Whither Logic?

by Jochen Wolters

At last month's Musikmesse, there was good news and not so good news from Apple.

The good news is that this year saw Apple's most eye-catching Messe booth, yet. Following Apple's signature black/silver/white design, the booth was bigger than in previous years, featured a larger demo theater, and also boasted a more prominent location on the show floor. A welcome sign that Apple is serious about this industry.

The not so good news: Apple made no announcements whatsoever.


2007-04-30 09:24:43
Your fears are unfounded. Apple may or may not be tying new apps to Leopard for UI reasons, but there's nothing new in Core Audio or Audio Units that would cause a delay of this magnitude, nor any changes that would break backwards compatibility.
2007-04-30 09:26:38
Logic Pro 8 is likely a massive rewrite. It is a very powerful application, as witnessed by the fact that it hasn't been majorly updated in 2+ years yet it's still fairly current with today's DAW. A trend that I've noticed in software design is this. You will see applications that are based on code that from the pre OS X days begin to slow down developmentally. The updates generally contain smaller features and stability seems to become an issue. To me this is a telltale sign that the developer is working on a new product with major architectural changes. For instance look at Now Software. They announced a MWSF a new Nighthawk product that replaces all legacy code. Look at Apple and Shake. They have End of Lifed Shake and are purported to be working on a successor due next year. I think Logic Pro is undergoing the same metamorphasis. I've read that Steve Jobs wasn't enamored with the interface and the underlying code was probably pretty old. With hindsight being 20/20 it's becoming clear that Apple took advantage of the aquisition to prepare a more suitable upgrade. Logic Pro has always done an outstanding job with Midi but it's failing has been intuitive audio editing. I look for that to change with the next version. Watch out Pro Tools.
Jochen Wolters
2007-05-01 05:00:31

Thank you for this welcome bit of reassurance. :)

Jochen Wolters
2007-05-01 05:14:25

You have a valid point about the slow-down in development, and this effect may be especially noticeable if it happens to software aimed at creatives. Most creative users I know not only expect their software to work well, but also provide a healthy dose of inspiration through its tools. For DAWs, think softsynths and whacky filters, and it is the lack of new additions in this department that makes me think of Logic as "getting old."

As for the architectural overhaul, I had a little exchange of emails with David Battino about what Apple may have in store for Logic 8, and David mentioned the idea of modular audio workstation software: just enable/install the features and functions you really need, and have the software and its UI scale with your progress in its use. With Apple's expertise in UI design, I'm sure they could pull this off.

Oh man, just musing on what Apple might put into Logic 8 makes waiting for the update even less bearable ... ;)

2007-05-01 10:56:56
One major change I'm hoping for is that Logic's amazing tools (like sculpture) and soft-synths will be available as audio units for external audio unit hosts. You might say "what, Logic isn't enough?" Not at all -- in fact, it's too much. Using those amazing tools shouldn't be limited to those folks who don't mind climbing the learning curve of "the environment". Plus, my real goal is livecoding. And livecoding environments (like Impromptu) are basically just audio unit hosts.
Steve C.
2007-05-01 12:50:01
One can only hope that Apple has been busy re-writing the audio engine in Logic, since the program has been a complete failure as an audio editor. While Logic is a remarkable MIDI music composition program (and the built-in synths are big fun), those of us who get paid to compose keep a second computer running Pro Tools in the studio to edit and mix audio stems. I would no more use Logic for cleaning up dialog files than would a razor blade.

If Apple wants to do to digidesign what it did to Avid with Final Cut, then the audio editing must be completely overhauled.

Jochen Wolters
2007-05-01 13:57:12

Back in the days when Emagic, Logic's creators, were still independent, their key plugins like the ES1 and ES2 synths or the EVP88 electric piano were all sold separately. It was Apple who compiled all the Emagic goodness into just two products, and I don't think they will untie these packages again anytime soon, as desirable as that would be. Unless, that is, they pick up (or have already worked on) that modular DAW concept...

2007-05-01 13:58:00
@ Jochen- I agree..there's seems to be a lot of work in using convolution technology for more than just reverb. I'd love to see Apple/Emagic focus some attention there.

@ Dylan- Oh yes that's a biggie! Audio Units are so vital to every application that uses them systemwide so LP8 needs to connect to all plugins via AU. If I get used to how a plugin sounds and functions I want to use that wherever it's appropriate. Excellent point.

@ Steve C.- Agreed...nothing in LP's audio editing facilities is going to make a seasoned Pro Tool'er green with envy. I'm curious as to what changes Apple has made to the audio engine itself seing as how they've had to reconstruct a new Quicktime framework for full 64-bit support. The hope is that they have taken the period to fix rusty plumbing and replace with the new hotness.

As much as I'd like to say otherwise I truly believe that Leopard is going to be the best way of running these new apps. Just the preliminary stuff I've seen leads me to believe that we'll see marked improvements in Leopard. I'll be looking to migrate up as soon as possible.

Jochen Wolters
2007-05-01 13:58:49
Steve C.

The audio engine is what many Logic users seem to complain about.

I wonder: do you use any other audio recording/editing software besides Pro Tools, like BIAS Peak?

2007-05-07 06:42:27
I think some things are not that logical in logic pro as they should be. Logic is great for composing but if you like to mix your work in the same app?? Too much workarounds like no panorama in the send Signal or 7 Bit Steps on the Fader...etc.

Apple has done great work since they bought emagic.
If they still like to keep the pro`s satisfied they should change audio editing from ground up.

2007-08-15 02:30:34
Reality check: we'd all like an update to Logic - but even as it stands Logic 7.2 remains the most comprehensive and efficient DAW out there - far more reliable than Cubase.

Logic is important to Apple - they even use it to benchmark the current Mac Pro's.

Plus GB has just had an update. so why no incremental update for Logic for full cross-compatibility? Because Logic 8 is just around the corner. . . .