Working with Tracks

The song you're working on has four empty Audio Instrument tracks, but no remaining audio tracks. The Bongo Apple Loop you just added filled the last audio track with sound, so before you can add any more Apple Loops to the song, you'll need to create a few more audio tracks. Let's get this housekeeping out of the way now so we can have fun later.

Adding Tracks

In Logic, all tracks listed in the Arrange window must be assigned to channels. Channels are simply paths that audio and MIDI use to travel into and out of Logic. For example, MIDI messages travel through MIDI channels as they leave Logic and travel to your MIDI interface and then to another MIDI device such as a hardware synthesizer or digital-effects unit. Similarly, audio tracks are a type of audio channel that can read recorded audio, like a vocal or guitar part, off the hard drive and send it to your sound card's outputs.

To take this a bit further, Audio Instrument channels use sound generated by one of Logic's internal synthesizers, say an es2, and then send it to a sound card output. You will learn more about MIDI and audio channels in the "Customizing Your Setup" section of this book. For now, just keep this in mind: Each Arrange window track must be assigned to a channel, or you will have no sound because there's no channel for the signal to follow out of Logic.

Creating a new track in Logic is a two-part process: First you create the track, then you assign it to a channel. Let's go through the process now by adding a few tracks to the song.


In the Arrange window, select the track named Audio 4.


From the Arrange window's local menu bar, choose Track > Create (or press Shift-Return).


You can also double-click an empty track slot at the bottom of the Arrange window to create new tracks.

A new, empty track is created directly under the selected track. By default, a new track is assigned to the same channel as the last track selected in the Arrange window, in this case audio track channel 4 (Audio 4). That channel is currently used for the Bongo Groove 05 Region. Let's assign the new track to its own unique channel.


In the Arrange window's Track column, click and hold the name Audio 4 on the newly created track.

A hierarchical menu appears. This menu lists all of the channels available for use in the song. Notice that in the Audio section of the menu all available MIDI and audio channels are available, including Aux inputs, Busses, Audio Instruments, Outputs, and Audio Tracks. Indeed, you could assign any one of these channels to the track, but for the purpose at hand you must assign an audio track channel, because only audio track channels are designed to play audio loops off your hard drive.


From the hierarchical menu, choose Audio > Audio Track > Audio 5.

The track is assigned to play through audio track channel 5. That took a few steps. You can streamline the process using the following trick:

  • With the track named Audio 5 selected in the Arrange window, choose Track > Create with Next Instrument (Ctrl-Shift-Return).

A new track is added to the song, and the new track is automatically assigned to audio track channel 6.

Adding Multiple Tracks

In the steps above you learned how to add tracks one at a time, but Logic contains a great feature for situations where you need to quickly add several tracks to the Arrange window. It's the Create Multiple Tracks function.


Scroll to the bottom of the Arrange window and select the last Audio Instrument track (Inst 4).


From the Arrange window's local menu bar, choose Track > Create Multiple.


The Create Multiple Tracks dialog appears.


From the Track Type menu, choose Audio Instrument.


In the Number of Tracks text box, type 4.


Click OK.

Logic creates four new Audio Instrument tracks under the last track selected and assigns them to the next Audio Instrument channel.

Setting a Track's Stereo/Mono Status

By default, all newly created audio tracks are mono. You can change this with the Stereo/Mono button in the Arrange window channel strip. In fact, you can also set a track to play back just the left channel of a stereo file, or just the right channel (this comes in handy with sample loops that contain, for example, a beat in the left channel and a bass line in the right channel).


Audio Instrument tracks do not have a Stereo/Mono button. Instead, they assume the stereo/mono status of the instrument assigned to them.


Select the Audio 5 track.

The Arrange window channel strip updates to display the channel settings for track Audio 5. At the bottom of the channel strip's level meter there is a Stereo/Mono button. Currently, it shows a single circle, indicating it is set to play back in mono only.


Click the Stereo/Mono button.

The button updates to show two interlocked circles: Stereo! Additionally, the channel's level meter splits in two, providing a display for both the left and right channels.

The Pan control works differently on mono and stereo tracks. On a mono track, the Pan control moves the mono sound from side to side. On a stereo channel, the Pan control acts like a balance control, adjusting the volume of one channel relative to the other. Consequently, in stereo tracks you cannot move sound from the left side of the stereo spectrum to the right side, or vice versa. Fortunately, there is an easy work-around.


Click and hold the Stereo/Mono button.

A menu pops up to ask if you'd like this channel to be mono, stereo, or either the left or right channel of a stereo file. Keep this option in mind when you'd like to move the sound from the left side of a stereo file to the right side of the sonic spectrum, or vice versa.


Leave the channel set to Stereo.


In preparation for adding stereo Apple Loops later in this lesson, set track Audio 6 to stereo playback.

Naming Tracks

It's a good idea to name tracks as you go, not only so you know what's on them, but also so you don't accidentally assign a newly created track to a channel you've already used.


In the Arrange window's Track column, press the Option key and double-click the Audio 4 track directly on its name.

A text box opens.


If you don't hold Option, double-clicking a track name brings up the Track Mixer, covered in Lesson 9, "Mixing."


Type Bongo into the text box, and press Return.

The track adopts the new name. Let's try this one more time to drive the concept home.


Optiondouble-click the Audio 5 track name, type Bass into the text box that appears, and press Return.

Audio 5 track is now named Bass. In fact, this name is not only listed in the Track column, but it is also assigned to the channel itself.


Click and hold the word Bass.

The hierarchical channel menu appears.


Navigate to the Audio > Audio Track section.

Notice that the named audio tracks appear at the bottom of the channel list. This is a great feature, because otherwise you could easily assign the same channel to two different tracks!

Reordering Tracks

It's common practice to group similar types of tracks in the Arrange window's Track column. For example, you might want to have all your vocal tracks sit one above the other. Depending on the order in which you create the tracks, you may need to move a track up or down the Track column to achieve this.


On the left edge of the Track column, position the Arrow tool over the Bass track's number.

The pointer turns into an open hand.


Grab the Bass track, drag it up to the top of the Track column, and release it above the (Folder) track.

If you need more tracks at any point in this lesson, feel free to create them!

    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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