Logic Audio for MacOS

Setup | Interface | Workarounds | Function Names | Shortcuts


The User Interface

The Arrange Window is Logic Audio's primary working window. It is divided into three basic "areas" - from left to right, these are the Parameters, the Track List and the Arrange area. Above the Arrange area, you'll find the Bar/Beat Ruler, sometimes referred to as the Timeline. While reading the information in this section, you'll learn how these various areas interact with each other and will also discover how similar the handling of both MIDI and audio regions is in Logic Audio.

Figure 1 &emdash; The Arrange Window showing a number of sequence objects and an audio region. Note the floating Transport bar, over the lower portion of the Arrange area. &emdash; Click to Enlarge.

The Parameters Area

There are three "boxes" in the parameters area. They are, from top to bottom, the Sequence/Audio Object parameters, the Tool Box and the Track/Instrument parameters.

Sequence/Audio Object Parameters

Figure 2 &emdash; The Object Parameters Box

This parameter box (Figure 2) is directly related to the sequence objects and audio regions which appear as colored rectangles in the arrange area to the right of (Figure 1). When any object, either MIDI or audio region data, is selected by clicking ONCE on it with the mouse, this parameter box will update to reflect the parameters assigned to that particular object.

Each object in the Arrange area may have its own parameter settings, allowing independent transposition, quantization and more. The parameters for MIDI sequence objects and audio regions are different.

Some Tips for working with Logic Audio's Parameters

It should be noted that all of the Object parameters are available as real-time processes, meaning that changing these parameter values can occur while Logic Audio  is running.

The Tool Box

Figure 3 &emdash; The Toolbox

Key to selecting and altering MIDI and audio information in the Arrange Window and Logic Audio's other editing windows, is the Toolbox (Figure 3).

This contains a pointer, pencil, eraser, scissors & glue tools plus others which allow you to select, draw, cut, copy, paste, delete, merge and crossfade (audio regions only) sequence and/or audio objects.

The toolbox is context-sensitive and additional (or fewer) tools will appear for particular tasks in the various individual edit windows.

Tip: When you need to use any of the tools, hit the "ESC" key on your computer's keyboard and the Toolbox will "float" at the spot your mouse pointer currently occupies onscreen. When the floating toolbox appears, simply select the appropriate tool with your mouse cursor.

The Track/Instrument Parameters

Figure 4 &emdash; Track/Instrument Parameters Box

This set of parameters (Figure 4) is linked to the second onscreen area - the Track List - and sets global parameters such as the selection of instruments (Prg - Program Change), the overall track volume, transposition and more for ALL objects on the track. A "track" is an object/collection of objects in the arrange area which are aligned horizontally with a particular track name.

This parameter box will update each time a new track is selected in the Track List.

The Track List

Figure 5 &emdash; The Track List

The second column from the left is known as the Track List (Figure 5).

This is where you can add, delete, select, name and reorganize the tracks/instruments used in your song.

Reorganizing Your Tracks

You may want to reorganize your tracks to keep things neat onscreen or to group particular instruments together, which can be useful for scoring. To do this:

Figure 6

Resizing Tracks/Objects

This function allows you to independently resize individual tracks/objects, which may be useful for a number of musical situations. As an example, zooming in on an audio drum loop region to obtain a visual reference of "hit points" in the waveform overview. This enhanced visual cue may aid you in getting your sequenced parts perfectly aligned with various downbeats in the audio region.

To independently resize a track/sequence or audio object;

Figure 7

The Arrange Area

Figure 8 &emdash; Arrange Window

This is where your audio regions and MIDI objects are "arranged" into a song. In this area, you can freely drag and drop your objects from position to position, make aliases, loops, copies and more.

Audio and MIDI data can be recorded directly into the Arrange area as mentioned earlier in the Track List section. You can even add audio regions - in either WAV or AIF format - directly to the Arrange area by drag and dropping them from any folder on your hard disk.


Further to these facilities, you can also adjust the volume, pan and other controller settings of EACH sequence object or audio region within the Arrange window using the HyperDraw function.

The HyperDraw allows you to visually insert a set of points, which are automatically connected by the function as a segmented line, shown below.

Figure 9 &emdash; HyperDraw on an Audio Region

As a tip, HyperDraw is easiest to use when an object is zoomed. Use the resizing method described earlier.

To use Hyperdraw:

The Bar/Beat Ruler

Within the Arrange window, you can also visually refer to your current song position via the Song Position Line (SPL) and the Bar/Beat Ruler. (Figure 10)

Figure 10 &emdash; The Bar/Beat Ruler

The LEFT & RIGHT Locators in the Transport bar and in the Bar/Beat Ruler at the top of the Arrange window allow you to set cycle region boundaries to facilitate cycling over a part. You can do this by clicking and dragging from left to right directly in the Bar/Beat Ruler with the mouse. Any changes made directly to the cycle region start & end points in the Bar/Beat Ruler or to the Locator values in the Transport Bar will be reflected in the other.

The Transport Bar

The Transport Bar is used to "transport" you to different points in the music. The buttons - Play, Rewind, Pause, Fast Forward etc., work as per those on a CD player. We'll allow you to explore the uses of the cycle, drop etc. Buttons on your own.

The record button, to the top left of the Transport Bar, is used for recording both MIDI and audio data on any currently ARMED track, which is selected in the Track List. It is also possible to simultaneously record MIDI and audio tracks in Logic Audio . To do so, press the SHIFT key while clicking on multiple tracks in the Track List.

Figure 11 &emdash; The Transport Bar &emdash; Click to Enlarge.

The Menu Bars

The Main Menu Bar is where all basic file operations, such as save, open etc. occur. From the various Menu Items you can access additional system parameters, open windows, access help and will find many data processing options.

Logic Audio's menuing system is context-sensitive and local menus will update to reflect the functions available to the currently active edit window.

As an example, when in the Score Edit window, the Local Menu Bar will update to display options which are relevant to notation only, such as "Enharmonic Shift" or "Stems Up/Down". Naturally, choices such as these would have little place in the Event List editor as you can't see note stems, nor enharmonically shift a list of numbers & letters.

Zoom Controls

The Zoom Controls step though several levels of magnification. The "zoom bars" to the lower right of each window are used for horizontal & vertical zooming.

Clicking on the large end of the zoom bars - i.e. the end with the widely spaced lines - will enlarge your view. The narrow end of the bar will reduce the size of objects displayed in the Arrange area, allowing you to see a wider range of your song.

Further to the User Interface are the:

Editor Windows and the Audio Mixer.



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