How to Edit Smart Control Layouts in Logic Pro X

By Graham English

Smart controls in Logic Pro X automatically give you quick control over the most important parameters, so you won’t need to edit them often. If you want to control a parameter that’s not included in the automatic smart control layout, you can edit the sound directly in either the software instrument interface or the effects plug-ins inserted in the track.

Think of smart controls as shortcuts to the sound parameters that you use most often. For example, if your track contains a software instrument, such as an electric piano, the smart controls will give you the knobs that are frequently needed to adjust the sound of an electric piano.

If you were to also add an effect to the track, the smart controls will readjust based on the new setup. Smart controls will continue to adjust as you add or remove effects to a track — that’s why they’re smart.

But what if you want to manually customize the smart controls for a particular purpose? Fortunately, smart controls are as flexible as they are intelligent. They also have a menu of gorgeous layouts designed to emulate the look and feel of gear you may be familiar with, such as classic guitar amps and instruments.

To change the smart controls layout, follow these steps:

  1. Click the inspector icon.

    The smart controls inspector opens to the left of the screen controls. At the top of the inspector is the name of the current layout. The default layout is Automatic Smart Controls.

  2. Click the name of the current layout at the top of the inspector.

    A pop-up menu appears.

  3. Make a selection from the menu of layouts.

    The smart controls are updated.

Smart control layouts are predefined. You can’t add knobs, buttons, or other controls to the layout, though you can map the relationship between the controls and your track’s parameters.