How To Create a Parallel Mix in Logic Pro X

01 MasterBus

A good friend of mine asked me recently about how to create a parallel mix in Logic Pro X. He is using the IK Multimedia ARC 2 System room calibration plug-in and wants to monitor with it, but not bounce to disc with it.

The problem is, he wants to just leave it alone and not have to remember when to turn it on and off. In the heat of the mix, it’s easy to lose sight of these small details, and find out four hours later that you have either been monitoring with it bypassed, or bouncing with it on.

I walked him through the set up to create a parallel mix in Logic Pro X so that he can leave it on and monitor with it and bounce to disc without having to worry about it. To do this, it’s necessary to have a multi output audio interface, with a pair of outputs that you won’t be using. On a related note, the setup I am about to describe (minus the ARC plug-in) is also useful if you have two (or more) sets of monitors and want to set up Logic Pro X so that you can freely monitor the same mix through both sets.

How To Create a Parallel Mix in Logic Pro X

1. Output the sum of your signal flow to an unused bus instead of going straight to the stereo bus (I always do this anyway). So, let’s say, for example, output everything to Bus 64 and name it MasterBus in the I/O labels. Logic Pro X will automatically generate a new aux track with MasterBus set as the input.

01 MasterBus

2. Create a second Aux manually (use the +N Key Command in the Mixer Window) and set it to receive input from that same MasterBus pathway (Bus 64 in this example)

02 Second Aux

3. Set the output of the newly created Aux to an unused output on your multi output audio interface, for example one of your unused litepipe outputs. The new output track will be generated automatically.

03 New Output

4. To keep things clear, name your main stereo output track Monitor, and name the newly created output track Print.

04 Labeling

05. To further tidy things up, rename those two Aux Tracks that are receiving the sum of the whole mix as well. I’ve named mine Sum to Monitor and Sum to Print.

05 Sum Labels

06. Both your Monitor output and Print output are now receiving the exact same mix via Bus 64 and the use of the two Aux tracks. Place the ARC processing on the Monitor output track. (I don’t have it, so used something else in this example.) This way you are monitoring with the plug-in, but the Print output, although not audible since it is not routed to your speakers, remains clean.

06 Plug-in on Monitor output

07. When you are ready to bounce your file down, use the bounce button on the Print output. This way you will be bouncing an unprocessed version of the mix.

07 Bounce

You can now freely mix and monitor, but must remember to use the Print output when it comes time to bounce to disc. If you are using this setup to monitor through two sets of speakers, you can switch between them by selectively muting/un-muting one or the other of the outputs. Or, if you are set up for it, you can leave them both on and do the switching externally via whatever hardware controls you are using.

Eli Krantzberg
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Eli Krantzberg

Apple Certified Pro Eli Krantzberg is an internationally known author and music software trainer for Groove3. His instructional videos have helped demystify music software such as Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Sonar, BFD, Melodyne, and Kontakt for thousands of users all over the world. Based in Montreal, Canada, Eli is involved in all aspects of audio production. In his studio he works with various artists, as well as on commercial jingles, corporate videos, and original music composition.
Eli Krantzberg
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  • noisyneil

    …or you could just use Audio Hijack to grab Logic’s output and process with ARC there. I’m doing the same thing with Can Opener and Sonarworks. Works a treat!

  • Mark Hawkins

    The above works fine of course but with one side effect I think. If you want to put any effects on the output channel (EQ, glue compression, limiting, etc) in order to hear it on the Monitor output and on the bounce output (Print), the same effects with the same settings would have to go on both paths either on the aux’s or on the output channels for each. I “think” I worked around this though.

    Once the two aux’s and the send output strip were created, I changed the input of the Sum To Mntr to a new bus (Bus 63 to follow your lead). Then I set a pre-fader send on the Sum To Print aux to the same bus 63. I set the output of the send to 0/unity. This setup then allows me to only have to put any mix output related effects on the Send To Prnt aux only. This allows me to put the sonar works plugin onto the Sum To Mntr aux and also hear the effects in the monitor output aux/speakers just fine. As your post details I then just bounce through the “Print” output and the output isn’t affected by the sonor works plugin. It seems to work but please point out any issues if you see any.


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