Today we are showcasing some over-looked Logic arrangement tricks. Prying apart a project’s regions in order to make alterations, injecting a gap for a new part or even just moving an entire section of your piece around can be tedious. However, Logic Pro X’s underrated Toolbar houses a number of functions that can get many of these tasks done with a simple selection and a one-click command.
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Logic Arrangement Tricks:
Whether it’s inserting an ad in your podcast or altering the arrangement in your song/film/game score, having the ability to quickly inject a gap or rearrange the sections of your project is a must. Inside of the Logic Pro X Toolbar (View > Show Toolbar…), you’ll find a number of automated functions designed to make this task and those just like it very quick and simple. One thing to keep in mind to avoid confusion is that much of the same functions are also found in the Edit > Cut/Insert Time menu.
The first of today’s Logic arrangement tricks is the Insert Silence function. This will essentially create a gap or a section of silence anywhere in your arrangement with a single click. Think of when you want to bump the whole song over to make room for an intro or to split a collection of regions apart in order to inject a new section into the song.
Simply make a left and right locator selection: Click and drag across the top ruler portion of the main Tracks page the same way you would create a loop (the yellow bar). Now hit the Insert Silence function to slice and move all the regions and insert a gap of silence within your selection.
Insert Silence: Control + Command Z
Tip: Immediately hitting the Insert Silence Function again, will double the length of the gap or silence you just created (and so on with the 3rd, 4th, 5th…. consecutive clicks).
All of the regions within your selection are neatly cut and moved to the right locator position (or later in the song). If you hit Command A to select everything before hitting the Insert Silence function you’ll ensure all of the tempo, time signature changes, and markers make the trip as well.
Cut, Copy, Insert and Repeat
While there’s nothing here you couldn’t do manually somehow with the main pointer tool (or the Marquee tool), we can also use the other functions in this menu for some precision Logic arrangement tricks. As the names suggest, the Cut, Copy, Insert and Repeat functions can also be used in much the same way as the Silence feature above for speedy alterations:
Cut Section Between Locators: Control + Command X
Copy Section Between Locators: Edit > Cut/Insert Time…
Insert Section at Playhead: Control + Command V
Inject Arrangement Tricks:
While most of these functions are self explanatory and used in the same way as the Insert Silence above, there is one very important distinction to be made here. That being the difference between a simple Command V paste and the surgical Control + Command V “Insert” paste. Understanding the difference here can be a massive time-saver when it comes to dealing with arrangements in Logic Pro X.
Let’s say you want to copy a chorus part and then paste it in between a pair of other ideas later in the song. You could manually split and then move the regions where you want to paste your chorus — clicking, dragging and selecting with the pointer tool. And then go back and copy the chorus (however you prefer to do it), so you can paste it to the new location the traditional way.
Or you could just copy said chorus — using the ‘Copy Section Between Locators’ option above, the Marquee tool, etc. — and then position the playhead to your desired location and hit Control + Command V to “Insert” paste the new chorus. This will automatically move the regions that were once there over to the right and slide your new chorus into place, with at least one less step. What I call the “Insert” paste is easily one of the best and most useful of today’s Logic arrangement tricks.
Repeat a Section with One-Click:
This one is particularly handy for when you want to double the length of a section of a project. Highlight the desired 8 bar section for example, via making a locator selection as described above, then just hit Control + Command R to immediately double the length of that section and cleanly move the immediate regions over to accomodate it. Brilliant.
Repeat Section Between Locators: Control + Command R
Most of these commands work in tandem with Marquee tool selections as well, and can significantly reduce some of the tedium and monotony involved in simply trying to alter the arrangement of a song, presentation or whatever else you might be putting together.
In case you missed it, be sure to check out last week’s one-click solutions for naming regions and color coding. Plus, here’s an in-depth look at the best new Logic Pro X features in 10.4.5.