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Posted February 13, 2011 by Stephan Earl in Tips and Tutorials
 
 

Create Custom Track Icons in Logic

Creating Track Icons in Logic

One of the cool functions of Apple’s Logic Express and Logic Pro is the ability to select icons that reflect the content of the recorded audio, instrument or MIDI track.  While this functionality has little to do with the quality of the music being produced, it may help make the music creating experience more enjoyable in addition to making it easier to identify your tracks.

Logic comes with an array of track icons including icons for each of its software instruments, but it also allows you to add your own.  I like to use custom icons especially when creating track presets.  I speed up my work-flow by creating track presets (as Cubase calls it, or “Channel Strip Settings” in Logic) with EQ settings, Compression, or other effects ready to go.  I like to have my custom icons pre-built into the track preset, so I can record quickly and view at a glance which instruments are recorded and where they sit in the edit window.

Logic Track Icons – Things to Remember

  1. Logic track icons must be saved as a .png file and include the Alpha transparency channel in the file.
  2. Icons cannot exceed 128 x 128 pixels.
  3. Icon files must be given a numerical name (ex: 401.png).  Logic 9 icons are numbered up to 325.png.  I started numbering my icons at 350.png, but you can begin with any number higher than 325.png.
  4. Be careful not to change or rename any existing files in Logic’s application folder.

Where Track Icons are Stored in Logic

To find where the track icons are stored in Logic, navigate to the Applications folder and right click (or control click) on the Logic icon then navigate to:

  • Show Package Contents -> Contents -> Resources -> Images -> Icons

Creating Custom Track Icons in Logic

Copying Application and File Icons into Logic

Here’s how to use any existing application or plug-in icons already stored on your Mac.

  • Find the application or plug-in icon you wish to use
  • Right click (or control click) on the icon and select “Get Info”
  • Click on the icon at the top left until it has the blue glow, then press ‘Command+C’

Creating Custom Track Icons in Logic

  • Open Apple’s ‘Preview’ application.  Go to: File ->New From Clipboard
  • Select the icon on the right that is 128 x 128 (some applications may have multiple icon sizes).

Creating Custom Track Icons in Logic

  • Go to: File -> Save as. Navigate to Logic’s Icons folder as mentioned above.
  • Name the file to the number of your choice (greater than 325) and select PNG as the format.  Ensure Alpha is checked.

Creating Custom Track Icons in Logic

  • Enjoy your new icon in Logic!  Your new track icon will be available in Logic and visible according to its numerical order.

Creating Custom Track Icons in Logic 6

Finding More Application Icons on Your Mac

Many of your applications have available icons that can be copied into Logic and used as a track icon.  Simply go to your Applications folder and right click (or control click) on the application icon and navigate to:

  • Show Package Contents -> Contents -> Resources.

At this point you may see icons, or there may be an Image folder or an Icons folder.  If the icon you’re looking to copy is a .ICNS file type, simply right click (or control click) on the icon and select copy.  Then open the Preview application and follow the steps above to copy the image into Logic’s Icons folder.

Creating Custom Track Icons in Logic

Creating Your Own Icons

If you’d like to create your own track icons using a screenshot of your favorite plug-in for example.  You would:

  • Use a graphics program of your choice (i.e. Photoshop) to edit the image
  • Name the file as a number greater than 325
  • Save as a .png file into Logic’s Icons folder as mentioned above.

More Icons on the Web

If you’d like to increase your Logic track icon library, but don’t want to create your own, you can find a plethora of Logic icons here at www.LogicProFiles.com.   You’ll need to register with the site in order to download the icons, but it’s worthwhile to do this if you’re looking for a good selection of icons.  There are other websites out there featuring Logic icons as well, but Logic Pro Files is the most comprehensive.

Well, have fun creating tracks with your new custom Logic track icons!


Stephan Earl

 
Composing, recording and producing music in the home studio environment for over 25 years, musician and author Stephan Earl now enjoys sharing his home studio setup experience with other home studio recording musicians via HomeMusicProduction.com.