Installing and Managing Plug-ins from Other Manufacturers

by Scott Steneker.


Logic Pro can act as a host for Audio Units effects and instrument plug-ins from other manufacturers – if compatible, correctly installed, and authorized. Examples of typical third-party plug-ins include software synthesizers such as Spectrasonic’s Omnisphere as well as digital effects and digital instrument libraries such as Native Instruments’ Kontakt5, Action Strings, Retro Machines, Monark, etc. In this tutorial, you will be guided through the steps of installing, enabling, disabling, and managing third-party plug-ins within Logic Pro through the use of Logic Pro’s Audio Units Manager. As well, this tutorial will take you through a number of troubleshooting options if your plug-ins are not behaving correctly.

1. Install Plug-in
1.1 Install your third-party effect or instrument plug-in per manufacturer instructions

2. Audio Units Manager

Logic Pro uses the Apple AU Validation Tool to ensure that only plug-ins that fully comply with the Audio Units specifications are used in Logic Pro. This minimizes problems that may be caused by third-party Audio Units plug-ins.

The validation process takes place automatically when Logic Pro is first opened – or when new Audio Units plug-ins are installed or existing plug-ins are updated.

2.1 To see the results of the validation scan open the Audio Units Manager window.
2.1.1 Choose Logic Pro > Preferences > Audio Units Manager in the main menu bar
2.2 The Audio Units Manager window will have seven columns: Logic, Nodes, Name, Manufacturer, Type, Version, and Compatibility.
2.3 To see if your third-party plug-in was validated successfully look in the corresponding Compatibility column of the Audio Units Manager window. If your installed plug-in has been recognized by, and is compatible with, Logic Pro a message saying ‘successfully validated’ will appear. If the validation was unsuccessful a message will appear saying ‘not yet validated’, or ‘validation unsuccessful.’

Troubleshooting: If your plug-in was not validated it is either not fully compatible with Logic Pro or it is not the most recent version. To rectify the latter, check the manufacturer’s website for updated versions of plug-ins that fail validation. If your plug-in continues to fail validation you can manually enable the plug-in in the Audio Units Manager window- see below: ‘Manually Enabling Plug-ins.’

2.4 If an update has been installed while Logic Pro remained open simply select your plug-in in the Audio Units Manager and click the Reset & Rescan Selection button at the bottom of the Audio Units Manager Window.

Troubleshooting: Closing and re-opening Logic Pro might also be necessary to reset the validation process.

3. Manually Enabling Plug-ins

Plug-ins that fail the validation test can be manually activated.

3.1 Select the corresponding checkboxes in the Logic and Nodes column

Important: Be aware that these plug-ins can cause problems with the operation of Logic Pro. Use of plug-ins that have failed validation can negatively affect the test results of subsequently scanned plug-ins. They can also prevent Logic Pro from opening, cause it to quit unexpectedly, or even lead to data loss.

3.2 If you encounter problems with manually activated failed plug-ins click the Disable Failed Audio Units button at the bottom of the Audio Units Manager window.

4. Disabling Plug-ins

The Audio Units Manager window also allows you to disable Audio Units plug-ins that you do not want to use in Logic Pro, even if they pass the validation scan.

4.1 Deselect the corresponding checkbox in the Logic or Nodes column to disable any plug-in.

5. Miscellaneous

5.1 Audio Units plug-in settings made in the Audio Units Manager window can be stored by clicking the Done button on the bottom right of the window.
5.2 Click the Reset & Rescan Selection button to rescan a selection of plug-ins after installing plug-ins/updates, or after moving components in the Finder while Logic Pro or the Audio Units Manager is open. Plug-ins will be activated automatically if they pass the validation scan.
5.3 If you press Control-Shift while opening Logic Pro, the Audio Units Safe Mode will be activated. Only plug-ins that pass the validation test will be available. Manually activated plug-ins that failed the validation test will not be available.