Logic Pro

Logic Pro
Logic Pro
Logic 8
Developer(s) Apple Inc.
Stable release 9.1.5 / 2011-08-08
Operating system Mac OS X
Type MIDI Sequencer + Digital Audio Workstation
License Proprietary
Website www.apple.com/logicstudio/logicpro/

Logic Pro is a hybrid 32 / 64 bit digital audio workstation and MIDI sequencer software application for the Mac OS X platform. Originally created by German software developer Emagic, Logic Pro became an Apple product when Apple bought Emagic in 2002. Logic Pro is part of Apple's Logic Studio bundle of professional music applications.

A consumer-level version based on the same interface and audio engine but with reduced features, called Logic Express, is also available at a reduced cost. Apple's GarageBand, another application using Logic’s audio engine, is bundled in iLife, a suite of software which comes included on any new Macintosh computer.

In the mid-to-late 1980s, Gerhard Lengeling and Chris Adam developed a MIDI sequencer program for the Atari ST platform called Creator. When musical notation capabilities were added, this became Notator, and later Notator SL. For simplicity these three are collectively referred to as Notator.

Its main rivals at the time included Performer, Vision & Steinberg 16. Most MIDI sequencers presented a song as a linear set of tracks; however, Notator and Vision were pattern-based sequencers: songs were built by recording patterns (which might represent for example Intro, Verse, Chorus, Middle-8, Outro) with up to 16 tracks each, and then assembling an Arrangement of these patterns, with up to 4 patterns playing simultaneously at any one point in the song. This more closely resembled the way that hardware sequencers of the 1970s and 1980s worked.

In its time, Notator was widely regarded (by musicians and the musical press of the time e.g. International Musician) as one of the most powerful and intuitive sequencing and notation programs available on any platform, but subsequently the popularity of Steinberg's Cubase increased and track-based sequencing prevailed over pattern-based, resulting in the eventual greater integration and hybridization of the two methods in later versions of both Cubase and Logic.

The C-Lab programmers left that company to form Emagic, and in 1993 released a brand new program, Notator Logic, which attempted to fuse both track- and pattern-based operation (but looked much more similar to track-based sequencers than to Notator). While rich in features, early versions of Logic on the Atari lacked the intuitiveness and immediacy of either Cubase or Notator, and never achieved the same degree of success. However, by this time the Atari was becoming obsolete, and part of the reason why it had been written from scratch with an object oriented GUI (though it shared the same nomenclature as its predecessor) was to make it easier to port to other platforms. The Notator preface was dropped from the product name and the software became known as simply Logic.

As subsequent versions of the software became available for Mac OS and Windows platforms, and acquired ever more sophisticated functionality (especially in audio processing) to take advantage of increased computing power, Logic, in conjunction with the rise of the PC, gained popularity again.


Audio recording

In the early 1990s, with Logic version 1.7 Emagic added the ability to record and mix audio into the sequencer tracks, along with its existing MIDI capabilities that had continued to be expanded as well. At the time, computers were not fast enough to record audio in "native mode", so additional hardware was needed to make it work, usually in the form of sound cards or DSP cards plugged into the computer's internal bus slots, such as the NuBus slots on Macintosh computers. Among the systems that worked with Logic 3 were Digidesign and MOTU audio interfaces.

In the mid 1990s, Emagic released Logic version 4, and their Audiowerk audio interface, introducing the ability for Logic to record and mix audio without requiring additional hardware, although the track counts and processing possibilities were significantly limited by the speed of the computers of those times, which were very slow relative to current systems.

Further developments

Logic 5 featured significant improvements in user interface, and increased compatibility with more types of computers, operating systems, and a wide range of audio interfaces. Logic 5.5.1 was the last version to be released for Windows. From Logic 6 onwards, the software would only be available for the Apple Mac system.

With Logic 6, Emagic added the availability of separately packaged software products that were closely integrated add-ons developed specifically for use with Logic, including software instruments, the EXS sampler and audio processing plug-ins. The Logic 6 package also included the stand-alone program Waveburner, for burning redbook audio CD standard-compliant CDR masters for replication, however, that application was considered a free bonus feature; it was not advertised as part of the package and did not include printed documentation. PDF documentation was included on the installer disc.

Apple’s acquisition

Apple acquired Emagic in July 2002.[1] The announcement included the news that development of the Windows version would no longer continue. This announcement caused controversy in the recording industry with an estimated 70,000 users having invested in the Windows route not wishing to reinvest in a complete new system. It is unknown how many users may have abandoned Logic upon Apple's acquisition.[2]

In March 2004 Apple released Logic Pro 6, which consolidated over 20 different Emagic products, including all instrument and effect plug-ins, Waveburner Pro (CD Authoring application), and Pro Tools TDM support, into a single product package. Apple also released a scaled down version of Logic called Logic Express, replacing two previous versions that filled that position called Logic Silver and Logic Gold. Apple began promoting Logic Pro as one of its flagship software ‘Pro’ applications for the Macintosh platform.

Logic Pro 7 was released September 29, 2004. Most notably, Apple modified the interface of Logic 7 to look more like a product that was developed by Apple. Additions to Logic Pro 7 included: the integration of Apple Loops, Distributed Audio Processing (a technology for combining the power of multiple computers on a network), 3 new instruments including Sculpture (a sound modeling synth) and Ultrabeat (a drum synth and sequencer), and 9 new effect plug-ins including Guitar Amp Pro (guitar amp simulator), and a linear phase corrected version of their 6 channel parametric equalizer. In total, Logic Pro 7 now included 70 effect plug-ins and 34 instrument plug-ins. Pro-Tools TDM compatibility, which had been a feature of Logic since version 3.5, was not supported by Logic 7.2 on Intel-based Mac computers[3]; TDM support returned with the release of Logic 8.

Logic 8 and 9

On September 12, 2007, Apple released the Logic Studio suite that included Logic Pro 8. Logic Pro was no longer a separate product, although a limited version Logic Express 8 was released on the same day, and remained a separate product.

Significant changes were made for Logic 8. Logic Pro 8 was now mainly Cocoa code, but still included some Carbon Libraries. Alongside changes such as the new processing plug-in (Delay Designer), Apple included features such as Quick Swipe Comping, similar to Soundtrack Pro 2, and multi-take management.

Apple also made changes to ease of use. These include the discontinuation of the XSKey dongle, and a streamlined interface. Each plug-in used in the channel strip opens in a new window when double-clicked. Many of the features found in Logic 7 have been consolidated into one screen. Other additions to the new interface included consolidated arrange windows, dual channel strips, built in browsers (like that in GarageBand) and production templates.

On July 23, 2009, version 9 of the product was announced. A major new feature included "Flex Time", Apple's take on "elastic" audio (a function which almost all competing audio applications had at this point), which allows audio to be quantized.[4] A version of the pedalboard from GarageBand was included, together with a new virtual guitar amplifier where the modeled components could be combined in different ways. There were also a number of improvements to audio editing, fulfilled user requests such as "bounce in place" and selective track and channel strip import, as well as an expanded content library including one more Jam Pack. Some of the bundled software, including MainStage 2 and Soundtrack Pro 3, was also improved. Logic Pro 9 is Universal Binary, although not officially supported for use on PowerPC computers.[5] SoundDiver, which had been quietly bundled with previous versions, was dropped, eliminating support for arguably the world's most popular synthesizer editor/librarian. As Apple has bundled so many software instruments with Logic, it is not likely that we'll see the return of integration with external synthesizer hardware to the Logic platform.

On January 12, 2010, Apple released Logic Pro 9.1, an Intel only release, thereby officially discontinuing Logic for the PowerPC platform. Logic Pro 9.1 has the option of running in 64 bit mode, which allows the application to address more memory than in the past. Says Apple "With 64-bit mode, the application memory is not limited to 4GB as with 32-bit applications, so there is essentially no practical limit by today's standards.". Third party plug-ins that are 32 bit are still compatible, but will run from a 'wrapper' inside Logic Pro itself.


The Space Designer plugin attempts to emulate the characteristic echo and reverberation of a physical environment, using a technique called convolution.
The Ringshifter effect, introduced in version 7, adds a 'metallic sheen' to music.

Logic Pro provides software instruments, synthesizers, audio effects and recording facilities for music synthesis. It also supports Apple Loops – royalty-free professionally-recorded instrument loops. Audio effects include distortions, dynamics processors, equalization filters, and delays. The Space Designer plugin simulates the acoustics of audio played in different environments, such as rooms of varying size, or producing the echoes that might be heard on high mountains. Logic Pro can work with MIDI keyboards and control surfaces for input and processing, and for MIDI output. It features real-time scoring in musical notation, supporting guitar tablature, chord abbreviations and drum notation.

Logic Pro and Express share much functionality and the same interface. Logic Express is limited to two-channel stereo mixdown, while Logic Pro can handle multichannel surround sound. Both can handle up to 255 audio tracks, depending on system performance (CPU and hard disk throughput and seek time).

The application features distributed processing abilities, which can function across an Ethernet LAN. One machine runs the Logic Pro app, while the other machines on the network run the Logic node app. Logic will then offload the effects and synth processing to the other machines on the network. If the network is fast enough (i.e. gigabit Ethernet) this can work in near-real time, depending on buffer settings and CPU loads. This allows users to combine the power of several Macintosh computers to process Logic Pro’s built-in software instruments and plug-ins, and 3rd party processing plug-ins.

See also


  1. ^ "Apple Acquires Emagic". Apple, Inc.. http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2002/jul/01emagic.html. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  2. ^ "Apple Drops Emagic Bombshell". The Register. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/07/01/apple_drops_emagic_bombshell/. Retrieved 2002-07-01. 
  3. ^ According to Digidesign’s compatibility document for Pro Tools TDM HD 7.2 and 7.3, Logic Pro will require a future update from Apple to support Pro Tools HD DAE for Intel-based Macs."
  4. ^ http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov09/articles/logicworkshop_1109.htm
  5. ^ "A First Look At Logic Pro 9". XLR8R. 7/24/2009. http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2009/07/first-look-logic-pro-9. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 

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