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The Silent Assassins: Apple Logic Pro X

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They certainly kept that quiet. Finally Apple release the long awaited update to there flagship DAW Logic Pro series. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the new features.

NEW LOOK

On first look the GUI leans more towards its scaled down slightly less educated cousin Garageband, which is a little unnerving for the seasoned user. On further inspection though this does appear to make navigation and plug in performance far more intuitive, which I have felt was always a little compromised in earlier versions compared to other DAWs aimed at this demographic.

DRUMMER

An impressive addition that’s got the bloggers in a 2 and 8 is the Drummer plug in. It’s basically a virtual drummer similar to Toontracks Superior Drummer or Fxpansion BFD. Coupled with Drum Kit Designer for tweaking and creating your own kits you get to personally choose your own drummer with some pretty cheesy descriptions, nonetheless there all very authentic and makes putting together a realistic drum take a joy. Drummer is by far the most intuitive integrated live drum production environment included in any DAW to date.

SMART CONTROLS

Much like macro assignments found in various DAWs, smart controls enable the assigning of up to 12 parameters from a selected tracks channel strip, instrument and effects, third party or native to a set of MIDI-assignable knobs. Very helpful for the integration of external controllers and very nicely implemented. 

STACKS

In a complete overhaul of folder and track bussing processes multiple tracks can now be folded into stacks of two types, Summing and Folder.

A summing track mixes each individual output per track to a bus and can playback and record MIDI on its master track from any MIDI instrument within itself. Very useful for creating and manipulation of monster synth racks. These can then be save as patches for recall anytime in any project. Much like racks in Ableton, Logic have done a good job at making this there own signature approach.

A folder track simply groups individual tracks together for overall control.

EFFECTS/INSTRUMENTS

Bass Amp Designer – similar to the guitar version in Logic 9 but obviously aimed at the bass player.

Retro Synth – Basic but decent enough virtual analogue synth

Not an awful lot but there’s also some overhauls of the existing instruments. Unfortunately not much for the electronic musicians amongst us. Slightly disappointing.

LOGIC REMOTE

Free from the app store this is Apples iPad MIDI controller app for Pro X.

Connecting over Wi-Fi gives complete remote control over the selected track, enabling note input via a multitouch keyboard. This is a fantastic edition and even though at this early stage feels like it could do a lot more considering the competition im sure Apple will be looking to update this very shortly.

FLEX PITCH

This being a headline feature and vastly expanding on Pro 9s Flex Time. Allowing pitch adjustment of monophonic audio clips. Very easy to use following on from the likes of Melodyne with a piano roll to indicate pitch, including Vibrato, Gain and Drift this is a fantastic tool for tuning vocals and as long as the adjustments are not too severe sounds great.

VERDICT

After a long wait it feels that Apple have done their best to look forward and keep ahead of the game in the DAW battle for the throne. The new look of Logic X is very pleasing on the eye and the new features that have been added really do make this feel like a decent update although for the electronic musician/performer it does feel like we have been somewhat forgotten about.

Which brings me to the price tag which some would say is suspiciously cheap at £139.99 ( with previous versions coming in at over £250) and by far cheaper than the competition.  Apple the monster that it is can obviously afford to undercut the competition by a huge amount  which makes this a very attractive all in one DAW solution. Good work Apple.

For more details please visit www.apple.com/uk/logic-pro/

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