August 4, 2005

Track Count Limits in Logic Express  [ Edit ] 

Working on a project, I ran into an issue with the track count limit in Logic Express. Fortunately, it was easy enough to resolve.

To make a long story short, you may have Logic configured to playback fewer tracks than it can. The upper limit for audio tracks is 255, meaning you can have 255 tracks of recorded sound playing back all at once (theoretically — your computer might not be able to handle that many in practice). Regardless, Logic needs to be configured to use at least as many tracks as you want to play at any one time.

In my case, Logic was set to use only 12 tracks. I needed around 18 for the project I was working on. I started it using the 24 Track Production template that comes with Logic Express 7, and it shows 24 tracks in the Arrange window. That was good, but after I inserted all the recorded audio, Logic wasn’t playing all of it — it only played the first twelve.

The solution, of course, is to change the Max. Number of Tracks in Logic’s preferences. You find that in Preferences > Audio > Drivers. After changing that setting, you must either relaunch Logic, or change one of the other settings that prompts you to relaunch CoreAudio, like the I/O Buffer Size. Change the buffer size to something new, click OK, change it back to what you had before, and click Try (Re)launch.

At this point, you should be able to playback everything. It worked for me. If you want to record or use more than 24 tracks, there may be a little more work for you.

Logic’s default environment contains 24 objects for Audio Tracks. If you want to use more, not only do you need to change the track count setting, you also need to create new objects in the Environment. This is not as scary as it might sound.

Open the Environment, from the Window menu, and switch to the Audio layer. In the window’s local menu, choose Audio Object. You’ll see a little icon labeled “(Audio Object)”. Double-click it to make it big like the other audio objects. Then, in its parameter pane in the sidebar, set its Channel to one of your as yet unused audio tracks in the Track menu. The ones currently in use appear in bold.

Here’s my general understanding of Logic’s track count.

  • If you have an audio interface that supports it, Logic can record simultaneously on 12 tracks, and send audio out on 12 tracks.
  • You can have up to 255 tracks of recorded audio (the kind that comes in from microphones or guitar jacks). You can only record twelve at a time, but you can play back as many as 255. Logic offers 24 of these by default, but you can always add more.
  • You can have up to 64 tracks of virtual instruments, like samplers, Logic’s synths, Audio Unit plugins, and that sort of thing. Logic’s default environment appears to contain 16 of these, but you can add more.
  • You can have unlimited MIDI tracks — the ones that control Quicktime’s MIDI, or external MIDI instruments. I can’t remember what Logic does by default for these — as of version 7, I think 16 tracks connected to Quicktime might be offered, but I’m not sure.
Posted by Joe

Does anyone know how I can take the maximum number of MIDI tracks from 16 to a great deal more! I can't really continue my composition otherwise. I've been into MIDI settings but there was no way to change the number of MIDI channels.

Posted by: Ellie at April 6, 2006 9:24 AM

If you want more MIDI tracks (as opposed to virtual instrument tracks), you need to setup more of them in the environment.

I think Logic's environment defaults to including just one 16 channel MIDI instrument. The idea is that you will add more yourself if you have more MIDI gear. If you are just writing MIDI stuff that you're playing through plugins, you need more virtual instrument tracks, which are like a combination of audio and MIDI, but as far as creating them goes, are just like audio tracks.

Page 101 in the Logic Express 7 manual covers MIDI instruments and creating new ones. Check that out and see if it helps.

Posted by: Joe at April 6, 2006 1:50 PM

this helped me out so much!! thank you for this information. not even the mac/logic forums could answer this,

Posted by: Jonathan cruz at November 22, 2007 7:48 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?