At last, Apple has released the long-rumoured Logic Pro for iPad, bringing its flagship DAW to a multitouch device for the first time.
First impressions are that, as you’d expect, this takes some design cues from the iOS version of GarageBand, but goes further by offering a range of ‘pro’ features.
Diving into the detail, an all-new sound browser puts all available instrument patches, audio patches, plugin presets, samples and loops in a single location, and you can tap any sound to audition it before you add it to a project.
And there’s certainly plenty of content to play with: Logic Pro for iPad ships with more than 100 instruments and effects, with the multitouch-capable interfaces enabling you to bring them to life.
One of the instruments - Sample Alchemy (below) - is brand new; an evolution of the existing Alchemy synth, we suspect, this enables you to “transform any audio sample with the tap of a finger”.
Plugin Tiles, meanwhile, put the most useful controls for any instrument or effect at your fingertips.
Other potential highlights include Beat Breaker, a new time and pitch-morphing plugin, and iPad-friendly variants of Logic Pro’s Quick Sampler, Step Sequencer and Drum Machine Designer. The Live Loops feature is here too, for those who want an alternative to the standard, timeline-based arrangement view.
Unlike GarageBand for iOS, Logic for iPad includes what Apple describes as a Pro Mixer. This offers channel strips, volume faders, pan controls, plugins, sends and automation features, and enables you to move multiple faders at once.
Crucially, Apple says that the Logic Pro for iPad is compatible with the Mac version via its “roundtrip capabilities” - we’re keen to dig in and find out how these work. A number of audio export options are available, too, including compressed, lossless and individual track stem. GarageBand for iOS projects can be opened in Logic Pro for iPad, too.
Logic Pro for iPad will be available from 23 May priced at £5 a month or £49 and run on any iPad with an A12 Bionic chip or later and iPadOS 16.4 or later, so it’s not just iPad Pro owners who will be able to get involved.
The pricing won’t please those who are opposed to subscription models, obviously, but for people who want to make this their primary music production software, at least it’s not a huge amount to pay.
And that, of course, brings us to the big questions: is there a demand among Apple fans for a pro-grade, end-to-end iPad DAW, and if there is, does Logic Pro fit the bill?
Time will tell, but for now, you can find out more on the Apple website.