Logic Pro X 10.2 Update: Undocumented Changes
The release notes that come with the Logic Pro X 10.2 update indicate how big of an updated this is. The list has over 250 items of new features, changes and bug fixes: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203718. However, this is not all. There are additional changes in Logic Pro X 10.2 that are not mentioned in the release notes. In this article, I will not only list those changes, but provide in-depth explanations for each of those topics.
Note: The contents of this article and additional unpublished information are available in a free PDF. To download, see this article: FREE PDF – Logic Pro X 10.2 Update: Undocumented Changes
Various Little Things
Color Picker Default Button
The Color Picker (opt+C) has a new “Default” button ➊ on the right side.
It resets the color of a selected Region, Marker, or Track to their default color. Just select the object(s) and click on the Default Button.
Paste Text in Note Pad with White Font Color
The default font color for text in the Note Pad Window is white, because the background in dark. However, when you pasted a text from another application, chances are that font color is black. So far, when you pasted that text in the Note Pad, you ended up having black colored text on dark background ➋, which required the extra step of changing the font color to white.
Now in v10.2, when you paste a black-colored text into an empty (!) Note Pad, its color will automatically change to white ➌. Unfortunately, Logic Pro’s text input still doesn’t support the Key Command “Paste and Match Style” (sh+opt+cmd+V), a command I use constantly when writing my books. It removes all the formatting of a text when copy/paste text across applications.
Physical Input Object can be resized again in the Environment
Up till now, the Physical Input Object in Logic Pro X was one long object ➍ in the Environment that couldn’t be resized. Now with v10.2, it is back to Logic Pro 9 functionality, dragging the lower right corner to resize it ➎.
The Ruler area on top of the Workspace can display up to five different types of Rulers: Primary Ruler, Secondary Ruler, Playhead Ruler, Autopunch Ruler, and Marquee Ruler. As a default, only the Primary Ruler (with the bar numbers and Cycle Area) and the Playhead Ruler are displayed in a new Project.
The Playhead Ruler is the area that shows the top of of the Playhead, that triangle, also called the “Playhead Thumb”➏. Now when you move your Pointer over that Playhead Ruler (or along the Playhead), it will change to the double-arrow cursor ➐. Here is the functionality with this double arrow:
- Moving the Pointer Tool over the Playhead Ruler will change it to this double-arrow cursor
- Click on the Playhead Ruler and the Playhead jumps to that position.
- Tapping on the Playhead Ruler with the trackpad snaps to a grid (this doesn’t seem to be consistent)
- Click-drag on the Playhead Ruler will move the Playhead along
- Position the Tool over the Playhead Thumb ➑ lets you drag the Playhead
- The same functionality applies to the Playhead Ruler of the Piano Roll ➒ with the exception that the area where there is a Region Header, the Pointer doesn’t change ➓ to the double-arrow until you click on it.
- BTW, this fixes also a bug in the Piano Roll. Now you can click+drag along the Playhead Ruler without first clicking and then click drag.
Drum Machine Designer (details)
The ability to drag samples directly onto the Matrix in the Drum Machine Designer was mentioned in the release notes. In addition to dragging audio files directly from the Finder, you can also drag them directly from the open Loop Browser or Media Browser.
Drag an audio file from the Finder or directly from Logic’s Media Browser or Loop Browser. Please note that you can also add green MIDI Loops as long as they contain an optional audio file.
Custom Track Icons (details)
The addition of Custom Track Icons was listed in the v10.2 release notes to the joy of many Logic Pro users. Here are some additional information about it.
- You can add your own image files (JPEG, PNG) and Logic Pro X converts them to TIFF files (max 512×512 pixels) with a generic name “CustomIcon_nnn.tiff”
- The tiff files are stored in the new folder on your user directory ~/Music/Audio Music Apps/Custom Icons/
- Although the added files have a three digit extension, there seems to be a limit of 100 icons at the moment. Additional images will be ignored.
- The standard procedure for adding a file is ctr+click on the Track Icon ➊, select the “Custom Icons” ➋ in the windows sidebar and click on the big + button ➌ on top to open an Open Dialog, or drag the files directly from the Finder onto that window.
- In addition, you can just drag a graphics file directly onto the Track Header to add the file as a Custom Icon and choose it for that Track.
- Remember that you can set Track Icons for multiple Tracks at once by selecting the Tracks first and then choose a Track Icon for them.
- Delete a custom icon by removing the tiff file form the Custom Icons folder in the Finder ➍.
If you are feeling nostalgic and want to import the old Logic Pro 9 icons, they are located in the following directories:
~/Library/ Application Support/Logic/Images/Icons
New Record Modes (details)
One of the big improvements in the Logic Pro X 10.2 update is the new layout (and options) for different (overlapping) recording modes. Now the recording settings are organized for MIDI and Audio Recording, each separated by Cycle Mode and No Cycle Mode. The different options are available form the Record Menu ➊ (divided in submenus) and using the same structure via popup menus in Project Settings ➤ Recordings ➋. Nicely and logically organized, well done. Much less confusing as before.
Replace Button has three Variations
Unfortunately, there is still one problem that leaves some confusion, and that is the Replace Mode Button ➌ in the Control Bar. Maybe the best way is to ignore that button altogether (hide it from the Control Bar). If you still want to use it and are curious how it interacts (changes) the Recording Settings, then here is a quick explanation:
- ➎ On: Replace Button has priority. If it is enabled, then the Recording Settings are ignored and recording is in Replace Mode.
- ➏ Off: If the Replace Mode Button is off, then the Recording Settings apply.
- ➐ Off (but…): If the Replace Mode Button is off but the Recording Settings is set to Replace, then the Replace Mode Button changes to a new look when in record mode.
New Tracks Dialog (details)
The New Tracks Dialog (opt+cmd+N) has a few nice additions that are listed in the v10.2 release noted. However, there seems to be some confusion about the functionality.
Please note that this screenshots show the window without the icons, but the functionality is the same when displaying the icons (Preferences ➤ Display ➤ General ➤ Show icons in New Track dialog).
Software Instrument Track
When you select the Software Instrument Track (make sure to click the disclosure triangle to reveal the Details section ➊), you will see a new big button labeled Instrument ➋. It opens a menu ➌ that lets you determine what Software Instrument will be loaded on the new Track you are about to create. You have basically three options:
- ➍ Empty Channel Strip: This option will open the Track with no Software Instrument or anything else loaded.
- ➎ Default Patch: This option will load the Default Patch from the Library. Please note that you can choose virtually any Patch in the Library as the Default Patch by ctr+clicking on an Instrument Patch in the Library Window and select the command “Define as default“.
- ➏ “Specific Plugin”: The rest of the menu is pretty much identical to the Plugins Menu (following any configuration you made in the the Plug-in Manager). It lists all the available Instrument Plugins on your computer. Please note that the Drum Machine Designer is not listed. Remember, the DMD is not a Plugin, it is an elaborate Track Stack.
The Open Library ➐ checkbox has two (!) possible effects when enabled. It will automatically open the Library Window once you close the New Tracks Dialog, or it will open the Plugin Window if you’ve selected a specific Plugin.
When you select the Audio Track ➑ (or the Guitar & Bass Track) in the New Tracks Dialog, then the window will only have one new item. It is the Load Default Patch checkbox ➒. Similar to the Instrument Track, it does exactly that, opening the currently defined Default Patch for the Audio Tracks.
Piano Roll Changes
Quantize Type Indication in the Piano Roll Editor
Logic Pro X 10.1 introduced the new “Smart Quantize”, in addition to the “Classic Quantize”. These two Quantize Types can be selected by clicking on the Quantize Label ➊ in the Region Inspector.
Although the MIDI Editors can set their Quantize Parameter independently, now you have the Time Quantize Parameter ➋ in the Piano Roll Editor indicating which Quantize Type is used when you quantize MIDI Events in the Piano Roll (also available in the Score Editor). Be careful, even if the Piano Roll has key focus, switching the Quantize Type in the Region Inspector will change the selected Events in the Piano Roll. Also, keep an eye on any standalone Piano Roll Windows. The label ➋ (smart, classic) might not always be displayed.
Updated Snap Menu in Piano Roll
The Snap Menu in the Piano Roll has the new command “As Time Quantize” ➍, which uses the Quantize value, set in the Piano Roll’s Local Inspector as the Snap value.
This was mentioned in the release notes, but what wasn’t mentioned was that two previous commands in that Snap menu where removed ➎: “Snap MIDI Draw and Automation” and “Automation Snap Offset…“.
MIDI Draw Menu contains Smart Controls Parameter
The MIDI Draw Menu now also displays the Smart Control Parameters ➏, if the Track, the MIDI Region is placed on, has any Smart Controls assignment configured (most of them do).
Access the MIDI Draw Menu in the following ways:
- Tracks Window Local Menu View ➤ MIDI Draw
- Piano Roll Local Menu View ➤ MIDI Draw
- Piano Roll MIDI Draw Area, click on the Controller Button
If you are still confused about Track Automation, Region Automation, and MIDI Draw, then check out the 100 page Automation chapters in my book “Logic Pro X – The Details”, the most in-depth coverage of Logic Pro’s Automation.
New Menu Command: “Move Movie File(s) out of Project”
When you save a new Project, you can configure the Asset Management in the Save Dialog to determine which type of media files are copied into the Project and which one stay at their original location and are just referenced.
If you had the “Movie files” checkbox ➊ enabled, then those files could increase the size of your Project dramatically. Especially, every time you open a new movie, the old movie file stays in the Project. Using this new command ➋ “Move Movie File(s) out of Project”, located in the Menu File ➤ Movie, you can choose a new location on your drive to move the movie file out of your Project, to this new location.
If you have multiple movie files in your Project, then you can choose ➌ on the next window which one you want to move.
In case you didn’t know, here is one advantage of keeping movie files in your Project. Every movie file that you open in your Project (copy into your Project), is listed in the File ➤ Movie Menu. This enables you to quickly switch between loaded movies.
New Menu Command: Record ➤ Use Musical Grid
The Record Menu has the additional menu item “Use Musical Grid” ➎. This corresponds to the checkbox in the Project Settings ➤ General ➤ Project Settings ➏ (or New Project Dialog) and toggles the Primary Ruler between Musical Time (bars, beats) when checked, and Absolute Time (min, sec) when unchecked.
This command is also available as Key Command “Toggle Musical Grid”
There are the 30 new Key Commands
5 Key commands for various operations
- Reverse On/Off
- Delete All Region Automation
- Sustain inserted note(s)
- Create Tempo Change
- Set Locators by Regions/Events/Marquee and Enable Cycle
11 Key Commands to set the Division Value from 1/4 to 1/128
- Set Division Value to ….
14 Key Commands to set Nudge Value from 1/4 to 1/64, including Step Input value
- Set Nudge Value to …
Under the Hood
Include Alchemy audio data in Project File
Like the EXS24 and the Ultrabeat instrument, the new Alchemy software instrument is also sample-based. That means, its presets use audio files, and like the other audio files that are used in your Project (so-called Assets), you can choose to save them together with your Project.
- The checkbox “Alchemy audio data” ➊ in the Save Project Dialog determines if those files are stored with the Project.
- Please be aware that if the checkbox “Include Apple Sound Library Content” is disabled ➋, only your own samples for the Alchemy presets are stored with the Project. If you want to include also the factory sounds that you use in your Project (the ones that are part of the Logic Pro installation), then you have to enable this checkbox.
- You can change both settings after you saved the Project, in the Project Settings ➤ Assets window ➌.
New Apple Loops Database File
Logic Pro X introduced a new mechanism to index Apple Loops. All the information is now stored in an SQL database, a file with the name “LoopsDatabaseV08“. This file is stored in the user directory ~/Music/Audio Music Apps/➍.
Logic Pro X 10.2 now seems to use a separate database file for indexing Apple Loops. It is called “LoopsDatabaseV09“. Both files stay in the same folder. You can delete the LoopsDatabaseV08 file if you don’t use a prior version of Logic Pro X.
More Error Messages are now available through the OSX Notification mechanism. When you have Notification enabled ➎ for Logic Pro X in the System Preferences ➤ Notification, then some error messages will popup in the right upper corner of your screen ➏. If you click on “Show”, a Dialog Window pops up center screen with the complete error message ➐.
First of all, what is Force Touch? It is a feature developed by Apple that senses the level of force exerted on a touchpad or similar display surface, and responds accordingly.
If you have a Force Touch trackpad (available in the latest MacBook Pros), then you can use it to function as “click with the Pencil Tool” without switching the current Pointer Tool to the Pencil Tool. Here are a few examples
- Force-click on an empty section of an Audio Track’s Track Lane: Opens the Import Audio Dialog Window
- Force-click on an empty section of the MIDI Track’s Track Lane: Creates an empty MIDI Region
- Force-click on the ruler: Creates a Marker
- Force-click on a Region: Lets you rename the Region
- Force click on a Track Header: Toggles “Zoom Focused Track”
- Force-click on an empty area of the Track List: Opens “New Tracks Dialog”
- Force-click in the Piano Roll: Creates or deletes MIDI Events
Gobbler and Apple Music Connect
Gobbler (more info)
The information in the Logic Pro X 10.2 release notes for Gobbler were very little and Logic Pro’s User Guide doesn’t mention it at all. There will be sure more infos, articles and tutorials about Gobbler available pretty soon, so here is just a quick start:
- Gobbler is a third-party service that provides online collaboration when working on songs. It is now fully integrated in Logic Pro X 10.2.
- First, you create an account at https://app.gobbler.com and then download and install the Gobble app (command is under “My Account” ➊). The app sits then in your OSX Menu Bar as a Menu Extra (a little icon on the top right of your screen).
- Once you have Gobbler installed on your machine, Logic Pro will notice that and adds additional Gobbler-related menu items and settings in Logic Pro.
- Next, you have to sign-in to Gobbler. You can do that also directly from inside Logic Pro ➋ File ➤ Gobbler ➤ Sign in to Gobbler
- Once you signed in, you can use three procedures:
- ➌ Project to Gobbler: Send your Project to any user with a Gobbler account.
- ➍ Song to Gobbler: Bounce your Project to any user with a Gobbler account.
- ➎ Backup Project to Gobbler: Every time you use the save command, Logic Pro will use its internal Backup mechanism, and now in addition, saves the backup to your Gobbler account online (automatic, incremental Cloud backup for your Project, sweet).
The Procedure for backing up your Project to Gobble
- You can enable the Gobbler backup mechanism with a checkbox directly in the Project Save Dialog ➏ when you first save your Project.
- That checkbox is also available in the Project Settings ➤ Assets window ➐ where you can disable/enable it at any time.
- In addition, the File ➤ Gobbler ➤ submenu contains commands to start, pause, and remove the Backup procedure ➑, plus access (load) any previous backups that are listed in that submenu ➒.
Apple Music Connect (more info)
To use this new feature, you have to have your music on Apple Music and the iTunes Store, plus you have to have access to that account.
More info on Apple’s website
Once you’ve signed in, you should be able to upload from Logic’s Menu File ➤ Share
I’m in the process of updating my two Logic Pro books “Logic Pro X – How it Works” and “Logic Pro X – The Details” to include all the new features and changes of the 10.2 update. I hope to have them ready mid September. You can get the current versions now, because as part of my “Graphically Enhanced Manuals” policy, updates will be free for all customers who bought the pdf version or the interactive multi-touch iBooks versions. When the updates are online, then the printed books will also be available right away on Amazon (due to the print-on-demand process).
If you really want to learn Logic Pro, find out how it works and not just learn what buttons to press, then have a look at my bestselling books (you can download free sample books on the iBooks Store). They are filled with rich illustrations and unique diagrams, that are easy to understand and not found anywhere else. All my books are available as pdf, printed book, and interactive multi-touch iBooks.
Thanks for your interest,
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Tags: Smart Controls