Getting to Know the Arrange Window

Can you see sound? With Logic, you can. A soundscape is more or less an aural painting, filled with emotion and colored by experience in much the same way as a painting hung on the wall reflects the mood of the artist when she picked up her brush. In a painting, the artist arranges strokes and dabs of color across a canvas to make a visual picture. In Logic, you arrange strokes and dabs of sound across the Arrange window to make a song. The Arrange window is your sound canvas. It's also Logic's main editing window, and the majority of your time editing in Logic will be spent in this window.

Let's take a brief look at the various parts of the Arrange window.

The Arrange Area

The heart of the Arrange window is the Arrange area. This large rectangular space occupies most of the Arrange window, and it has one function only: It's used to arrange MIDI Regions and Audio Regions to make a song.

The Song Position Line

The Song Position Line (SPL) is Logic's playhead. As a song plays, the SPL moves across the Arrange area to let you see which part of the song you are hearing.

The Bar Ruler

The Bar Ruler is divided into bars and beats. It's your song's timeline. As the song plays, the Bar Ruler works in conjunction with the SPL to help you determine the current playback position in your song.

The Transport Panel

The Transport panel holds buttons used to control Logic's playback and recording functions.

MIDI Regions

MIDI Regions are little boxes that contain MIDI data. A MIDI Region is a tightly wrapped package, and if you open one up by double-clicking it, you'll see a collection of note-on and note-off messages; volume, pan, and continuous controller data; and other information (such as SysEx messages) that tell a synthesizer how to play notes.

It's important to note that MIDI Regions do not contain sounds. The sounds all sit in your synthesizers. Think of a player piano in an Old West saloon. In this device, a roll of paper with holes punched in it cycles through the piano. The punched-out holes represent note information that tells the player piano which keys to press and when to press them. If your synthesizer is a player piano, MIDI Regions are the rolls of punched paper that tell it which keys to press.

Audio Regions

An Audio Region is a selected area of an audio file. Like MIDI Regions in the Arrange window, Audio Regions look like horizontal boxes. But there's a difference: While MIDI Regions hold MIDI data that plays your MIDI devices, Audio Regions point to digital audio files stored on your hard disks. This can be audio recorded directly into Logic through your sound card, audio imported from a folder on your hard disk or a CD, or even converted MP3 files downloaded from the Internet.

The Track List

In Logic, all MIDI Regions and Audio Regions are recorded and arranged on horizontal lines called tracks. These tracks are listed vertically, from the top of the Arrange window toward the bottom. Toward the left edge of the Arrange window there is a column displaying the names of your song's tracksthis is called the Track List.

The Region Parameter Box and the Object Parameter Box

These boxes update to show you information about MIDI Regions and Audio Regions selected in the Arrange area. There are a lot of settings in these boxes, each with a unique purpose, so let's defer the discussion of them until the appropriate lessons later in this book.

The Toolbox

MIDI Regions and Audio Regions sometimes need to be erased, cut, or combined. The tools for these jobs can be found in the Arrange window's toolbox. There are many tools in this box, and each is designed for a specific purpose. The functions of most of these tools are obvious from their icons, and you'll discover how to use each one as you work through this book's lessons. In this lesson, we'll stick to some general tips about selecting tools quickly and efficiently.


The Marquee and Automation tools are not available in Logic Express.

Selecting Tools

Selecting tools from the toolbox is every bit as easy as you'd expectjust move the pointer over the tool and click it! But still, there are some tricks you can use to make selecting tools quicker. Let's explore a few of them now.


The following tricks work in all editing windows that have a toolbox.

  1. In the toolbox, click the Pencil tool, and then move its pointer over the Arrange area.

    Toolbox tools are designed to work on Arrange area Regions, so the selected tool does not appear until you move its pointer into the Arrange area.

Using the Secondary Tool

Logic gives you access to both a main tool and a secondary, or alternative, tool. The main tool is the one currently selected and highlighted in the toolbox. The secondary tool is reserved for any function you use often. It is accessed by holding down the Command key. For example, if you're constantly returning to the toolbox to grab the Glue tool, save yourself some time by making the Glue tool your secondary tool, and it will become available each time you press the Command key. Let's assign the Glue tool to the Command key now.


Pressing the Control key always enables Logic's Magnifying Glass (Zoom) tool. This cannot be changed.


Hold down the Command key and select the Glue tool.


Move the mouse pointer over the Arrange area.

The pointer still shows the Pencil tool.


Press Command.

While you hold down the Command key, the pointer turns into the Glue tool.

Using the Floating Toolbox

Instead of moving the mouse pointer all the way over to the toolbox, you can open the toolbox right under the pointer's current position in the Arrange area by holding down the Escape key.


With the mouse pointer over the Arrange area, press the Escape key.

The toolbox opens under the pointer.

You can select a tool from this floating toolbox by either clicking it or pressing a number key.


Press the 3 key.

The floating toolbox disappears, and the pointer turns into the Eraser tool.


To return to the Arrow tool, press the Escape key twice in a row.

The floating toolbox appears, and then quickly disappears, and the Arrow tool is activated. You will need the Arrow tool for the rest of this lesson's exercises, so leave it selected.


For the sake of simplicity, we're going to call this arrow-shaped tool the Arrow tool, but you will run across occasions when Logic calls it the Pointer tool.

Exploring the Transport Panel

The Transport panel contains buttons that control Logic's playback and record functions. These buttons look similar to the control buttons on a cassette deck or recordable audio CD player, and indeed, they work exactly the same way. The Transport panel's other displays are used to edit your song's tempo, move the SPL, or set up loop boundaries for cycle Playback and Record modes.

Let's use the Transport panel controls to start and stop the playback of your song.


Click the Transport's Play button to begin playing back the song.

The song plays.


Click the Stop button to stop playback.

The song stops.

You can also start and stop playback by pressing the spacebar.


Press the spacebar once.

The song starts playing.


Press the spacebar a second time.

The song stops playing.

Controlling Playback Using the Number Pad

If your computer keyboard has a number pad, you can also start and stop playback using the Enter and 0 keys.


Press the Enter key on your computer's number pad (PowerBook or iBook users can press the Enter key to the right of the spacebar).

The song starts playing.


Press the 0 key on your computer's number pad (PowerBook or iBook users can press Function-M).

The song stops playing. If you press the 0 key while the song is stopped, the SPL jumps to the beginning of the song.


Press the 0 key a second time.

The SPL jumps to the beginning of the song.

Feel free to play and stop the song at any time as you explore the various sections of this lesson. After all, Logic is meant to make music, and hearing the song is a big part of the process!


If you have the Cycle mode enabled, pressing the 0 key while the song is stopped causes the SPL to jump to the beginning of the Cycle range, and not the beginning of the song. The Cycle mode is discussed in Lesson 3, "Understanding Workflow Techniques."

    Apple Pro Training Series Logic Pro 7 and Logic Express 7
    Apple Pro Training Series: Logic Pro 7 and Logic Express 7
    ISBN: 032125614X
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2005
    Pages: 197
    Authors: Martin Sitter

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