General Preferences in Logic Express

General preferences consist of the following tabs:  Project Handling, Editing, Cycle, Catch, and Caps Lock Keys.

Figure. General preferences.
To open General preferences
Do one of the following:
  • Choose Logic Express > Preferences > General (or use the Open General Preferences key command).

  • Click the Preferences button in the Arrange toolbar, then choose General from the pop-up menu.

General Project Handling Preferences

Project Handling preferences determine how Logic Express handles projects.

Figure. General Project Handling preferences.
  • Default Template field: You can determine the default template by clicking the Choose button below the Default Template field. The full path and name of the chosen template or project is displayed in the Default Template field. You can assign any template or project as the default template.
  • “When opening a project, ask to ‘Close current project(s)?’” checkbox: Whenever you load a new project before closing the old one, a dialog appears, asking whether or not the current project should be closed. If this option is left unselected, you are not asked the question, and the current project remains open.
  • “‘Export MIDI File’ saves single MIDI Regions as Format 0” checkbox: If only one MIDI region is selected when you use the File > Export > Selection as MIDI File command, the contents of the region are saved in MIDI file format 0. This file format is guaranteed to be compatible with every MIDI file player.

General Editing Preferences

The Editing pane contains the following preferences:

Figure. General Editing preferences.
  • Pointer Tool in Arrange Provides:  Fade Tool Click Zones checkbox: When this checkbox is selected, placing the mouse pointer over the upper-left and upper-right edges of a region activates the Fade cursor and behavior. The Loop cursor and behavior can still be accessed in these click zones by holding down the Option key.
  • Pointer Tool in Arrange Provides:  Marquee Tool Click Zones checkbox: When this checkbox is selected, placing the mouse pointer over the lower half of a region (with the exception of the lower-left and lower-right edges) activates the Marquee cursor and behavior.
  • Limit Dragging to One Direction In:  Piano Roll and Score checkbox: When this checkbox is selected, you can only move notes in one direction (horizontally or vertically), per operation, when editing in the Piano Roll or Score Editor. This means that a note may be either transposed, or moved in time, but not both at once. This prevents accidental alterations of one or the other parameter.
  • Limit Dragging to One Direction In:  Arrange checkbox: This option restricts the direction you can move regions (including folders) in the Arrange area, in a similar way to the option above.
  • Number of Undo Steps field: Determines the number of undo steps.
  • Add ‘Last Edit Function’ to Region Name checkbox: After performing any edit operation (cutting, for example), the description of the edit operation is added to the name of the region (or resulting regions).
  • “’Living Groove’ connection” checkbox: Select this checkbox to make sure that editing an original region also alters any quantization template derived from that region. Leave the checkbox unselected to make sure that the groove template remains as created. This allows you to edit the region without affecting the quantization template.
  • “SmartLoop handling of Scissors and ‘Split by Playhead’” checkbox: This option determines how Logic Express handles the cutting of looped regions.
    • If you select this option, you can cut the looped area of regions (using the Scissors or Marquee tool, or Split by Playhead command). Logic Express automatically creates regions after—and, if necessary, before—the cut, ensuring that these areas remain identical. This allows you to split looped regions without altering playback in the looped area.

    • If the “SmartLoop handling of Scissor and Split by playhead” option is not selected, you cannot cut looped areas. Cutting the looped region itself deactivates the Loop parameter in the Region Parameter box.

  • “Select Regions on Track selection” checkbox: When this checkbox is selected, selecting a track automatically selects all regions on the track lane (or regions within the cycle or autopunch area if Cycle or Autopunch is enabled). Turn off the preference if you don’t want regions to be automatically selected when the track header is chosen. When the preference is disabled:
    • Option-clicking the track header or associated channel strip continues to select the track and all associated regions.

    • Option-Shift-clicking adds the selected track’s regions to the current selection.

General Cycle Preferences

The Cycle pane contains the following preferences:

Figure. General Cycle preferences.
  • Cycle Pre-Processing pop-up menu: In order to ensure a smooth cycle jump (from the end point of a cycle back to the start point of a cycle), the cycle jump is processed slightly before its actual position. This preference allows you to change the pre-processing time. A value of 1/96 is chosen by default, which should be suitable for most uses.
  • Smooth Cycle Algorithm checkbox: This option improves the timing of cycle jumps, making it easier to set the length of sample loops while in Cycle mode—although this is somewhat mitigated through the use of Apple Loops. If your computer has a very slow processor, this setting reduces the processing requirements for graphics operations. In general, you want to keep this on whenever possible, especially if you’re working in a style that involves frequent cycling of musical sections. If you find that your cycled sections are not as smooth as you’d like (assuming that your loops are actually perfect), you might achieve better results by deselecting this parameter.

General Catch Preferences

The Catch pane contains the following preferences:

Figure. General Catch preferences.
  • “Catch when Logic starts” checkbox: Every time you start playback (including paused playback), the Catch function is turned on automatically, in all windows.
  • “Catch when moving playhead” checkbox: Selecting this option ensures that whenever you move the playhead, the Catch function is turned on automatically. This makes it easier to perform edits, as moving the playhead in the Arrange area is reflected in the open editor window, and vice versa.
  • “Catch content by position if Catch and Link are enabled” checkbox: If the Catch and Link buttons are active (Content Catch mode), the contents of the region at the current playhead position are shown. If this option is turned off, the window view still follows the playhead position within the displayed region, but does not update to show the contents of subsequent regions as the playhead passes them (in playback or record mode).

General Caps Lock Keys Preferences

The Caps Lock Keys pane contains the following preferences:

Figure. General Caps Lock Keys preferences.
  • Enable Caps Lock Keys checkbox: Allows you to completely enable or disable the Caps Lock Keyboard functionality.
  • “Space bar acts as sustain pedal” checkbox: If you want to use the Space bar key command to start, stop, or continue Logic Express playback, rather than as the Sustain function for the Caps Lock Keyboard (when active), you can deselect the “Space bar acts as sustain pedal” option.