With a fresh release of Garageband ’08, backordered products, and the latest buzz talking about an update as soon as next week, I think now is a very good time to have a Logic 8 Rumor roundup in the same fashion as MacRumors.
I’ll go through the most notable rumors, what they would offer, and why I think they are true or false. Once Logic Pro 8 comes out we can go back and see how accurate this list is. So let’s get to it!
New Effects and Instruments
I think this one’s a given, although there’s currently no evidence to support it. The only thing we know for sure is that Logic’s effects will likely get a facelift similar to what’s in Soundtrack Pro 2. Everything looks a little sleeker and smoother in SP2.
There’s also no evidence to support any new audio instruments. Regardless, Apple needs to get users interested in Logic’s built-in instruments to position Logic’s $1000 price tag as an incredible value in the DAW world. It is when compared to the Emagic days; Logic Platinum plus all the Emagic instruments would have run you about $2500 5 years ago.
There has been some buzz (on a comment on an earlier post) that the EXS24 will come with a new 30 gigabyte sound library and have “much higher quality sounds.” I haven’t seen anything that carries this, but I do think we’ll get some new samples – I just don’t know if it’s 30 gigs worth.
New Take Management
Both Soundtrack Pro 2 and Garageband ’08 have new take management features.
What Logic users do now is organize takes across multiple track lanes of the same object on the arrange window and cut, mute, and crossfade regions as they please. Soundtrack Pro 2 takes this a step further with the Multitake Editor; crossfades are automatically created and regions are automatically muted, making short work of comping.
Garageband ’08 isn’t quite as slick, but saves every take and allows you to switch them in real time.
Expect Logic 8 to have take management similar to Soundtrack Pro’s.
Likelihood: Almost Definitely
I was excited to learn that Soundtrack Pro 2 uses losslessly encoded Apple Loops stored in the Core Audio Format. I wouldn’t have learned this if Garegeband ’08 didn’t do the same thing. Except Garegband loops are actually lossy encoded; they’re iTunes Plus quality Apple Loops.
Given Logic Pro 7.2’s inability to use GB’s CAF loops, and both Soundtrack Pro and Garageband now using them, I think it’s obvious that the next version of Logic will have CAF support. What this means for users is more metadata, more channels (Surround Sound Loops?) and a variety of file formats.
Maybe we’ll even see CAF supported in the EXS24 and Ultrabeat. If CAF can store MIDI maybe we’ll be able to chop up Apple Loops like REX loops.
But if Apple ships its DAW with lossy loops – WTF?
Likelihood: Loops, yes. The rest is anybody’s guess.
Touch Screen Interface
Not unless Apple comes out with Logic Mobile for the iPhone, which is unlikely.
Just last week Steve Jobs said that while they’re exploring the technology with mobile machines, it really isn’t right for desktop use. I think that given the amount of hardware interfaces for under $1k, who would want to spend multiple times that much on a something like a touchscreen? Space isn’t really an issue.
Jobs also said nobody wanted video on their iPods…
Likelihood: No Way
It Only Works With Leopard
I think this one only gets tossed around because the Leopard release is getting close. To dispel this I think we need to take a look at what Leopard brings to the table.
For starters, it brings full 64-bit support. What does that really mean to Logic users? I guess you can address more memory (over 4 gigs), maybe you can have 64-bit floating point like Sonar, but does this mean much? Won’t your projects still sound the same?
I haven’t seen any new information about what’s new with Core Audio in Leopard. There is also no information about Quicktime 8 coming with Leopard. The only benefit that will come to Quicktime with Leopard is 64-bit support.
If any Mac developers are reading this I invite you to leave a comment to correct me if I’m wrong. From what I can tell there isn’t much coming with Leopard in the form of audio APIs we can be excited about.
Even if I am wrong about API improvements with Leopard, the latest Final Cut Studio is running on Tiger, iLife ’08 is running on Tiger – why would Logic Pro require Leopard when nothing else does?
Likelihood: No Way
Please let this be true. Logic Express doesn’t have an XSKey, and neither does any other Apple Pro app. The XSKey has made Logic hard to crack. It can be argued that this has hurt it in the marketplace. I’m not advocating piracy, but I am saying that when a pirate can crack Cubase and not Logic, then the pirate will probably buy Cubase if he ever buys software.
I’d like to see the XSKey go away and I think it could happen if only because no other pro applications require it. Ultimately, does the cost of making and distributing XSKeys offset the losses from piracy? I’m not so sure.
Besides, making all those XSKeys can’t be good for Apple’s environmental policy, can it?
Likelihood: Eh, maybe
It’s Coming Out On August 20th!
I believe this rumor came from one user’s quick judgement based on what Amazon UK’s restock date was for Logic Pro 7.2.
You should immediately question this because it’s a Monday. Apple typically releases new products on Tuesdays unless they announce a special event during a trade show. The next show this could happen at is AES in October, but Apple is not listed as an exhibitor.
Apple’s going to release a new version when they’re ready – probably on a Tuesday. They don’t need a tradeshow to launch products anymore. They didn’t even wait for the year 2008 to release iWork ’08 and iLife ’08. They’re fricken Apple!
Likelihood: No way
A New Name
Possible only because it’s current name doesn’t really correspond with its function.
I studied music theory and the word Logic doesn’t ring a bell. I can’t think of how the word applies to audio engineering either. Since all the other pro app names indicate the app’s function, I think it’s possible we could see a new name.
That name has to be something every musician can recognize. If it’s an advanced music theory or audio engineering term, it’s lost. If they change the name it’s going to be really basic and have that lowest common denominator appeal.
Still, they call iMovie ’08 an iMovie product even though it’s a completely different application. The Logic name has a lot of history behind it now and I’m not sure Apple will want to sacrifice that.
Likelihood: Eh, maybe
A New Interface and No Environment
Rumors as early as February claim that Logic’s interface will be completely redesigned. At the very least, I think that the UI could be given a refresh to match the new design of effects. They could also unify the key commands (no more having to go in and define cool features for yourself – you just play the hand you’re dealt). I’m all for Apple making the interface simpler as long as it doesn’t come at the cost of less capability.
A lot of that hints at the removal of Logic’s Environment. Maybe there are better ways to set up Rewire channels, Aux and Bus channels, and other audio objects. If Logic did something like MIDI inserts for arpeggios, chord memorizers, and other FX I think it would go a long way to make me use the Environment less. It’d be awesome to have users build and easily exchange their own MIDI plugin presets without having to go into the Environment and chain virtual cables all over the place.But nobody knows what’s going to happen. I’ve had my head buried in Logic Pro so long that I can’t even imagine how they’d redesign it.
In July Apple announced that earnings could be thrown off in the 3rd quarter by a product transition they can’t discuss. Some speculation points to a new iPod that looks much like the iPhone’s music interface. I wonder if they’re talking about Logic. If a new interface rubs people the wrong way then Apple can say goodbye to upgrade revenue. But would that really effect their bottom line so much that it’s worth mentioning?
Likelihood: Eh, maybe
It Will Kill Pro Tools
Maybe, but probably not the way you might think.
If Apple positions Logic to try to steal Pro Tools users, they will fail. There’s too much investment of money, training, and time to get hardcore PT users to switch. Even if the new Logic has an incredible set of features it’s not likely that PT users will switch in droves.
It’s obvious to me that this is not Apple’s intention. They need to sell Macs, which means all these DSP cards on the market mean nothing to them. They want you using the native power of their machines.
They also want to make it as easy as possible for you to move up from the software you currently use. The next generation of recording professionals and musicians (the people who are mid to late teens right now) are becoming Mac users, thanks to the iPod Halo effect.
And all those Macs have Garageband on them.
And all those Garageband songs they make will open in Apple’s DAW, not Pro Tools.
If Logic kills Pro Tools it will not be because it broke in and stabbed it in its sleep during the night. It will be because it gradually stole food from its pantry.
Likelihood: Eh, maybe