Creating Region Aliases

An alias in Logic Express is like an alias in the Finder. It looks like a region, but contains no actual data. It is just a reference to the data of the original region—a virtual reflection of the original.

Understanding the Parent-Alias Region Relationship

If the data in the original region is altered, all aliases of the region are affected immediately. Aliases are useful in the following situations:

  • If a riff or phrase reoccurs throughout an arrangement, it’s quicker to use aliases, rather than creating copies of the original region.

  • If a part is not quite right, you only need to alter the original, and the correction takes effect automatically throughout the whole arrangement.

If, however, you want to alter a detail at one point in the arrangement (a pitch-shifted verse, for example), you can turn that particular alias into an independent region (a region copy).

Aliases do have a level of independence from their parent region:

  • Aliases have their own set of region parameters.

  • Aliases can be individually named. Alias region names are shown in italics. If you name an alias region, its parent region name is shown below the alias name (provided that the zoom level is adequate).

Figure. Region showing parent name below the alias name.

Any changes made to the parent region name are reflected on all alias regions.

Note: MIDI region aliases cannot be edited. If you double-click an alias, Logic Express assumes that you either want to edit the original, or turn the alias into a real region. You are asked whether you want to create and edit a real copy, or to edit the original.

Creating MIDI Region Aliases

Aliases can be created for MIDI regions and folders. The term region refers only to MIDI regions and folders in this section.

Note: Only cloned audio regions (or independent region copies) can be created for audio regions. (See Creating Region Clones.)

To create an alias
Do one of the following:
  • Option-Shift-drag the region to the position for the alias.

  • Select the track you want to create the alias on, position the playhead, select the region you want to create an alias from, then choose MIDI > Alias > Make (or use the Make Alias key command).

The alias appears on the selected track, beginning at the current playhead position.

If several regions are selected, their relative time and track positions are retained. The selected track is the destination track for the first region along the timeline.

You can also use the Repeat Regions command. (See Creating Multiple Copies of Regions.)

Reassigning MIDI Region Aliases

You can assign a new original region to an existing alias. This is exceptionally handy for arranging tasks where the structure is right, but the part is wrong. You can copy a region to the appropriate position on a new track, create an alias, mute the existing region, and click Play, or use the far simpler method below:

To reassign an alias
  1. Select both the alias and the intended new original region.

  2. Choose MIDI > Alias > Re-Assign (or use the Reassign Alias key command).

Searching for Original or Alias Regions

If you forget where the original is for a certain alias, you can search for it.

To find and select the original region of an alias
  • Select the alias, then choose MIDI > Alias > Select Original (or use the Find Original of Alias key command).

To find any aliases you’ve made from a region
  • Choose MIDI > Alias > Select All Aliases of Region (or use the corresponding key command, default assignment:  Shift-A).

All existing aliases are found, and selected.

Selecting and Deleting Orphan Aliases

If you delete a source region that one or more aliases was derived from, Logic Express asks if you want to convert the aliases to independent MIDI regions, or keep the aliases.

  • Click Cancel to cancel the procedure.

  • Click Convert to change all alias MIDI regions into real copies.

  • Click Keep to delete the parent region, and retain all (orphaned) alias regions. Although such orphan aliases serve no useful purpose, Logic Express doesn’t automatically delete them, as you might decide to reassign them to new originals at a later stage.

If your project file contains several unneeded aliases, you can quickly tidy up by selecting and deleting all orphan aliases.

To select all orphan aliases
  • Choose MIDI > Alias > Select All Orphan Aliases (or use the corresponding key command).

To delete all orphan aliases
  • Choose MIDI > Alias > Delete All Orphan Aliases (or use the corresponding key command).

Converting an Alias into a Real Region

You can use MIDI > Alias > Convert to a Region Copy (or the Convert Alias to a Region Copy key command) to make a real region from an alias; its contents are identical to those of the original region referenced by the alias, but its playback parameters are those of the alias. As a real region, you can freely edit it (or the original parent region, without affecting the new real region).

Note: You can also double-click an alias to open a dialog that asks whether you want to create and edit a real copy, or edit the original.