Apple recently dished out a new update for its flagship music production software and we thought it would be fitting to take a closer look at some of the best new Logic Pro X features in 10.4.5. While it might not have been a full numbered jump up to 10.5 – which usually indicates a collection of boring but welcomed bug exterminations and performance enhancements – 10.4.5 is significantly more exciting than that. Head below for all the details.
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On top of some heavy-lifting upgrades for power users and brand new plug-ins, 10.4.5 is also hiding a number of incredibly helpful features to maximize workflow efficiency and decrease headaches in the studio. Now that we’ve had a chance to put these new features to work in some recording sessions over the last few weeks, it’s time for an in-depth look at some of the best.
Best New Logic Pro X Features: Optimization
When it comes to optimization, everyone is talking about the new 1,000 track limit. That’s cool and all, but if you’re not a professional film composer or an indecisive rock star with 200+ track demos, it’s not particularly applicable. However, the new “Only load plug-ins needed for project playback” is here for the rest of us. Easily among the best of the new Logic Pro X features in 10.4.5, it will intelligently bypass or disable channel strips in your session that are not needed for playback. In other words, if there are some tracks in your session that aren’t being used – maybe you have muted them or bypassed/turned off the instrument, etc. – when Logic loads your session it will automatically take them out of the mix (appearing “greyed out”).
This significantly increases overall performance, allows users to open projects faster (and close them), and generally keeps your system as responsive as possible. It’s also one less thing for content creators and engineers to think about when working – Logic disables the track automatically while leaving it completely recallable at a moment’s notice.
If, for whatever reason, you want to re-introduce the disabled track back to the mix, you simply just click on it and Logic loads it back up. This one-click, auto re-engage also appears to load much faster than say, pulling that particular plug-in up on a new track.
This new setting can be found here: File > Project Settings > General…
You’ll see a new section with the “Only load plug-ins needed for project playback” checkbox. If you don’t want Logic to automatically manage your unused tracks, uncheck the box you see there.
As a side note to this, “Freezing” a track will now unload its plug-ins in order to free up processing power. We are also seeing a minor if not helpful change made to the track On/Off button. A quick Option-click of the On/Off track button will now load/unload the plug-ins on that channel strip. This is again another convenient option to free up resources and the like if you prefer a more manual solution.
Annoying MIDI Duplicates:
Laying down MIDI performances for virtual instruments is likely one of the most common practices for both new and experienced users. Among the new Logic Pro X features is the new “Auto-erase Duplicates” option. In Logic Pro X 10.4.5, duplicate MIDI notes will automatically be deleted when merging MIDI regions (Or recording on top of and joining MIDI regions).
Duplicate MIDI notes are one of those annoying pests that have just always been a part of DAWs. For pros it’s not much of a concern simply because it’s unlikely they will ever play the exact same MIDI note, at the same position, and on the same instrument intentionally. However, for new users or the odd slip, Logic will now automatically remove these unwanted duplicates, saving you the trouble from having to delete them manually. In the past, removing them manually could be somewhat confusing for new users as they are sometimes not visually apparent on the Piano Roll window simply because the duplicate is literally hiding behind the other note.
Duplicate MIDI notes can result in extremely unwanted tones and are generally something to avoid at all costs. This new feature simply removes the headache of having to manually use the search and destroy duplicates function (Piano Roll > Edit > Delete MIDI Events > Duplicates [Option + D]) while simultaneously removing technical issues new users might not even know they were having. Nice.
File > Project Settings > Recording > Auto Erase Duplicates
Along with the new 1,000 track count, you can now put 8 million reverbs on each track! Okay not, really, but Apple has upped the bus send count to 12. While certainly a bit excessive for me in most situations, it is a welcomed addition. While 3 or 4, or maybe 5, usually gets the job done in my case, this can be great for designing your own samples, exploratory ambient sounds, convenient A/B comparisons for various FX treatments and much more. Oh and here’s a quick tip for navigating the mixer and your Bus sends. Option click the bus send box on a track in the Mixer and Logic will do a sort of pulsing highlight on the corresponding auxiliary track.
Mixer Auto Scroll
Some of the most useful and practical new Logic Pro X features tend to get lost in the shuffle when Apple drops these giant update lists. With hundreds of both incredibly minor and major alterations queued up, it’s easy for some to slip through the dust cover on the mixing board. Apple has made some light changes with “Autoscroll to Selection” to make navigating projects much cleaner. Whatever track you have selected in the main tracks page will automatically be highlighted and in focus when you open the Mixer. If this is disabled, the track is highlighted on the Mixer but not necessarily in view when opening the Mixer, forcing the user to horizontally scroll across the window manually. There is a change that sort of makes this work in reverse as well. Highlighting a collection of channel strips on the mixer will now highlight the corresponding tracks on the main Tracks page as well.
Whether you are a pro user with tracks on tracks on tracks, or completely new to Logic’s music production environment, this is certainly one of the best new features. Clearly this is helpful when you have 100+ tracks in a project, but it also makes things much more understandable when a new user can easily follow a track through the various tools/windows in the production environment.
Open the mixer (X button), and then ensure the “Autoscroll to Selection” option is checked off in the View menu.
Mixer > View (found along the top left of the Mixer window) > Autoscroll to Selection
Best New Logic Pro X Features and Beyond:
After working with the new 10.4.5 update in a number of recording sessions over the last few weeks, these are easily some of the best new Logic Pro X features I have come across so far. The all-new De-Esser 2 will be the next new addition we dive into after we get a chance to try it on a number of different voice types in actual recording and mixing sessions. As a little preview, I’m having great success thus far and it is leaps and bounds better than that almost unusable previous generation version we have been suffering through for years.
Apple has quietly now rolled out 10.4.6 but it is mostly the usual batch of fixes. Although one particular standout among the mostly technical bug fixes is: “Option-clicking an empty EQ thumbnail on a channel strip now inserts a Channel EQ into the first plug-in insert.” While not overly notable, this can be handy when you’re trying to keep your channel strips organized as it can mitigate the need to tediously reorganized the FX chain manually. You can browse the rest of the 10.4.6 changes right here.