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  • David Nahmani
    David Nahmani

    Transfer Logic Pro and your custom settings to a new Mac


    When you install Logic Pro on a new Mac, you may want to copy all your settings and preferences so that it behaves the same as on your old Mac. 

    In this guide, I'll show you where to find all the settings and media files used by Logic. You can then copy them to the same file path on your new Mac.

    1. The Logic Pro app and the Apple Sound Library

    I strongly recommend you perform a clean install of Logic Pro and the Apple Sound Library on the new Mac. I (and many other users) have experienced issues when migrating Logic Pro or the sound library, whether manually or using Migration Assistant. A fresh new install guarantees that you'll avoid these issues.

    To install Logic on the new Mac:

    1. Open the App Store,
    2. Log in with the Apple ID you used to purchase Logic Pro,
    3. At the bottom left, click your account name,
    4. Click the cloud icon next to Logic Pro.
      Screenshot 2023-09-15 at 11.54.39 AM.png

    During the installation, follow the prompts to reinstall the Apple Sound Library.

    I don't recommend you try to copy the Apple Sound Library from your old Mac to your new Mac, however if you're looking for it, some of the content is installed in Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Logic/ and some is hidden inside the app package (I show you how to access it in #7).

    2. Your user patches, plug-in settings, templates...

    Your custom Logic user settings are stored in ~/Music/Audio Music Apps/

    The tilde (~) character represents your home folder. To find your Audio Music Apps folder in the Finder, choose Go > Home, then open the Music folder. 

    Screen Shot 2023-09-15 at 2.21.12 PM.png

    In the Audio Music Apps folder, you'll find the following files:

    • Patches (.patch)
    • Plug-in settings (.pst)
    • Sampler instruments (.exs)
    • Samples (.aif)
    • Channel strip settings (.cst)
    • Project templates (.logicx)
    • Step Sequencer patterns and templates (.pattern)
    • Track icons (.tiff)
    • Key command sets (.logikcs)
    • Untagged Loops (.aif or .wav)
    • Space Designer Impulse Responses (.SDIR)
    • Databases:
      — LoopsDatabaseV10.db contains the Loop browser index,
      — the Tags folder contains the .tagset files representing the Plug-in Manager settings.

    Choose the files you want to copy to your new Mac, or copy the entire Audio Music Apps folder and replace the existing one on your new Mac to transfer all the files. 

    Screen Shot 2023-09-15 at 2.06.27 PM.png

    3. Global Logic settings

    The global Logic settings are the ones you select by choosing Logic Pro > Settings > General (or any other pane). All these settings are saved in a preference file.

    Screen Shot 2023-09-15 at 2.10.34 PM.png

    Manipulating preference files can be finicky. Whenever possible, I recommend that you make your changes manually in the Settings window on your new Mac. However, if you've customized a lot of settings, and changing them manually would take too long, then you can copy your preference file to your new Mac. 

    While Logic is open, the preferences are loaded in RAM, and when you quit Logic, they are rewritten to the preference file on the disk. On the old Mac, quit Logic before you copy the preference file; and on the new Mac, quit Logic before you drag and drop your preference file inside the Preferences folder.

    The preference file that contains all your Logic settings is ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.logic10.plist (the .plist extension stands for property list).

    By default, your user library folder ~/Library/ is hidden on your Mac. To access it, hold down Option while you choose Go > Library in the Finder. 

    4. Control Surface preferences

    The Control Surface preference file contains:

    • Assignments stored in Logic Pro > Control Surfaces > Controller Assignments,
    • Control Surface data set up in Logic Pro > Control Surfaces > Setup,
    • External Assignments learned in the Smart Control pane,
    • Control Surfaces settings selected in the Control Surfaces tab of the Logic settings window.

    Screen Shot 2023-09-15 at 5.31.08 PM.png

    The preference file that contains all your controller assignments and control surface settings is ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.logic.pro.cs (the .cs extension stands for control surfaces).

    5. Third party Audio Unit plug-ins

    For third party plug-ins that have an installer, I recommend you use it to reinstall the plug-ins on the new Mac. This ensures that the any helper files needed by the plug-in are installed in the appropriate locations on your disk. As for instrument plug-ins that use a sample library, running the installer ensures that the plug-in connects to its library as expected. 

    For simpler plug-ins, find their files (with a .component extension) in Macintosh HD/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components/ or in ~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components/and copy them to that same location on the new Mac.

    6. Custom Apple Loops

    If you have created your own Apple Loops by dragging regions into the Loop browser, find them in ~/Library/Audio/Apple Loops/User Loops/, then drag and drop them onto the Loop browser in Logic Pro on the new Mac to reindex them.

    Remember that Untagged Loops are stored in the Audio Music Apps folder, discussed in step #2.

    7. Still haven't found what you were looking for?

    In some cases, you won't find certain files in any of the previously mentioned locations. Some settings, icons, patches and many other files are actually hidden inside the Logic Pro app package. Now you're not meant to look in there, so it may look scary at first, but ... ah come on, you know you want to!

    1. In the Finder, choose Go > Applications,
    2. Control-click the Logic Pro app and choose Show Package Contents,
      Screen Shot 2023-09-15 at 4.08.47 PM.png
    3. Navigate to Contents/Resources/ and browse until you find what you need.

    Bonus tip: Quickly find any file!

    To find where a specific type of file is saved in the Finder, for example here a Step FX plug-in setting: 

    1. Click the Setting button in the plug-in header and choose Save As,
    2. In the Save Setting As dialog, click the Where pop-up menu.
      Screen Shot 2023-09-15 at 4.20.18 PM.png
      The Where pop-up menu lists the file hierarchy where setting files for this plug-in are saved. Here you can see that Step FX settings are saved in  Macintosh HD/Users/davidnahmani/Music/Audio Music Apps/Plug-In Settings/Step FX/

    To determine where to find an audio file listed in the Project Audio Browser or the Untagged Loops Browser:

    1. Control-click an audio file and choose Show in Finder (or press Command-Shift-R).
      Screen Shot 2023-09-15 at 4.28.04 PM.png
      A Finder window opens with that file selected.

    Now you know where to find any of your custom audio and setting files in the Finder. You can copy those files to any new Mac to customize Logic the way you're used to.

    Any questions? Ask me in the comments below.

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    Fantastic. I would have PAID to have this article at hand the last time I migrated.

    One microscopic nit: a .plist is a Property List (as in XML Property List).


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    4 minutes ago, dmitch57 said:

    Fantastic. I would have PAID to have this article at hand the last time I migrated.

    One microscopic nit: a .plist is a Property List (as in XML Property List).

    Thank you for the kind words, and for pointing this out. 👍 I've corrected the article. 

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    Excellent information source, Many thanks David.

    Under 6 Custom Loops I tried to follow your advice, not for a new Mac though. I changed the name of some of my own loops in the finder. I dragged them to the Loop Browser in LP, and they appeared with _1 added to the names. Instead, having removed the _1 files in the Finder, I changed the names and then chose 'Reindex All Loops' at the very bottom of the dropdown menu from 'Sound Packs: Show All' at the top of the Loop Browser.

    I am very pleased to see this article and hope that this section of LPHelp will expand as a straightforward resource.

    Edited by Dox
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