A few months ago Apple released the newest version of Logic Pro. I’ve been a casual Logic user for a few years now. Most of my work is done in Live and Reason but from time to time I have made a trip over to Logic. My time there has been pleasant, so at the announcement of a new release of Logic I jumped for Joy (ish..). I spent some time reviewing the news on the apple site and have made a few observations on what I feel will be the biggest benefits for Worship Leaders and Churches. I have yet to spend some Hands on time with it so I can’t attest to the full potential of all the features but merely predict how some of the features will be beneficial to worship leaders.
1) Guitar Players
Logic 9 contains 25 modeled amps and 30 modeled Stomp boxes that will provide most guitar players with a decent sized palate to choose sounds from. I’m as big of a fan of the “Real thing” (tube amps, effects pedals, vintage guitars etc..) as the next guy but there are times and places for modeled gear. I have in fact used Logic’s guitar modeling on stage for a weekend gig before when my A & B plans failed (including the backline amp catching fire, and the airlines misplacing my pedal board), and It wasn’t as horrible of an experience as one might think.
Probably the most appealing feature of Logic 9 for guitar players is the integration with Apogee’s new controller/interface “Gio”. It has built in Transport controls, five effects selector switches, Preset select buttons as well as stereo output, all while being an USB Audio interface. Apogee has a reputation of creating highly quality, great sounding gear so I’m positive the integration will be excellent and sound great. Again not too many guitar players will have the desire to stand on stage with all of their tone coming from a computer, but for those times when your amp catches fire or when you need to quickly track a demo guitar part Logic 9 will now allow for that process to be a little less painful.
Anyone that has spent anytime behind the screen of a computer editing audio in a DAW knows that Editing can be your best friend or your biggest of Enemies. At times Creativity flows and you can edit yourself to a masterpiece and at other times everything sounds cluttered and your eyes are strained beyond repair. Logic 9 seems to integrate some features that will hopefully reduce those eye straining times to a minimum.
Flex time is a new feature that allows you to drag sections of your track to better line up with the rest of the Recording. You can completely reshape a Vocal track and add a new feel to it or simply just make things sound a little more “together”. This function seems very familiar to options available currently in Ableton Live but it’s not uncommon to see shared or similar features make their way into new releases of Software. Flex Time would definitely take alot of the headache out of editing drum tracks.
Selective Track Import
Selective Track Import is a cool new feature to Logic 9 that will allow you to import not just Audio from other projects but any effects, sends, or automations that are assigned to that track. The demo video shows how you can drag in effects and automation to a pre-existing vocal track without having to import the vocal track those effects are assigned to. This will be a huge time saver!
Again, another time saver for those grueling times of editing drums. The process with Drum Replacer seems to be vary straight forward and quick allowing you to improve the sound of any drum track by replacing existing sounds. This will allow your drum tracks to shine and sound as polished as you wish for them to sound.
3) Live Performance
Some of the biggest improvements in Logic seem to come in the updated form of Mainstage. Mainstage 2 packs a lot of new features that seem to make it much more stable and useful as a tool to Perform Live music.
Playback is a new plug-in for Mainstage that allows you to drag in “Backing Tracks” and perform with them. If you exported your sessions from Logic then all your Markers will be intact. The apple site and accompanying video to Playback says you can jump seamlessly to the next marker and even loop sections. The video doesn’t showcase this feature very well. You also have the ability to automatically start playing new files when you select a new patch. This would help provide seamless transitions between songs in a song set.
My big thought is will Playback allow you to adjust when it will jump to the next marker (similar to Live) or will it just jump as soon as you trigger it? If it provides the functions similar to Live then this could be a great tool for people wishing to perform to Backing Tracks Live. None the less for people used to performing with their tracks running out of I-tunes or of an Ipod this will be a huge upgrade.
Mainstage 2 also now works with Rewire which will allow you access to all your other sounds. This would allow you to use your Reason Synth sounds and Ableton loops all while working in Mainstage. This will allow you to further integrate Mainstage will all your other computer based “toys”.
As great as the Mainstage updates are the best Upgrade and feature of the new version of Logic is the Price. The entire suite or Logic instruments and effects is now only $499. That means for a very affordable price you can have the same tools professionals use at your fingertips. And Logic isn’t just a great program to record audio but it aids in the Creation, Production, and Performance of your music. This means churches everywhere despite budget and size can now improve the quality of their sound and production. For those people already on the Mac Platform using Garageband you’ll be able to import the same files you created in Garageband and make use of the features of Logic. This means you can buy a Mac and get started in Garageband now and when you make the transition to Logic it will be a seamless one.
You don’t have to be a technical genius to understand Logic which means you’ll be able to get to Creating your music a lot quicker. As Apple always does they make hard tasks easier and quicker so that you can get to the important parts quicker and be more efficient. I am interested to see how the low price of Logic will allow more churches to venture into the DAW world.
Anyone already upgraded or spent some time using the new Logic? Let us know your thoughts and comment below!