Logic FAQs

These are real frequently asked questions which I originally compiled from students’ questions at Southampton University, and have since continued with questions I am asked by clients. Although I try to keep the page updated, some answers may be relevant to older versions of Logic.Important: This is not a Logic Support site. Although I’m always happy to receive feedback about the site, I rarely have time to answer specific technical questions via email. If you need technical support please ask on the  Logic Users Group, however if you notice any inaccuracies in my answers please let me know.


Audio Questions

Q. How can I tell if a bounced mix is accurate?
Import the mix back into the song and play it on a track with no plugins except a  Gain plugin. If you invert the phase of that track with the plugin, you should hear silence if the bounce is accurate. Occasionally off-line bounces can have some glitches, but do not have an inferior sonic quality.
Q. After I create an Apple loop, how do I make it show up in the Loop Browser?
Drag the files onto the lower window of the Loop Browser. You must do this from the Finder on your desktop, not the regions from Logic’s arrange window or the audio window.
Q. How do I import audiofiles or tracks from a CD into Logic?
You need to copy the files to a folder on your hard drive first, then use the Add File command from The Audio File menu in the Audio window. CD tracks are automatically converted to AIFF files when they are dragged from the CD icon to your hard drive. Files from CDs copied from CDs are  “read only”. To change permissions select the file or folder, press [cmd]+I and change the permissions to  “read and write”. For folders click on  “Apply to enclosed items”.
Q. The Track Mixer shows just the tracks in the Arrange Window, can I add an object that isn’t in the Arrange?
Yes, just click the GLOBAL button, this shows all objects. Then double click on the one you want to add to the Track Mixer. Click on GLOBAL again to return to track view.
Q. How do I turn an audio region on the arrange window into an actual audio file, so that I can edit it without affect other regions of thge same file?
[CTRL]+[A] will turn the selected region into a new audio file. You will be prompted to choose a new folder or the original location.
Q. After deleting files from the audio bin, there are still in the finder, on my hard drive. I want them to be deleted?
Just hitting the delete key in the audio bin only deletes the file references in the bin. To delete from the hard drive and send them to the trash you need to use the delete command from the Audio menu of the bin. For more info see  Optimising disk space: The best way to tidy up files and regions:

Scorewriting Questions

Q. Why is the score showing some very strange things like rests on top of notes, clefs on top of other clefs etc.
You probably have one sequence completely on top of another one or partially overlapping. Although this is possible, it’s a very bad idea. Track Menu>create for overlapped objects will reveal these.
Q. Why can I only see one sequence in the score window, I know there are more sequences.
You may have inadvertently double clicked on a sequence. This will then be the only sequence displayed. To get back to the higher level of displaying all sequences in the instrument set or  “ALL INSTS”, click on the black square above the little green walking man.
Q. Can I alter a sequence length from inside the score window.
Yes but only when you double click on a particular sequence (see above, this displays only that sequence). There are two rectangles in the bar ruler which can be moved. Then click on the black square to get back to viewing the full score or whichever instrument set you have.
Q. So what does the green man icon mean then?
When you deactivate the green man (so he is grey not green) the display does not move along with the current position in time if the sequencer is in play or record. Can be handy for editing will listening to a cycle.
Q. How do I change the number of bars per line?
In page edit or print view use the layout tool to change number of bars on each line.
Q. How do I create blank score manuscript paper with instrument names if the soundcard does not have the instruments I want? For example there is a violin, viola and cello but no violin 2?
You can rename the sounds by double clicking on the multi instrument in the environment. (Can also be done in the arrange window by double clicking the multi name at the top of the IPB). Alternatively you could assign whatever name you like to any instrument in an instrument set. As it’s only for manuscript paper it doesn’t matter that the sounds are not the same as the name.
Q. OK, but what if I want to arrange for a string quartet, there really is no violin 2, so it won’t sound right. will it?
All right here’s another way of doing it, what you do is this: create a newsingle
  instrument in the environment. Assign it to the violin sound and name it Violin 2. You can create as many instruments as you want in the environment. The only drawback if there is just one soundcard or module is that any unisons played on the same sound will sound  “flangy” as that one sound is receiving two MIDI note on commands at the same time. You could try using a similar sound such as  “strings” for either violin 1 or violin 2.

Q. How do you get a title on all the parts without typing it in each time?
You put it in the area at the top of the page (Header zone), this will show globally. You can choose to show text in the header zone on page 1, 2 or all pages
Q. If I use a slur to tie two semibreves together, I hear both notes sounding, why?
Slurs and ties are not recognised by MIDI, so there is a note off followed by another note on. You are supposed to lengthen the semibreve in the Event Parameter Box of the score, and ties will automatically be applied by Logic. (You can also use the matrix and event editors for lengthening notes)

Sequencing Questions

Q. How do I know which quantise value to use?
Determine the smallest note length in the sequence or selection of notes you wish to quantise, then work out the quantise value of that note by dividing a semibreve (or one  whole
  note) by that note, eg there are 8 quavers in a semibreve so you choose a quantise value of 8, there are 6 crotchet triplets in a semibreve so you choose a quantise value of 6. Combinations (eg 8 & 12 are available).

Q. Notes are sticking on, what can I do apart from closing logic and reopening it?.
This sometimes happens, especially if you select a different track while playing the MIDI keyboard. (once again soundcard incompatibility). Double click on the MIDI monitor in the <F11> transport window (r.h. box above title of tune).
Q. Why can’t I hear anything when I go back to the beginning of a tune?
When using midi volume control events, it sometimes happens that you stop the sequencer during a silent volume command, or you have a volume fade out at the end of the music. Then when you start from the top you can’t hear anything because the last command was 0 volume. Choose  “Send maximum volume”. Ideally always put control data at the start of any track that contains control data to reset.
Q. What is  “Normalise Sequence Parameters”?
First you need to understand the difference between the  “external” sequence parameters that are applied in the sequence parameter box (“SPB”) and similar functions (such as altering of pitch and velocity) carried out to the actual MIDI data – ie the notes you see in the score, event list or matrix.
Transposing notes by dragging them in the score or by altering the pitch values in the event list changes the actual MIDI data. An external sequence parameter applies the effect of transposition, velocity change etc to the whole sequence without actually changing the data at its source. It can very easily be changed back to its original state. You merely restore values in the SPB to  “0”, whereas once you change MIDI data in the event list you may not remember what it was originally. (N.B. the exception is  quantise
  which is a non destructive edit in the event list).

“Normalise Sequence Parameters” converts external sequence parameters in the SPB to actual MIDI data. That is why the values disappear from the SPB when you do it, because they now apply in the event list. It is important to remember that this function will have an effect on aliases, which do not reflect external sequence parameters but  do
  reflect the actual MIDI data. For more information read the manual!

Q. How do you determine whether you see a list of sequences or the actual MIDI data of a sequence in an editor?
You use the link icon. Link Icon
Click on it once so that it turns purple, this is link mode.
Click on it twice so that it shows dark yellow, this is show contents mode.
When using the arrange window and an editor such as score, event list etc. To edit note events, you are actually working on two levels. The arrange window always shows the upper level, i.e. it displays the sequences. The event list can show either a list of sequences (the same level) or the contents (MIDI data) of  one
  sequence. This is a lower (deeper) level. You can move up a level by clicking the black square at the top l.h. corner of the event list, and back down a level by double clicking on the sequence whose contents you wish to see. The same applies to the score. Here is an example of linking windows with the link icon:


  1. Create two empty sequences in the arrange window
  2. Go to score window (Press <3>).
  3. Write notes into one of the sequences.
  4. Go to event list, make sure the link icon is dark blue.
  5. Go back to arrange and select one sequence only.
  6. Go back to event list you will see the contents of the sequence selected in the arrange window.
  7. Go back to arrange and select the other sequence
  8. Go back to event list where you will now see the contents of this sequence.
  9. Click on the link icon to turn it light blue.
  10. Swap between arrange and event list, this time you see the list of sequences, and can view their contents by double clicking. You can use link and show contents mode very usefully when working with two windows in one screenset.

Q. Is it possible to  “undo” more than just the previous edit?
Not in version 4, but you can in version 5, but you should still always take certain precautions.
Save your file frequently and with different names, file1.lso, file2.lso, file3.lso. When you have successfully finished your work you may delete the “earlier” versions if you are completely confident that you will not need to access them.
It is also useful to make safety copies of a sequence you are working on. This can either be  “parked” somewhere and muted with the mute tool, or the track it is on can be muted, or the track can be assigned  “No Output” from the instrument flip menu.
Deleted sequences should appear in the trash.
Q. Can you have the same instrument more than once in the track list?
You  can
  have an instrument more than once in the track list, but whatever sound you assign that instrument will of course appear on every track on which that instrument is selected. If you do have more than one track with the same instrument it is worth naming the tracks. Switch on this function under View menu and name the track to the right of the instrument name in the track list.

Q. How do I rearrange the order of tracks in the track list?
You rearrange the order of tracks by grabbing (hold l.h. button down) to the left of the track number and moving the mouse away or towards you. The instrument moves along with the track.
Why is a crotchet shown as when you write it in instead of
A value of 1 crotchet would have a MIDI note off command at exactly the same time as the beginning of the next beat, possibly causing problems in some modules if the same note is repeated (There would be a note off at precisely the same time as a note on)

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