A technical support community for Apple Logic Pro users.

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beej
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The Customising Logic Pro X GUI Colours Thread

Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:52 am

It seems that many of Logic's colours are controlled by a plist file in it's resources:

/Applications/Logic Pro X.app/Contents/Frameworks/MAResources.framework/Versions/A/Resources/MAResourcesMapping.plist

This file can be edited in a plain text editor (BBEdit, Text Edit, TextMate etc) or a property list editor such as Apple's Xcode (Property List Editor).

Some of the things possible include:
- Changing the mixer channel strip meters
- Changing the channel strip gain reduction meter
- Changing the arrange or editor backgrounds and division lines
- Changing the selection of available colours for tracks and regions
- Changing the colours of many gui elements

It is possible to share your GUI customisations by just sharing your edited version of this file with others. Replacing this file on your system with a customised one is all that is needed to apply GUI customisations (at least, customisations that involve no changed images).

It should also be possible to edit existing images (eg fader graphics) or possibly add new images to avoid overwriting system images (untested at this time) to apply your own customisations as well.

Note: Back up this file first before making changes!

Specifically, the "Colors" section describes many colours, and is subdivided by type (Eg "Piano Roll"). Here's an example:

Let's look at one option:

<key>BackgroundDivision_C</key>
<string>GrayColor:{58,100}</string>


Values are between 0 and 255. This is a GrayColor, but there are other options like:

<string>sRGBColor:{53,108,200,20}</string>


I expect that's RGB+alpha values (alpha = transparency)

So, taking this one property, which is default and looks like the screenshot below:

<key>BackgroundDivision_C</key>
<string>GrayColor:{58,100}</string>


Image

Let's change it to:

<key>BackgroundDivision_C</key>
<string>GrayColor:{255,255}</string>


We get this:
Image

Let's use this thread to look at the effect of various colouring options, look at meaning of the parameters and values, and share some nice common customisations, like lightening the piano roll editor, and returning some of LP9's nicer look elements here.
Last edited by beej on Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:25 am, edited 4 times in total.
 
beej
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Re: LPX: The Customising Colours Thread

Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:59 am

The available top level colour categories are:

Image
 
beej
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Re: LPX: The Customising Colours Thread

Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:02 am

To change the meters in the mixer, there are color properties for these in the Mixer dropdown:

For example:
            <key>ChannelStrip_LevelIndicatorExponential</key>
            <key>ChannelStrip_LevelIndicatorExponentialOutput</key>
            <key>ChannelStrip_LevelIndicatorLinear</key>
            <key>ChannelStrip_LevelIndicatorLinearOutput</key>


These are an NSGradient object type, where you define the colour values of four colours, and Logic will automatically display the gradient from these. So changing these values will let you easily colour the mixer meters, without having to custom make images like we did in old versions on Logic.

See below for an example of this.
Last edited by beej on Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
FoolsGold
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Re: LPX: The Customising Colours Thread

Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:04 am

Bit confused,,, but is there a way to customize the colours for regions, i mis ability to choose black and white for audio tracks :(
Macbook Pro 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7, OSX Lion 10.7.5, Logic 9, Apogee Duet Soundcoud, KRK Rockit 8 with 10s Sub
 
beej
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Re: LPX: The Customising Colours Thread

Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:10 am

Yes, these can be changed. The "Regions" section contains 24 items (the same number of columns in the colour picker.)

Changing the "Base Hue" for one resulted in differences in the colour picker.

Image

After editing the Base Hue for each of the 24 (in this example, numbered from 1 to 42):

Image

So yes, the available track/region colours can be changed.
Last edited by beej on Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Jordi Torres
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Re: LPX: The Customising Colours Thread

Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:28 am

I found this DigitalColor Meter utility in my Utilities folder (don't know if it's there for everyone) which can come in handy for setting sRGB colors:

DigitalColor Meter.png
DigitalColor Meter.png (28.12 KiB) Viewed 68572 times


You just place the pointer over the color whose values you want to get, and use does to fill in the first three values as they appear in your plist editor. The fourth value seems to be the alpha value like beej says.

J.
Et voilà!

MacBook Pro 15" Retina i7 2.2 GHz - 16GB RAM | OS 10.14.6 | Logic Pro 10.4.8
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beej
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Re: LPX: The Customising Colours Thread

Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:58 am

Customising Meters

Let's look at Logic's meters. There are a variety of meters in Logic - the channel strip ones, the performance meters, the meters in the global toolbar and the ones in the track header, the channel strip gain reduction meters and so on. It looks like all can be changed, and here's how it works.

Looking at one meter type:

            <key>ChannelStrip_LevelIndicatorLinear</key>
            <dict>
               <key>#type</key>
               <string>NSGradient</string>
               <key>gradient</key>
               <array>
                  <dict>
                     <key>color</key>
                     <string>sRGBColor:{77,153,69,100}</string> ** GREEN **
                     <key>location</key>
                     <integer>0</integer>
                  </dict>
                  <dict>
                     <key>color</key>
                     <string>sRGBColor:{77,153,69,100}</string> ** GREEN **
                     <key>location</key>
                     <real>0.67</real>
                  </dict>
                  <dict>
                     <key>color</key>
                     <string>sRGBColor:{252,221,26,100}</string> ** YELLOW **
                     <key>location</key>
                     <real>0.82</real>
                  </dict>
                  <dict>
                     <key>color</key>
                     <string>sRGBColor:{252,221,26,100}</string> ** YELLOW **
                     <key>location</key>
                     <real>0.92</real>
                  </dict>
                  <dict>
                     <key>color</key>
                     <string>sRGBColor:{255,130,25,100}</string> ** ORANGE **
                     <key>location</key>
                     <real>0.92</real>
                  </dict>
               </array>
            </dict>


You can see from looking at this that the meter will be displayed as follows - from position 0 to 0.67 (about two-thirds up), display the levels in GREEN (I've added the name of the colour so you can easily see what does what). From 0.67 to 0.82, display a gradient between GREEN and YELLOW. From 0.82 to 0.92, display levels in YELLOW. From 0.92 onwards, display in ORANGE.

So the location is a position of the fader from 0 (bottom) to 1 (top) and you can have whatever combination of colours and gradients you wish. The output meter, for instance, has it's clip position in RED rather than orange.

This looks like this:

Image

So lets apply a quick customisation.

            <key>ChannelStrip_LevelIndicatorLinear</key>
            <dict>
               <key>#type</key>
               <string>NSGradient</string>
               <key>gradient</key>
               <array>
                  <dict>
                     <key>color</key>
                     <string>sRGBColor:{59,173,216,100}</string> ** BLUE **
                     <key>location</key>
                     <integer>0</integer>
                  </dict>
                  <dict>
                     <key>color</key>
                     <string>sRGBColor:{59,173,216,100}</string> ** BLUE **
                     <key>location</key>
                     <real>0.67</real>
                  </dict>
                  <dict>
                     <key>color</key>
                     <string>sRGBColor:{255,255,255,100}</string> ** WHITE **
                     <key>location</key>
                     <real>0.82</real>
                  </dict>
                  <dict>
                     <key>color</key>
                     <string>sRGBColor:{255,255,255,100}</string> ** WHITE **
                     <key>location</key>
                     <real>0.92</real>
                  </dict>
                  <dict>
                     <key>color</key>
                     <string>sRGBColor:{255,130,25,100}</string> ** ORANGE **
                     <key>location</key>
                     <real>0.92</real>
                  </dict>
               </array>
            </dict>


So, I've made the green a blue, and a gradient up to white, leaving the orange peaks alone.

This gives us:

Image

Again, I've only customised the one linear element here, for a complete customisation I'd want to also copy those colour values to the exponential meters, and also the output meters. I might also want to match the other meters to this style - but you get the general idea.

LPX gives us a simple, and really flexible implementation to be able to customise the metering. And if you want your "red" metering to start from, say, -6dBFS to emphasize headroom, you now know how... :)
 
Raddler
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Re: The Customising Logic Pro X GUI Colours Thread

Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:58 am

Would be so cool to get one done to look like Logic 9...... :lol:
2013 Macbook pro retina, 2.7 ghz I7, 16GB Ram, 512ssd, Logic pro X 10.3.1, El Capitan 10.11.4
 
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Sevenfold
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Re: Fonts too!

Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:49 am

If it hasn't already been discovered, fonts can be tweaked in the same file. I tested with track header "TrackHeader_Name_RG" and it worked, and there appear to be dozens more settings, many under "AttributedStringStyles". You can also narrow down the list with a search for "NSFont:{" and if provided change the size value (11 in this example):

 NSFont:{Helvetica Neue UI Medium, 11}


clip.jpg
clip.jpg (48.63 KiB) Viewed 68231 times
Developer of Songivity Songwriter
Logic Pro X • OS X 10.8.5 • Mac Mini (2.5 GHz i5, 8g GB) • Fast Track Ultra
 
beej
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Re: Fonts too!

Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:16 pm

Sevenfold wrote:
If it hasn't already been discovered, fonts can be tweaked in the same file.


Yes, this was also one of the first things I tried, to see what options I could do reduce the size of the text in the plugin header (which is really ugly imo).

While the font sizes can be reduced, it doesn't look very good because the fonts don't sit vertically centered, so they start to be too high as the size is reduced. I'm not sure offhand whether positions can be tweaked yet...
 
teedoff087
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Re: The Customising Logic Pro X GUI Colours Thread

Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:18 pm

If you've opened the file in a plist editor, take a look at the "Inline documentation" dictionary for a few hints as to what each element actually does.
2.4 GHz i5 MacBook Pro w/ 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 2TB FW800 7200RPM and 1TB FW400 7200RPM. Mac OS X 10.8.4, Logic 10.0.1. Focusrite Saffire PRO 24, Roland JUNO-Di, Yamaha HS50Ms, Sennheiser HD 518s.
 
beej
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Re: The Customising Logic Pro X GUI Colours Thread

Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:39 pm

teedoff087 wrote:
If you've opened the file in a plist editor, take a look at the "Inline documentation" dictionary for a few hints as to what each element actually does.


I don't think this really means much, and seems more a hint/reminder to developers. I don't think much can be done with that, tbh...

Note: It looks like the master volume meter and track header meters are implemented in the "old" pre-LPX way, as there are TIFFS for these in the resources directory - so any colour customisations for metering will either have to ignore them, or you'l need to photoshop them to match your custom config in addition to what you've already done.
 
dpickell
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Re: The Customising Logic Pro X GUI Colours Thread

Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:00 pm

This is absolutely great. Resolves visual issues users like me have. Q. Does the plist file exist for logic 9? Mid project, hesitating on ten 'just for now'. Dave
Professional producer, TV writer, songwriter. Veteran of the grandaddy - C-Lab Notator on an Atari, for krissake! Now Logic Pro 10.0.7, in Mac OSX 10.9.3, running on 2.66 GHz Quad-core Intel Xeon processor with 8G memory BUT using LP9 AMAP
 
beej
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Re: The Customising Logic Pro X GUI Colours Thread

Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:10 pm

dpickell wrote:
This is absolutely great. Resolves visual issues users like me have. Q. Does the plist file exist for logic 9? Mid project, hesitating on ten 'just for now'. Dave


No, this is part of the new GUI implementation for LPX. The GUI for Logic 9 is implemented differently.
 
dpickell
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Re: The Customising Logic Pro X GUI Colours Thread

Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:16 pm

OK, I just got there, the folderization is similar but the resources in 9 are moslty tiffs. OK, thanks for the skinnin' help - I will surely need it. There's enough darkness in the world! ;-)
Professional producer, TV writer, songwriter. Veteran of the grandaddy - C-Lab Notator on an Atari, for krissake! Now Logic Pro 10.0.7, in Mac OSX 10.9.3, running on 2.66 GHz Quad-core Intel Xeon processor with 8G memory BUT using LP9 AMAP
 
JGS
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Re: The Customising Logic Pro X GUI Colours Thread

Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:06 pm

Hopefully a 3rd party app will be created to help LogicProX users change the GUI colours.
MacMini 2.6GHz / 16GB RAM / OS 10.8.4 / Logic Pro 9.1.8 / MOTU MK3 8023
 
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furrytoes
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Re: The Customising Logic Pro X GUI Colours Thread

Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:41 pm

JGS wrote:
Hopefully a 3rd party app will be created to help LogicProX users change the GUI colours.

I'm looking at doing this now, actually.
Someone will probably beat me to it and, actually, I'm starting with just track icons.
The only danger is that by using internals like this, any update of LogicProX could render such an app completely broken and doing damage. Obviously there'll be a massive disclaimer about backing up LogicProX.

Still my plan is to separately manage the icons (eg PNG) you want, so your custom icons are managed & stored by the app, so that when a ProX update comes, the icons can be applied back in bulk each time.

In time, any such app could probably be smart enough to know whether it's going to do damage and perhaps can be updated using some kind of config instead of releasing a new version of software each time LogicProX updates.

I doubt I'll be able to get it on the MacApp store because of sandbox restrictions (I'm not certain but somehow modifying the internals of another app probably looks, to a Mac, like something only bad people do ;-))
Last edited by furrytoes on Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Logic Pro X 10.0.1, MacOSX 10.8.4, iMac i3 3.2Ghz, 12GB RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5670 512 MB, Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Monitor Headphones, Korg MicroKEY
 
JGS
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Re: The Customising Logic Pro X GUI Colours Thread

Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:53 pm

I used a custom GUI for Logic 9 that gave the meters step numbers and other small plug in colour changes. I forget the name of the creator of the GUI. After each update, I would have to reinstall the GUI modification. What I'd really like is an app to easily modify the background colours in the Main window, as well as in the Piano Roll. If enough of us complain about this, perhaps Apple will add GUI colour modification in the next update.
MacMini 2.6GHz / 16GB RAM / OS 10.8.4 / Logic Pro 9.1.8 / MOTU MK3 8023
 
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furrytoes
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Re: The Customising Logic Pro X GUI Colours Thread

Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:55 pm

JGS wrote:
I used a custom GUI for Logic 9 that gave the meters step numbers and other small plug in colour changes. I forget the name of the creator of the GUI. After each update, I would have to reinstall the GUI modification. What I'd really like is an app to easily modify the background colours in the Main window, as well as in the Piano Roll. If enough of us complain about this, perhaps Apple will add GUI colour modification in the next update.

Oh right. Whoever wrote that is probably onto the new version already.
Logic Pro X 10.0.1, MacOSX 10.8.4, iMac i3 3.2Ghz, 12GB RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5670 512 MB, Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Monitor Headphones, Korg MicroKEY
 
dpickell
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Re: The Customising Logic Pro X GUI Colours Thread

Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:09 am

JGS wrote:
I used a custom GUI for Logic 9 that gave the meters step numbers and other small plug in colour changes. I forget the name of the creator of the GUI. After each update, I would have to reinstall the GUI modification. What I'd really like is an app to easily modify the background colours in the Main window, as well as in the Piano Roll. If enough of us complain about this, perhaps Apple will add GUI colour modification in the next update.


Add me to the list. Where do you lodge concerns so that apple developers can address them? Dave
Professional producer, TV writer, songwriter. Veteran of the grandaddy - C-Lab Notator on an Atari, for krissake! Now Logic Pro 10.0.7, in Mac OSX 10.9.3, running on 2.66 GHz Quad-core Intel Xeon processor with 8G memory BUT using LP9 AMAP
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