Logic X 10.3 – Useful New Features
Apple have released the latest version of Logic X (for free), so I thought I’d take a quick look at some of the new features that can help streamline a composer’s workflow.
Logic Pro X 10.3 requires OS X 10.11 or later.
It should go without saying that it is inadvisable to upgrade if you’re in the middle of a mission critical project. You may wish to duplicate your old version of the Logic app and rename it (to something like Logic 10.2.4) so it is not overwritten when updating.
There are more features and fixes than it’s possible to go through here (the first thing you’ll notice is the new UI), so I’ll keep it brief.
Track Alternatives in Logic X
As I work in Cubase a good deal of the time, this is a feature I’ve been long hoping would make its way over to Logic. It’s also similar to Pro Tools playlists.
Essentially Alternatives allow you to try out multiple versions of themes and arrangements on the same track. Unsure which melody to use? Simply keep each version as an alternative, then switch between them to see which you (or your client) prefers over time.
If you’re working on a client project and have received instructions to alter elements of the track, you can move previous versions to an Alternate to keep for reference, or quickly recall if it’s decided the original idea was better.
You can choose to view only the active alternative, or all of them at the same time, with the ability to listen to inactive regions with the preview button.
Horizontal Auto Zoom
This will automatically expand or compress the view of your entire project, or contents of regions in the edit windows.
This is very useful in the piano roll, where the selected region will automatically zoom to fit the content.
Dual Mono Plugins
Unexpected and has huge potential. When inserting a compatible stock or third party plugin, (which from what I can tell is most of them) you now have the Dual Mono option, which splits processing between the left and right sides, or allows full M/S processing.
This has to be my favourite new feature, and has huge creative potential.
You can select any audio region – or select a portion of that region using the marquee tool – and apply effects to it. Once you’re happy with the preview it will then be rendered as audio.
I’ve found this particularly useful for hybrid sound design work. Want to make a hit or impact more interesting? Select the tail portion of the audio file and apply reverbs, stutters, delays, distortion to your hearts content.
Key Commands for Transform Sets
Buried within all the headline features is this little development. I use Transform Sets all the time to make adjustments to MIDI data, such as applying a set note length or velocity value to a selection of notes or several regions.
It’s now possible to assign a key command to up to 30 user presets, no longer do you need to open up the Transform Window then choose a set.
Type ‘transform’ into the key commands search field to add your own shortcuts.
True Stereo Panning
This has been requested for as long as I can remember. Now it’s finally possible to pan using true stereo and binaural methods, without having to insert the Direction Mixer.
Alt-clicking the pan knob will flip the stereo image, turning the pan colour orange.
I’ve only been working with Logic X 10.3 for a short time, but I’m already used to the new UI and have found performance to be stable and solid.
There are many, many more features and improvements included in this update to Logic X, I highly recommend checking it out.