New concepts in Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X introduces some new concepts, while others are updated from earlier versions of Logic Pro.


Logic Pro X projects are organized in a new way. Project assets can be saved directly in the project, or in a separate project folder. As in earlier Logic Pro versions, assets can also be referenced from a location outside the project, allowing you to access media files without copying or moving them into the project. For detailed information about managing project assets, see Manage project assets.

You can have Logic Pro create a project folder to organize the project file and project assets, and also specify a recording path for audio files outside the project, in File > Project Settings > Record > Audio Recording Path. For more information about Recording project settings, see Recording settings.

Alternatives and backups

There are two new ways to manage Logic Pro X projects:

Project alternatives let you save “snapshots” of a project in different states, including different cuts or mixes. Each project alternative has a unique name, and can have different settings. Alternatives are saved as part of the project, and share the same assets.

Backups let you go back to earlier saved versions of a project. Each time you save a project, a backup of the current project alternative is saved, and can be accessed from the File menu.

Autosave saves your work so that you don’t lose important changes if the application quits unexpectedly. The next time you reopen Logic Pro, a dialog appears from which you can choose to open the auto-saved version, or the last manually saved version of the project.

For information about managing projects using alternatives and backups, see Use project alternatives and backups. For information about saving projects, see Save projects.


Patches contain the instrument, effects, Smart Controls, and routing settings that control the sound of a track. You can choose a patch for a track in the Library when you create the track, and choose a different patch at any time while you’re working. The patches available in the Library depend on the selected track type.

Patches can include one or more channel strip settings, and can also contain routing information (auxes) and metadata (for Smart Controls and controller mapping). Patches for audio tracks can include default effects settings. Patches for software instrument tracks include an instrument plug-in as well as effects settings.

You can edit patches by changing channel strip settings, adding plug-ins, or editing plug-in parameters, and save your own custom patches in the Library.

Figure. The Library with a vocal patch selected.

Channel strip settings also appear in the Library. If you have saved channel strip settings from a previous version of Logic Pro, they appear along with patches when the corresponding track type is selected.

For information about working with patches, see Patches overview.

Smart Controls

With Smart Controls, you can quickly view and adjust the sound of a track using a set of visual screen controls. Each patch contains a Smart Control. You can customize Smart Controls by mapping their screen controls to channel strip or plug-in parameters, then manipulate them using external MIDI hardware.

Figure. The Smart Controls pane showing screen controls for a patch. The Smart Control inspector is open, showing a mapping for the selected screen control.

For more information about using Smart Controls, see Smart Controls overview.

Track Stacks

In the Tracks area, Logic Pro X features a new way to organize tracks and create audio subgroups using Track Stacks. You can create a Track Stack from a group of existing tracks, and use the controls on the master track to control all the subtracks in the Track Stack.

There are two types of Track Stacks: folder stacks and summing stacks. Both types have a main track and one or more subtracks. The track header for the main track features a disclosure triangle that lets you show or hide the subtracks. When you close the stack, only the main track appears in the Tracks area.

Subtracks can include any track type: audio, software instrument (including layered and multi-output software instruments), external MIDI instrument, or aux tracks. Folder stacks can also include summing stacks as subtracks.

Figure. Track Stack open in the Tracks area, showing overview and automation curves.

For Track Stacks, the patches available in the Library vary, depending on the Track Stack type, and which track in the Track Stack is selected. For more information, see Track Stacks and the Library. For information about using Track Stacks, see Track Stacks overview.

Audio editing

You can now edit audio regions nondestructively in a dedicated Audio Track Editor, as well as edit the underlying audio files destructively in the Audio File Editor. The Audio Track Editor lets you move, trim, split, and join audio regions and make other edits, without having to zoom the Tracks area, or change your view of the larger arrangement.

In addition to editing the timing of audio material using Flex Time, you can quantize and edit the pitch of audio material using Flex Pitch. You edit the pitch of audio material by choosing a Flex Pitch algorithm. The contents of the audio track are analyzed using a pitch detection process, and the results are displayed as a pitch curve.

You can use Flex Pitch in both the Tracks area and the Audio Track Editor. In the Tracks area, the deviation of notes from their perfect semitone pitch is shown using bars overlaying the audio waveform. In the Audio Track Editor, sections of the audio material identified as notes are displayed like notes in the Piano Roll Editor. You can edit the pitch, time position, and length of notes in much the same way as you would in the Piano Roll Editor. You can also split notes and join multiple notes together. Each individual note in the Audio Track Editor contains “hotspots,” which you can use to edit pitch, vibrato, gain, and other parameters.

Figure. The Audio Track Editor, showing a region in Flex Pitch mode.
Figure. The Audio File Editor, showing the waveform of the selected audio file.

For information about editing audio regions in the Audio Track Editor, see Audio Track Editor overview. For information about editing audio files in the Audio File Editor, see Audio File Editor overview.