Today, we’re going to look at Projects and tracks. The good news is that the process of working with projects and tracks in Logic Pro X is completely accessible with Voiceover.
you probably already know that Logic is a big app
that lets you record and produce music, podcasts etc. but you’re
likely going to be in one of two camps. You’ve either used other software
and you’ve got questions like “I can do this in Pro Tools, how do I do
that in Logic?”, or you’re right at the very beginning and you’re
asking things like “How do I record my songs using my Mac?”.
I’m not even going to attempt to try to reproduce the Logic manuals
which are vast and comprehensive. I want to get you started really
quickly, so that you can discover some of these things on your own.
The quickest way to get good at Logic is to play with it and ask
questions on the Logic Accessibility list when you get stuck.
But, before you run off and do that, let me try to shortcut some of your learning curve.
The Logic Project
You don’t get very far in Logic Pro X before you are asked to create a
Project. This is simply a home for your song or podcast or whatever it
is that you’re creating. When you give your project a name, Logic will
typically put all the files it needs for your project into a folder.
You can create various kinds of projects in Logic. My recommendation
is that you start with an empty project. It will be easier to manage
and you’ll understand how all the things that are in it got there.
Once you’re comfortable creating projects in Logic, Have a play with
the preset project templates and see if any of them meet your needs.
Creating an Empty Project
To create an empty project in Logic:
- Start Logic. You may be faced with the Template Chooser at this point, if you are, Press escape to dismiss it.
- Press shift+Command+n to create an empty project.
You’ve just learned your first key command. Logic literally has hundreds of
shortcut keys which it calls key commands and, as we won’t be clicking on things with
the mouse, Your key to fluency in Logic is to learn as many of the
important ones as you can.
When you press command+shift+n to create an empty project, you will be
faced with the new track dialog. This is because you can’t record
anything in Logic without first creating a new track for your
recording to go on.
We’ll talk about this dialog in the next section, but if this is all
very new to you, let me quickly explain what tracks actually are.
A track is basically a component of your recording. Typically, you’ll
have a track for your lead vocal, a track for your guitar, a track for your keyboard etc. Then
when you’ve recorded your song, you can work with those tracks
separately, for example, you can turn your vocal’s volume up without
affecting the volume of the other instruments in the recording. The
process of getting all your tracks to sound right as a whole is called
Mixing, and we’ll get to that in due course.
So, now we know what tracks are and why we need them, let’s explore
the new track dialog.
Creating New Tracks in Logic
There are basically two types of material you will be recording into
Logic. Audio material and MIDI material. Audio material comes by
recording sounds through your audio interface such as a mic or a
MIDI material comes from a keyboard or MIDI controller and is often
used to play software instruments such as drums. Don’t worry if you
don’t understand MIDI just yet, we’ll be talking a lot more about MIDI
So, when you create a track you have various choices, and the two most
common types of tracks you’ll be using will be either an audio track
or a software instrument track. We’ll look at audio tracks for now, but MIDI tracks are created in much the same way as audio tracks.
If you Vo+left to the very start of the New Track dialog box, You’ll find various radio buttons for the different types of tracks Logic allows you to create, the first of which is the Software instrument radio button. Now VO to the right once to find the Audio radio button and if it’s not selected, press VO+space to select it.
Next come across to the input popup button. the default will be input 1, but If you want to record from a different input on your audio interface, open this popup and select your required input.
Next, come across to the Load Default Patch checkbox and make sure it is not checked. We don’t want logic adding affects to our track just yet.
The next checkbox is called Input Monitoring. Check this box. Input monitoring enables you to hear what you’re recording so, you generally want to leave this box checked.
Uncheck the open Library checkbox. The Library enables you to choose from many presets and, again, we’ll talk about the Library in a different article, so make sure this is not checked for now.
You will next come to the Record Enable checkbox. again, Uncheck this checkbox.
Finally, leave the number of tracks you’re creating at 1 and press the create button.
Does that seem a lot of work to create a Logic Project? with 1 track in it? Well, the good news is, those settings in the New Track dialog box get saved automatically. So, Here’s the quick way to create a new project which contains 1 audio track. once you’ve done this before.
- Start logic
- Press escape to dismiss the Template chooser
- Make sure that the audio radio button is selected
Press command+shift+n to create an empty project.
Press enter to create the project
Saving Your Project
The next thing you should do is save your project. This works in exactly the way you would expect. You press command+s and the first time, you’ll be asked to name your project.
One thing to note is that when you save your project for the first time, you’l find the option to organise your project as a folder or a package. My recommendation is that you go with the folder option as it will be easier to see what’s in the project by navigating to its folder in the finder. You’ll also come across some checkboxes which enable you to copy several different file types into your project. Leave the defaults as they are. Simply give your project a name and location, choose to organise it as a folder and press return.
Now that you’ve saved your project, pressing command+s at any time will quickly and silently save your work. Get into the habit of saving often. – enough said!
Practise creating and saving projects because you’ll be using it often.
Where is my track?
As soon as you create your track, you’ll find yourself in what’s called the Main Window. Now, instead of explaining what every little thing does in this window like every other Logic tutorial I’ve ever read, let’s stay on task. The important thing to know right now is that your track shows up in the tracks header group.
The quickest way to get there is to open the item chooser with VO+i and type the word header. Select the item and interact with the Tracks Header group.
You’ve only got 1 track in there so far but as you add more tracks to your project, they will all show up as a list inside the Tracks Header group.
Each track is housed in its own group, so you’l now hear VoiceOver say Track1 Audio1 group.
It’s very important to name each track with a short description of what you will be recording on that track so that you can stay organised. Although there is a key command that enables you to quickly name a track, you don’t currently get speech while doing this so my recommendation is the following:
- Interact with the track group, in this case the track 1 audio 1 group
- VO across to the name of the track. VoiceOver will say the name of the track followed by the word text. In this case VoiceOver will say Audio 1 text
- Type your required name and VO away from the track name. Do not press return when you have typed the name – unless you wish to go to the beginning of your song.
Adding further tracks
There are several ways of adding more tracks in Logic. You will find these options listed in the track menu. However, here are some key commands which are worth learning.
You can get back to the New Track dialog box that we saw earlier by pressing command+option+N. Just check that the audio radio button is selected and press return and you’ve got yourself another audio track.
However, there’s a quicker way. My preference is to simply press Command+Option+A. That will instantly create a new audio track, no need for the new track dialog box.
The final thing that is worth noting about adding tracks is that, when you add a new track, that track will appear right below the currently selected track. The best way to see how this works is to try it.
Firstly, make sure you’ve interacted with the track headers group.
Press command+option+A. You’ve now got a new audio track but you’re still on track 1.
Now, press VO+downarrow. VoiceOver will say Track 2 audio 2, and you’ve now selected track 2.
Now, when you want to add another track, decide where you want to put it. We can add a new track between the first 2 simply by selecting track 1 by pressing VO+Up arrow and then by pressing Command+Option+A.
In this article, we’ve covered creating a project adding and naming audio tracks and saving the project.
Here are the key commands to learn.
command+shift+n – create an empty project.
Command+S – save the project
Command+option+N – bring up the New Tracks Dialog
Command+Option+a add a new audio track.
See what tracks are in your project by interacting with the Track Headers group and then using VO up and down arrows to navigate your list of tracks.
Next up, Basic Recording and Navigation