The first cut... Logic's Scissor tool in depth

If you haven't already, and you want to improve your editing workflow in Logic I'd recommend reading a recent blog post: 5 Amazing ways to use Logic's Marquee tool. OK. You're back... So, having rea  

If you haven't already, and you want to improve your editing workflow in Logic I'd recommend reading a recent blog post: 5 Amazing ways to use Logic's Marquee tool. OK. You're back... So, having read about the incredibly flexible Marquee tool you surely must be thinking that the humble Scissors tool will become a rusty and unwanted item in your Logic toolbox.

Well, let's briefly compare these two tools: The Marquee tool can select parts of regions.... multiple regions even, split regions, copy, delete sections from a region, perform cool automation node creation tricks and even specify a playback area or selection in your project.

The Scissor tool can split regions... hmmm. At fist glance then, new and experienced Logic users will reach for the Marquee tool over it's Scissor 'sister' tool for almost all splitting functions... However, Logic is a deep application and the Scissor tool has a couple of trump cards up it's sleeve that make it useful yet!

Tip 1 - Quick Select

Let's fist get used to selecting the Scissor tool quickly. You may prefer to set it as your Command click tool, but if you still prefer to keep that reserved for the Marquee tool, then Hit Escape on your keyboard and then hit 5. The Scissor tool will now be selected as the Left click tool.

Tip 2 - Scrubbing Up

If you want to split an audio region in a specific place, which doesn't fall on an obvious grid point and may not be easy to see using the waveform, then this tip is for you. The Scissor tool can scrub through an audio region in the Arrange area. Scrubbing allows you to hear the audio signal from a region as you drag through it. This will help you identify a particular part in the region. Now, the Solo tool can be used to do this... but using the Scissor tool will enable you to find that kick, snare, vocal pop precisely and cut at that point.

Position the scissor tool over the audio region. Drag with the scissor tool to scrub the region. The region will be highlighted with a yellow border to show it is soloed. When you release the left mouse button over a region, the highlighted region will be split at that point.

It's a good idea to zoom in to make a precise cut / scrub more precisely.

Tip 3 - Fine & Multiple Scrubbing

While Scrubbing with the scissor tool hold down the Control key to bypass the snapped to grid value and scrub with greater precision. If you are zoomed in close enough you will be scrubbing at tick level.

Scrubbing also works on multiple audio regions. Select the audio regions (preferably above/below each other in the Arrange area). With the scissor tool drag over one of the regions and you'll hear the scrubbing audio signal from all selected audio regions.

Tip 4 - Divide and Rule

Aside from simply splitting a region where you click or scrub through audio regions, the scissor tool can perform a unique splitting function.

Let's say you have a 4-bar region which you want to split into four equal 1-bar regions. You can achieve this is by holding down the Option key, positioning the Scissor tool at the end of the first bar of the region. The Scissor tool now displays a plus (+) sign.

When you click, the region is divided into equal segments. Notice also how the Yellow Help tag displayed the current tool name as Multiple Divide and of course allowed you to scrub until you released the mouse button.

This tip gives you quick access to reshuffling a drum loop or performance to add variety to your music production!

The Scissor tool may not have as many uses as the Marquee tool, but certainly provides some different and unique functionality and remains a useful tool in certain editing situations.

Interested in learning more about Logic Pro? These tutorials will help you to become proficient whether you are starting out or looking for advanced tips, tricks and techniques! We'd love to hear your tricks, shortcuts & opinions. 

Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional... Read More


This is easily the best blog out there right now. Well done Rounik! I've thought the scissors tool was far inferior to the marquee tool for a while now. Thanks for showing some of the scissor tool's possibilities!

The keycommands you gave in your previous posts for the automation curve and, especially, the cross-fade tool have pretty much changed my life!!

You mentioned the solo tool in this post. What exactly is the purpose of the solo tool? I've never used it.
Hi Eric. Thanks! Yes... I love the Divide multiple trick with the scissor tool. One of my very faves.

The Solo tool is a quick way to solo regions and scrub through them. So simply clicking on a region will toggle solo mode for that region. dragging over multiple regions will solo them.

Regarding the scrubbing nature of the solo tool, it's quite similar to the way scrub works with the Scissor tool.. except when you released the mouse button the region won't be split!

I don't often use the Solo tool... perhaps only in the final stages of arranging and/or during Mixing...

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