Synchronization overview

Logic Pro X supports most synchronization protocols, allowing you to synchronize it with external hardware and software. Logic Pro X can act as the master synchronization device or as a synchronization slave to another device.

The Lock (and Unlock) SMPTE Position function is available only when Advanced tools and additional options is selected in the Advanced preferences pane.

In all synchronization situations, regardless of the simplicity or complexity of your studio configuration, the following rules apply:

  • There can be only one synchronization master.

  • The synchronization master sends timecode information (synchronization signals) to one or more synchronization slaves.

Important: In most cases, you will need to manually set each synchronization-capable device—including Logic Pro X itself—to act as master or slave. If you don’t do this, there will be multiple master devices in your system, which will result in synchronization errors.

Supported synchronization protocols

  • MIDI Time Code (MTC): Translates a SMPTE timecode signal into a MIDI standard timecode signal. See MTC interpretation.

  • MIDI Clock: Short MIDI message for clock signals. Used to provide a timing pulse between MIDI devices.

    • Logic Pro Xcan send MIDI Clock signals to synchronize external devices.

    • Logic Pro Xcan not receive MIDI Clock synchronization signals.

  • SMPTE timecode: An audio signal that is translated into MTC by some MIDI interfaces, such as the Unitor8.

  • Word Clock: A signal that is carried by all digital audio interface formats: ADAT, FireWire Audio, S/P-DIF, AES/EBU, T-DIF, and others. Used to maintain the timing integrity of sample words in audio signals that are transmitted digitally between Logic Pro X and external hardware or software. See Audio Synchronization settings.

  • ReWire: Logic Pro X can act as a ReWire host. It acts as the master synchronization source for ReWire-enabled applications such as Reason and Ableton Live. See ReWire objects.

Tip: Logic Pro X also supports manual or “human” sync, when slaved. This is not a synchronization protocol per se, but enables Logic Pro X to follow tempo changes in real time. As an example, it could chase a live drummer. See Use the Tempo Interpreter.