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Lesson 4. Editing Audio Regions > Exploring the Audio Window

Exploring the Audio Window

The Audio window acts as your song's audio library. All of the audio files you record or import into Logic are listed in this window, along with information about the files' sampling rates, bit depths, channel configurations (stereo/mono), sizes, and locations.

The main draw of the Audio window is that it catalogs not only audio files but also any Regions that have been created from particular files. Audio files themselves are displayed as thin horizontal beams, while Regions are a bit taller and show actual waveform overviews of the audio in the files. The difference between audio files and Regions is that audio files represent the actual audio file on your hard disk, while a Region is just a pointer that Logic uses to reference a certain part of an audio file. (In the Arrange window, you edit and arrange Regions, not audio files.) Because Regions act as pointers to the original audio files on your hard drive, and because Logic never actually changes those original audio files, Logic is classified as a nondestructive audio editor.


The Sample Editor, which you will explore a bit later in this lesson, is Logic's only destructive audio editing window—it will change your source files! But other than the Sample Editor, Logic is a completely nondestructive audio editor; happily, no source audio files are ever harmed or injured in the course of audio production.

As you'll come to see in the following exercise, you can edit audio files and Audio Regions right here in the Audio window, either before you add an audio file to the project, or after it's already in the arrangement (in which case the edits you make will ripple into the arrangement, changing any affected Audio Regions). The Audio window is a powerful tool, so let's open it and take a closer look.


The Audio window's Channel Configuration menu displays a single circle for mono files, and two interlocked circles for stereo files.

In this book's companion files, which you have already downloaded as APTS_Logic_7 > Song Files, select the Lesson 4 Project Files folder and open the project named 04Begin.lso.

An empty Arrange window appears on your screen. To save time later, this file has been preconfigured with four audio tracks and four Audio Instrument tracks. The first three audio tracks have been named for you, and a Stereo Delay DSP effect has been inserted on the HH track (Track 3).

Press the Option key and choose Audio > Audio Window.

The Audio window opens. As you saw in Lesson 2 “Exploring the Editing Windows,” pressing the Option key as you open an editor causes the editor to open in a floating window. This is denoted by a narrower gray title bar. Working with the Audio window in this way is particularly convenient because you will often need to drag audio files and Regions from the Audio window into the Arrange window. If the Audio window is behind the Arrange window, that becomes very hard to do!


You can also open the Audio window by pressing Cmd9, but then it will not open in a floating window.

Importing Audio into the Audio Window

In Lesson 1, “Exploring the Workspace,” you learned how to import audio files directly into the Arrange window. In that situation, audio files were imported into your project and automatically added to Arrange window tracks. Importing audio files into the Audio window follows a similar process, but in this case the files are not automatically added to the arrangement. Instead, they patiently sit in the Audio window waiting for you to add them when the time is right. Let's import a few audio files now in preparation for beginning our arrangement.

In the Audio window, choose Audio File > Add Audio File.

The Open file dialog appears.


You can also drag audio files straight from a Finder window into the Audio window to add them to your project.

Use the Open file dialog to navigate to the Audio Files folder for 04Begin.lso (the song file you opened in the previous set of steps).

The Audio Files folder has five files in it. Four are AIFFs and the fifth is an MP3 file. Ignore the MP3 file for a moment—you'll import that one later. Additionally, we'll leave the 1-Bar Conga.aif for a bit later in the lesson. For now, let's concentrate on the HH.aif, Kick.aif, and Snare.aif files.

Select the HH.aif file.

Below the file browser, the selected file's properties are displayed, and the Play button is activated.

Check out the HH.aif file's properties and click the Play button to audition the file.

The Play button turns into a Stop button and the HH.aif file plays.

Click the Stop button to halt the playback.

Repeat steps 3 to 5 while auditioning the other three files.

Press Shift and click all three AIFF files (HH.aif, Kick.aif, and Snare.aif).

Click the Add button.

The files are added to the import file list.

In the bottom right corner of the Open file dialog, click the Done button.

The files are added to the Audio window.

Importing MP3 Files

MP3 files import just as easily as audio files, but with one catch: All MP3 files must be converted to PCM (pulse code modulated) files before Logic can use or edit them.


PCM files are simply uncompressed digital audio. AIFF, WAV, and SDII files are all examples of PCM files.

Logic automatically converts MP3 files to 16bit AIFFs at the same sampling rate as the song you are working on. So let's take a quick digression to see exactly what that sampling rate is, and then import the Beat.mp3 file.

Choose Audio > Sample Rate.

As you can see, this song is set to a sampling rate of 44,100, or 44.1 kHz. Although you could change the sampling rate to 48 kHz using this menu, most of the audio files you imported in the previous step use a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz, so let's leave this setting right where it is and import the MP3 file.

In the Audio window, choose Audio File > Add Audio File and add the Beat.mp3 file to your project.

A few things happen next, and they happen quickly! Depending on the speed of your computer, you may not even notice it, but in the background Logic first converts the Beat.mp3 file into a 16bit, 44.1 kHz AIFF, and then adds the new AIFF file to the Audio window. In fact, if you take a quick look at the information listed to the right of the newly imported Beat file in the Audio window, you'll see the imported file is in fact an AIFF, at 16 bits and 44.1 kHz.

Open a Finder window and navigate to 04Begin.lso's Audio Files folder.

The converted AIFF file is there with the original MP3 file, and it is this converted file that Logic uses in your song.

Close the Finder window.

Selecting Audio Files vs. Audio Regions

The Audio window displays audio files along with all Audio Regions associated with each file. Currently, the Audio window just displays thin horizontal beams representing audio files. Directly to the left of each horizontal beam is a disclosure triangle that you can click to view each file's Audio Region(s). By default, one Audio Region is created for each file imported into the song.

In the Audio window, click the disclosure triangle to the left of each audio file.

The file's default Audio Region is displayed, along with a waveform overview of the file's audio.


As a general rule of thumb, when choosing operations from the Audio window's Audio File menu, you must first select an audio file, and not an Audio Region. Audio Region waveforms can be seen in the display window, but the original audio file can only be selected by using the thin horizontal beam with the disclosure triangle.

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