An Introduction To Track Stacks In Logic Pro X

New to Logic Pro X? You probably have some questions about one of the big new features: Track Stacks. Mo Volans explains the two types, shows how to use them both in the mix and when composing.  

Logic Pro X is well and truly here. All in all, reactions have been positive, the new interface is slick and the drummer feature is really impressive. All the flash, new features and toys aside, one of the standout improvements has to be Track Stacks. Simply put, this is probably the best workflow enhancement in the whole package.

In this tutorial-article, I'll run through how to set up a track stack and some of the different ways you can use them to enhance your mix and generally tidy up your projects. By the time you've mastered this simple feature, you might wonder how you lived without it.


What is a track stack?

We've always been able to send multiple audio streams to a bus in Logic. Up until now, this process has involved creating an auxiliary channel (or bus) and choosing this output in the tracks we want to route to it. Simple, effective but not particularly elegant. 

When you consider that Ableton and Reason both have dedicated devices capable of combining several instruments with just a few clicks, it's only fair that us Logic users get something similar. 

Track stacks can essentially do the job of both the group bus and Combinator style instruments we have seen in other DAWs. The implementation is very slick and due to a couple of different modes, the whole thing is very flexible indeed.

Essentially, you can use stacks to either group several mix tracks, merge audio streams and even trigger and control numerous software instruments at once. Let's take a look at the two modes and the differences between them. 


Folder vs. Summing Stacks

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Mo has been a professional in the music industry for around 15 years. He has released material with the world's leading record labels and also produces music for TV and Film. Mo is also a prolific writer and is a regular contributor to magazines such as Music Tech, Future Music and EQ magazine. There isn't a piece of music software tha... Read More

Discussion

Dave DeLizza
Mo, great tutorial. I've been playing with these for weeks and I was thinking that I got it, but this certainly helped.

I've been doing a Steven Slate drums 4 multi output that I have to import from every other project I use it in. Now, would i be able to set up all of the outputs and the actual instrument strip as a patch? Am I correct in assuming that?
Colin
Mo,

In your point 3 above, you asked for ".. an arrow or control to collapse and expand the new stack on the mixer."

You can already achieve this as follows:
In the local Mixer menus, go to View, and enable Follow Track Stacks.

When you open and close a Stack in the Main window, it will also open or close in the mixer.

Not exactly what you wanted, but a start.....

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