In Logic Pro, you can use a Force Touch trackpad to access additional features. Force click gestures let you create tracks, regions, notes, markers, automation nodes and more. And when dragging something, haptic feedback makes the trackpad vibrate to provide a cue that you've reached a specific point.
In this guide, I'll share all the force touch gestures and haptic feedback cues you can use in Logic Pro.
To follow along, I recommend you start with the settings I shared at the beginning of my previous guide, How to use a Magic Trackpad in Logic Pro. At the very least, turn on Force Click and haptic feedback in Apple menu > System Settings > Trackpad.
In my experience, force clicking can be finicky. To get reliable results, you'll need to experiment a bit. Here are my recommendations:
- Press the trackpad firmly so that you hear and feel two successive clicks.
- This motion has to happen quickly enough, but not too quickly either. Experiment.
- If it doesn't work, don't push harder. Try adjusting the speed of your motion instead.
- Make sure you've set Click to Light in your trackpad settings.
To avoid straining my finger, I don't incorporate force click gestures as part of my regular workflow. However, in a pinch, force clicking avoids having to switch tools for a quick one-time operation.
1. Create regions
Force click the workspace (the grid in the Tracks area) to create new regions.
On an external MIDI or software instrument track, force clicking creates an empty MIDI region.
On an audio track, force clicking opens a Finder browser window so that you can select the audio file you want to import at that position.
2. Create and delete notes
Force click the workspace in the Piano Roll or the staff in the Score editor to create a new note. Force click a note to delete it.
ⓘ The length and velocity of the note created is the same as the length and velocity of the last note you created, or the last note you selected.
3. Zoom vertically on one track
Force click a track header to toggle Zoom Focused Track (an option that is accessible in the Tracks area's local View menu). For this force touch gesture to work reliably, I force click the track name.
I like to use that feature when viewing automation. In automation view, the automation curve is displayed only once a track is tall enough, so with the right zoom settings, I can have the automation curve displayed only for the selected track.
It doesn't matter which specific track you force click: when you force click any track name, Zoom Focused Track is enabled, and the selected track is taller. Force click any track name again to go back to all tracks having the same height.
4. Create Markers
Force touch to create markers in one of three areas:
- the ruler
- the global marker track
- the Arrangement global track
The markers you create snap to the nearest beat.
ⓘTo rename a marker, hold down Command and double-click the marker name.
To delete a marker, hold down Command and drag the marker down toward the workspace.
5. Create new tracks
Force touch the empty area below the track headers to open the New Tracks dialog.
6. Create two automation nodes at region borders
In Automation view, force click the automation curve within a region boundaries to create two nodes at the region borders: one at the beginning, and one at the end. This can help when you need to set an automation parameter to a specific value for each region.
7. Select all following automation
Force click the background of the automation lane (away from the automation curve) to select all automation to the right of the pointer.
This is useful for example if you need to readjust your automation curve past a certain point without affecting what's before.
8. Haptic Feedback
In Logic Pro, haptic feedback provides additional cues that something is happening. It makes the force touch trackpad vibrate while you're dragging an interface element and it reaches a specific point. You'll feel and hear a light click when:
A volume fader or slider reaches -∞, 0 or +6 dB (in the Inspector, Mixer or track header).
A pan knob reaches -64, 0 or +63 (in the Inspector, Mixer or track header).
Zooming an individual track changes icon size/position (between the individual track zoom levels -1 and 0)
- Zomming an individual track reaches 0.
Resizing the width of a track header hides/shows the volume slider and/or pan knob.
Dragging a region and the region jumps to another track.
Dragging a track to a new position.
You're now equipped with a set of additional force click functionalities, and you know why your trackpad clicks while dragging faders, knobs, tracks, regions, or resizing track headers. These subtle cues reinforce what you're seeing happening on your display, making it easier to tell when the desired operation is completed. Volume and pan cues can be especially useful if you sometimes adjust these values with your eyes closed while mixing.