Logic Pro X has just hit the app store this past Tuesday, and @ The Horse, we have to stay on top of the newest technology, and this certainly qualifies. It has been more than 3 years since Apple rolled out a full update for Logic Pro – and this one is a biggie!
The first thing you will notice about Logic Pro X is the graphic design – it looks completely different. Most of the basic menu items are in the same place, but many preferences have been moved to more accessible menu locations. If you have an existing install of Logic 9, it will not only read your preference files and adapt these, but it will also leave Logic 9 on the same machine – meaning you can run them both at the same time!
This is big for Logic Pro X because the reality is that many of your plug-ins will not work – [OUCH] it only supports 64-bit plug-ins, and there is no sign of a wrapper or bridge for this, as Apple seems to be pushing software developers to move to 64-bit, which is big deal for programmers. Up to this point I see all sorts of complaints about the 32 bit bridge – how it crashes, the windows are separate apps, blah blah blah. Well now you really have something to complain about because it’s gone! This will force all the last minute 32-bit plug-in developers to move quickly or be left behind.
Ableton Live chose to make separate versions of their software, with 32-bit and then 64-bit support. Logic is doing the same basic thing by leaving the existing Logic 9 application alone. Then you can slowly put your toe into the cold water, instead of diving head first into the 64-bit arctic waters.
With 3rd party plug-ins aside, Logic Pro X does a great job of adding new sounds to their line up. I haven’t even gone through all of them, but what I have seen so far is pretty darn cool. They re-designed the B3 and Clav, which now sound a bit richer with more detail. The basics are the same, such as the EXS24, ES2, and the others, but they did add a new retro synth, trying to Kompete with Massive. It’s pretty cool, but its no real competition to the popular synth from NI, although some of the other MIDI based plug-ins are massively cool. They give you several performance insert points for adding things such as delay, arpeggiator, and transpose. This was always present in the environment, but no one ever seemed to use it, except for nerds such as myself. Now it is right in the channel strip.
The thing I am most excited about is the new flex tool, which now does not only manipulate audio like “liquid,” but now it does the same for pitch! So basically, Logic Pro X now has Melodyne built right in to it! Holy Crapola, Batman! Yep, this is pretty awesome news. They have done a great job at improving the workflow all around. The library is now more organized, and the same windows that were there before are still present.
My recommendation, even for Logic newbies, is to take a ride to the preferences, and click on advanced. This is enabled by default, but there are many other features below that can be checked as well. I really don’t see the need to uncheck any of these. If you are a new user to Logic Pro X, then you may not even notice the subtle menu changes they offer. You might as well get used to the full monty, as it won’t take most users long to conquer it, especially if they are studying with me @ The Horse. 😉
Another sweet feature, which I have honestly not explored much, is the new stack tracks. From the Apple website: “Keep your sessions better organized by consolidating multiple related tracks — for example, all the drums or vocals — into a new track format called a Track Stack. Choose to have your Track Stack routed to a new auxiliary for quick and convenient submixing. Or use Track Stacks to create rich, layered, or split instruments that are easy to manage, save, and reuse. And your Track Stack can be collapsed for simplicity or expanded at any time for more control.”
One of the coolest features of Pro Tools 11 is the advanced metering, which shows gain reduction right in the channel strip. I guess the boys at Apple were also at these meetings, so they took that idea and put it into the Logic Mixer – Shazam! Thanks Avid, we’ll take that idea, it was a good one. Its not as detailed as the Avid stuff, but they aren’t using a new plug-in format, either. The rest of the mixer is basically the same, and all of the viewing options are still present as before. You really do need a large monitor for this sucker as well. There is a lot of information packed into one window, and on some screen resolutions, it may appear overwhelming.
One final note – let’s not expect the world of a X.0.0 version. Ww should know by now that the first major release always sucks. Just as I said we have it here @ The Horse, it is most certainly not in any of the control rooms, yet. We do our own testing, and let me tell you, it is a crash monster so far. I had about 6 crashes the first hour I dove into it. Argh. Before anyone starts bashing this, let’s give it until 10.0.3 or so before it is ready for actual paying production work. I’m sure a lot of this has to do with 32-bit plug-ins still in the folders, or maybe its because we had to do a full OS update, as it requires 10.8.4 – what? Many didn’t even know it was out yet. Apple’s way of pushing us along through the cyber space update wars. I guess this means they have the next 3 years to make it perfect all over again!
– Eric “YO.M.G!” Nelson Yoder