For songwriters, beat-makers and those looking to get some material recorded and produced with an array of high performance free FX and processors, Logic Pro X is worth it.
Well, it’s safe to say that neither of those prophecies were fulfilled, but have Apple sacrificed too much for the sake of usability and overall?
What are the pros and cons of Logic Pro X?
Download and installation of Logic Pro X
Logic Pro X is not available under any sort of upgrade scheme – you have to pay the full price even if you’ve used Logic for decades. It’s obviously a Mac program and you purchase it via the iTunes App Store. It’s not too expensive considering you get lots of free instruments, notable favourites include ‘Alchemy’ and ‘ES2’, which are both synthesisers and ‘Space Designer’, an advanced reverb. There’s also heaps of EQs, compressors (including multiband), FX like phasers – all the usual stuff we’re used to getting from DAWs these days.
The program itself is 650MB but there’s 2GB of essential files to download and another 32GB of stuff in the cloud if you so please. Loops, samples, patches, all in WAV ready to use..it’s a lot of free stuff and that certainly gives you some mileage for your money.
Logic X for Production ‘In the Box’
That’s not to say that Logic X isn’t able to meet demanding production situations – it’s just built and optimised with more modern digital studio production in mind.
Logic Pro X Interface: A Logical New Look
Still, you have to say that it looks good. The icons are fat and easy to use, the layout is crisp and sharp and it’s generally pretty harmonious to look at. Dim the studio lights and it looks even more classy. It has Apple sophistication for sure, but rest assured, it doesn’t look too much like Garageband!
In terms of the UI, there’s tons of differences if you’re comparing to Logic 9. Firstly, the Arrange window is gone – replaced by the ‘main window’. The Arrange area is now the Tracks area, the Sample Editor is the now the Audio File Editor, and so on and so forth…Most of these changes are pretty simple or linear to follow for Logic Pro 9 or previous users. It’s more of a reshuffle than a redesign.
GarageBand users will see the similarities too, which makes the transition relatively frictionless. It’s not so much that the programs function in the same way, it’s just that there’s harmony in looks and feel.
Aside from renaming and re-shifting, the core functions do remain similar to older Logic programs, which is great if you’re a seasoned user. Sure, things have moved, e.g. the Transport is at the top now, and you will have to hunt for some of your go-to commands, etc, but nothing is hidden in silly or obscure locations.
The Piano Roll has been updated with quantise settings and the Score Editor has been improved also, it’s easy to use and clearly labelled.
One thing that has been inherited from GarageBand is that you can control volume and pan directly from the track list.
Workflow in Logic Pro X
New and improved features in Logic Pro X
Drummer and Drum Designer
Logic X’s drum designer allows you to select from different styles of drummer and different sets of equipment. Logic says: “Drummer is powered by the performances and sounds of some of the industry’s top session players and recording engineers.” It’s very easy to use with its visually striking interface.
Drum designer is capable of some great sounding tones and grooves which are pretty realistic, even if they are obviously very clean and professionally recorded.
To me, this is a minor gripe. When you have a DIY vocal track, or live recording of guitar, bass or another instrument layered over what is clearly a pro recorded drum loop, it kind of detracts from the authenticity of the whole track. The Drum Designer gives you control over everything from volume and projection to groove but still, the end result is very high grade and clean – it’d be great if you could muddy it all up a bit to make it sound more authentic.
Smart Controls are one of these extra features that have been slid into the general workflow. They just sort of appear and tempt you to use them. It’s not vital to use them rigorously but they’re a great assistance when working with complex FX chains.
New Plugins and FX
In terms of synths, the Retro Synth is new for pretty standard analogue and FM synthesis. There’s updated organs and pianos too, nothing major but something nonetheless.
Logic Pro X compatibility with audio interfaces
Our picks of the best audio interfaces to use with Logic Pro X are…
In terms of UI and features, Logic Pro X is extremely solid. It doesn’t break new ground – it’s no DAW killer or world beater but it does what it does in smooth and sleek style, and that’s the Apple software way.
I have personally used Logic for years and would not change my DAW, most wouldn’t if they are used to it. So is Logic Pro X Worth it? I’d have to say yes.