While it looks pretty basic for power users used to other digital audio workstations, Logic Pro X is a pretty intimidating piece of software for new users. However, once you familiarize yourself with the layout you’ll realize how easily extensive Logic really is. In this quick start guide to production with Logic Pro X, I will show you the basics you need to know so that you can begin creating beats in minutes without ever turning on Advanced Mode.
Open Logic Pro X. If it doesn’t automatically ask you to create a new project you can click
File > New from Template.... From here you’re given the choice of creating a new project from a template such as Hip Hop, Electronic, Songwriter, Multi-Track or Empty Project. I’m choosing Empty Project for the sake of this guide. You’ll then get a dialog asking about the type of project (Software Instrument, Audio, Drummer, External MIDI, and Guitar or Bass). Since I like to dabble in Hip Hop I picked Software Instrument. Right below that you see an arrow with the word “Details”, make sure you expand is and check the “Open Library” option. Lastly at the bottom of the dialog we’ll need to pick the number of tracks you’d would like. If you’re familiar with image editing software, tracks are like layers. In other words tracks are basically the number of different instruments and/or audio elements you will have in your project. I usually start out with 8 tracks, but don’t worry if that’s too small because you can add more later.
Now that your project is open you’ll see the Track List, which shows you in this case the instruments that are being used in our project. To change an instrument, click the track (instrument) you want to swap out and it will be highlighted in a different color. You can then go through the options in the Library panel all the way to the left.
Before we record any instruments you’re going to want to turn on your MIDI keyboard. If you don’t have a MIDI keyboard or some other type of MIDI controller, you can use a virtual keyboard and play through your computer’s QWERTY keyboard. To open this virtual keyboard all you do is press
Command + K to open up the built-in Musical Typing feature.
Now that we’re ready you can arm a track for recording by clicking the little “R” next to the instrument and hit the record button up top. As a shortcut you can also press “R” button on your keyboard and start jamming out too. To stop recording you can hit the spacebar on your keyboard or the stop button up top. If you look over to the right of your tracks you will see an area with bars being placed. This is your workspace and everything you record will show up here. You can later change the placement, move the melody to different tracks, and many other things we will get into in future tutorials.
There you have it – the fastest way to get going in Logic Pro X! As you play around with the software you’ll figure out how self-explanatory most things are. Also Logic Pro X comes equipped with a great manual and the nifty quick help button. Take advantage of them because other DAWs like Pro Tools don’t have as much help! Hopefully you can now begin experimenting with Logic Pro X with no problems.
What else would you like me to cover in Logic Pro X? Also I would love if you share what you created in Logic Pro X below in the comments!