Toolbox Tour - Logic Pro X
What are all these tools and what are they for?
I find that a lot of new (and even experienced) Logic users don’t even realize that there is an array of tools that transform your cursor into something new and useful! The “toolbox” in Logic might seem self-explanatory to some, but there are a lot of tools that not only improve workflow but enhance creativity and technique.
Accessing the Tools
Logic’s tools are located in multiple areas in Logic’s interface, including the Piano Roll, Audio File Editor, Track Area, and the Step Sequencer. In these different editors, you can actually set different default tools, which can be super helpful!
Logic actually allows you to select two tools at any given moment! This is the tools menu:
As you can see in the graphic, one tool is the default tool. This is the tool that your pointer will "become" by default when you are working in Logic.
The tool on the right is activated when you press the command key on your keyboard. This makes workflow a lot easier!
To select tools, simply click the drop-down arrow and select from the list (shown below).
As you can see, each tool in the drop-down menu also shows a corresponding letter. This means that if you hit, say “M” on the keyboard, you can access the tool in the same way you would hit command to access the command-click tool.
Anyway, let’s jump into each individual tool and check out exactly what each one is used for.
Pointer Tool - The pointer tool functions as a normal pointer/cursor.
Pencil Tool - The pencil tool allows you to draw MIDI notes in the piano roll and create regions in tracks in your arrangement. Another useful function is the ability to draw in automation with the pencil tool- it makes it super easy to create curves and specific shapes that would otherwise take a lot of effort with the pointer.
Eraser Tool - The eraser tool is pretty self-explanatory; when the eraser tool is selected, simply click on literally anything in any area of Logic and delete it.
Text Tool - I always thought the text tool was useless, but then I realized that it provides a really easy way to rename audio and midi regions within a track. For example, if I dragged a bunch of samples into my timeline and wanted to title them, I could use the text tool to easily name each sample without going into the file browser and changing the name. (yay for organization!)
Scissor Tool - The scissor tool is useful for slicing audio and midi regions in a track, as well as splitting notes or pattern regions in the piano roll and step sequencer.
Glue Tool - The glue helps join regions within tracks.
Solo Tool - Solos tracks or regions in the timeline.
Mute Tool - Mutes tracks or regions in the timeline.
Zoom Tool - Zoom in and out of the area you are working on to get a better look! (You can also use your keyboard’s arrow keys to make this a bit easier).
Fade Tool - Using the fade tool is super helpful. I often hold down A on my keyboard to create a quick fade on the sides of a region within my track.
Automation Tools - The two automation tools allow you to create automation curves and easily select different parts of an automation line to make automation easier.
Marquee Tool - This one is amazing. I personally default to keeping my command + click toolset as the marquee tool, as you can use it to select parts of a track or clip and then listen back to the selection, split the selection into one clip, split regions with a double click, and copy selections without splitting clips. It also allows you to use section based editing without having to split your clip into 500 tiny pieces.
Flex Tool - And lastly, we have the Flex tool. This allows you to easily stretch audio parts in your timeline the way you would in the Audio Editor when Flex Time is turned on.
by Maya Wagner