Quick Tip: Using a Trackpad to control Logic 9

The Touch Revolution is upon us. Whether or not you have used an iPhone or iPad to control Logic 9.1.3 or not, most Mac users now have touch control at their finger tips (sic). If you are using a Macb  

The Touch Revolution is upon us. Whether or not you have used an iPhone or iPad to control Logic 9.1.3 or not, most Mac users now have touch control at their finger tips (sic). If you are using a Macbook with a Trackpad or the Magic Trackpad (available separately) you can use some of the advanced multi-touch gestures to navigate and control aspects of Logic 9. Here's how.

Note: You might need to visit your System Preferences > Trackpad and enable some of the advanced gestures to be able to follow along with these tips.

01 - Moving around the Arrange area

Make sure Two Finger Scroll feature is enabled and swipe left, right, up or down (even in 360 degrees) with two fingers to scroll around your Arrangement/Editor window. This can be a very quick way to move around.


Holding down Command inverts the axis when using two finger swipe. In essence this means Command-swiping on the horizontal axis will scroll on the vertical axis and vice-versa.

The Three Finger Swipe (left/right) performs a unique navigation function. It snap-scrolls the Arrangement (on the horizontal axis only) to the show the area of the Arrangement which is currently outside of your view. Let me give an example: If your Arrangement currently displays Bars 1 - 12. Perform a three finger swipe to the right and the Arrangement will have scrolled to display Bar 13 - 25. Very useful feature!

02 - Zooming with two fingers

Pinch to Zoom works quite well in Logic's Arrange area, Sample Editor and MIDI Editors. However, this method only zooms in and out on the horizontal axis.


A little known tip is that using Two Finger Swiping action in conjunction with the Option key held down will allow you to zoom in and out vertically and horizontally depending on the direction of your swipe.

Here's a final one I've not seen documented anywhere else. Hold down Control+Option and Two Finger Swipe on the vertical axis to Zoom in/out on the horizontal and vertical axis simultaneously. This is one of my favorites.

03 - Mixing it up

The Rotate gesture is one that I find less intuitive personally, However, if you enjoy using Two Finger Rotate, then you may notice that in Logic, rotating anywhere will adjust the fader level for the currently selected channel strip/track.

It would be great if using the modifier keys would enable you to adjust balance/pan this way as well, but as of the time of writing that's not possible.

04 - Not Strictly Touch...

OK. So this tip works for regular Mouse users too, but because I use Secondary Tap (two finger tap to emulate the right-click on a mouse) a lot I'd like to include this feature.

A Two Fingers tap will display a "Right-click/Control-click" menu in most areas of Logic. That's standard. But instead of reaching for the Escape Key to display the Floating Toolbox, try: Control-Two Finger tap and the Floating toolbox appears wherever your cursor is. Might take a bit of time to get used to, but it's another time-saver in my opinion.

05 - Navigating in Logic's Browser

This is a neat touch implemented by the Logic Developers. If you, like me, enjoy using Logic's Browser in the Media area, you'll find this one great. Three Finger Swipe Left/right or Up/Down performs Back and Forward respectively (just like in Safari or the Finder).


This is a great way to quickly explore folder contents in List Mode.

Do you have any secret Touch Gesture tips that work with Logic 9? Share them in the Comments below!

Want to learn more? Check these Logic Pro tutorials out then!

Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & the macProVideo Hub. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic (and a self-confessed Mac fanatic) he's taught teachers, professional musicians and hobbyists how to get the best out of Apple's creative software. He has been a visiting lecturer at Bath Spa University's Teacher training pro... Read More

Discussion

Ed
Hey Rounik,
These are some great tips! I really wish that three finger swipe worked in the library. It drives me nuts that I can't go up a level.
Anyway, thanks for sharing. I can see these gestures coming in very handy.
Rounik
Hi Ed, I agree... I can only imagine that more gestures will be making their way into Logic in the future...

Wouldn't it be great if we could customise a gesture and assign it to a function in Logic... A Gesture commands window... Would love that!

:)
DP
I've been using a little, I guess pref pane, called jitouch (jitouch.com). It seems pretty cool - gives you a choice of available gestures, which you can assign to various key commands, etc. I believe it's free.
Rounik Sethi
I haven't checked out jitouch - though I have heard of it. Thanks for the recommendation.

:)
SBurks
I am trying to use the magic pad for comp swiping. I guess I am missing something. Can this be done in Logic?

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