Apple Logic Pro X Hits App Store

Quiet release for Logic 10   16-Jul-13

Today Apple released Logic X in the App Store as a new update to Logic Pro. For many users, Logic has been the preferred choice for composition through to finished product, and with Apple's reduction in the price and inclusion of a good selection of instruments, effects and sounds, its been a good value option - assuming you have a Mac.

However in recent years, Logic has not had significant updates, only a few incremental service releases. With the development of competing DAWs - Ableton Live, the reinvigoration of Cubase, Pro Tools, Presonus' Studio One and more, there has been pressure for Apple to get with the program. Todays update is a proper new version release with a new GUI and other features - heck it even made the front page of - although only in the UK flavour.

Here's what we know so far:

Logic X new Mixer

Looking through the list of new features: "Powerful new interface" seems to be one key phrase oft repeated, its got a more sober dark grey look with what looks like a plug-in pane at the bottom of the screen, Track Stacks - seem to be a new redesigned folder concept - which was always a bit clunky.

On the instrument front - of interest to synth heads will be the new Retro Synth - which apparently allows you to "recreate the sound of classic vintage synthesizers", parameters such as Analog Sync, Wavetable mode and FM.

Virtual Session Drummers are a new Instrument/Effect to allow for auto accompaniment - which does raise the "they are going to dub it down" radar a little. Indeed there are options to simplify the interface for the casual user which again does indicate the moving together of the world of Garageband and Logic.

Drum Kit Designer also appears to give you signature live kits with interchangeable drums to create your own custom kit, with personality based icons Gavin, Nikki, Jesse or Rose - you guess the genre..  Garageband type X/Y pads let you slide the complexity and fills etc.  Ditto is the Bass Amp Designer with some new stomps for the guitarist.

We also get and Arpeggiator, and it looks like the Environment and MIDI transform of old have influenced the creation of MIDI effects. Additionally theres the Scripter which lets you "create a completely original MIDI generator or processor using JavaScript". This looks particularly interesting and is the first time that Apple have allowed scripting on this level, it will be very interesting to see what it allows you to achieve.

For Audio, Flex Pitch lets you piano-roll type edit any mono recordings (no DNA style editing of polyphonic audio as far as I can see). There's also a new selection of sounds with the sound library and loop collection "rebuilt from the ground up"

iPad Control - there's also a companion iPad app (free) for controlling Logic X which  gives Mixer functions and instrument control (kind of reminiscent of Garageband for iPad)

Whats gone: 32-bit AU plugin compatibility  - this might put a few people out - if Plug-in X or Y have no plans to become 64-bit savvy, then its goodbye within Logic X.

No Upgrade Path - that means, if you owned previous versions of Logic - even if its the latest current version (9.2.1 I think) and you've been a lifelong Logic user and up-grader, tough. You pay the same as anyone else. However, its not terribly expensive, priced at £139.

Mainstage 3 is also released to maintain compatibility with Logic X plugins. This also has had an interface upgrade.

I've not downloaded my version yet, as I'm still on 10.7.4 and am not intending to upgrade to Mountain Lion just yet.

Early reports don't seem to have got people jumping up and down, but the inclusion of Flex Tune, Vintage Synth and Scripter have made what is already a pretty fully featured DAW even more so which is great for newcomers. Whether it has enough features to keep the pro user happy remains to be seen. 3+ years without a major update is quite some time for people to keep the faith.

Has anyone taken the plunge yet? What are your initial thoughts?

Available now via the App Store priced at £139.



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18 Comments... Comments are closed while we transition to Disqus

Rustyvst    Said...

Just got it. Still checking things out

16-Jul-13 04:46 PM

Logician    Said...

Is audio grouping more robust with stack tracks?

16-Jul-13 04:48 PM

The Earl of Cirencester    Said...

Hmm, not sure about the new look. Also still don't think you can re-order the plugins (menu) or move Aux tracks (without creating a track on the arrange page). Also hearing the audio processing is the same as 9(poor multicore distribution). Plugins and most of the instruments have the same dated GUI as before and I'm not sure if you can still insert a plugin on, say, FX slot 9 of multiple tracks, if you wanted something like Sonimus Satson sat at the bottom of all your tracks before you start adding other FX etc.

16-Jul-13 04:50 PM

nativeVS    Said...

Hopefully they improved the bit conversions (some plugins in the 32bit engine just run at 24bit). In my opinion these were always a factor that could make the sound worse if you're not careful.

16-Jul-13 05:16 PM

Dan Stenning    Said...

MEH - not impressed. And i own L9.

Why nothing like Ableton Session view ? just seems like incremental improvements here and there. In large part a me too catching up with the competition.

I'm sticking with Ableton.

16-Jul-13 05:27 PM

Benedict Johnson    Said...

Hahah nice summary, Mr. Batt

Disappointed by these thread comments - I was expecting to find the inevitable ton of entertaining vitriol, but nobody appears to hate or be much affronted by Logic Pro X at all. boo

As soon as I saw an Eric Persing Facebook comment announcing LPX, I immediately thought: It's going to all about a new Clip Launch Mode, or something Live-oriented to compete with Ableton, Bitwig and Maschine, maybe based around the iPad..

but no. Garish Bitwig colour schemes aside, I admit to being among those who are not jumping up and down.

Final Cut X was such a radical ground-up redesign. Surely LPX has undergone equivalent under-the-hood treatment?

If Flex Tune and Flex Time REALLY work as advertised, LPX may warrant further investigation

16-Jul-13 06:54 PM

Mike    Said... has a free 'what's new' series up if anyone is interested.

16-Jul-13 10:43 PM

keyboardnut    Said...

Just started using it, still waiting for all content to download, looks very good but time will tell.A shame you have to download it all as with slow internet takes an age.

17-Jul-13 02:16 AM

Red    Said...

Shame not to see an ESX 24 update - after all Apple bought Recmatica and we've been hoping that this technology would be incorporated into the new update - no sign of it yet though.

17-Jul-13 03:46 AM

JXN    Said...

Just had a go with it,

Been a logic user since Logic 6 and updated a lot the way.

Verdict: not too impressed. If you see it like this, as an update there is not that much difference for the time it's taken to get here, the midi inserts are good, the flex pitch needs work (poly etc), track stacks.... Arnt they just groups in a folder.... The GUI will appeal to the garage band user..

New synth is nice,

Not into the idea off logic writing my drum sequences for me at all.. (Garage band croud will love it)

If I could take my money back I would, but it so cheep I'd have probably paid the same for just the update to find out anyway.

Ill be considering the the switch to Ableton if the direction keeps heading this way for logic...

Negative rant over ;-)


17-Jul-13 04:29 AM

brian from usa    Said...

The Mountain Lion requirement is unfortunate. I hate being forced to do OS upgrades just to run new software.

17-Jul-13 05:26 AM

Mattsynth    Said...

I agree with you Brian, I also hate upgrading my OS just so I can run software. It screws up everything and I spend day getting it all to work again. I use Cubase and they seem to keep all there updates backward compatible for a long time. I have been very happy with Cubase 6. I have never tried Logic but considered it a few times.

17-Jul-13 08:43 AM

mee3d    Said...

I just see this as an update and that's just fine for me, the GUI is better, there's quite a few nice instruments and some better compositional tools - and its cheap enough (and I spent 1000 bucks on it some years ago). I updated from Lion to ML to run this and everything worked as it did before - It was painless for me. Not that happy about no 32bit support but 90% of my plugins are 64bit already and the ones that aren't, such as Waldorfs PPG 3v /Largo are kinda address in the Logic X app itself! People complained that FCPX was a radical change and now people are complaining that LPX wasn't radical enough... as a seasoned Logic user, I'm enjoying it.

17-Jul-13 10:16 AM

Dr kimono    Said...

Incremental upgrade Can be a good thing. I've been using logic from the beginning. I use less than 10% of its facilities. I play live, jazz/electronics, work with singer songwriters and do post production composition for movie trailers. What do You Need an upgrade on. Logics a great recording program, and linear composition. Live is just great at writing. Let them play to their strengths, not become watered down versions of the same 'do-everything' program

17-Jul-13 12:16 PM

Rich    Said...

I'm very impressed. I've used Logic since v4.8 back in 2002 and (unlike most who are getting very upset at the changes Apple are making), I think it gets better with every new revision. Flex Pitch is great, as are most of the new plugins. Shame there's no EXS update, but I have a feeling that will be in the next version in a few years time.

17-Jul-13 05:28 PM

Doris    Said...

Hmm. After all this time and we get features that have long been implemented in other DAWs. Was expecting something special not what appears very much to be just some added features and a new color tint.

17-Jul-13 11:36 PM

Philipp    Said...

Logic X unfortunately has no more global chord track. Apple loops are thus become useless(Logic X as well?):-(

19-Jul-13 03:25 AM

AKA    Said...

I wonder when you import loops if they finally play in tempo when you preview them (not apple loops). External instruments drop outs maybe resolved? I'm gonna wait for further reviews.

19-Jul-13 03:46 AM

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