For the first time since Logic Pro 9 four years ago, Apple have released a major update to their professional music recording and production software for Mac, with Logic Pro X. The numeral-savvy among you may have noticed that Apple have gone with an X rather than ’10’, mirroring video-editing app Final Cut Pro’s name change to FCPX.
As with Final Cut Pro X, it looks like this time round Apple have revamped the user interface of Logic Pro X, making it a bit more intuitive and user-friendly (think a more advanced version of GarageBand). It’s not just a cosmetic change though – new tools and a broader collection of virtual instruments and effects make Logic Pro X the most advanced and feature-packed version of Apple’s DAW to date. Here are a few of the standout features we’ll be most looking forward to…
Drummer. Logic Pro X now comes with its own virtual session drum player that will play along with you in a range of styles and techniques. Apple say, of the 15 drummers from the rock, alternative, songwriter and R&B genres, “each drummer has a custom kit, delivers his or her own signature sound, and can perform over a million unique groove and fill combinations”. There’s also Drum Kit Designer for creating your own deeply sampled, realistic-sounding drum kits.
MIDI Plug-ins. Logic Pro X features a number of MIDI plug-ins that can be applied to software instrument tracks, including a chord trigger, arpeggiator, transposer, randomiser and modulator. The MIDI plug-in engine is also scriptable which opens up a whole wealth of possibilities for the ardent programmer.
Track Stacks. Helping you manage complex sessions, Track Stacks allow you to consolidate tracks together either as a simple folder or summed to an Aux bus for sub mixing
Arrangement Track. Now you can use markers in the Arrangement Track to define sections such as verse, bridge and chorus, and then easily move or delete sections from your arrangement.
Flex Pitch. The Flex Pitch plug-in means you can now fine-tune pitch when you’re tuning instruments or vocals, and manipulate melodic content in pitch and time domains. Roll over each note so the parameters show up, then you can adjust the gain of individual notes without excessive compression or time-consuming automation editing.
Logic Remote. Now you can control your Logic Pro workflow wirelessly from anywhere using iPad, and even play instruments directly on iPad using the multitouch interface.
One of the caveats of Logic Pro X is that it is now exclusively 64-bit, and compatibility with third party plug-ins is limited to those which have 64-bit versions. While Logic Pro X is backwardly compatible with sessions made using 32-bit versions, and plug-ins that are 32-bit only won’t run, tread carefully if you have a lot of older plug-ins. This might be a short term bugbear, but hopefully it will prompt developers to update their plug-ins to 64-bit sooner rather than later.
We’re going to be taking a more in-depth look at how Apple’s Logic Pro X really performs soon, but in the meantime don’t hesitate to post any comments or questions in the box below, or get in touch with one of the team…