Logic Pro project basics
You start working in Logic Pro by creating a new project, or opening an existing one. A project is the document that contains all your recordings, the location of media files you add, and all the changes you make. You can have multiple projects open at the same time, and transfer media and other data between them.
Each project has a set of properties, including a tempo, time signature, and key signature, which you can define when you create the project, and change later while you’re working. Projects can also contain assets, including audio files, a movie file, instruments, and other files. You can save assets with the project or reference them in another location. For information about managing project assets, see Manage project assets.
When Show Advanced Tools is selected in the Advanced preferences pane, you can save a project as either a single file (package), or as a project folder containing the project file and subfolders for project assets. For information about saving projects, see Save projects.
The basic elements of a Logic Pro project include the following:
The horizontal rows in the Tracks area are called tracks. Tracks help you organize and control the sound of the recordings, loops, and other material in a project. You record your performances on tracks, and arrange the regions representing the recordings, loops, and other material in a project on tracks. There are several types of tracks you can use in a Logic Pro project:
Audio tracks: Can contain audio recordings, audio Apple Loops, and imported audio files.
Software instrument tracks: Can contain software instrument recordings, software instrument Apple Loops, and imported MIDI files.
Drummer tracks: Can contain Drummer regions. Used in conjunction with the Drum Kit Designer plug-in and Drummer Editor.
External MIDI tracks: Can contain MIDI recordings that send MIDI data to external MIDI devices, such as synthesizers and sound modules.
Track Stacks: Track Stacks let you organize and control multiple tracks, and create audio subgroups.
Folder tracks: Can contain folders, which are containers for other tracks. Folder tracks are not assigned to a channel strip in the Mixer.
There are additional track types that do not contain regions, including auxiliary (aux) and output tracks, used for routing the output of other tracks; global tracks, used to control aspects of the overall project; and the master track, which you can use to control the overall volume level of the project.
For more information about working with tracks, see Tracks overview. For information about working in the Tracks area, see Tracks area overview. For information about working with global tracks, see Global tracks overview.
Regions are the building blocks of a project. Each time you make a recording, drag an Apple Loop to the Tracks area, or add a media file to your project, a region representing the recording or file appears in the Tracks area.
Regions appear as rounded rectangles in the Tracks area. Different types of regions correspond to different track types and types of material.
Audio regions refer to (point to) an underlying audio file (a recording made in Logic Pro, an audio Apple Loop, or an imported audio file). An audio region can represent the entire audio file or only a portion of one. When you edit the region in the Tracks area or the Audio Track Editor, the original audio file is not changed.
MIDI regions contain MIDI data for notes and other MIDI events, such as controller and program change information. They are stored as part of the project, but can also be saved as individual files.
In the Tracks area, you can move, copy, and work with both audio and MIDI regions in a variety of ways to build your arrangement. You can also edit audio regions in the Audio Track Editor, and edit MIDI regions in the Piano Roll Editor (and the Score Editor). When Show Advanced Tools is selected in the Advanced preferences pane, you can edit the source audio files for audio regions in the Audio File Editor.
For more information about arranging regions in the Tracks area, see Arranging overview. For information about editing audio regions in the Audio Track Editor, see Audio Track Editor overview. For information about editing MIDI regions in the Piano Roll Editor, see Piano Roll Editor overview.
For more information about working with regions, see Regions overview
You can control the sound of the tracks in your project using patches. A patch can contain one or more channel strips, each with its own settings and plug-ins, as well as a set of Smart Controls. Patches can also contain auxiliary channel strips for more complex routing. You can choose a patch for a track in the Library when you create the track, and choose a different patch later while you’re working. Custom patches can be saved in the Library.
For more information about working with patches, see Patches overview.
Each track in a project is represented and controlled by a channel strip corresponding to the track type. Channel strips contain controls to adjust the volume level and pan position of the track, mute and solo the track, insert plug-ins, route the output signal, and control the track in other ways.
You can view and edit the channel strips for a project in the Mixer. The inspector displays channel strips for the selected track, and also for the primary destination (output) for the selected track’s channel strip.
In addition to track channel strips, projects contain output channel strips and a master channel strip (which controls the overall volume of the project). They can also contain auxiliary channel strips, which are used to route the output from multiple tracks to a single destination.
For more information about working with channel strips in the Mixer, see Mixing overview.
Logic Pro includes a collection of professional-quality plug-ins you can use to shape the sound of your recordings and other material. There are several types of plug-ins used in Logic Pro channel strips: MIDI plug-ins, effects plug-ins, and instrument plug-ins.
MIDI plug-ins are inserted in software or external instrument channel strips and process or generate MIDI data—played from a MIDI region or a MIDI keyboard—in real time.
Effects plug-ins can be used in audio, instrument, auxiliary, and output channel strips. In general, they modify the sound (the input signal) of the channel strip.
Instrument plug-ins can be used on software instrument channel strips. They respond to MIDI note messages and so can be played using a USB music keyboard or another MIDI controller.
For more information about working with instrument and effects plug-ins, see Plug-ins overview. For complete information about individual plug-ins, see the Logic Pro Instruments and Logic Pro Effects manuals.