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Logic Pro: The Step Sequencer

Apple Logic Pro X Tips & Techniques By Stephen Bennett
Published December 2020

Screen 1: The Step Sequencer in action. The Inspector panel to the lower left lets you access key parameters such as step rate and pattern length.Screen 1: The Step Sequencer in action. The Inspector panel to the lower left lets you access key parameters such as step rate and pattern length.

Finally, Logic Pro X catches up with, and in many ways improves upon, the step sequencers in other DAWs.

For years, users of Logic Pro X have looked enviously at how much better rival DAW programs handle step‑time MIDI data input. Logic Pro X’s Hyper Editor (now called, confusingly, the Step Editor) could be beaten into shape to work as a step sequencer, but compared to how Logic Pro X’s competitors approached this type of music creation, it was clunky and non‑intuitive. While the Step Editor remains, Logic Pro X 10.5’s Step Sequencer finally beats the beats into shape.

The Basics

To get started, create a new Software Instrument Track from the main Track menu. Load Drum Machine Designer on it and select a kit from the Library. Right click on the Region area on the Main page and select Create Pattern Region. This drops in a 4‑bar Step Pattern Region, with 16 steps per bar, onto the Main page and opens up the Step Sequencer at the bottom of the screen. You’ll see there’s a group of grey boxes; this is where you’ll enter your MIDI events. The Step Sequencer window has many of the usual features you’ll find in Logic Pro X’s windows, namely Mute and Solo buttons, a Zoom slider and a ‘fill the screen fully vertically’ icon next to it. Any virtual instrument installed in Logic Pro X can be used with the Step Sequencer.

Even though the Step Sequencer is ideal for non‑real‑time input, you will also probably want to add steps ‘on the fly’. Clicking on a grey box adds a note if the Step On/Off parameter is...

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Published December 2020

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