According to an article originated on the excellent Pro-Tools-Expert.com site, "Apple's Pro Audio application team has virtually gone" with no plans to replace the lost positions, putting additional workload on to the existing team. They then go on to extrapolate that this does not bode well for the ongoing development of Logic Pro - Apple's flagship DAW which has traditionally been used by many songwriters and producers due to its initial integration of MIDI and audio.
Its true, Logic Pro has not not seen a significant update for more than 1000 days (according to Mactimeline), and frankly has been left behind by a number of competing DAWs. Some might argue that ProTools, once considered deficient in MIDI and virtual instruments integration, has leapfrogged Logic by some way. Although Avid too has recently been suffering from problems of corporate largess itself with the jettisoning of M-Audio and the Air Group.
Interestingly, the lively debate that ensued on the original article throws up a counter rumour.
I have it first hand from a extremely well placed source that Logic X is well in development and that it is taking so long only because Apple really want to blow other DAW's out of the water with it. So worry not Apple audio people, I believed these doom and gloom for Apple pro audio rumours too and happily I was wrong. It may look bad but appearances can be deceptive.
Whatever the truth may be, one thing is certain, Apple really do need to get some focus on Pro Audio pretty soon - Logic Users who are lusting after the features of Cubase 7, Ableton Live 9, Studio One, the soon to be BitWig and others, will be fondling their credit cards and considering their best options going forward. A DAW with a bright future is more attractive in the long run, and once people switch, they probably won't be back.
We must also consider the lack of updates to the Mac Pro Workstation, even though Tim Cook has been on the record as saying it will be back in 2013. Many say, including myself, that without this update, there'll be a big void in the hardware content creators need to deal with audio and video at high resolutions and continue to create.
I suppose that traditionally, as music creators, we've required the higher end of computing power to achieve our results. But on reflection, perhaps the powerful machines we've enjoyed in the past are no longer required, due to the massive advance in CPU and memory power that even the most modest laptops now offer. We have to come to terms with the fact that we're just not that special any more.
However, we do need the software tools to take advantage of this new power - and I really do hope that Apple has plans to maintain its position with Logic and not turn it into a sidelined iOS app. I mean, its not like they have limited resources..
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Richard Nichol was on hand to show of the new pieces in the Lifeforms range