Logic Pro from A to Z – T is for Top Ten Toggles
Toiling away in Logic Pro often involves all kinds of repetitive and tedious tasks. Here I’ll look at some of my favourite toggle key commands that make the minute to minute experience of using Logic Pro more efficient and enjoyable.
T is for Top Ten Toggles That’ll Transform Tedious Tasks
Record /Record Toggle
Pressing record is necessary to, well, record! Toggling record is necessary when punching in on the fly while the Transport is playing back. Why have two separate key commands for record and record toggle? Since you never need to engage both functions simultaneously (one replaces the other), why not have one key command for both. I like using the asterisk key.
Toggle level of Output Channel Strips
F13 (unassigned by default)
Toggle commands for each class of channel strips are available, but I find being able to toggle the output channel strips between two values particularly useful when I am tracking. Like most of us, I work and record in one big (or small, depending on your perspective) space. This means that I need to bring my mains down when I am tracking. This key command (I use F13) allows me to have my main output instantly jump between two levels. It can also be used as a custom Dim function, but I like it for dropping the level down almost (but not quite) all the way. Simply engage the command and set your level. It will then toggle between the two states each time it is pressed. Set it to bring it all the way down to the bottom and it functions like a “mute the mains” button. And Logic Pro has enough brains to remember independent values for the different output channel strips. For example, I don’t want to toggle my headphone output when I am tracking. I just set that output channel strip’s toggle level to the same value it was at previously, so as to effectively exempt it from being toggled.
Toggle Current Track Automation Off/Read
This function serves two useful purposes. First, it can act as a kind of “automation bypass” if you want to hear your track without whatever automation you have in place. Secondly, since the Snapshot Automation workflows introduced in the 10.0.7 update are now, shall we politely say, “not working the same way they used to”, this key command is a necessary addition to making the snapshot automation workflow work. Without it, adjusting automated parameters when the transport is stopped causes them to snap back to their last automated value. Temporarily toggling automation Read mode off prevents this changed behaviour from interfering with the steps necessary to set up new parameter values for snapshot automation.
Toggle Group Clutch
I find it often useful to be able to momentarily suspend groups for certain actions. For example, I often track a multiple mic’d drum kit and an electric guitar together. I group them and disable all the group parameters except for record arming, so as to be able to drop them all in and out of record mode together. As we all know, not everyone plays their best performances on the same take. As a result, often the guitarist will need or want to punch in parts once a good drum take is in place. This simple command allows me to easily record arm his track without also arming the drum tracks. Then if we decide we do want to do a completely new take all together, I can easily toggle the group behaviour back on.
Toggle Zoom to fit Selection or all contents
This is also a function I regularly use in two separate ways. First, it is great to zoom in on a specific selection that requires a precise edit. For example, I often select three or four backup vocal regions, hit this command to have just those regions fill the screen, perform the edit, then hit the command again to return to normal view. It’s kind of like an instant magnifying glass on whatever is selected. The second way I use it is to invoke it with either nothing selected or everything selected. It automatically resizes your entire project to fit the screen both horizontally and vertically.
Toggle take Folder Quick Swipe Comping Mode
I find it tedious to have to scroll and navigate to the beginning of a Take Folder in order to access the little button that toggles Quick Swipe comping and Editing mode. This key command makes it easy to do, no matter which part of the Take Folder is in view.
Toggle Zoom Focused Track
This is a great function for projects with lots of tracks. It allows you to keep the one track you are working with zoomed in, while all the rest are reduced vertically. Whatever track is selected will take on the zoomed state, and previously selected tracks will revert to the non-zoomed state. (For us old timers: this used to be called Auto Track Zoom.)
Toggle View Mode
This is used in the Piano Roll View, and is a great way to easily move from viewing the contents of multiple tracks to viewing the contents of a single track.
MIDI Out Toggle
This is an old function but still very useful. It is usually helpful to hear MIDI notes that are selected in the MIDI editors. It lets us know what is selected and what we are editing. But occasionally, with very long sustained notes, it can be annoying. We don’t want to hear a note that has been selected ring on for eight bars – or however long it has been sequenced to last. This key command will simply toggle the status of that playback/audition function. Toggle it off before working on long sustained notes; toggle it back on when working with notes of shorter durations.
Toggle Hide View
I often use the Hide Tracks feature to keep tracks or data out of view that I don’t need in the project anymore, but want to keep around anyway – just in case. I think of it kind of like deleting something but keeping that garbage can lid open so we can dig back in should we find that we need to retrieve something we mistakenly discarded. So I invoke it regularly to add tracks to the ‘temporary trash”. And once in a while, I toggle it open to retrieve something it turns out I (or usually the client) wants to revisit.
These are just some of Logic Pro’s myriad toggling commands. Try some of them, and see if you like them. Tell us all about some of your favourites in the comments below!