How An Analogue Workflow Might Benefit You In A Digital Environment | Production Expert

How An Analogue Workflow Might Benefit You In A Digital Environment | Production Expert

In this article, William is going to explore three techniques you can use to help you create an analogue workflow in a digital production environment.

Go to Left Locator – Logic Pro X keyboard command of the day

Logic Pro X keyboard command of the day. #LogicProX @StudioIntern1

  Go to Left Locator    

Move the playhead to the left locator position. I recently wrote about ‘Go to Right Locator’ and enthusiastically assigned the left and right motions to the keys F7 and F9 (rewind and fast forward symbols) on my keyboard. 

I now have a very nice workflow for zooming in on a section of a track. Use the Marquee tool to select an area (Auto Set Locators enabled), press F7 to move the playhead to the left locator, and press Z to zoom the selection into view. Very handy…

The order of Zoom and Move Playhead can be reversed. The Z(oom) command will zoom the Marquee selection to fill the Arrange window.

It’s kind of fun when my commands of the day randomly fall into place and give me a new perspective on the work.

Auto Set Locators

Go to Right Locator

The Marquee Tool

Select parts of regions in the Tracks area – Logic Pro X

You can select and edit parts of one or more regions, using the Marquee tool or the marquee stripe:




Recall Zoom 3 3 – Logic Pro X keyboard command of the day

Logic Pro X keyboard command of the day. #LogicProX @StudioIntern1

  Recall Zoom 3    3

I have modified the ‘Recall Zoom’ and ‘Save Zoom’ key commands.

My experiments in zooming will include determining if zoom settings are global for a project or are stored with screensets. It appears that the zoom setting is global, and retained when you quit and restart Logic. 

My knowledge of the zooming workflow is pathetic. Starting to learn Logic on a 27″ monitor gives an entirely different introduction to the user interface. Living with a 1920×1080 screen (or smaller) would give a different meaning to using the zooming features.

Zoom windows – Logic Pro X


You can also zoom in to see regions or events in closer detail, or zoom out to see more of the project. Most Logic Pro windows have zoom sliders.



 Sigh – another example of losing the documentation about how to use Logic Pro. In Logic Pro X there are a full 6 pages of documentation about using windows. In Logic Pro 9 there are 17 pages. There is a lot of knowledge about using the interface packed into those 11 pages that you can’t find anywhere for Logic Pro X!

Logic Pro 9 User Manual: Customizing Your Window Setup

Logic Pro allows you to customize your window setup to fit both your working style and the task at hand. While you will perform most of your work in the Arrange window, you can open different combinations of windows (even several of the same type) and adjust each individually. It is also easy to save different window arrangements called screensets, (discussed in Using Screensets), and recall them by pressing a key. All open windows in a project are constantly updated, following the position of the playhead. Alterations made in one window are immediately reflected in all other open windows. For example, if the pitch of a note event is changed in the Score Editor, this change is instantly shown in an open Piano Roll Editor window. This chapter outlines how you can customize and save your overall window setup. The display options of individual windows and editors are covered in their respective chapters.



⇧ SHIFT  –  ⌃ CONTROL  –  ⌥ OPTION  –  ⌘ 

Command    Key Touch Bar
- Various Windows
Recall Zoom 1 ⌃⌥⌘1
Recall Zoom 2 ⌃⌥⌘2
Recall Zoom 3 ⌃⌥⌘3
Command    Key Touch Bar
- Various Windows
Save as Zoom 1 ⌃⌥⇧⌘1
Save as Zoom 2 ⌃⌥⇧⌘2
Save as Zoom 3 ⌃⌥⇧⌘3


Toggle Auto Set Locators – Logic Pro X keyboard command of the day

Logic Pro X keyboard command of the day. #LogicProX @StudioIntern1

  Toggle Auto Set Locators

That’s a very nifty, hidden set of commands there. I went hunting in the ‘Key Commands’ and could only find ‘Toggle Auto Set Locators’. There appear to be no sub-commands for the options of

by Marquee selection
by Region selection
by Note selection

but there is a hint that the ‘Auto Set Locators’ command can be found in the global menu. Where? Good question.

At the bottom of the Navigate menu I find ‘Auto Set Locators’ and the variations.

Using the Marquee selection to automatically set the cycle area would improve my workflow nicely…I can see the cycle range on the ruler far easier than seeing the Marquee ruler, and if Cycle is on it is very clear where the Marquee selection is.

The ‘Auto Set Locators’ menu items can be discovered by holding down the mouse on the ‘Cycle’ button in the Control Bar.

See the documentation here – Use the cycle area – Logic Pro X


Stop or Play From Last Position ⌅ – Logic Pro X keyboard command of the day

Logic Pro X keyboard command of the day. #LogicProX @StudioIntern1

  Stop or Play From Last Position    ⌅

The ‘ENTER’ key. When you click in the ruler (time or musical) the position is remembered. This command will start playing from the last position, or stop play.

If you typically use the SPACE key to start and stop play (pause if you will) the position is NOT remembered, so you can pause playback and continue using the space bar, returning to the position by using the ENTER key.


Use transport key commands – Logic Pro X

Some transport functions are available as key commands. Most of these transport key commands have no default assignment, and need to be assigned manually. See Assign keyboard shortcuts.




Open Marker Text – Logic Pro X keyboard command of the day

Logic Pro X keyboard command of the day. #LogicProX @StudioIntern1

  Open Marker Text

This opens the text window at the bottom of the Marker list. It would be even more fun if it would open the window AND let you start entering text. That is not to be.

For workflow – during an initial listen to a mix it can be very helpful to set markers at points of interest. Distraction of the visual interface is not a good thing.

Create a marker – ⌥’
Now rename the marker – ⇧’
and start typing the note. A carriage return closes off the text. Don’t worry about the display!

For purposes of cross-DAW work you can create a MIDI file that contains *LOTS* of useful information.

Create an external MIDI track (or have one in your template) and insert any *real* MIDI event.

If you now export all MIDI tracks to a MIDI file the MIDI file will contain tempo, key signature, and all of the markers.

Markers overview – Logic Pro X


Markers can help you organize your project, and also act as storage areas for locator positions.





Fade Zones no more

I have had “Fade Zones” and “Marquee Zones” turned on for some time. I keep forgetting to make the “right tool” be something other than the Marquee tool – that’s a simple cursor position in the bottom half of the region.

I don’t fade regions often, so taking the entire top half of a region for a particular tool seems like a waste.

The Fade tool can be invoked by simply holding down control and shift (⌃⇧) and dragging the pointer tool across  the start/end of a region – or across a region split, the typical place I would need the tool frequently.

Recall Screenset 1 1 – Logic Pro X keyboard command of the day

Logic Pro X keyboard command of the day. #LogicProX @StudioIntern1

  Recall Screenset 1    1

That is so weird. I opened Safari and clicked on my “pinned” tab that is the Logic Pro X help documentation. The page that is showing is “Create, recall, and switch screensets” – exactly what I wanted.

Normally I don’t spend a lot of time on each iteration of a command that has ten to thirty variations simply by number, but screensets are worth repeating – all 99 times if necessary.

I have 4 screensets that are in my templates – 1, 2, 3, and 9. Nine is where I have the project notepad open and *should* be making sure I document things.

My workflow should be to get a screen arranged (zoom, auxiliary windows, etc.) and duplicate it, name it, and lock it. That way I might get into the practice of not having to re-discover how to size things properly for my environment. This is also probably very important advice for working on laptop screens.

Someday I will learn what “and other settings” (see quote) includes. It used to be “and so on.” Odd form of documentation.

This layout of various windows, including their display size, zoom levels, position, and other settings, is called a screenset.



Duplicate Screenset… 
Rename Screenset…
Delete Screenset
Lock/Unlock Current Screenset
Revert to Saved Screenset
Next Screenset
Previous Screenset
Recall Screenset 1 1
Recall Screenset 2 2
Recall Screenset 3 3
Recall Screenset 4 4
Recall Screenset 5 5
Recall Screenset 6 6
Recall Screenset 7 7
Recall Screenset 8 8
Recall Screenset 9 9
Recall Screenset 1x ⌃1
Recall Screenset 2x ⌃2
Recall Screenset 3x ⌃3
Recall Screenset 4x ⌃4
Recall Screenset 5x ⌃5
Recall Screenset 6x ⌃6
Recall Screenset 7x ⌃7
Recall Screenset 8x ⌃8
Recall Screenset 9x ⌃9

Export Tracks as Audio Files… ⌘E – Logic Pro X keyboard command of the day

Logic Pro X keyboard command of the day. #LogicProX @StudioIntern1

  Export Tracks as Audio Files…  ⌘E

This is how we might try to produce stems. The real questions arise when considering AUX tracks for sends. Do the tracks get exported? Yes, the AUX tracks get exported.

If the project is complete I think it is prudent to create a new alternative and Bounce and Replace All Tracks which will leave the “printed” audio on every track with all of the plugins and effects removed. Note that if you are using a Summing Stack (it’s a track in the Arrange area) you will get a print of that AUX along with a print of all of the tracks contained in the stack. Ideal for stemming and preserving.

Export tracks as audio files – Logic Pro X

You can export one or more selected tracks as audio files, or export all tracks (all audio, software instrument, and Drummer tracks) in a project as audio files—one file per track. When you export tracks as audio files, you can specify the naming of the audio files using filename elements.




Move Locators Backwards by Cycle Length ⇧⌘,

Logic Pro X keyboard command of the day. #LogicProX @StudioIntern1

  Move Locators Backwards by Cycle Length    ⇧⌘,

Touch bar 7. This is a very handy thing to know. I fumble about with locators, cycle, and other methods of gaining focus on part of the sound. The backward and forward keys are the same (comma, period) as all of the other motion areas.

For me the focus will be on using the marquee tool in conjunction with cycle.

Use the marquee tool to select an area. I have the marquee tool become active in the lower half of a region. Press ⌘U to set locators by marquee and enable cycle. Press ‘space’ to start looping

Assign tools – Logic Pro X:

Marquee Tool Click Zones: When selected, placing the pointer over the lower half of a region (with the exception of the lower-left and lower-right edges) activates the Marquee pointer and behavior.


2019-06-27 – discovered error in narrative. Use the proper key command for ‘set locators and enable cycle’ – ⌘U