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A particularly nice touch is that you can set minimum and maximum values for mapping, so the Smart Control doesn’t have to control the full range of the parameter, and it’s also possible to invert the value, as well as scale it using parameter mapping graphs. Another nice touch is that it’s possible for a Smart Control to be mapped to multiple parameters from different plug-ins.

Simply click the first mapping entry and choose Add Mapping from the pop-up menu, and another mapping will be added, compete with its own independent settings.

This makes for some interesting possibilities, since, in the previous example, you could have a single Smart Control that adjusts EXS24’s cutoff frequency and the delay’s wetness simultaneously. Once clicked, the Arpeggiator is added and enabled, and a pop-up menu appears next to the button, enabling you to change both Arpeggiator settings and presets from the Smart Controls area.

Smart Controls can also be useful when used in conjunction with Summing Stacks, because while each sub-track can have its own Smart Controls layout, so can the main track, with the ability to access all the parameters of all the sub-tracks. Overall, Smart Controls are a great way to add a front end to patches you create in Logic, and possibly the only aspect that I found slightly limiting was being restricted to only work with the layouts provided by the program.

For example, some layouts contain switches and some don’t, and some layouts contain more controls than you might need, and some too few.

Having more user control over the appearance and controls used in a layout would be really helpful. Setting it up is easy: simply make sure both the iPad and Mac are connected to the same network, run Logic, and then run Logic Remote.

A list of available Macs running Logic will appear in Logic Remote, and, when you select one, Logic will ask you to confirm the connection. After that, both Logic and Logic Remote will remember this marriage, and re-establish it automatically whenever both sides are available.

Logic Remote consists of a number of views that allow you to interact with Logic in different ways, drawing heavily on Apple’s experience in designing GarageBand for iOS. Always visible at the top of the screen is a miniature Control bar where you’ll find various global controls. There’s a button that lets you select different views, as well as transport controls, an LCD that shows the current time in beats and the currently selected Track, Cycle and Metronome buttons, and a Settings button.

The LCD also has left and right buttons on either side for selecting next and previous tracks in the Track List, and tapping it toggles the display of a ruler. You can use the ruler to scrub time, and if Cycle Mode is active, you can even adjust the Cycle Region. Logic Remote lets you control Logic’s mixer from your iPad, and even includes a meter bridge. The Mixer view works pretty much as you might expect.

In the upper part of each Channel Strip, there are four buttons for setting the automation mode, record enable if available for that track , and mute and solo. Below these buttons, there’s a choice of what to see: volume and pan controls which is the default , just the first four send knobs, or simply a volume fader if you want to have a longer fader throw.

The Settings button on the Control bar provides access to some useful commands, such as undo and redo, as well as commands for creating new tracks. Once you’ve done that, the new track gets selected and you can tap the Control bar’s Library button to access the library of available instrument patches and pick one to assign to that track.

Next, you can switch to the Smart Controls view, which shows the same Smart Controls editor as you would see in Logic, as well as a controller to actually play the sound. By default, Logic Remote selects the most appropriate controller for the instrument, so you’ll see a keyboard for a piano patch, guitar strings for a guitar patch, and drum pads for a drum patch, although you can override this selection in the Views pop-up if you wish.

A related view is the Chord Strips view, which allows you to play the current instrument via the Chord Strips you may know and love from GarageBand. If you have a drum instrument selected, the Drum Pads view will be available instead, showing more pads than are available on the Smart Controls view.

Logic Remote makes it easier to set up and access key commands Logic Remote’s Key Commands view makes it possible to trigger key commands from your iPad. Here you can see the configuration pop-out that makes it possible to assign your own key commands and colours. Tapping in an empty key command opens a pop-up that lets you select a key command from all of those available in Logic. The list is organised into categories in exactly the same way as Logic’s Key Commands window, and can also find the key command with a handy search field at the top of the pop-up.

To reconfigure an existing key command, change its colour, or remove it, tap with two fingers on the key command to reopen the pop-up. The Key Commands view is great, although it would be even greater if you could see more key commands on a single page. Adding just one extra row, to have 24 plus six commands visible at once, wouldn’t make the buttons that much smaller.

And wouldn’t it be nice if the six key commands along the bottom could be optionally persistent across multiple views, much like the way the Control bar is always visible along the top?

The final view provided by Logic Remote is a very simple idea that’s also rather clever: Smart Help. Taking the idea of the main window’s Quick Help option one step further, if you hover the mouse over a user interface while Logic Remote is connected, Smart Help will open the corresponding section in the manual explaining that particular feature.

So, if the mouse is over a Record Enable button, Smart Help will automatically show the ‘Enable tracks for recording’ section in the manual. And if you want to read something in more detail without Smart Help jumping to another section, the Library button becomes a handy Lock button that can disable the link between Smart Help and Logic. Convenient doesn’t even begin to explain it, although it seems a shame you can’t look through the Smart Help manual when offline and not connected to Logic.

Logic Remote is probably the best remote-control app for Logic, thanks to a level of integration that simply wouldn’t be possible with a third-party solution. There’s clearly a great deal of potential for where Apple could take this app in the future, but even so, for a 1.

There is no doubt that Apple have developed some very sophisticated features in Logic Pro X. Drummer, Track Stacks, Flex Pitch, Smart Controls and Logic Remote are, for the most part, brilliantly implemented and serve their purpose well, along with other bonuses such as MIDI plug-ins and being able to have Alternatives within a project.

But many of the big new features appeal to very different sets of users. Unless you need a drum kit, Drummer isn’t going to be that useful; and while that sounds obvious, the reality is that there are thousands of professional Logic users who will never need a virtual drummer, no matter how good. Such features demonstrate how Apple are trying to broaden Logic Pro’s appeal beyond the sort of people who used Logic prior to Apple’s acquisition of Emagic 11 years ago.

And while that’s completely understandable, it means, perhaps inevitably, that certain areas of the program, and certain lingering requests from long-time users, are still arguably not getting the attention they warrant. For example, the only real improvements made to the Piano Roll editor in this release have been to bring GarageBand-style editing techniques to the Inspector. Now, there’s nothing wrong in having features for quantising pitch to a given scale, it’s just that I think most Logic users I know would have preferred to be able to see multiple lanes of MIDI Draw at the same time, or have better surround support.

And certainly, if you compare Logic Pro’s Piano Roll editor with, say, Cubase’s Key Editor, there’s an increasing gap in functionality between the two. Furthermore, the measures that Apple have taken to simplify the program mean that certain ways of working with previous versions now seem to be impossible. For example, previously if you had multiple Regions open in the Piano Roll editor, double-clicking a note would move you up a level and display only the notes from the Region to which the clicked note belonged.

Now, double-clicking a note opens up the Event List or the Score Editor if you hold down a modifier and there seems no way to get back to the old way. I don’t want to end on a completely negative note, because there are a great number of advanced features that have been added if you dig around. But perhaps the ultimate problem with Logic being promoted to and used by a broader user base is that there are so many different types of users to serve — and not everyone is a songwriter.

If users have to wait so long between updates while observing the movements of competing products, it will always be hard for Apple to meet expectations. Ultimately, though, Logic Pro X is still Logic deep down, has many new features, and is available at a ridiculous price. The user interface changes in Logic Pro X see some attention paid to the mixer controls. First of all, you’ll notice the volume-fader cap now looks like a more conventional hardware fader cap and no longer displays the current level of the fader, which seems a shame.

Instead, the volume is shown in its own display above the fader, next to an easier-to-read peak level display. The Audio Effects slots, formerly known as the insert slots, have also been tweaked a little. If there are no plug-ins in a slot, you’ll see an area labelled Audio FX that you can click to add a plug-in. The slot appears much as it did before, with the name of the plug-in, but now when you hover the mouse over a slot, you’ll see three controls for bypass, opening the editor, and selecting a new plug-in or removing it altogether.

This is quite nice, since it means you can now bypass a plug-in using just the mouse. Rather than displaying a fully open second slot when the first is in use, there’s now just a tiny area visible, which is where you click to add the next plug-in. Alternatively, you can drag the first plug-in into this area, as before, to move it into the second slot. Send slots also get the mouse-hover-bypass control, and Channel Strips now feature a gain-reduction meter, positioned just above the EQ display.

This is a nice touch, but it isn’t quite as powerful as the one featured in Pro Tools it’s not located in such a useful position, and it only works with Logic’s own dynamics plug-ins. Following on from Logic Pro 9’s Flex Time, which allowed you to correct the timing of recorded audio, Logic Pro X introduces Flex Pitch to let you correct or otherwise adjust the pitch of recorded audio.

To edit the pitch of an Audio Region, you double-click it to open it in the new Audio Track editor. This isn’t the new name for the old Sample editor, which is still there and is now known as the Audio File editor, but a new audio editor designed to edit Audio Regions in much the same way you might edit MIDI Regions in the Piano Roll editor.

Enable Flex mode on the Audio Track editor’s toolbar, choose Flex Pitch from the pop-up menu, and Logic will present that familiar Melodyne-esque display of a piano-roll-style note display superimposed on the audio waveform. You can also edit Flex Pitch information in the main window, which is neat, though I really don’t know why you’d want to, as the Audio File editor makes this kind of manipulation so much easier. You can change the pitch and timing of the notes in pretty much the same way as you would in the Piano Roll editor, including being able to split and merge notes.

More advanced editing is equally simple, because as you hover over each note in the editor, a number of so-called ‘hotspots’ appear around the note that you can click and drag to adjust more specific properties. Above the note are three hotspots for dealing with pitch: pitch drift in, if you want to bend into a note; fine pitch, to adjust the note pitch with more granularity than semitones; and pitch drift out, to bend out of the note.

What’s nice about the handles is that they update the display in the editor as you drag, making it easy to see what you’re doing. Below the note are three additional handles for controlling the gain, the amount of vibrato, and the formant shift of the note. Of course, Flex Time isn’t necessarily about pitch correction. When this is enabled, playing a note on your MIDI keyboard will transpose the note under the playhead to the note that you played and then advance the playhead to the next note.

This generally works well, although sometimes I found that the initial note’s timing was off just enough for it not to fall under the playhead. Generally speaking, the quality of the results was really good, although I found that sometimes notes were detected in the wrong octave, especially high bass notes.

Significantly, the Staff Settings window has been redesigned and, in addition to making the settings much clearer to see and work with, there’s a handy preview display of how the currently selected Staff Style will appear. Also, in addition to Linear View where the score appears in continuous horizontal staves and Page View, there’s a new Wrapped View that’s something of a cross between the two, wrapping the score to fill all the available editing area in the score editor.

Looped Regions are now visible in the score, with notes that are part of the loop appearing in a fainter grey colour on the stave. Logic Pro’s instrument and effects plug-ins have always been affectionately regarded, even though the cobwebs from the Emagic days have become more apparent in the last few versions.

In Logic Pro X, Apple have taken the opportunity to update some of these plug-ins, as well as adding a few new ones including Drum Kit Designer, which is mentioned in the main text. Sadly, the plug-ins designated for a spring clean might not necessarily be the ones you might hope for: EXS24, for example, seems untouched, at least as far as I could tell.

The EVB3 organ emulation has been renamed Vintage B3 and given a brand-new user interface, which is a massive improvement in terms of aesthetics and usability — well, come on, who doesn’t like Hammond-inspired skeuomorphism?! The Leslie emulation has also been improved, and, as always, can be used as a stand-alone effect by using the Rotor Cabinet plug-in. Logic Pro X also includes a new synth plug-in: Retro Synth is a voice synthesizer offering four different oscillator types: analogue, sync, wavetable and FM.

But the straightforward structure of the synth remains the same, regardless of the oscillator, making it easy to tweak and program sounds, though I found the analogue and sync oscillators most rewarding. Turning to effects plug-ins, Pedalboard includes seven new stomp boxes — complete with garish designs — like the wonderful Tie Dye Delay a reverse delay and Flange Factory, with its Miami Vice-inspired appearance that even includes a pink flamingo.

Sound-wise, I quite liked the simpler, warm and dirty Grit distortion pedal. With a choice of three amps, six cabinets plus two direct outs and three mic models, Bass Amp Designer sounds pretty decent, and Apple have also added inline compression and parametric EQ to help you craft the right bass sound.

One feature that will appeal to users who like creative sequencing is the ability to add MIDI plug-ins to Software Instrument tracks. In the early days of Logic, this was the kind of functionality that was handled by the Environment, which included all manner of interesting objects to do arpeggiation, chord memorisation, delays and so on. But while the Environment still works, it hasn’t really been a promoted part of Logic for some time, so there was definitely a need for a more modern approach to handling MIDI effects.

This confused me initially, since I thought it meant you could only have one MIDI plug-in, but it’s actually possible to have eight — you just need to click when a green line appears on the bottom of a slot. The factor they all share in common is surprisingly large user interfaces; in theory, you can scale these down within the plug-in editor, but because the text is significantly smaller than the controls, it can become hard to read the labels and displays.

This plug-in makes it possible to roll your own MIDI processors in JavaScript, so you’ll need to have a little programming experience to be able do this, but there are plenty of examples included that you can enjoy without having to get your hands dirty with code. Some interesting examples include Harpeggiator, which is a fun way to program somewhat realistic harp glissandi, although it is possibly more run to use this on instruments like piano for that full-on Liberace effect.

Drum Probability Sequencer is a pretty neat drum machine where you specify the probability of a note playing on a given beat for four separate voices.

Personally, I can’t wait to delve deeper into Scripter, and I’m sure we’ll see online communities popping up for people to demonstrate and share their ideas with others. Logic Pro X introduces a new Project file format, with the ‘. This means that while Logic Pro X can load songs from previous versions of Logic back to Logic Pro 5 and Logic Express 5, according to Apple’s web site, showing that not everyone has done their homework!

One of the benefits of the new file format is that more data can be saved within the project file bundle itself. For example, when you save a Project, the assets for that Project can now be saved within the project file bundle so that everything is contained in a single file.

You can also still save a Project as a folder, just like in previous versions. Additionally, Projects can now contain alternate versions. So if you’re the sort of person who saves successive Project files as v1, v2, v3 and so on, you could now save and recall these incremental versions as Project Alternatives within a single Project file.

You can also later rename and remove older versions via the new Edit Alternative window. Another improvement is that Logic Pro X now has a proper auto-save implementation that works in the background, so you don’t have to worry about losing information if something bad happens and you’ve forgetten to save.

I only had one crash after updating to Fortunately, auto-save seemed to have kicked in right before the crash, and nothing was lost. This is obviously a big improvement upon Logic Pro 9. Logic Pro X introduces a new interface and a large number of powerful, inventive, and musical features, but not all existing users will feel their needs have been met with this release.

Mixed Improvements The user interface changes in Logic Pro X see some attention paid to the mixer controls. Flexible Pitch Flex Pitch makes it possible to edit the pitch of notes in monophonic audio. Notice the hotspots for making more detailed adjustments, the pitch-drift line, and also how pitched notes are ever-so-slightly highlighted, as in the case of the lowest note in the editor. Arpeggiator is a surprisingly capable MIDI plug-in, and probably my second favourite in those provided.

What makes it really useful is that you can define your own patterns, and there are many good presets supplied to get you started. Used in conjunction with Logic’s synths, it’s a great deal of fun. Chord Trigger allows you to trigger chords by playing a single note, just like the old Chord Memoriser Environment object.

Modifier lets you use an incoming event to modify another type of MIDI message; for example, velocity to scale the mod wheel. Modulator is a modulation source for MIDI events featuring both LFO and envelope generators, although you don’t have to use both at the same time.

Note Repeater is a MIDI delay effect where you specify the number of repeated notes and the velocity curve they should follow. Randomizer randomises the specified type of incoming MIDI event and allows you to offset the output value. Transposer lets you transpose incoming notes and optionally make them conform to a user- or pre-defined scale. Velocity Processor offers a way to adjust the velocities of incoming note events. You can compress or expand them, limit them, or scale and add or subtract a constant value from them.

Best of all, it’s also possible to set an overall minimum and maximum velocity range for the processing. Pros New user interface makes Logic easier to use than ever before.

Drummer is the best integrated virtual drummer yet seen. Track Stacks help to organise the Track List and also add creative possibilities. Includes MIDI plug-ins, with the facility to script your own. Cons Existing users might not appreciate every change in the new interface. Not all users will agree with the direction Apple are taking with Logic, and some of its more traditional sequencing functionality feels neglected.

Summary Logic Pro X introduces a new interface and a large number of powerful, inventive, and musical features, but not all existing users will feel their needs have been met with this release.

Test Spec Logic Pro Apple Mac Pro with dual 2. MacBook Air RME Fireface audio interface. Buy PDF version. Previous article Next article. A DAW usually features a recording of multiple tracks of instruments and synchronizes both physical and software instruments. Musicians use a DAW to record either a demo version of a song, or compose the final version of a track that will be heard on the albums, radio stations, and streaming services.

DAWs are also used in the film and television industry when actors need to redub lines of dialog, as well as when mixing sound effects and music. Composers also use a DAW to record scores specifically tailored to a film project, ensuring that music cues are in sync with the action on screen.

Logic Pro is a full-featured recording studio that comes bundled with virtual instruments such as a grand piano, effects such as a guitar amplifier, and more. The software also contains a vast library of pre-recorded music loops that can be used freely to start compositions. Garageband is a stripped-down and consumer-friendly version of Logic.

The development of Logic Pro is a rich history that is thirty years in the making. Pro Tools is also a digital audio workstation. Side-by-side Pro Tools is equipped with a comparable feature set as Logic Pro. Pro Tools has become as synonymous with music production as Adobe has with image editing. Pro Tools is often found in the largest recording facilities and, more importantly, facilities that require dedicated assistants to keep sessions running.

Meaning that you could record a guitar riff or start a beat in Garageband and then promote the work into Logic Pro for further refinement. However, Logic Pro projects cannot be sent backward to Garageband. MainStage is a performance-only variation on Logic, designed to allow musicians to perform software instruments and effects live.

MainStage can be used on its own without Logic Pro installed or purchased and can be a great resource for the laptop musician wanting to take their show on the road. Pro Tools Artist is very capable and is bundled with over plug-ins ready for recording. The main limitation of this version is the track sound, with 32 audio tracks and 32 instrument tracks.

Pro Tools Artist is a compelling option for musicians and students alike who want to learn the ropes. Pro Tools Studio comes equipped with a total of tracks, allowing the production of professional studio-quality work. Pro Tools Studio adds support for the Avid Carbon hardware interface, adding DSP hardware acceleration into the mix and offering enhanced plug-in performance. This is the best all-around pick for most users.

Flex features the highest level of functionality and compatibility. While more expensive upfront than Pro Tools Artist, Logic Pro offers better value for money over time. There is only one version of Logic Pro meaning all features are available immediately and without the need for costly upgrades.

Logic Pro is developed by Apple and is exclusive to the Mac. Installing Logic Pro and configuring the excellent Logic Remote software only took me a few minutes. By default, many instruments are not installed. For example, the stringed instruments need to be downloaded within the application before they are available for use. Pro Tools users must also have Avid accounts, install Avid Link launcher software, and connect Avid accounts to an iLok account for licensing.

During my testing, installing Pro Tools took me the better part of a day, and I ran into issues getting my Avid account to talk to my iLok account. This was not difficult to resolve, but took much longer than I had expected. Pro Tools tends to support older machines for longer periods of time than Logic Pro has historically. Being able to move between Mac and Windows operating systems also opens more workflow possibilities to more users.

That said, purchasing Logic Pro from the Mac App Store and configuring the software only took a few minutes to start creating music. Logic Pro is for you. I was expecting Logic to be the clear winner in this section, but Pro Tools has closed the instrument gap in recent years. Overall, Logic Pro has more sampled instruments and more synthesizers at its disposal.

Pro Tools has many useful presets that can be built into great-sounding instruments. Logic Pro features a built-in library of content of samples and loops which can be quickly tracked onto tracks from an integrated inspector.

Many of these loops are straight MIDI data that can be easily manipulated and edited. Logic has the edge here not only in building tracks but in building them quickly. The same operations take a bit longer using Pro Tools. However, smaller home-brew companies tend to use the VST format, which neither Logic nor Pro Tools will read natively.

Lastly, Logic Pro features a suite of MIDI-only plugins, including an excellent arpeggiator and a chord trigger, that can be used on any virtual instrument. Pro Tools has no equivalent feature. While Apple Loops included with Logic can sound a little cheesy, they can be edited easily to build out more interesting sounds and patterns.

Both applications offer excellent utility apps for iOS. Both applications offer a fun and quick way to navigate channel strips, configure plugins, and adjust volumes for any track in the mix.

Logic takes the win in this category with its ease-of-use and excellent step sequencer and chord softkeys. While either software can be used for audio post-production for tasks such as dialog replacement, sound effects editing, foley, and final mixing, Pro Tools is purpose-built for this task.

Editing waveforms in the Edit panel are more intuitive with the Pro Tools smart tool, and projects coming from Avid Media Composer are directly imported into Pro Tools sessions with plug-in and automation data. If you work in post-production there is an extremely good chance audio is done in Pro Tools. Logic Pro offers similar integration with Final Cut Pro but has not been widely adopted inside the industry. Today, Logic Pro and Pro Tools each feature a complete set of tools for anyone to create music and sound.

This was not always the case and in the past, either platform had unique shortcomings.


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