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  2. Mixing & Mastering

How to Use Selective Track Import in Logic Pro 9


Logic Pro 9 introduced Selective Track Import, a feature that gives you the ability to import entire tracks from your other projects — or just the audio, or just the settings on the track. It may not be the most exciting feature introduction next to the pedal board or new amp designer but it’s sure proven to be more useful. Let’s take a look.

Basic Importing

Let’s take a look at the basics of importing your tracks from one project to another.

Open the Media Inspector and go to the “Browser” tab.

Navigate to your project folder. Double click on the project file — it should be the only file in the project folder apart from the subfolders (unless you’ve saved a Reason file or something else in there). If you’ve got a few files in there, it’s the one with an icon like the selected file in this image:

This is what the media inspector will look like once you open a project file:

Select the tracks you want to import, and then choose which data you want to import. There are five columns with checkboxes:

  • Content (this means the audio itself)
  • Plug-ins (all inserts and their settings)
  • Sends (all sends and their corresponding aux channels with replicated inserts and settings)
  • I/O (the track’s input and output routing)
  • Automation (all automation data you’ve saved on the track)

Logic will only import the data you’ve checked off. If you just want the audio, ensure that Content is the only checked box.

If you’ve selected a group of tracks, ticking a box in one column will check the same box for all selected tracks. If you want all boxes across all columns checked, make your selection and then Alt+click one box. This will happen:

You’ll rarely want everything but it is handy to be able to bring in a whole swab of tracks including all their data.

Now, press the “Add” button in the lower right corner of the Media Inspector. Your tracks will appear in the Arrange and Mixer views!

We could end this tutorial here if we just wanted the most basic uses of Selective Track Import, but there’s a couple of more advanced issues to cover.

Importing Mixer Settings

Maybe you don’t want any audio, but you know you’ve got the perfect vocal channel settings for this song in one of your other projects. Selective Track Import doesn’t simply allow you to import tracks. It allows you to import settings and content onto existing tracks.

In this case, I’m going to import plug-ins and sends from the “Tape Echo Guitar” in one of my other projects and replace the “Beefy Rock Guitar” settings.

Select the track you want to import mixer settings onto. Make sure it’s got that light gray highlight in the Arrange and Mixer views so it’s definitely the selected track. You don’t want to replace other settings you’ve slaved away to perfect!

Open the Media Inspector again and click on the “Browser” tab. Navigate to the source project and double-click on the project file. In my case, I’ve gone to the same project.

This time, however, I’m only selecting one of the tracks. Tick “Plug-ins” and “Sends” only. Ensure everything else is left unchecked. I don’t have any sends on this track, so Logic will gray-out the checkbox and make it unclickable.

Click the “Replace” button at the bottom of the Browser:

The audio and automation will all stay intact, but the Inserts will change, and they’ll have identical settings to our other project’s inserts. Here’s a before and after:

If you do have sends to import, bear in mind that Logic will create the necessary aux channels and replicate the inserts and their settings. You may need to mix their levels in appropriately with the track.

Snapping Imported Audio in Time

What do you do if the audio you’ve imported is out of time with the track? There’s a good chance that it will be! Flex mode comes to the rescue again.

Select the tracks that need to be quantized in the Mixer so that you can create a group. To create a group, click and hold on the empty box just below the I/O settings on the channel strip (if you can’t find it, check the screenshot below with the yellow “1” in each of the boxes — that’s where you want to click). Select an unused group number — in this case number 1.

Enable Flex View by clicking on the button in the toolbar at the top of the Arrange window (it’s between Automation and Set Locators by default). Your tracks will probably get bigger and you’ll see a new menu in the track headers that says by default “Off”.

Click and hold where it says Off until a menu comes up, and select Slicing. Logic will process for a moment, and apply this setting to all tracks within the group. They’ll look a bit different afterwards:

If you play the project back, everything should sit nicely with the new tempo!

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