The latest and dare we say, greatest audio software package has
finally arrived on the Mac (and on any operating system) in Apple's
Logic Studio. So... for the
uninitiated, what exactly is Logic Studio v2.0?
Before we jump into
what exactly Logic Studio v2.0 is, let's talk about history
and it's quite amazing that
the various software packages in this suite were once the domain of
professional recording studios or were out of the price range of
computers have become faster and more powerful, software has also
become more powerful and costs have considerably dropped. In the
last ten years or so, this can be seen even more readily and thankfully this
is where it benefits users and is where Logic Studio v2.0 comes into the picture for the audio connoisseur.
Well my dear
readers, Logic Studio v2.0 could be considered the ultimate music
studio for your Mac that is aimed at all users who record, edit and
mix their own music or audio. Whether you're a singer or a musician,
this is the definitive program to create the best possible audio on
a home computer which can be used by all levels of Mac users from
music novice to music professional. Podcasting? Fixing up audio?
Well... you are also in the right place.
As a side note, it should be
mentioned that even some professional musicians use Logic Studio to
finalize their masterpieces. Upon writing this article, Logic Studio
v2.0 retails for around $749AUD which is extremely affordable
for the functionality of this package and 10 out 10 for value for
musicians need to write, record, produce, and perform on a Mac
Logic Pro 9 for
do-it-yourself musicians to write, edit, record, and mix their
More than 80
studio-quality effect plug-ins, including vintage and modern
compressors, delays, reverbs, and more
New Amp Designer
to help you re-create the sound of 25 legendary amps and 25
with an assortment of 30 virtual stompbox pedals inspired by the
royalty-free Apple Loops from all the Jam Pack collections
MainStage 2 for
performing live with the instruments, amps, effects, and sounds
from Logic Pro 9
3, a streamlined audio post-production application for film and
The software suite
consists of three powerful application that include Logic Pro 9,
MainStage 2 and Soundtrack Pro 3, each targeting a particular area
of audio creation, each coming with different tools and software. When it comes to effects, loops and
plug-ins, Logic Pro boasts 80 studio effects, 40 software
instrument plug-ins, over 1,700 sampled instruments and over 20,000
royalty-free Apple Loops. How's that for definitive?
In relation to cosmetics, the interface of Logic Studio v2.0 is almost a
carbon copy of the previous incarnations, however with a few new
tweaks and colour adjustments here and there. That old analogy fits
perfectly that if it ain't broke, don't fix it and Logic Studio
no exception to the rule.
Nonetheless, the small changes made to the
interface have created a sleeker and more professional looking piece
of software that is not only easy on the eyes but in terms of
usability is slightly superior than the previous versions. This
ensures that existing users still know where everything is,
relatively anyway and new users can jump straight into it.
Another thing I've noticed about the interface and the functionality
of the software is that it is considerably faster to load and
changes to audio is exceptionally fast. Of course this is dependent
on your processor speed but after speaking to other users of Logic
Studio v2.0, all with different Mac specs, they all noticed either a
slight or considerably improved performance.
As with all Mac software, the installation was pure simplicity and
we installed all components of the program on our test machine which
included a 2.53GHz MacBook Pro, Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 4GB
Memory, 250GB hard drive and NVidia GeForce 9400M. We also had the latest
OS from Mac which OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard. Needless to say, the
installation process was a very minimalistic experience. For users
contemplating on purchasing this software, the minimum requirement is as
with an Intel processor
1GB of RAM (2GB
or more highly recommended)
1280-by-800 or higher resolution
Mac OS X v10.5.7
QuickTime 7.6 or
DVD drive for
ExpressCard/34, USB, or FireWire-based audio interface
recommendations for Logic Pro 9
At least 2GB of
RAM for large EXS instruments
keyboard (or suitable MIDI keyboard and interface) for
requires a Mac computer with an Intel Core processor
9GB to install all applications and required content
to install all optional content (large content packages can be
installed on separate disk):
- 10GB for Jam Pack collections
- 16GB for sound effects
- 6GB for surround music beds
- 6GB for other optional content
Without this review
becoming a War and Peace due to the amount of features this software
compendium has, we at Impulse Gamer have highlighted some of the
best points which we feel showcase the best new features of Logic Studio
v2.0. Needless to say, it was a difficult task.
Flex Time & Flex
For those who wish to manipulate timing and tempo comes Flex Time
that is a selection of tools that offer the user a variety of
features and functionality when it comes to timing.
editing and the simplicity of your mouse, users can now manipulate
their audio by pointing and clicking and we must admit that the ease
of editing left us flabbergasted.
Flex Tool is ideal for tweaking
your audio and even getting those instruments slightly out of time
on time again. Click, stretch, manipulate and save, it's that easy.
Bounce In Place
Bounce in Place. Sure it may sound strange, however for users
quickly wanting to bounce an area of their audio for rendering or
new audio track, it's as easy as 1-2-3.
By clicking over your audio or
instrument, you have the option of creating a new audio track and
plethora of rendering options, whether just an area or the entire
track itself. Perfect for manipulating music and audio without
complicating tools, strategies and rendering times.
Best of all,
Pedalboard & Amp Designer
Testing the Amp Designer and Pedalboard was a real treat and
provided you have the initial equipment required to connect your
guitar (or instruments) to the software package, the rewards are almost limitless.
The Amp Designer
gives the user the option of mixing and matching their ultimate amp
system with 25 amps, 25 speaker cabinets and 3 microphones.
This means that the end user has virtually an unlimited amount of
options that is only limited by their imagination, not just their
music genre. And of course, a huge saving for the user as they do
not need to purchase additional hardware
Although the effects are similar to GarageBand, by allowing the user
to tweak and of course play their own music, it really transforms
you into a fully fledged recording studio and as musician myself, the effects are
not only snazzy and cool but the software actually works like a
standalone amp and Pedalboard.
Other nifty features include
splitters and mixers that are quite easily to manipulate by clicking
and dragging special effects.
The Pedalboard features 30 stompboxes with a variety of different effects from
Chorus to "Wah"
that will give your music that added level of professionalism or
the correct equipment, these stompboxes can even be used via Apple
MainStage for live performances. The various stompboxes included
ranged from traditional to retro and even waaay out effects. This
was a pure treat to use and the band loved it.
For bands or solo performances, Live
performance with MainStage could be the perfect tool for you that
allows for some improved "live" manipulation of audio plus a healthy
dose of presets. Whether its backing tracks or multi-channel stems,
MainStage allows for some in-depth customization which would
put some music studios to shame.
Although this is a very useful tool,
the learning curve to master this aspect of this software is rather
high due to the complex nature of audio. Another feature that should
be addressed is ReWire that basically links together music
applications and is ideal for users going on tour.
Soundtrack Pro 3
Soundtrack Pro 3 is great for those
users working with audio (whether music or voice) and you will be pleased to
know that this
software now has the ability to match vocal levels of different
clips. Add in the ability of a new frequency view option, this
ensures for improved audio manipulation that will save you time.
A nifty feature is that Apple have brought the
Multitrack Timeline and File Editor into one window, ensuring that
all tools are accessible in one spot. We even used Soundtrack Pro 3
to restore the audio of an LP we converted into the digital format
and although it was not as good as a CD, the improved quality was
One of our reviewers is a podcaster and although they
have a great studio setup, sometimes background noise can still be
heard, Soundtrack Pro 3 allowed us to remove the noise of a car horn
and even shouting kids in the background. Moral of the story, don't
record during kids coming home from school or use Soundtrack Pro 3.
Definitely one for
podcasters or audio presenters.
Logic Studio v2.0 is compatible
with a plethora of devices, be it third-party hardware or
third-party software. As the software was created with various
pieces of hardware in mind, most users should have no issues in
connecting their associated devices to the program.
If you have
any devices from either Apogee and Euphonix, than you'll be blasting
the world in no time. We tested some of the capabilities of the software with the
Apogee Digital Duet Firewire Audio Interface I/O and it is quite a rewarding experience.
In conclusion, Apple have not recreated the wheel but rather made
the wheel go faster and in essence created an auto-pilot feature to
your audio by considerably reducing the time for rendering and
The new Flex Time editing tools and Pedal Board are
definitely highlights for us but this was just the surface of this
powerful audio software suite. Unfortunately there's too much in
this program to do this review justice.
Whether your a musician or someone who
works with audio, the affordable price of this powerful software
suite is a must have and best of all, the program is rather straight
Feeling a little stuck? Log onto the Apple website for help
or try the demo DVD which comes with the software.
DVD containing Logic Pro 9, MainStage 2, Soundtrack Pro 3, Studio
Instruments, Studio Effects, WaveBurner 1.6, Compressor 3.5, Impulse
Response Utility, Apple Loops Utility, QuickTime 7 Pro, and required
Six content DVDs containing Jam Pack collections, sound effects,
surround music beds, EXS24 samples, and impulse response files
Demo Content DVD
Printed and electronic documentation
Breakdown of Features
Flex Time is a new collection of features that lets you manipulate
timing and tempo quickly and creatively. Experience editing without
all the cutting.
The new Flex Tool lets you push audio around with your mouse by
clicking and dragging anywhere on the waveform -- forget all that
tedious splicing and editing.
It's not just for MIDI anymore. Now you can conform the timing of an
audio region to a musical grid, or to the feel of another track,
instantly correcting a performance.
Editing drum tracks
Use Slicing Mode with drums and you won't compromise a single
attack. Edit across a set of grouped multitrack drums and everything
stays locked perfectly in phase.
Slow down or speed up an entire multitrack project effortlessly,
whether you want to try out different tempos or take it slow while
you play a difficult solo.
Whether you're editing a solo vocal, a rhythm guitar, or multitrack
drums, Flex Time has a mode designed to give you the best results.
Get creative by adding turntable-style starts or stops with the kind
of precision that would impress even the best DJs.
Now the audio you import can automatically conform to the tempo of a
project you're working on. (And the other way around.)
New production tools allow musicians to tackle any part of the
recording, editing, and mixing process they want -- and get it done
in a fraction of the time.
Selective Track Import
To transfer setups and track content between projects, simply select
the individual components you want to import on a track-by-track
Expanded take folder editing
Logic Pro 9 gives you access to your important edit tools and Flex
Time features -- right alongside Quick Swipe comping.
Now you can replace or double less-than-perfect drum tracks with
triggered samples in just a few clicks. No more headaches. No more
Convert to Sampler Track
In one step, turn an audio region into a sampler instrument with a
MIDI track to trigger it. Then you can modify and resequence the
The new Bounce-in-Place feature makes effects rendering much quicker
and easier, whether you're bouncing a single region or an entire
Notation and chord grids
Create guitar tablature or detailed scores using a library of more
than 4000 chord grids (or your own custom grids) and new ornaments
for hammer-ons, bends, and more.
Jam Pack: Voices
Build your song with a lead vocal, rappers, backup singers, an
entire choir, or even software instruments based on the human voice
Warped Effects for Space Designer
More than 450 warped impulse responses radically transform what
Space Designer can do, allowing you to give ordinary sounds a
bizarre, other-worldly quality.
Now you can mix and match amp heads, EQs, reverbs, speaker cabinets
and mics--then creatively route your signal through an impressive
new collection of stompboxes.
Build your dream rig by mixing and matching 25 amps, 25 speaker
cabinets, and 3 mics you can position freely around the speaker
Fire up 30 stompboxes that deliver lush effects like Overdrive,
Distortion, Fuzz, Delay, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Tremolo, Treble
Boost, and Wah.
Hundreds of presets give you Amp Designer and Pedalboard sounds that
are ready to go. Start exploring with classic tones, genres, or
characteristics like clean, crunch, and distorted.
Apogee GiO support
This new USB audio interface and control device lets you operate
Pedalboard hands-free and works with Logic Pro 9 and MainStage 2
right out of the box.
MainStage 2 lets you hit the stage with all the same instruments and
effects you used on your recording, and adds a backing track player
and live loop recorder.
With this new plug-in, your Mac becomes a flexible, reliable backing
track player. Fill out your sound with a simple stereo track or a
set of separate, mixable stems.
This live loop recorder lets you create spontaneous arrangements
onstage. And it's instantly familiar, since it's modeled after the
tape-based devices you know and love.
Multimapping of controls
Set things up so that one knob controls multiple plug-in parameters.
Then you can dramatically change your sound with the turn of a
Drag and drop entire sets of knobs, dials, faders, meters, and more
into your layout. From there, you can easily customize the type,
size, and color.
Full ReWire support
Run MainStage with applications like Reason and Live. Trigger and
sequence your instruments from MainStage, and route your signals
straight into the mixer.
Route your audio to a designated stereo output and choose from all
the standard file formats, including Apple CAF for concerts of
almost any length.