Sunday, February 25, 2007

Will There Be No Logic Pro 8?

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?

You wait.

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.


Anonymous said...

I am not allowed to say more than this: The new program is working fine ! One of my friends is a beta-tester for it.....

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

My wife is a betatester too. And she sais it's not much different than logic 7.2. There is alot mor eye candy, but hardly any new funtionality. One major difference is a new Quicktime audio engine that will be part of both os x.5 and Logic. It makes editing faster.

They haven't yet decided in the final name she sais, but all of the 3 options that were presented to the testers are words used in classic music notation.

Software Engineer said...

It would not surprise me to see Apple release a new program that is an successor and/or alternative to Logic. I have been filing bugs against Logic for years, and it is highly conspicous that there has been little progress on some serious bugs in Logic. One could conclude from this that developer resources are - or have been - allocated elswhere. But I would venture to say this is a risky strategy. The Mac is now woefully behind the PC in terms of state of the art audio production; WinXP 64 and Sonar offer end to end 64 bit floating point resolution in the mix buss; meanwhile there is not a single Apple Pro app that can do correct sample rate conversion (because the code in core audio is broken). A new program that is no better then Logic at some basic audio functions will just give professional audio engineers more impetus to defect from doing their audio work under Mac O/S (they'll use their Windows boot partition). This will be esepcially true if there is not a cheap/cost effective migration path from Logic Pro to whatever the new program is.

I have spoken to program managers for Logic and educational reps for Logic, who clearly realize that the audio editing interface etc. are way overdue for a rewrite. I have no firsthand info however that this has been happening under the guise of a new program.

Anonymous said...

I am tired of this B.S that Logic 8 will never see the light of the day,´s true...because I am a betatester of Logic and the new version will be named Logic HD and it´s running quite perfect on my dual Quad beta Mac machine. It´s pretty cool to watch the 8 little performancemeters not even moving when running 48 spacedesigners. The program is now running with 64 bits floating point and all sonalksis plugins are include for free. Also there are reverbs from TC Electronic, including VSS4 from Reverb6000.AccessVirus is included but just one instance at a time. THe GUI is pretty the same but more purple now and environment is now very easy to understand. THe NI Komplete4 is included too. I can´t tell you more at this time, but clearly Cubase will for sure go to the digital heaven!

Dan said...

Out of all the anonymous beta tester comments, the one announcing NI Komplete to be included with Logic is my favorite.

I think we have a winner.

It's Getting Harder to Defend Protools said...

If the new version of Logic comes with NI Komplete 4 that's it..... I'm getting rid of anything that I've got that says Digidesign on it.

I was just talking to a friend about how NI Komplete is all I need for what I do. Add that to the plug set that Logic has and that's the end of it for Protools.

If Apple came out with a hardware solution that would do the mixing and DSP OUTSIDE the box aswell as inside then the only way Digidesign could compete is if they were to build a computer themselves.

I bet protools will be a PC only app like Sonar pretty soon.

Anonymous said...

Any idea of the release date ?
Any idea of the release date ?
Any idea of the release date ?
Any idea of the release date ?

Can't wait !!

Anonymous said...

Yes - this is pretty secret! My Brother knows a zeta-tester for the new "Logic". This one will be really all you need. They included not only NI -Instruments an TC Stuff - no - there is a new EQ on Board and guess what it looks like? I dare not to say too much here - but it's name is the name of a famous english City!!!
Also the dynamic tools of the same label will be in it - wow! Then there will be a totally new rack for all guitar players - imagine that!!! My Brother also got a glance of a new Iphone Plugin, a 8-Track Mini Logic, with that you can make professional Live Recording Conferences via phone!!! Man - and the best part of all: The new Music-Automator. Just type in some keywords and the Automator produces exactely what you would compose - you save hundrets and thousands of hours working! How the software does it? Here's the clue: It scans your iris via Icam - man - it just reads all your thoughts!!!!
I started selling my car and my bike-collection - this baby is going to be a major update and it will need some cash to get the update. But I am ready - No work, automated Smashhits - and I am quite shure: The new Logic will know what's the secret of the deeper meaning of Live - and that's why they will call it "42" Get ready!

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHA, oh yeah, ditch pro tools for logic. you must be joking. have edited audio in logic? it is pathetic compared to protools. the uses for protools in a pro situation require the flow it provides. logic, which having some great sounding synths, is a joke in comparison. it is about as logical as....??

come on.

i'd love a new apple app that uses logic tech, but rewrites the gui to make sense in an audio world. we'll see what happens.

Anonymous said...

dont get things confused here.. logic ain't an audio tool, it's straight up midi and has been for years.

protools has a completely different aim. if we're talking audio, sequoia is the pro app that kills em all feature-wise, and protools is the one being used most. logic doesnt play a part in this game at all.

i see people that produce with logic record and cut their stuff in nuendo, protools, samplitude, wherever. things are then being pre-mixed and imported to logic much later, when the mix has been boiled down to maybe thirty or forty tracks. you just cant handle a 120-track recording with logic.

it's not its job whatsoever. i doubt they'll manage to get into that pro-audio market, it's just too late. yamaha is there pushing the steinberg apps now, protools still rules in all bigger studios and samplitude/sequoia is coming up being years ahead of all others with complete clip related mixing, 4point cut and all of that stuff.

apple are not going to target that market i guess. they'll make logic a more intuitive, creative tool, stealing heaps of ideas from ableton live and others.

perhaps they'll get the whole app a better an more modern interface for midi-programming and creative workflow, that's what needs to be changed most badly.

Anonymous said...

I hear this "you can't work with audio in Logic" crap all the time. These PT guys are just used to their interface and are usually too lazy to learn a new workflow.
We work with all kinds of audio in Logic; orchestras, vocal comping, voice-overs, drum sessions, etc.
And every time a PT guy comes over that "supposedly" knows Logic, they always watch us work and say "HOW'D YOU DO THAT?!!!!!!"
Honestly, don't comment on a program's shortcomings when they're really your own!

Anonymous said...

FCP suite has a new menu item,
Send to Logic.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, as someone who uses both Pro Tools and Logic as well as Cubase and Sonar I think Logic is a far more rounded piece of software. I admit the audio in Pro Tools is reasonably simple to use but Pro Tools lacks loads of things that make me scream sometimes. And as for the "steep learning curve" people talk about with logic, Pro Tools is a pain to teach. No lables on anything, so newbes have to guess where things are. Hey and try using a multi output instrument in Pro Tools, oh yeah you can't.

the new instrument track in Pro Tools 7 has the input and output in another space meaning you have more rubbish filling the screen. When I am teaching Pro Tools to my students so often i think to myself, "if only it had xxx feature from Logic"

I will say the grid in Pro Tools is more intuitive than in Logic.

I don't mind Pro Tools but I hate writing music in it. Really rubbish for that.

I can do some crazy complex edits in Logic with audio and it seems to do exactly what I want every time.

Also where is my system monitor? How much CPU am I using in Pro Tools, I don't know. I appricate that LE is dumbed down but even so, I try to run a couple of tracks with a few plug ins on a very powerful PC and I'm told it's no good, can't handle it. And conflicting error messages.

MIDI chunk data error, look it up in the manual, no sign of it. Someone must have written the error message so why not include it in the manual?

And the update to Pro Tools 7 only added mainly things that logic has had for ages, instrument tracks etc.

Pro Tools could be amazing for everybody if they would just take some time to develop their MIDI as much as audio.

Personally, if logic just fixes a few bugs and makes audio into a beast, and allows sample accurate audio editing in the arrange window, and adds edit in place style MIDI editing as an option, better grid, oh and adds better folder tracks so I don't have to double click them then I will be more than happy, but I wouldn't want to pay extra for those because i would see that simply as fixing the problems and nothing new for me to have to pay for. Innovation is what I will pay for and I expect a lot of that to come in 8. Hurry up Apple, you're taking too long and I'm getting bored of 7 now.

Anonymous said...

Any release dates?????

Anonymous said...

Ok, people are really working on the final stages out there. At least that is what I've heard from reliable sources. I would assume it wont come out before Leopard, so after October or into the '08?

I don't really know s%*t, I just really want a logic pro upgrade.

Gabriel said...

"dont get things confused here.. logic ain't an audio tool, it's straight up midi and has been for years. "

Nowadays these really should be treated as one and the same, even sfx guys are using midi nowadays, Apple will have no excuse in a future release to not provide similar audio routing/editing capabilities as Pro Tools, and deigidesign will similarly have no valid reason not to drastically improve their MIDI landscape. Basically we are all at the whim of a handful of marketing people who care about nothing but the bottom line and listen not to the users.

I am forced to bounce my sessions between logic and Pro Tools, sometimes repeatedly, and it is rediculous that there is not a single app out there that will handle both of these correctly. I say lets all go back to tape and the MPC until these jokers figure out what we really need..

Anonymous said...

I have a dual 1.8 G5 tower and was thinking about getting a new 24" iMac 2.8 core 2 duo to free up some space. I was wondering if anyone knows of the min. CPU requirements for the new logic program that is being beta tested? I don't want to buy a new machine and not be able to upgrade to the new logic.

Anonymous said...

logic express 8 is out