If you’re going to use Logic Pro X, but you’re not sure if your computer can handle it, we can help you. This article will show you how much RAM, CPU, and free space you need for Logic Pro X.
Apple’s Logic Pro is one of the most popular DAWs. And it’s all because of the intuitive interface and the vast number of built-in plugins and virtual instruments. So if you’re considering switching to Logic Pro X, you’re in the right place, as we’ll let you know what machine would be enough for this software.
The first and most important thing you need to know is that Logic Pro only goes on Apple computers and laptops. So this could be a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Mini, and others. So if you want to work in Logic – consider that you need one of these machines. As for the specs you need, we’ll try to talk about them below.
How Much RAM Do You Need to Run Logic Pro X?
The minimum amount of RAM Logic Pro X requires is 4 GB. But you must admit that this is relatively low for today’s requirements. So if you want to use this software without problems – 16 gigabytes will be enough. On the other hand, if you can get 32 GB, that would be perfect.
Another nuance worth understanding is that the amount of RAM in Logic Pro is vital for working with sample-based instruments. The CPU will be crucial if we are talking about a process involving real-time sound generation. Therefore, your workflow will also affect the system load.
So if you use an orchestral, drum, or other libraries, you need more RAM. But still, 16 gigabytes will be enough for most scenarios. Remember that you can always print tracks if you have many of them. By that, we mean export them as separate audio files.
One more critical factor is exactly which virtual instruments you will use. If most of them are stock Logic Pro plugins, then you won’t have any problems with RAM. In that case, even 8 gigabytes will be enough.
What Kind of CPU Do I Need to Use Logic Pro X?
The CPU is responsible for the quality and speed of sound generation in Logic Pro. It means that the better your CPU, the more plugins you can apply at once. It is essential if you are using virtual synthesizers or amp sims.
Generally, the stock Logic Pro plugins are not very costly in terms of processor load. But some third-party software can cause problems for your CPU. Therefore, if you have a weak Mac – before you buy any plugin, check how much it might load the machine.
How Many Cores Do I Need For Logic Pro X?
Long story short, the more cores your processor has, the smoother Logic Pro will run. This DAW will use all cores if you allow it in the settings. In addition, more cores will help Logic handle more plugins on individual channel strips. It will be beneficial, especially if you need to mix a song with a large number of tracks.
But what if there are plugins on those tracks that are CPU burners? In that case, not only the number of cores is essential for the smoothness of the process, but also how fast they work. So keep this in mind if you plan to buy a Mac.
Can Logic Pro Run on M1?
If you buy one of the latest Macs, rest assured: Logic Pro supports processors with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. Apple released the corresponding updates for the software last year. And we must say that these chips will suit your workflow since Logic should fly fast.
However, keep in mind that not all plugins work with these processors. Of course, if we’re talking about big manufacturers like Waves Audio, iZotope, or FabFilter – there shouldn’t be any problems here. But if you’re using software from less popular brands, check compatibility.
How Much Space Does a Logic And a Library Take?
For a minimal installation of Logic Pro X, you will need 6 GB of free disk space. If you want the full unpacking, then you will need 72 gigabytes. It is the space you need for a complete installation of the Sound Library, which includes a variety of samples and loops.
As for your computer’s total storage capacity, the more, the better. The fact is that Logic projects take up space in different ways. It depends on the number of tracks. For example, some may weigh 500 MB, while others may weigh up to 10 GB.
If you have limited space, storing completed projects on external drives or clouds is a good option. Primarily if you work in Logic on a commercial basis, that way, you won’t burden your computer’s memory and will always have access to your projects.
But if you’re only producing music for yourself, we can assure you that 512 gigabytes of storage will be enough. In that case, you can easily use the entire Sound Library and work with a sufficient number of projects.
We should also mention SSDs in this thread. Fortunately, most modern Macs use Solid State Drives, which are suitable for music production. The point is that they allow faster loading of DAWs and plugins. Also, SSDs are more reliable than HDDs.
How Do I Free Up CPU in Logic Pro X?
But what if you already have a Mac and problems with an overloaded CPU? Don’t worry, and there are plenty of tips and tricks you can apply in Logic Pro X to at least reduce the problem, if not eliminate it. For example, you can change the Buffer Size, freeze your tracks, and get extra CPU resources. Let us tell you about these methods in more detail.
Change The Buffer Size
The first thing we advise you to do to free up some CPU is to change the Buffer Size. This parameter determines the temporal storing of the audio data before sending it to other destinations. So let us show you step by step how to do this.
- Go To The Preferences
You can go to the Logic Pro tab, then Preferences and Audio. Or you can use the “Command + ,” shortcut. In this case, you will immediately see the settings window.
Select Audio in Preferences
- Find Buffer Size in The Audio Section
When the Preferences window opens with the Audio section in front of you, look for the I/O Buffer Size line and the number of samples it implies. It is where you will be able to change the total amount.
Find the I/O Buffer Size row
- Change the Number of Samples
By default, Logic should set this number to 128 samples. Increase it to reduce the load on your processor to 512 or 1024 samples, for example. Note that this will cause a latency when recording instruments or vocals. Therefore, you will need to go back and change the number to a lower number.
Choose a proper number of samples
By the way, you can also change the Process Buffer Range parameter from Medium to Large. But again, this can also cause a latency if you need to record.
Freeze Tracks To Free Up CPU
Freezing the tracks is another suitable method to avoid overloading the CPU. It is beneficial if your mixes are too busy. In essence, Logic discreetly exports tracks to audio files and bypasses the real-time operation of plugins. That way, the process won’t run every time you play tracks.
- Set Up Track Header Components
First, you need to make the Freeze icons visible on each track. To do this, customize the Track Header Components by right-clicking on any track – there, you will find the corresponding Freeze line.
Configure Track Header Components
- Freeze The Tracks You Want
After you see the Freeze icons – click on them on the tracks you want to freeze. Be prepared that this process may take some time. So, it’s better to get ahead of the tools you need right away so you don’t have to wait every time again.
Freeze the desired tracks
It is also essential to know that freezing only works for tracks without plugin automation. So keep this in mind before choosing suitable instruments.
Print Your Tracks
The following method is somewhat similar to the previous one, but you do everything manually here. In essence, you need to bounce the individual tracks as audio files. This way, you eliminate all the plugins that run in real-time and take up the CPU.
- Use “Bounce In Place” Function
Decide which tracks you want to export as audio files. Then, right-click on any of them and click “Bounce In Place.” It can be either audio or midi tracks.
Bounce desired tracks
- Select The Necessary Settings
A setup window will pop up in front of you. Here you can select the name of the new track and other settings. The most important thing here is to leave the “Bypass Effect Plugins“ box unchecked. This way, Logic will consider all the processing on that track.
Select the settings you want
Keep in mind that if you print tracks, you won’t be able to go back and change the plugin settings. But in fact, there is a positive side to this. You’ll be able to commit to the sound faster and won’t have to tweak it every time.
As you can see, Logic Pro’s system requirements are not outrageous. And even if you have performance problems, you can always find ways to soften the problem. So, to conclude this post, let us give you a few tips.
If you have the resources, the ideal thing to do with Logic Pro X is to get a new and powerful Mac. First, you won’t have any caveats about performance problems. Second, you’ll be assured that these difficulties won’t occur soon.
But what if you can’t afford a powerful machine? Don’t worry. You can efficiently work in Logic Pro, even on non-modern Macs. Even if you do have some CPU problems, you can mitigate them if not eliminate them. Let me give you a real-life example.
I’m using a reasonably old 2013 15-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.3 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 processor. As for RAM, it has 16 GB. All in all, this is entirely enough for me for full-fledged music production. Yes, sometimes, there are problems with overloaded CPUs in the busiest projects. But this is not a problem that interferes with the work.
I can freeze a few tracks and translate midi tracks into audio files. It is the main thing that relieves my MacBook and allows me to continue working without worry. Moreover, I do it commercially, and most of the time, performance problems do not interfere.
If you already have a Mac, take a detailed look at its system specifications and compare them with Logic’s requirements. If they are well above the minimum, you’ll be fine. Good luck with your music production!
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Ilarion Ivanenko is a remote mixing and mastering engineer from Ukraine, a musician with more than 15 years of experience. Specializes in rock, metal, progressive and the other genres. He can’t imagine his life without music, as it is the biggest passion in his life