APPLE NOTES 112
Seemingly out of nowhere, and little over six months since its last major update, Logic 10.2 has just dropped. But before we get to that…
THE NEW IPAD PRO
Although Apple hasn’t gone full hog like Microsoft and introduced universal apps. More and more we’re seeing software manufacturers deliver companion apps for iOS or releasing a desktop app for Mac rather than just relying on a web interface to accompany their mobile app.
Adobe recently launched a raft of new mobile applications that take advantage of touch but also bring more professional features to the mobile environment. Audio applications have typically been heavily sandboxed; either iOS apps that control desktop DAWs, or DAWs that only exist on iOS. Presonus is the only one putting in real effort to bridge this divide with its Studio One desktop DAW and Capture iPad app.
But now that the iPad Pro sports a 12.9-inch screen — larger than two of Apple’s laptops, and just a few millimetres smaller than my 13” Macbook Pro — enhanced multi-touch, and split-screen apps, is it time the iPad Pro delivered more powerful all-in-one DAW/controller apps?
Especially considering the new Apple Pencil accessory could make editing audio a breeze. You could literally draw in MIDI parts, and use it to adjust tuning.
In just five years, the iPad’s performance has skyrocketed. The Pro is 22 times quicker than the first generation iPad. Usually, video is a good barometer for how much audio a device can handle, as it’s generally far more taxing on CPU. Well, now the iPad Pro can edit 4K video; the original iPad couldn’t even display 4K.
It seems there is no longer anything holding us back from having a complete studio in a light, portable and tactile device like the iPad Pro. Will the iPad Pro be the inspiration DAW developers need to take a serious step in this direction?
Since Logic X was released in mid-2013, there was a very quiet 2014, followed by a flurry of activity this year with the two major 10.1 and 10.2 updates. Aside from new features, over these two updates there’s been nearly 500 “performance improvements” (others might call them bug fixes). If you’ve had a few gremlins in your Logic setup, it’s definitely worth updating. As far as new features go, read on for my top picks.
The major drawcard in 10.2 is Logic’s new Alchemy synth. Past fans of Camel Audio will recognise the name. Earlier in the year Apple bought Camel Audio, ceased sales of its plug-ins and now re-skinned Alchemy and implanted it natively into Logic X. If you are Logic user and haven’t updated yet, this synth is worth the update alone, offering 3000 patches that utilise six types of synthesis. You won’t find any ‘natural’ sounds here, but it will add some interesting sonic textures that haven’t been a core part of Logic to date.
Digging just a little deeper, Alchemy will also import EXS24 sounds, or any other audio file. More than just a straight-up import (which it also does), Alchemy will analyse the audio via an Additive, Spectral, Additive + Spectral, or Granular method, which allows for instantly interesting textures. To try it out, just head to the ‘Advanced’ mode, click in the dropdown menu for any of the ‘Sources’, and select ‘Import Audio’.
MORE MIDI CLOCK OPTIONS
With a resurgence in esoteric hardware, better MIDI clock Sync options are a welcome addition in Logic 10.2. Under Projects Settings > Synchronisation > MIDI, you’ll find a few new Mode options which may come in handy. There’s also a new ‘Auto-compensate Plug-in Latency’ check box here, which should be a great time-saver if you’ve previously had to manually adjust offsets.
Whilst destructive reversing in the Audio File Editor is still possible, it’s much faster to now head to the Region Inspector and hit the ‘Reverse’ check box (which works instantly and non-destructively). You can also assign this to a key command, but please go easy on the reverse cymbals.
NEW KEY COMMANDS
If you’re a user of the ‘Set Rounded Locators by Regions/Events’ key command (U by default in Logic X), you’ll now notice that same command has turned into ‘Set Rounded Locators by Regions/Events and Enable Cycle’. In simple terms, that means you can now select your verse vocal region, hit U and Logic will cycle around this region automatically.
The Clear/Recall Solo button (at the top of the tracks list) has been useful for mixing workflows in Logic X. In 10.2 there’s an assignable key command: control + option + command + s by default. This will either un-solo all solo’d tracks, or re-solo all previously selected tracks.
TAKE FOLDER BEHAVIOUR
Improvements with the automatic creation of take folders in 10.2 are undoubtedly going to save time and avoid confusion, with new settings to be found in Project Settings > Recording, under ‘Overlapping Recordings’. Previously, if you were recording multiple takes whilst Logic was cycling, you’d need to make different settings than if you were recording takes without cycling. Now, there are four independent settings (two each for MIDI or audio recording) that determine what happens when recording with Cycle on, or off.
One other piece of good news is there has been no change to Logic’s system requirements since the 10.1 update. So enjoy!