Logic X's Smart Controls provide a tremendous customizable interface that mean you no longer need to have multiple plug-ins open to control them. But they do a whole lot more as Joe Albano explains.  
Fig 1 A few Smart Controls panels

Smart Controls basics  

Mapping screen controls 

Fig 2 Mapping Smart Controls
Fig 3 Mapping Smart Controls graphically

External control 

Fig 4 Assigning external MIDI controls

Automate & Arpeggiate

Get Smart 

Joe is a musician, engineer, and producer in NYC. Over the years, as a small studio operator and freelance engineer, he's made recordings of all types from music & album production to v/o & post. He's also taught all aspects of recording and music technology at several NY audio schools, and has been writing articles for Recording magaz... Read More


Hey Joe, great article. I have a question about mapping smart controls to external hardware. It seems like the mapping so are NOT maintained between different smart controls. In other words if I have, say, my first hardware knob assigned to the first virtual smart-control knob controlling a filter cutoff frequency, and in another patch that virtual knob controls an FX send, then my hardware knob no longer corresponds to that virtual knob. Is this the way it was designed to operate? Especially with the new "automatic" assignment of some controllers, wouldn't it make more sense that knobs/faders and buttons just stayed with their respective virtual counterparts regardless of what the smart-controls are actually controlling! 😳
Joe A
Hi airforceguitar -

Thanks. External assignments should follow the Smart knob, regardless of what that knob is controlling in different instruments. I verified with a quick test.. I assigned an external fader to the first Smart knob in an EXS patch (which happened to be controlling Env 2 Attack). Other instruments retained this assignment (even though in the Smart Inspector the external assignment tab said "no assignment"). So I created a new Smart panel (in an instance of Sculpture), with the first Smart knob instead assigned to Output Level. The external fader still affected this control, following the knob, as expected, and not the actual function. However, occasionally, I'd open a patch where that first knob didn't respond at all (for some reason?), so it does seem to be at least occasionally inconsistent. Plus, apparently some users have reported having issues using this function within Track Stacks -- I don't know if that's still a possible issue..


Want to join the discussion?

Create an account or login to get started!