Logic Studio - The Little Things...

The long awaited release of Logic 8 was a slow and frustrating one. Logic users were left twiddling their thumbs as updates for rival DAWs shot up around them. I´m guessing this is way Apple did it so quietly, and why it´s so cheap. But neither of these reasons should put you off. We got a personal demonstration from Apple themselves, and we were left walking away thinking this might be the best DAW on the market.

As with everything in the music tech world, and otherwise, it depends what you need it for. But I can say with, with quite a bit of confidence, that you guys are gonna love it.

It´s already been heavily reported all over the net, so we´ll take a look at some of the more low-key but still exciting features. After all, it´s the little things…

Setting up in Logic has never been an easy task. Apple designed previous versions this way so that, despite the difficulties, it was ultimately very rewarding. But it left new users raising their eyebrows, clicking randomly and hoping for the best (that´s what I did at first anyway).

So, in Logic Pro 8, Apple have introduced a load of new templates, much like their other ‘Pro Apps´, when you load up the software.

Here´s a look at what it looks like:

There are loads to chose from, and obviously, you can start from a blank one and set it up like before, if you´re set in your ways. Seperated by Styles, Composer and Production, it´s there to get you working in the software as fast as possible. It looks pretty nifty too, but is definitely aimed at newer users, or users who are constantly switching between what they´re using it for. Still, a welcome addition.

Although they definitely won´t admit it, it´s clear Logic have taken a few pages from Ableton´s books. The handy browser window Ableton boasts so well has found it´s way into Logic´s new interface.

Along with that, another handy Live feature, named in Ableton as the ‘Sample Display/Note Editor´ window has also been included in Logic Pro 8. Simply double clicking on an audio or MIDI file in the arrangement window pops it up at the bottom of the screen for editing. Nothing new, certainly welcome.

On first impressions, it seems Apple have set a new standard for multi-taking and quick comping. Having not got to try it for myself in a real recording environment it is tough to say, but from first glance, it seems to make a hell of a lot of sense.

To sum it, you can multi-take on a loop over and over until you´re happy. Then, by simply expanding the window, you can see all your takes and select which one you want to use, non-destructively. Not only that, but, say you liked the first part of the vocal on take six, and the rest of take three. You simply highlight each part of the take and Logic automatically creates seamless auto-fades between the takes and you can collapse the track and voila, it plays through what you´ve selected, all non-destructively. Meaning, you can return to the section as many times as you want and keep changing all of your takes, without editing any audio. It seems like the perfect solution.

Another mention no one seems to be reporting (not even Apple in their press release), which makes me sceptical to see how it really works, is Low Latency Mode. According to the demonstrator, you can switch this button, and it turns off any plug-ins hogging a lot of CPU, to make sure you have the lowest latency possible for your recordings. The amazing thing is, there´s no freezing, or even a delay, involved. It´s just a simple on-off button that activates and de-activates instantly.

This seems like an incredibly handy function for those of us running less powerful machines or laptops, but I´ll keep a cynical approach until I try it myself. I coudln't find a pic for this, but it's just a little button.

I want to mention MainStage, but I won´t get too bogged down in it as there is a lot to it, and you can read that all over the Internet. The most intuitive thing that interested me was the ability to ‘build´ your own interfaces, albeit, limited to what is provided. It reminded me of a kind of Lemur-Rax hybrid and that´s a pretty exciting concept. There is loads more to talk to about this program, but in due course. It has a pretty cool looking tuner though.

At first glance, and I stress ‘first glance´, Logic Studio looks like a pretty awesome package. I mean, they have thought of everything, live performance, post production and heavy influence on new ease-of-use features, it´s a pretty exciting time for Logic users…

Keep glued to FM for a full-on, in-depth review, coming soon…