Apple recently released their update to Logic Pro 9, with the new version, Logic Pro X. So, what exactly does that mean for students in the Music Composition for the Screen program at Columbia College Chicago? I’m glad you asked.
First, the logistics. Logic Pro X is a flat rate of $200 dollars (Sorry, no discounted price if you are updating from 9. You can get it in the App Store on your Mac (no PC’s) and it’s a breeze to install, just like anything from the App Store. A few clicks and a few minutes later and it’s up and running.
We’re told it’s been rebuilt from the ground up. Well, the interface is pretty different. It follows after the newest version of Final Cut. It’s pretty accessible. If you have never used a DAW before, it will take you a few hours to understand the basics and be able to do some recording. If you’ve used Garage Band, it will take less time (but it’s still significantly different). And if you have used Pro Tools or Ableton Live, it shouldn’t take you too long at all.
It stays pretty true to Logic 9 and keeps all the great features, and it adds some really cool features. The new drummer sounds fabulous! It also improves a bunch of their libraries so they sound better. The UI facelift is nice and it’s less of an eyesore to look at. The grays have been replaced with darker tones and the transport bar has been moved to the top. Overall, it’s easier to use. It also has an accompanying iPad app to follow Pro Tools.
What’s still wrong?
One of the major issues that professionals are concerned has not been addressed properly is core distribution. This basically means that if you have a 12 core mac, Logic will rely heavily on a few of the cores (or just one core) and leave the others untouched. That’s difficult for a music professional that purchases an expensive, 12-core tower for greater power, only to find out that it does him or her no good (consequently, Pro Tools does NOT have this issue). Some people are saying it is working better, but it still isn’t where we would like it to be.
One of the program professors, Andrew Edwards, purchased Logic Pro X the day it was available and had a really difficult time connecting his two towers using VE Pro. Granted, one of his towers is still running OS X Lion, and that may have something to do with it. After a few hours of working with it, he decided to switch back to Digital Performer (another excellent platform) and he commented that he “wondered why he ever left it”.
So how does this affect those of us in the program? Logic Pro is still an industry standard program. Lots of composers use it in their creative process and we will keep learning it here for now. Also, it doesn’t look like there is an option to download Logic Pro 9 anymore. You may be able to snag an old version of the CD’s online and install it that way, but you should probably just go for Logic Pro X. If you already have Logic 9, look at the upgrade more like the old logic with new skin on it. There are some nice fancy upgrades, but the heart of the software is still the same. If you had some issues before with opening files or playback, you’ll probably still have them with the upgrade.
Which version are you going to use?