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Logic Pro: Track Alternatives

Apple Logic Pro Tips & Techniques By David Ricard
Published August 2022

Screen 1: Enabling Track Alternatives.Screen 1: Enabling Track Alternatives.

We explore Logic’s powerful new Track Alternatives.

Sure, we all love Logic Pro and take any opportunity to extol its virtues. But still, there’s always a feature or two that the competition has that’s been atop your wishlist for so long that you’ve given up hope and resigned yourself to perpetual envy.

For me, that competition was Pro Tools, and that feature was the confusingly named Playlist function. Not to be outdone and leave their users with a continuous wandering eye, Apple recently came up with an equally (if not more) powerful Logic feature called Track Alternatives.

Simply put, Track Alternatives (TAs) allow you to have multiple tracks within each track. While there is a bit of overlap between this function and that of Take Folders in practical applications, their distinctions pile up quickly — and TAs open up a range of compelling possibilities.

How Track Alternatives Work

If you don’t already know about TAs, I can’t really blame you; they’re easy to miss. That’s because they only become apparent once you make them visible. Right‑click on any track in the Main Window, scroll to Track Header Components, and then scroll to the last item: Track Alternatives. Now each track should display a pull‑down menu next to the track name (see Screen 1).

Until you are ready to take advantage of TAs, the track behaves entirely normally. Even if you don’t anticipate an immediate need to use Track Alternatives, it’s still a good idea to display them on your tracks and save them in your template.

After recording on a track, pull down the TA menu and choose New. You’ll notice that the contents of your track have vanished, and the letter B now appears next to the track name. That’s because you are currently viewing Track Alternative B. Your content from the first take is still alive, safe, and unchanged in Track Alternative A.

Now you are free to record into Track Alternative B. Continue adding TAs as needed and when you are finished, you can switch between them with the drop‑down menu (Screen 2) or with the key command Activate Next/Previous Track Alternative.

Screen 2: You can switch between Track Alternatives using the track’s drop‑down menu.Screen 2: You can switch between Track Alternatives using the track’s drop‑down menu.


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