Orchestrating with Track Alternatives in Logic Pro X

Track Alternatives in Logic Pro X 10.3 can save you time when creating different arrangements and orchestrations. Here's how it works.  

The game has changed folks! We now have “Track Alternatives”! I find them perfect for orchestration tasks. Just right click on the track header in Logic’s arrange window to add them. My past modus operandi was “Project Alternatives”. I’d save a session with MIDI untouched/unedited then import my “Orchestration Template” and save as a New Project Alternative to work from. The Original MIDI was now safe and could be referenced if needed. I now use “Track Alternatives” for this and I find them more versatile with referencing original MIDI parts and copying from those original MIDI takes if needed. 

Create a duplicate

Here is a little excerpt from a cue. The first thing I do is create a “duplicate” in the tracks playlist. You can name them if you like for even more clarity. “OG” (original) for the unquantized strings region played with Mod wheel dynamics. “Orch1” for the duplicate region I’ll be orchestrating from.

Ready for XML 

We now have our MIDI clean and separated to individual staffs with dynamics and articulations in place. It’s all ready for music XML export and yet we still have the original untouched MIDI we can go back to anytime.

Let's compare the two versions

It’s so easy to flip back to the original MIDI or have them both open in the Score Editor for quick comparison or to copy/paste from. Just click on the disclosure diamond in the track header to locate “Show Inactive”. 

I hope you find the Track Alternative feature as useful as I have. Happy Orchestrating!

Learn more about the new features in Logic Pro X 10.3 in the Ask Audio Academy here.

Composer/Orchestrator Jason Turbin is known for his work on NY times critics choice Dementia, Proxy, Dream Theater’s The Astonishing, Life of Crime, Oculus, Linsanity, Before I Wake and Ouija: Origin of Evil just to name a few. As a multi-instrumentalist Jason has also played on recordings and stage for Juliette Lewis, The Emmy winnin... Read More


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