the midi tab select chasing and make sure the note chasing is checked off.
3. Reversing Clips
It continues to amaze me, to this day, that so many people don’t know this simple trick. Reversing clips is SO helpful and allows for some awesome effects and swells to be created super easily. There is literally so much you can do with this and it is SO simple.
To reverse any given audio clip in your arrangement, simply select any ONE audio clip/region you want to reverse. (MIDI clips cannot be reversed, but you can always bounce them to audio and try reversing them)!
Then, open the region inspector. The region inspector applies to only the currently selection individual audio clip selected. Logic refers to this as a region, which is different than a track.
With the region you want to affect selected, simply locate the reverse checkbox in the region inspector and check it off. This will reverse only the clip you have selected!
It makes for some really cool swells, swooshes, and build-ups. Try reversing reverb tails or literally anything and playing around with it. Chopping up reversed clips can make for super cool effects and even weird reverse-based beats.
This one might not seem like a “secret” or “hack” because it is literally right there in the exact same spot as every other plugin in Logic, yet, I have seen so many people purchasing third-party plugins such as Movement by Output, which literally do the exact same thing that Step FX does.
Step FX is a step-based effect system, meaning that effects are controlled and changed over time based upon steps which normally correspond to a specified note-length, such as a 32nd note or 16th note (this length/the amount of steps can be changed by the user). This allows users to create multi-effects chains that literally change based on which step the cycle is on.
Step FX allows you to control reverb, delay, filter, distortion, etc, with its steps and is literally SO cool. It really helps bring rhythm into ANY musical element and can be used on MIDI or audio. SO COOL!
I cannot believe that I didn’t know what this was until like 5 days ago! This button has been there the whole time but I just never bothered to question what it actually does.
When using drum machine designer or any other type of percussive MIDI instrument in Logic (or the Sampler with 10.5), it can be pretty annoying to have too many notes in the piano roll when you are really only using a few of them, especially if they are spread about the piano roll and you have to keep scrolling around in order to make adjustments or visualize where things are.
Collapse mode is a simple button that literally just collapses the piano roll so that you only see the MIDI notes that are being played. This is SO helpful for organization and visualization!
And... yeah! That's it! If you guys want five MORE of these hacks, check out my part two blog post and video HERE.
Stay tuned for some more awesome content and be sure to subscribe to my mailing list for some cool stuff!