Apple updates Logic Pro X and MainStage with acquired Alchemy synth, Logic gains Apple Music sharing
Shortly after announcing that its pro photography app Aperture is being discontinued, Apple released a number of updates to its remaining professional desktop applications. Final Cut Pro, Motion, Compressor, and MainStage on OS X all received updates via the Mac App Store today. See the changes for each professional desktop application below:
Apple’s new release of Logic Pro X marks the first time in nearly six years that the company has completely overhauled the app’s UI. It’s been a long time coming for pros like myself that rely on the application, and to make things even sweeter, Apple is promising more than just a fresh coat of paint this time around.
There’s no ignoring the backlash Apple experienced just two years ago with its redesign of Final Cut Pro X and the removal of pro features in return for an elegant, streamlined interface. The question is, does Logic’s slick new interface come with compromises for professionals? Or has Apple learned from its mistakes with FCPX?
Update: Apple has now released Logic Pro 9 ($199) and MainStage 2 ($29) in the Mac App Store. Weighing in at 413 MB, Logic Pro 9 requires 3.6GB of disk space and still comes with all the built-in plug-ins and sounds. However, for commenters pointing out the many GBs of additional content bundled with the soon to be discontinued $499 Logic Studio, Apple is making 19GB of additional content available via in-app downloads. Otherwise the app, at first glance, appears to be largely unchanged.
To accompany the release the of the new Mac App Store versions, Logic Pro was also updated to version 9.1.6 today. Apple also updated Aperture in the Mac App Store to version 3.2.2., which mainly fixes an issue with “auto-imported Photo Stream images”.
Apple has officially informed retailers they’ll be moving distribution of their Logic Pro and Logic Express digital audio workstations to a download-only, Mac App Store model (via MacRumors):
Apple today issued a notice to resellers announcing that it has discontinued the boxed versions of its Logic Studio and Logic Express audio software packages effectively immediately, also announcing that the Logic Pro 9 and MainStage 2 components will be moving to the Mac App Store for distribution.
The report notes Apple said “new” versions of Logic Pro 9 and MainStage 2 (components of Logic Pro) would be coming to the Mac App Store, although it’s unclear what that means for Logic Express (essentially a light version of Logic Pro 9), and Soundtrack Pro. The packaged version of Logic Studio currently sells for $499.
In June Apple released a completely redesigned, and some would argue scaled back, version of their Final Cut Pro video editing suite called Final Cut Pro X. That update was also released as a download through the Mac App Store, but wasn’t well received, and some fear that the Logic apps are headed in the same direction. Apple just recently launched a universal iOS version of GarageBand, their consumer/amateur version of Logic Pro that ships with iLife. No word on a potential Logic Studio iOS app.
The rumors of Logic Pro X have shown the possibility for the long-standing Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) to shift in a new direction. Logic is quickly becoming tightly integrated with all things “Apple.” Will the new Logic Pro X alienate the professional market? It is a valid question. Logic was always destined to merge with other visual and UI ideas from Apple Apps. Apple is all about its common themes and designs. It is what makes Apple a continued dominant innovator in the technology market. Utilizing the Mac App Store to sell Logic Pro X has a two-fold benefit. One they promote the App Store to audio software consumers. Two they effectively lower the price of Logic while reducing cost. It is cheaper to sell a “digital” product than it is to sell a “physical” product. A “physical” product involves packaging, shipping, warehouses, store related costs, etc… The audio software market is saturated with Digital Audio Workstations. (DAWs) Anything Apple can do for Logic to gain more exposure, lower costs, and lower the price for consumers boosts Logic’s competitive edge in the market. It is really a win win situation for Apple and Logic. Whether or not these decisions make Logic Pro X a poor man’s DAW is yet to be seen.
Many of these decisions by Apple are moving Logic into a better competitive position in its market. There is little to no information in terms of the exclusion of long time standard features in Logic Pro X. It is a DAW’s feature set that makes it valid in a professional setting. The hobbyist application focuses on an entirely different music making approach. The addition of Waveburner into Logic itself, and the decision to exclude MainStage do shed light on Apple’s intentions with Logic. It is moving away from live performance options and focusing on studio production. Logic’s original niche is as a midi sequencer and studio production environment. Another audio software giant with a unique penchant for creative features is Propellerhead’s Reason, which is due at the end of the month…