After Switching Logic Pro To 64 Bit Mode: Workflow Changes

macbook pro 2011

Ever since Waves updated all audio unit plugins to 64 bit versions, I switched to running Logic Pro in 64 bit mode. That was my turning point. Instead of the 4 gigs of RAM available (the widely known limit set by running Logic Pro in 32 bit mode) I now have 12 gigs of RAM available. This is quite the leap forward. As a result, I’m starting to notice some workflow changes. I’d like to post these changes – hopefully they’ll inspire you. My Mac Pro has 12 gigs of RAM, powered by 2 2.66 Ghz 6-core Intel Xeon processors. That’s comfortable, but I’m sure some of my new approaches will work on less robust systems too.

Load Plugins By The Bunch – Old Habits Must Die

Throw all your crayons on the table, or organize them by color?

With the 87 stock plugins that Logic Pro offers – and more than 300 audio unit plugins the Waves Mercury bundle includes – picking the right plugin at the right moment becomes a near impossibility. Or it turns into a clickfest, with the chance of a miss being larger than the chance of a hit. You’ve probably formed some old habits too: perhaps you always choose Chorus instead of Ensemble, just because its interface is simpler. Or you’re always sticking to the same compressor plugin because you ‘know’ how it will sound.

With Logic Pro’s ‘Out of Memory’ issue out of the way, I now find myself loading a bunch of plugins by category. Here’s how I do that: suppose I’d like to adjust the stereo width of a track. I inserted a Chorus, Ensemble, Spreader, Tremolo on a track, and saved the channel strip setting as “All Width”, but with every plugins disabled. Whenever it’s width I want to work on, I fire up that channel strip setting, then choose the plugin which I think does the job best, and leave the other plugins bypassed. I worry about removing the bypassed plugins later. There really should be a command for that (another Logic Pro X feature request).

This works well with the Waves One Knob series too. By firing up the entire series in an instant, I can quickly get a feel for what it is I’d like to do with a sound. Then I’ll just work from there.

You can get as organized as you want, mixing Logic Pro stock and third plugins together, or even categories.

Note however, that Logic Pro makes a distinction between channel strip settings for Buses, Inputs, Instruments, Master Tracks, Outputs and Audio Tracks. Once you’ve made your own settings for different kinds of audio objects, and want to be able to use these on any audio object, be sure to hold down ⌥ to have access to all channel strip settings.

I guess this approach renders this post obsolete.

Bounce & Hide The Source Tracks

For some reason, I like working with homemade audio files. Although it’s hard to know exactly when to bounce a track, I tend to bounce quicker. Bouncing a region to an audio file can be very relieving: It’s ‘no turning back now!’ instead of ‘tweaking parameters till the break of dawn’. By hiding the track that the bounce came from, I keep my arrangement tidy. Should I run into RAM trouble, I’ll just save the instrument settings (adding to my library of custom channel strip settings in the meantime) and delete the track. By doing this, I ensure that the used instruments leave no traces on my system’s resources. Nope, I’ve never been a fan of freezing tracks.

Big Sample Libraries – A Lesser Biggie

With the ‘Out of Memory’ warning being memory blocks away instead of lurking just around the corner, a second instance of a big sample library is just a click away. While I was working with Native Instruments’ Upright Piano (not huge in size, just big), I had one instance play double bass notes, and the other play chords. This way, I could color the two parts individually with EQ, compression, and reverb. From an engineering/mixing perspective, that’s a good thing. I would never have thought of this in a 32-bit world. Once I’ll start doing this with a big string library though…

A Bigger Undo Buffer

One of the first things I would do to stave off ‘Out of Memory’ problems in 32 bit mode was to decrease the amount of Undo Steps in Logic Pro’s preferences. Now that I’m working in 64 bit mode, I increased that amount.

Sofar, these have been my experiences after the switch to 64 bit mode, I’m curious to see yours in the comment section!

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  • Mike

    In the case of Kontakt instruments, loading a second instance of the same instrument shares sample data instead of loading it all again.  It takes a little more memory for the second instance, but it shouldn’t be much.  I think it even shares even on a separate instance of Kontakt (although you could have the second instance of the instrument on the same Kontakt and just send it to a different output).  So those extra instances should be safe to do even running 32 bit Logic.

    • Hey Mike,

      Thanks, I didn’t know that! Cheers.

    • Mike,

      Come to think of it, doesn’t this kind of render using multi outputs in Kontakt obsolete?

      • Mike

        Kontakt does use a fair amount of ram for each instance so for a session with a ton of Kontakt instruments I wouldn’t put each on a separate Kontakt instance.  But with 64 bit if you have the memory you definitely can split things up more, it can also help with Logic’s issue with putting all “live” tracks on one CPU.

  • Dave Chick

    I LOVE that I can load up all my plugs and samplers without hitting memory issues (too early) in 64-bit. They’ve made the bridge much more stable (but still crashes).  One thing that I absolutely HATE is that you can’t bounce out to a movie in 64 bit! It’s disabled.

    I need to freeze all my tracks, switch back to 32-bit mode and THEN bounce out.

    Major suckage there…

    • Hey Dave,

      Thanks. I wonder why they disabled that, I don’t know the intricacies behind that decision. What bothers me is that you have to click the bridge window first to see the plugin window. Aargh!

    • Mike

      Hopefully they’ll bring that feature back.  But in the meantime you can bounce an audio file then just open the movie and audio files in Quicktime, copy the audio file then select the movie and do Add to Movie.  Just takes a few seconds, even if they bring the feature back I’ll probably still keep doing it that way.

  • Tom

    You´re a little late to the party, Dennis – aren´t  you? 🙂 Yep, Waves 9 is totally awesome, but I still find it discouraging (to say the least) that some major companies still don´t have their 64-bit stuff together, but instead release iOS-after-iOS stuff. Korg should finally make their soft synths available, Antares and Gmedia are still “working on it” – and I sincerely hope that it will happen soon.
    Wish you a lot of fun with Logic 64 – and I am sure it will be, because I´m running it since over 1 year now with great results.


    • Hey Tom,

      Yep, I’m late – kind of though, I switched about three months ago. Besides, one doesn’t notice changes in workflow after a week – hence the timing of my post. I waited for good reason: like you said, instead of waiting for companies that offer a handful of plugins, I decided to wait for The Big One that offers a complete toolbox! 🙂

  • Niels Verhoek

    I just upgraded to 16Gb and switched to 64 bit. It’s a pity that Powercore plugins witch i use a lot are still 32bit and won’t be upgraded 🙁 the only plugin that needs upgrading is Ivory. 

    • Hey Niels!

      I’m not very familiar with the Powercore plugins, do they come with a DSP card? 

  • Eric

    64 bit is generally a good thing. With Logic it’s always 2 steps forwards, one step back. When you run 32 bit plugs you occasionally get the “Relaunch 32 bit etc” error when the 32 bit bridge crashes. What is really weird is that I got this error during a bounce! It prevented the bounce from completing and I don’t think it corrupted the song so watch out for that one. I can’t confirm it 100% but the bridge seems to need relaunching if I leave the song up doing nothing when I go for lunch etc. your mileage may vary as they say. Oh yes – I too really hate that we can’t export to QT anymore. Looking forward to what you discover.

    • Eric,

      Thanks for the tip. I’ll be on guard for that one…I’ve had some of those Audio Unit Bridge crashes too unfortunately. I always have some piece of outboard gear involved (Cranesong HEDD mostly), and sum on a big mixer. Cheers 

  • Eric

    I’m not sure where to post this so I’ll post it here. It’s a challenge I have for you! Imagine this scenario – you have a killer drum loop that you made. It is only kick and snare. You want to use it in another song but the tempo is way slower than the original loop. You want it to fit the new tempo. Timestretch is not precise enough. Flextime gives you a few artifacts. I start with strip silence which gets you 34 slices that can have the anchors moved to adjust for feel. Creating an EXS patch means you can adjust sample start but moving the anchor is more precise for feel. But here is the challenge. In the arrange page how do you get 34 slices to line up on quarter notes with one key command rather than moving each slice by hand? I’m stumped.

    • Eric,
      You’ve tried converting the audio to a new sampler track, yes?

    • Eric,

      How about this: while all regions are selected, open the Event List (press E). Quantise from there by setting the value to 8th notes in the dropdown menu. See image. In the arrange window, setting Snap Mode to ‘Division’ may also speed up changing your regions’ position.

      • Eric

        Wow good idea , I’ll try this after breakfast, but – like you said in an earlier blog post, we sometimes forget about the basic stuff Logic can do and search for a complicated method! Thanks!
        ps, in case you are looking for other things to write about. I have been checking out the brainworx MS plug. Love what it does in terms of stereo image, but there is not much info on the net about using MS for mixing down stems. On one hand Brainworx makes it sooo simple, on the other hand I would like to understand it a bit more, unless the concept really is that simple. Cheers, Eric

        • Hey Eric,

          If you do a search on this blog for ‘solo the sides’, you’ll find some articles I wrote about Mid/Side processing. I think they will help you out. Part three of the series especially should clear some of the fog hanging around this subject. Also, check out … or check out this new category I just created:

    • Come to think of it, try Flexing with Slicing Mode. That shouldn’t produce any artefacts. Cheers!

  • Erik

    Quick question. (And yes, I realize this post is 4 months old 🙂 Have you found a pitch shift plugin that works with Logic in 64 bit mode? Apparently neither Serato Pitch ‘n Time nor iZotope Radius (my current go-to) will run in 64 bit, and the developers have no plans to make that happen. Yes, I know I can close and re-launch Logic in 32-bit mode, but I find myself needing to do a LOT of pitch shifting and if I have to reboot Logic one more time just to use Radius, I think I am gonna poke my eye out 😉

    Suggestions appreciated!

    • Quick answer: Waves Ultrapitch?


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