If you’re struggling to produce great mixes, it might not be your technical ability. It could be that you need to get faster at mixing in Logic Pro—or whatever DAW you use. 

If you spend a lot of time trying to find different elements in your track, load the right effects, and navigate around your DAW at a snail’s pace, you’re going to get fatigued. 

Inefficient workflows take a toll. First, your ears will get tired, and then your brain will too. And then everything you hear is going to sound like sh*t. So, how do you get more efficient? You minimize everything that gets in the way of the most important part of the process. 

In this post, we’ve got our Content Lead and Logic Pro Legend Fabio to walk you through the workflow that he’s developed over years of mixing and producing music. At the end, you’ll have a surefire way to faster mixing in Logic Pro. 

boombox: the home of music collaboration

Collaborate Through Boombox 

For this session, we’re using stems submitted to use by Deemie, another artist. Deemie sent over the stems through a project in the Boombox platform, which gives us access to all the stems. 

Using Boombox, we can download all the files, comment on them, message Deemie, and even set up some tasks. Once we have the first version of the mix and master, we can upload them to the Boombox project, and Deemie will get notified. 

If Deemie has feedback on the mix, he can leave mix notes at specific parts of the song. 

So the entire collaboration process is contained with one platform, which immediately makes things more efficient. 

Rename the Files 

Once we download the stem files from Boombox, we need to rename them. In their current form, these file names have too much information. We need to change each title to say what that particular stem is or does. 

We use a piece of software called Rename-It! to adjust the names of multiple files at once. To simplify things, we take away the extraneous information and leave stuff like New Kick.wav. 

Set Up Logic for Faster Mixing 

Our mixing template in Logic uses three analyzers that we keep open on a second monitor: 

  1. The Oszillos Megascope for checking phase 
  2. The Schwa Schope for checking peaks in the waveform3
  3. Voxengo SPAN for 

We don’t use them throughout the entire mix, but it’s nice to refer back to them whenever we need a visual reference. 

Now before you drag the stems in Logic, you’ll want to have something set up so the colors are automatically assigned. Go to Logic Pro>Settings>View then click on Tracks and make sure Track Color and Marker Color are set to Auto-assign-96 Colors. 

Now when we drag the files into Logic, they’ll all be assigned their own colors. This makes it a lot easier to locate different sounds, and it can be a huge time saver when you’re working with a lot of different files. 

Next, we highlight the project name (which should include the BPM and key) and save it as a folder with all the boxes checked in Logic except Movie File. The key helps with any auto tuning we need to do later and the BPM helps anyone who works on the track later. 

Add Arrangement Markers 

Now it’s time to add some arrangement markers. When you open up this view up in Logic, a lot of other stuff opens too. Just right click to bring up the views menu and then click again to hide some of them, like Tempo and Signature. 

Next we start setting markers at different parts of the song. In this example, we mark the intro and pre-chorus. This way, we don’t have to keep turning the track on and off to figure out where different parts of the song are. 

Group and Bus Similar Sounds 

Time for more organizing. We like to group all the respective parts of the track, so we’ll go through and organize all the drum samples together. Just hold down Command and click to create a group. 

Once you’ve got all the drums (or whatever sounds you want) selected, right click and create a Summing Stack. Like the name suggests, this is a collection of all the sounds you just chose, and it’s nested under a Bus tab in the left-hand panel. 

Clip Gain and Waveform Size 

If you’re working with files that were exported from another DAW, you could run into small waveforms that are tough to see. This occurs when files are exported at a lower volume. 

Here’s how to fix it: Select all the files, focus on the loudest one, then increase the gain in the left-hand panel. Be careful not to increase it so much that you clip the audio file, though. Now all your waveforms should be considerably louder. 

If this still isn’t enough to rectify the issue, you can utilize a waveform zoom. In the upper right-hand corner, there’s a waveform button you can hit to zoom in or zoom out. 

Once we’re done track stacking/grouping, we have the kick and bass together, then all the drums are together, all the vocals are sorted together, and all the instruments are grouped together. 

Sometimes we like to extract the lead vocals or group some of the backing vocals together within the track stack. Just select the harmonies, hit Command + Shift + D to create a Summing Stack within a Summing Stack. 

To quickly open and close any of your track stacks, just hold Option and click. To fit all the track stacks to fit your window, hit Command+A+Z and the stacks will adjust to your window size. 

Load Your Plugins 

At this step in the workflow, we like to add any plugins we know we’re going to use for most of the tracks. 

To select all of your channels, click on the first one, hold Shift, and scroll all the way over. After that open up Favorites and select your plugins. Logic will apply the plugins to every single channel you’ve selected. 

We use two plugins quite often: 

  1. The Fab Filter Pro-Q 3 
  2. SSL Native Channel Strip 2

We use both because we really like the Pro-Q 3 for EQ and being surgical, and we love the SSL Channel Strip 2 for broader strokes for sounds in the mix that don’t need anything surgical. It also has a great compressor. 

Setting Up Sends 

Most professional sound engineers will have all of their sends and buses set up with their effects early in their workflow. 

While that level of preparation can certainly be a best practice, we’ve found it stifling from a creative sense because we always end up using the same effects, reverbs, and delays. 

Instead, when we need to load up an effect, we’ll just send it to the next available Bus. Then within that Bus, we’ll apply some User Channel Strip Settings that we’ve used in the past. 

We find that this stops things from getting cluttered and uses a lot less CPU. If we have 20 sends loaded up each with different plugins it’s going to eat a ton of CPU, which potentially slows down our computer, and ultimately slows down our mixing time in Logic. 

So here’s a quick overview of the bus effects chains we have set up. 

  1. We have a drum bus effects chain which also includes a clipper and a limiter. 
  2. We have a chain for all the different SSL fusion plugins, which emulates an old hardware unit Fabio used to have. 
  3. Then we’ve got some more creative ones: delays with spring reverbs or reverbs with pitch drifting. 

Check out the video here for the visuals of these effect chains

Mixing Methods 

When it comes to mixing, we have two methods we like to employ. 

1. The Mute Method 

For the mute method, we (you guessed it) mute all the different components of the track and start mixing one element of the track with broad strokes. 

For example, we can start with the kick, then move to the bass, then unmute the drums. Basically, we start with one element of the track and mix around that. If the track has vocals, we always mix around the vocals. 

If there aren’t vocals, then we always start with the kick, drums, and bass. 

2. The Solo Method 

The solo method is more widely used because it’s more straightforward. Basically, you just listen to everything together, make your adjustments, and when you need to hone in on something, you solo it. 

Here’s a quick Logic tip for you: You may find yourself with multiple channels soloed in Logic when all you really want is one. 

To avoid having to click all the other channels, just hold Option and click the S button on the track you want to solo. Logic will cancel all the other channels and just leave the one you selected. 


So there you have it. Our tried and true approach to faster mixing in Logic Pro. 

Once you have your first mix, you can upload it to Boombox and your collaborators will be notified immediately. You can also leave some notes to give some context around the new mix. 

What’s that? You don’t have Boombox, so you can’t easily share your mixes or collaborate with other artists? 

No problem. Sign up here for free and get four gigabytes of storage on us.