It’s been almost 2 and a half years since the last version of Logic. My best guess for a new version of Logic to be released will be MusikMesse, but after no mention of it at NAMM I guess it wouldn’t be surprising to see no mention of it there either.
And with Leopard on the horizon and no sign of iWork 07 or iLife 07, people are justified in assuming that new software will be completely revamped and so tightly integrated with Leopard that they will not run on anything pre OSX 10.5.
Would the same thing happen with Logic Pro? Apple would probably be out of its mind to make a professional app only run on the newest, consumer untested version of OSX. What could possibly be arriving with Leopard that would be of any use to Logic Pro? A new version of Core Audio?
Then there’s this post at Gear Slutz claiming that there will be no Logic Pro 8.
That’s right; no Logic Pro 8. According to this and the link, Apple has been working on a “Pro-Tools Killer” application from the ground up. It’ll have a completely reworked UI and will get rid of the environment.
At first I thought this was ridiculous – I still think it is a little, but after thinking about it I could see this happening for a few reasons.
Logic Doesn’t Feel Like A Pro Apple App
Although I think it’s the closest music production software to do so.
A few days ago I grabbed the Aperture demo to see what I can do with RAW images from my new camera. I also grabbed Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom. Both do the same thing – help you organize, process, and do more with your photo libraries.
While my experience with both programs hasn’t been extensive, I can testify that it was much easier to create good looking images right from Aperture without reading much of the manual. Lightroom, not so much. Logic is NOT to music production as Aperture is to image processing. Not even close. If you live and breathe nothing but Logic for a month you’ll kinda sorta know what you’re doing if you’re a first-time user. I’ve been there.
A lot of that Appely feeling also has to do with the UI. Visit any Logic forum and you’re bound to see posts asking Apple to redo the UI. Hey, it worked for Microsoft, and Apple has the same reason to do it; Logic is so dense and feature rich that it’s not real simple to figure out how to do something. User laziness? Perhaps, but I also understand the confusion of a menu below a menu.
It Has A Home Now
Logic hasn’t really had a complete overhaul in a long time (check out this pic to see how the arrange window looked in 1.5). Until earlier this decade, Logic has spent most of its life on other platforms. It’s been around since the Atari ST when it was called Notator. Because of this there’s likely been issues with managing a code-base for multiple operating systems, keeping legacy code going intact (it seems like more than half the effects in Logic Pro are there only for compatibility purposes) and having to move as fast as its slowest platform (Windows and OS9). Now that Logic is OSX exclusive, there’s no need for that anymore and it can progress as fast as the OS.
Now’s the time to optimize.
It’s Also Time To Move On
While not quite a “dirty secret”, the environment concept is probably the most difficult thing to understand in Logic and likely contributes the most to its steep learning curve. The environment is a software representation of your studio and comes in handy largely for hardware MIDI production. There are devices in there like MIDI delay, channel splitters, voice limiters, macro setups, and all sorts of things that maybe 3% of Logic’s user-base actually takes advantage of.
That could be because it’s too difficult and intimidating to use, but more likely it’s because the benefits of the these types of environment objects have been replaced by other means. Why make a MIDI delay when you can record your synth output and apply a delay effect that’s built-in?
What Does Logic Have To Do With Anything?
Check out the names of Apple’s professional software; Aperture, Final Cut, Motion – all the names have something to do with what they’re used for. So really, what does the word “logic” have to do with music?
This is why I can easily see Apple renaming Logic. Think of all the names they could use: Cadence, Fermata, Counterpoint, Octave, Harmony, Triad. All of those words have something to do with music.
In fact, the first new release under Apple after the Emagic acquisition completely changed the program’s icon and consolidated its versions from 3 branches to 2.
Logic’s icon used to look like this:
Somewhere I read that Apple’s UI guidelines state that an applications icon should have something to do with the functionality of the application. Aperture’s is a camera lense, iCal’s is a calendar, iTunes’s is a pair of eighth notes on top of a CD. What the crap is this?.
In Logic Pro 7, Apple changed it to this:
Which fits more into Apple’s guidelines.
I think it’s also possible that Apple will integrate the technology of Logic into Soundtrack. Maybe we’ll see Apple release “Soundtrack Studio” this year. Soundtrack is already used for sound editing and could easily be extended to include music creation and also address Apple’s music-scoring customers. Imagine what a completely rewritten score editor from Apple would be like using, and then add one of the best audio workstations on top of it.
So What Now?
I don’t give much thought about other supposed features. The iPhone is revealed and whoever the author of the post is starts talking about touch-screen capability. I don’t think we’re there yet.
In the meantime I have faith that whatever Apple’s got up its sleeve will be for the best, whether it’s called “Cantata”, “Counterpoint” or “Garageband Pro” – just don’t make me use Metro ever again. Ugh.