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Running Logic Pro on a bigger monitor/display

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Hello ! Hope your day is going well:)

I've just connected a 24" 1920x1080 monitor via HDMI into a 16" MacBook Pro M1 for Logic Pro. The goal is to give the arrangement/mixer windows more space/tracks, however everything is just blown up to fit the 1080 monitor, which is giving me the same amount of space/tracks as if I were using my MacBook Pro screen, but bigger.

Is there a way to have Logic Pro running on a 1920x1080 monitor, so that the display on the external keeps the normal size of the display on the MacBook Pro (using the extra amount of screen to show more tracks and mixer((less scrolling)), instead of being just a bigger, scaled version of the MacBook Pro screen?

Edited by Bp300
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The display itself determines the maximum resolution.
If your monitor was 4K, you could run in any supported resolution up to 3840 x 2160.
What you can do with your existing MBP/monitor setup is run both screens, extending the desktop rather than mirroring the MBP display - each with the data you want to view.

Logic offers a feature called screensets, which memorises the settings of Logic windows for (each of) your monitors.
Simply press a number (this can be 1 thru 99) and adjust your windows/editors/transport/mixer/plug-in windows (drag them between the two displays), etc. to meet your needs.
You don't need to explicitly "save" your screensets
Press various numbers to switch between screensets you have created.

Edited by oscwilde
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Much appreciated:) I always wondered what those numbers did but I only finally learned what screensets are from your reply. Anyway apparently the 24” screen is showing a bit more than the 16” it was just hard to notice but I did get a few more tracks on my screen. Thanks for making time:)

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To Dox’s question:

You can get 27” monitors in resolutions from 1080P/HD/1K (1920x1080) to 2K/QHD (2560x1440) to 4K/UHD (3840x2160) to 5K (5120x2880).  As the resolution goes up you get more, smaller pixels. If the monitor size changes but the resolution stays the same, you get bigger pixels on the bigger monitors.

To BP300’s question:

Apple Retina displays use very high resolutions scaled down to lower resolutions. Using a 4K monitor, the 3840x2160 is scaled down to 1920x1080 but with four pixels mapped to each pixel on the 1080p monitor That’s why they look so sharp. 

Just last week I added a 27” 4K monitor to use with my MB Air. In the display preferences I set it up as a mirror, but when I close the laptop lid it becomes the main screen. When acting as a mirror, everything looks too large because it’s blowing the 13” screen up to 27”. When it’s the main screen, I can use a higher resolution to get more area visible on the screen.

BTW the default resolution for the 13” laptop display is 1440x900, less than 1080p. The default for the 27” is 1920x1080, scaled down from 3840x2160. So this would look like Dox’s monitor at full native resolution, but much sharper because of the Retina 4:1 pixel ratio.

Here’s screen shots of my display prefs:

27” Mirror, laptop lid open


The 27” is scaled to match the laptop screen


27” Main screen, laptop lid closed

Notice that now only the 27” is shown in the prefs. It’s now using it's default resolution.


Here’s screenshots of Logic opened to fill the screen. All I did was open and close the laptop lid.

Mirror (1440x900) timeline stops at bar 23, only three transport buttons, no master volume slider.


Then I close the lid and it becomes the main screen (1920x1080) and the time line extends to bar 33, two more transport buttons and the master volume slider are showing and there’s room for a few more tracks to be visible.


Doing the math, when used as the only display it’s showing 1.78 times the area than when used as a mirror. If I reopen the lid, the 27” screen switches back to the lower resolution. 

Hope this is of help.


Edited by enossified
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One more point on monitor resolution. Apple’s Mseries chips apparently do the recalculation for screen resolution in a two step process first upscaling to 5K then downscaling to the required (eg 4K, 2K etc) size. Whether there’s a technical reason for this or if its an effort to make their Studio Displays appear snappier than competitors (usually 4K) I don’t know. 

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5 hours ago, rAC said:

 Whether there’s a technical reason for this or if its an effort to make their Studio Displays appear snappier than competitors (usually 4K) I don’t know. 

The pixel density for a 27” 4K monitor is lower than a 27” 5K monitor, it gets worse if you go to 32” 4K monitors.

Retina is all about high pixel density, measured in pixels per inch (ppi). Why is this important? At a given viewing distance, the higher the PPI the less pixelation can be seen.  Our eyes can’t resolve individual pixels on Retina displays that are above 200 PPI, or so claims Apple.

For 27” monitors here’s the ppi numbers:

1080p “Full HD" (1920x1080) 81.5 PPI 

2k “QHD” (2560x1440) 109 PPI (pre-Retina 27” iMacs, Apple Tbolt Display)

4k “UHD” (3840x2160) 163 PPI

5K (5120x2880) 218 PPI (Studio Display)

That’s why when you look at $100 1080p office monitors the image simply isn't as sharp and text isn't as easy to read as a higher res monitor scaled down to 1080p.

For comparison, here’s some other screen sizes:

32” 4K (3840x2160) 138 PPI 

13.3” MB Air (2560x1600) 227 PPI

50” 4K TV (3840x2160) 88 PPI

 85” 4K TV (3840x2160) 52 PPI

But we sit a lot farther away from a TV than we do to a monitor, so it still looks sharp with the lower PPI. 



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