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How Do You Deal With Track Names?

Discussion in 'Logic Pro X' started by bayswater, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    I've been confused by the way Logic names tracks for some time, and never been able to figure out the Additional Name feature. I thought I had it under control in Logic 9, but things seem to have changed in Logic X, and now the names make less sense, and alternate names are even more bizarre. Edgar's updated book confirms my suspicion that something has changed, and not for the better.

    The only conclusion I can come to is that tracks don't actually exist, other than as a means of routing regions to channel strips, and placing them on a time line. Maybe all we really need is a channel strip name where the track name is, and forget all about tracks as an entity?

    So, my question while waiting for Apple to sort this out: how do you deal with track and channel names to best make sense of a large project with dozens of tracks without a one to one correspondence between tracks and channels?
  3. Atlas

    Atlas Senior member

    A track could be assigned to one or more channelstrips. And the possibility to assign more that one track to the same channelstrip is also possible.
    Sometimes when dealing with complex tracks/channelstrips configuration projects, the use of folders proves to be quite useful.
  4. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    Yes, I think I get the relationship between tracks and channels. The question is how people make use of the track (and channel) naming capabilities to manage a project. It seems Apple has made that more difficult in Logic X by making track names follow channel names, notwithstanding the workaround described by Edgar.
  5. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Yeah, I agree; it's a bit of a mess the way it is now. Doesn't seem to be a way to get track names to appear in the Mixer. It used to be that if you invoked the "All tracks with same channel strip/instrument" menu item in the Mixer's View menu; it would be fine. But it doesn't work any more.
  6. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    Can't say I understand Logic's architecture that well, but it sure looks like the the underlying design is that it is sending regions to the mixer, not tracks, and that tracks are more or less irrelevant to the signal flow. To answer my own question it looks like the best thing to do is forget about tracks, and think about regions and channels.
  7. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    The notion of Tracks being separate from Channel Strips is important, IMHO, in that you can have several tracks assigned to the same Channel Strip. So, they are necessary when you want to have independent lanes in the Main Window addressing the same Channel Strip.

    It's the naming problems that are an issue. There doesn't seem to be a way to get track names to show up in the Mixer, even when multiple tracks assigned to the same Channel Strip are being displayed there.
  8. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    Yes, Eli, I see that. This discussion has helped me understand a few things about how Logic works. The key elements appear to be Regions and Channel Strips. I find it better to think of Tracks as display and arrangement elements, a means of grouping Regions with common destinations and settings, rather than as objects like the others.

    The "aha" is that Tracks don't appear in the Environment.

    Even so, naming tracks remains a problem when trying to manage more complicated projects. But it appears that Regions can be freely named and that those names can serve a similar purpose in complicated projects.
  9. EdgarRothermich

    EdgarRothermich Senior member

    In all that discussion, you have to keep the architecture of Logic in mind. This provides you a much better understanding of the various elements in Logic.

    Logic is an object-based application

    In a real studio, you have two major pieces:
    The tape machine (store data) and the mixer (play data)

    Logic simulates that concept:

    Virtual Tape Machine:
    MIDI Events are "objects"
    MIDI Regions are "objects' that store MIDI Events
    Tracks are "objects" that store the MIDI Regions (and Audio Regions)
    The Tracks Window is an"object" that stores all the Tracks

    Virtual Mixer:
    • In the Environment, you create "Environment Objects"
    • To create your virtual mixer, you assign a component (Audio Channel Strip, Instrument Channel Strip, etc) to an Environment Object.
    • A Channel Strip Object in the Mixer is just pretty user interface of an Environment Object

    Like in a real studio you have to connect the tape machine (data) to the mixer to play back and mix your music (data):
    • A Track Object "lives" in the Tracks Window
    • A Channel Strip Object lives in the Environment (and displayed in the Mixer)
    • To play the data on the Track, you have to assign a Track to a Channel Strip, and that is where you make the connection between this two objects.

    Once you understand that a Track is a total different object than a Channel Strip, then you understand that need for separate names: Track Names, Channel Strip Names. Of course, you might choose the same name if a Track contains the Regions for the vocals, which is assigned to a Channel Strip that you also name vocals. That might be the thought behind the new convention that Logic uses the Channel Strip Name as the Track Name. However this is a simplification that would be ok in GarageBand, but not in Logic (in my opinion)

    You can find all those explanations with lots of graphics and diagrams in my "Graphically Enhanced Manuals (GEM)"
    • "Logic Pro X - How it Works"
    • "Logic Pro X - The Details"

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