How to Add Plugins to Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X will automatically scan your system for new plugins when you start the app. Most third-party plugins come with an installer, so you don’t need to do much to add them. But you might need to drag and drop them into your plugins folder if they don’t. 

I’m Donovan, a lifelong musician with a strong passion for writing, recording, and producing music. I have years of experience working with Logic Pro X and am familiar with its tools and features.

This post will show you how to add plugins to Logic Pro X. I’ll show you every step you need to know to add plugins to your system successfully. I’ll also provide you with some other important information to keep in mind when looking for third-party plugins. 

Let’s dive in. 

Key Takeaways

  • Logic Pro X will recognize most third-party plugins you download to your Mac without taking additional steps to add them. If the plugins come with an installer, you don’t need to take other actions. 
  • If your plugins don’t come with an installer, all you need to do is drag and drop them into your plugins folder for Logic to recognize them on startup. 
  • You can use the Plug-in Manager to view, organize, and name all available plugins and to see which you have installed. 
  • Logic Pro X only recognizes AU format plugins and not VST. You need to download AU plugins from third-party developers to ensure compatibility. 

How to Add Plugins to Logic Pro X

The first step to adding plugins to Logic Pro X is downloading them onto your Mac. Logic comes packed with many stock plugins that you can take advantage of during your recording and creation projects, but many more are available from third-party developers. 

You can find free or paid plugins for Logic that will give you expanded sound and editing possibilities. The sky is the limit with options, but remember that only AU (audio unit) format plugins will work with Logic, not VST

Third-party plugins are available for download from the developer’s websites. Spend some time researching which plugins you want to add to Logic, and then a quick search should steer you in the right direction to find it quickly.

Once you find the plugins you want, simply download them from the developer site to your Mac. But be sure that you download the AU version of the plugin. Many third-party plugins have different versions for different compatibilities. 

And most plugins you download will come with an installer, so you don’t need to take extra steps to add them to Logic Pro X. Once they are installed onto your Mac, Logic will automatically recognize them upon startup. 

But if you happen to download a plugin that doesn’t come with an installer, you need to take a few easy steps to allow Logic to recognize it. 

Follow these steps to install plugins that don’t have an installer. 

1. Open the Finder on your Mac. 

2. Move your cursor over the Go tab at the top of the Finder menu. 

3. Select Library. If you don’t see the Library option, hold down the Option key, and it should appear. 

4. Open the Audio folder, then go to the Plug-ins > Components sub-folder. 

(Screenshot taken on my Mac)

5. Drag and drop the plugin you downloaded into the Components folder. Logic Pro X should now recognize the plugin on startup.  

To double-check that the plugin is installed on your system, you can use the Plug-in Manager feature in Logic Pro X. This feature will scan your system for all available plugins, and you can manage and organize them from there. 

To access the Plug-in Manager, follow these steps. 

  • Open Logic Pro X. 
  • Move your cursor over the Logic Pro tab from the main menu at the top of the screen. 
  • Select Preferences
  • Select Plug-in Manager
(Screenshot taken in Logic Pro X on my Mac)

The manager should run a scan when you open it if you have recently downloaded new plugins (or installed them into the components folder using the steps above). Scroll down through the list of available plugins to find the option you recently installed.  

How to Open Plugins in Logic Pro X

Once you have the plugins added to Logic, opening them is easy. All you need to do is open a new or existing project and use the channel strip to add them onto any track in the project. You can then make adjustments within the plugin from there. 

Follow these steps to open plugins in Logic Pro X. 

1. Open a new or existing Logic Pro X project. 

2. Create a new track if starting a new project by following the on-screen prompts or clicking the + button on the top of the Track Window. 

3. Press X to display the Mixer. 

4. Click on the Audio FX channel strip on the mixer to display all of the available plugins to open. 

(Screenshot taken in Logic Pro X on my Mac)

5. Select the plugin you want to open from the available list. This will add the plugin to the channel strip. 

(Screenshot taken in Logic Pro X on my Mac)

6. The plugin should open when you put it into the channel strip. If it doesn’t, double-click on the plugin name in the channel strip, and the settings and controls for that plugin will appear in a separate window. 

7. Repeat the same steps to open any additional plugins you want to add to the project. 

How to Organize Plugins in Logic Pro X

Organizing plugins in Logic Pro X is important because this allows you to find them quickly when you want to add them to a project. Logic will automatically organize its stock plugins, but you should organize any third-party options you download and install. 

Using the Plug-in Manager is the easiest way to organize plugins. It’s a great feature within the app and something you should know how to access and use if you spend significant time in the app. 

You can access the Plug-in Manager by following the steps in the section above about how to add plugins to Logic Pro X. 

Once you have the Plug-in Manager open, you can organize your plugins similarly to other folders on your Mac. 

(Screenshot taken in Logic Pro X on my Mac)

You can name your plugins by giving them a custom name or short name. You’ll see those columns right within the manager window. You can also rename any of the plugins that you want for better organization purposes. 

On the left side of the Plug-in Manager window, you’ll see all the categories of plugins. You can drag and drop any new plugins installed into the appropriate folder or create new folders to classify them however you want to.

Organizing your plugins is important because it will help speed up your workflow. You don’t want to spend a lot of time searching for plugins when you want to add them to a project. You can place them onto a channel strip in seconds if you know their exact location. 

Labeling and organizing your plugins each time you download and install a new one is a good idea. That way, you won’t get mixed up when editing or creating a project. 

Final Thoughts

Plugins are an important tool to utilize while working within Logic Pro X. And with so many third-party plugins available, it’s good to know how to add them to your system and open them when you want to edit, mix, or create a new project. 

The Plug-in Manager in Logic is a great feature that will help you organize and manage all of your plugins. And remember that you can only use AU format plugins in Logic. Other types, like VST, are not compatible. 

Do you have any favorite plugins you use in Logic Pro X? Why do you like them? Let me know in the comments below.

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