Work with track alternatives in Logic Pro X

Learn how to use track alternatives in Logic Pro X 10.3 to organize your tracks and experiment with different arrangements in your projects.

With track alternatives, you can create multiple arrangements of a track that share the same channel strip, and then quickly switch between them. An alternative can contain completely different regions, or copies of the same regions that you can freely edit without affecting the regions on other alternatives. One alternative is always active, and you'll hear the active alternative when you play back the track. You can exchange an inactive alternative with the active alternative at any time.

Any plug-ins or channel strip settings on a track affect all alternatives. Also, any Track-Based Automation present on a track affects all alternatives of that track. However, each alternative can have its own Region-Based Automation. You can also apply Selection-Based Processing to each alternative.

You must enable Show Advanced Tools to access track alternatives. Choose Logic Pro > Preferences > Advanced, select Show Advanced Tools, then select Advanced Editing.

Show track alternatives

To show track alternatives on all tracks, choose Track > Show Track Alternatives. You can also Control-click a track header and choose Track Header Components > Track Alternatives. 

The Track Alternatives button  appears next to the name of each track in the track header. After you've created some alternatives, they remain visible regardless of the Show/Hide Track Alternatives setting.

Create a new alternative

You can create a new alternative several different ways.

To create an empty alternative, click the Track Alternatives button  and choose New from the pop-up menu. This is useful if you want to record a different performance of the track to a new alternative. The new empty alternative appears in the track lane and becomes the "active" track. The other track becomes inactive and no longer shows in the track lane. However, you can show any other alternatives that exist for a particular track.

You can also create a new track alternative that contains copies of all the regions of the active alternative. Click the Track Alternatives button  and choose Duplicate from the pop-up menu. This is useful if you want to experiment with different edits of the same basic track. 

When you create a new alternative, Logic Pro automatically names the alternatives alphabetically (A, B, C, and so on). You can rename an alternative after you've created one.

Rename an alternative

To rename an alternative, Control-click the alternative in its track header, choose Rename, then enter a new name. If Show Inactives is enabled, you can rename an inactive alternative by double-clicking its name in the track header.    

You can also rename an alternative using the name of an audio region. Select a region in the track, click the Track Alternatives button , then choose Rename by Region from the pop-up menu.

Show all track alternatives for a track

Click the Track Alternatives button  and choose Show Inactive from the menu. Inactive alternatives appear below the topmost track, which is the active track.

The regions of the inactive alternatives are grayed out in the Tracks area. You can edit an inactive alternative like any other track. You can drag or copy regions between alternatives, including dragging or copying regions from an inactive alternative to the active one. You can also hear an inactive alternative in context with the other tracks in the project without making it the active alternative.

Hear an inactive alternative

To hear an inactive alternative in the context of the rest of the project, click the Prelisten Alternative button  in the track header for the inactive alternative. The alternative will be audible when you play the project, in place of the active alternative. If you perfer it to the active alternative, you can exchange alternatives.

Exchange alternatives

If you decide you prefer an inactive alternative to the active one, you can exchange them. Click the Exchange Alternative button  in the track header of the inactive alternative you want to make active. This moves the inactive alternative to the top of the track, and it will be audible when you play back the track.

Delete all inactive alternatives

You can remove all inactive alternatives and leave only the active alternative. Click the Track Alternatives button  and choose Delete Inactive from the pop-up menu.

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