In this week’s episode of The Logic Pros, we will be taking a look at three handy little tricks to keep things moving and a little more tidy, as well as some helpful plug-in quick keys and shortcuts.
Sometimes it’s the little things that keep our minds focused on the task at hand, whether it be tedious straight-line editing for film/TV/app work or carefully crafted creative ideas. LPX is at its best when I forget I’m even using it. Personal plug-in menus, customized default plug-in settings, templates and a deeply comprehensive instrument library are just a few things Logic uses to make our lives easier every day. So we thought a new mini series was in-line, covering some of our favorite LPX experience-enhancing shortcuts. Here are a few to get started:
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I want this plug-in to be set like that every time I open it. I know, me too. In the main menu of every Logic Pro X plug-in is an awesome little feature known as “Save as Default”. With this setting we can quickly and easily have Logic open a plug-in or effect with custom settings. If you find yourself opening the same plug-in, and then setting it the same way for multiple tracks, or in multiple projects, it can be very handy having them just open that way every time. For example, having the Chanel EQ open with a more aggressive High-Pass filter setting, or Logic’s Overdrive plug-in with the filter wide-open and the gain staging just the way you like it.
Let’s use the Overdrive plug-in for today’s example. Simply load it up on any track in your project, then adjust the controls until it is just how you like it. For my case, I will open the filter (“Tone”) all the way up set the Drive to about 6.00dB, and then set the Output to -6.00dB. This just happens to be a familiar place for me start from every time I use this plug, regardless of where the parameters may end up in any given scenario. Now that every thing is set the way we want it, simply head up to the main menu and hit “Save as Default”. Now, every time you open this plug-in, it will be set just like you left it.
Do I really have to name all these background vocal tracks manually? Well, yes. But there is one thing. There are times when we have numbered groups of tracks in our projects, whether it be background/vocal takes, groups of doubles, SFX, parallel compression tracks, folders of alternates for clients, and well, it goes on. Now, while I always recommend detailed and precise naming of tracks, especially in busy projects, here is one quick and dirty little trick when the time is right:
Highlighting a group of tracks on the Mixer window (click and drag across them or shift/option click them) will allow us to name them with consecutive numbers in one move. Highlight them, then just name the first or left most track you have selected as usual (double click on its current name at the bottom of the track on the Mixer), and name it with the number 1 at the end. For example, putting a track title of BG VX 1, will then name all the tracks you have highlighted from left to right in succession: BG VX 2, BG VX 3, BG VX 4, BG VX 5, and so on. In fact, you can start with any number you choose.
You might as well hit option>C to bring up the Color selector while you have the group of tracks selected as well.
Look at the size of this guy’s plug-ins. The only thing better than some of the plug-in redesigns (Compressor, I’m looking at you) is the ability to blow them up to get a good look at what you’re doing. You may have noticed the “View” menu in the top right corner of Logic plug-ins. This simple, but often over-looked little menu allows us to blow up the size of the plug-in to a few different preset sizes. Alternatively we can just drag the right corner of the UI, but I find this to be a little clunky, for the most part. Plug-ins like the Arp, Sculpture and more, with a a ton of little controls can really benefit from the up view.
Clicking the “V” key will hide your currently giant in-view plug-ins, with another quick click bringing them back again in full screen glory. Another plug-in quick key I like is the ability to flip through presets with the “[“ and “]” keys. In fact, it’s my favorite way to A/B settings.
The Logic Pros is a regular series exploring all of the most interesting gadgets and software for making music on your Mac/iOS devices. If there is any gear you would like us to take a closer hands-on look at, let us know in the comments section below or shoot us an email.
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