Sonic LAB: Logic Pro 9 Review

Flex time, edit groups, import and more      09/10/09

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12:42 mins

While Logic Pro remains a powerful force in the DAW arena, there have been a couple of precious features missing in recent months. Mainly Elastic Audio - a phrase (and feature) coined by Digidesign, even though Ableton Live, or perhaps even Celemony's Melodyne  the first to bring the feature out into the open. The ability to manipulate audio events  by stretching or shrinking sections on the sequencer timeline has opened the doors to all kinds of creativity - and fixing.

Well now in the latest update to Logic Pro, Logic Pro 9 - part of the Logic Studio suite - we have it. And a lot more besides. This paid upgrade sees the introduction of Flex Time (Apple's name for it), phase locked edit groups (yay!), the Amp Designer and Pedal Board - for the guitarists as well as a whole host of other functions, tweaks and workflow enhancements.

In this review, we're looking at Flex Time, Edit Groups, Convert to Sample Track, Bounce in Place and Quick Swipe Comping and Import - all seriously useful additions to the Logic users toolbox.

I see no point in covering all of that in the words accompanying this review, so I won't. But I will say, that for me (and I am a long time Logic user), this upgrade has been the most useful one for quite some time and will certainly help the pro or power user as well as people starting out. However, we should be under no illusions that Logic Pro- as with all the major DAWs requires a significant time investment in learning how to get the most out of it.

I will point out that in my review I did encounter one bug, and that was in the Convert to Sampler Track function - specifically in creating sample zones by transient markers which are auto generated from significant audio events within the file. This didnt appear to work. Or rather it did, but ignoring any changes I made to those markers in the audio edit window eg: erasing them. I still ended up with the unwanted samples in the resulting EXS24 instrument when processed. This is not the end of the world, but if it's in there I feel it really should work no?

On the whole, I can heartilly recommend this version of Logic Studio, I know some existing users will begrudge paying the upgrade fee, but I disagree - there's so much in there that is of real use, I cant see why you wouldnt. And if you are a new user, there's no difference in the price... (which is perhaps more why some existing users are peeved).

One last thing, you will need to upgrade to OS X 10.5.7 to install this software.

Logic Studio
is available now.
Pricing: £399/$499
Upgrade: £159/$199 (from Logic Pro or Logic Studio) for other upgrade pricing see Apple website




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11 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
SekondThought    Said...

A great look at the new Logic Studio! There is also an upgrade from Logic Express (or Big Box) for £249.00 as well as the ones mentioned here.

For those who like time stretching features, you should also take a look at Propellerheads new Record software. The tempo can move vastly in BPM with no real artifacts until you go to extreme changes. It's excellent.

09-Oct-09 07:39 AM

tobeng    Said...

Great review Nick, like you said not possible to go through every bit, and hard to keep the viewer entertained too ;)

Good stuff like always, have a nice weekend!

09-Oct-09 09:33 AM

Nick B    Said...

We're hoping to go through some of the other features in another episode, there's so much to software like this, it's quite a job.

09-Oct-09 10:05 AM

Doodles    Said...

The big question is, when will we be able to download the new hit song "One, Two, Three, Four" on iTunes and Amazon??!?!

09-Oct-09 01:57 PM

timbuk    Said...

Having this software is awesome but it is a bit techinical and not as user friendly as it I would like it be. some bugs appear that i have noticed that i hope gets reported and fixed. the idea and concept is great though!

09-Oct-09 02:18 PM

Velocipede    Said...

Great overview. Good to see the new features in action to determine whether I need them. (By the way, I think Quick Swipe Comping started with Logic 8.)

Is that the beginning of a beard?

10-Oct-09 01:43 AM

manufactured    Said...

I experienced the "convert to sampler" bug also. My temp workaround was to use the "slice into new regions based on transients" then select those regions & convert THEM to sampler. Better than nothing.

(forgive my nomenclature errors, I'm away from computer)

10-Oct-09 09:07 AM

Benedict Johnson    Said...

One reason why I still favour Ableton Live over my copy of Logic 8 for linear sequencing is that the piano roll can be easily and instantly re-sized to zoom in on the smallest number of notes. Also, Ableton's double-clicking is more convenient than having to hold down the Apple-key for adding or deleting midi notes on the piano-roll. Funny how these things can completely define the experience of using one DAW over another!

10-Oct-09 05:52 PM

selercs    Said...

i use cubase 5 and love every moment of it. i was a logic user once (logic pro 8) but was extremely disappointed with it: both workflow and features. sure, it had 'better' sounding instruments and effects than cubasse, but i use hardware synth and processors anyway since they sound 'better'.

i do like the graphic instrument icons on the track view in logic...wish cubase had it too.

cubase 5 has way too many cool features i couldn't find in any other daw: play order (arranger track): this is actually from cubase 3; yamaha studio manager; best integration with mlan; best automation window; amazing batch export function; melodyne style vocal editing and pitch correction; beat designer: its sweeter than either the cubase's old drum track or logic's hyper editor; vst expression (!)...also cubase seems to have better video syncing features for adobe. (apple logic comes with mainstage for final cut pro, but i like adobe better).

cubase has been the leader and innovator and in my opinion, that won't change.

oh, and i use cubase with both windows 7 and apple os x.

30-Oct-09 09:44 PM

chompskyhonk    Said...

thanks for the toot dude quick tip - around 7:40 when you slice your regions up with the scissor tool you can hold option while you click and it'll slice it into multiple regions. the length of the regions you create will match the distance from the beginning of the region to where you're slicing it.

31-Oct-09 09:01 PM

Mike    Said...

To "SekondThought":

Record by Propellerheads is a very poor application compared to Logic9! I agree that it has a FANTASTIC time stretching algorithm but it it dosent have even the basic auto tempo maching which is very disappointing!!!

Logic 9 has so many weapons (FX & synths) on it that make Reason+Record look like ancient software!

28-Nov-09 03:57 PM

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