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 Apple.com - although only in the UK flavour.
Here's what we know so far:
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.
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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Pauls gives us a look at what is currently available and coming up in the year ahead