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Is the end near?!

Postby Jonnypopisical » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:18 am

Took a trip to the apple store in Brent X - London over the weekend to grab yet another replacement mouse.

Guess what - they only had one - yes one MacPro in the store - 90% of the floor space was taken up by ipads and laptops. Is this the sign of the future of Apple. I really hope not as I would hate to have to switch over to a PC with all new software etc.

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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby jellyjim » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:45 am

The most worrying thing about the possibility of Apple dumbing down (if that's what's afoot) is that there's no real alternative. We'd all have to go to Windows and frankly if OSX ends up like iOS it would be preferable.
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby jellyjim » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:46 am

jellyjim wrote:The most worrying thing about the possibility of Apple dumbing down (if that's what's afoot) is that there's no real alternative. We'd all have to go to Windows and frankly if OSX ends up like iOS it would be preferable.


Oh I've just re-read your post, you're referring to the possibility of Apple dropping desktop models in favour of laptops and other portables. Yeah, that'd suck too!
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby Jonnypopisical » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:56 am

Yep JellyJim,

They can probably sell 1000 percent more laptops/ipads than desktops. And the imac might end up becoming their 'top end' unit!

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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby lewk » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:43 am

It is a thought I've been pondering myself lately. I moved over to Apple about 3 years ago and since that time it seems I, and others, have seen a change in their business model. It's not a good or bad change, it's just different. If their market is swiftly moving toward consumers then so be it. In my limited experience, I remember Snow Leopard being an exciting OS upgrade. Lion didn't grab me at all for my needs. I don't want iOS features, because I want a traditional machine rather than this new format that seems to be approaching. It is likely to be the future as younger professionals come up and are more used to it. So in many ways I feel I should move with the times, except I can't afford to.

The sole reason I moved to apple was that I liked the reliability of the computers and that I loved (and was working with) Logic Pro. Since then there have been 3 changes in my working life, and all this year.
1) I have had to purchase Pro Tools for professional use, and PT9 was a no brainer purchase now it can work with all audio interfaces. Do I prefer it to logic? No, not yet anyway. I still haven't learned it and the plugin set you get is limited meaning I'll likely incur more cost later on with Waves Gold or something. But this is just the way PT works. I think I have been spoiled with logic, rather than disappointed with PT.

2) Windows 7. At work (a secondary school) I have recently updated our computer suites which were new a year ago and on XP over to Win 7. It's early days, but so far I have been extremely impressed. It feels modern yet traditional, it is robust and has all the bits of OSX I like. If I spent the money on an audio PC I feel I wouldn't be let down, should I feel I had to move over. And of course my option of PT9 makes this a lot easier.

3) Final Cut X. Now I'm not a video editor, but there has been some uproar about this. I think their stance is they are trying to move things forward, but it does mean extra time for video editors to re learn software. Now that's all fine and good, it's not this particular product that concerns me. What does concern me is what they will turn Logic X into. Will it be aimed at consumers or will it continue to do everything required by a pro? It remains to be seen. If I don't like it, then the only reason I will be with mac is the stability of the computers. And it is a fair high price for a stable computer if I can get similar from a carefully designed windows box.


Basically, I'm not married to apple, they were the best choice for me at the time. Now however, I'm not so sure, but I am by no means dismissing them yet.
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby Richie Royale » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:24 am

I wish Apple would reduce the price of the tower computers. I'd rather have a dedicated computer, with PCI slots and multiple bays than everything hanging out the back on connectors. The Mac mini discussion in the other thead is tempting, but then I would still need to replace my UAD2 for the satellite.

I'm still waiting for the Mac Pros to drop in the second hand market, but that will be a while I'm sure. My G5 Quad does the job, but it would be nice to know that the CPU isn't close to spiking or that the programmes have slowed down because the CPU is almost fully in use.

I think Apple shops are esentially for iPods, iPads and the occaisional Macbook purchaser, but I expect most of their business comes from the "i" purchases. The online store still has proper Macs, and I hope they continue to do so.
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby Exalted Wombat » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:34 am

Jonnypopisical wrote:Took a trip to the apple store in Brent X - London over the weekend to grab yet another replacement mouse.

Guess what - they only had one - yes one MacPro in the store - 90% of the floor space was taken up by ipads and laptops. Is this the sign of the future of Apple. I really hope not as I would hate to have to switch over to a PC with all new software etc.

JP

Let's be charitable and assume the rioters last week just took the good stuff!

Though, if I wanted to buy something as high-ticket as a MacPro I'd steer well clear of such a high-intensity marketing operation as an Apple Store.
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:46 am

jellyjim wrote:Oh I've just re-read your post, you're referring to the possibility of Apple dropping desktop models in favour of laptops and other portables. Yeah, that'd suck too!

Interesting in this regard that a recent detailed review of Lion in The Register concludes "In short, OS X Lion is a decent upgrade for Macs but a great one for MacBooks. Everything from FileVault 2 - encrypt everything, not just your home folder - to FaceTime - video chat on the move - screams ‘mobile!’, while sedentary users look on and mutter ‘that’s nice’."

CC
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby Tui » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:10 pm

Content creation: Small market. Content consumption: Huge market. That's what it boils down to. Apple have figured out how to build nearly perfect content consumption devices, and they're selling them as fast as they can make them. Let's hope they don't forget that somebody, somewhere, still needs to create all the lovely content that's supposed to run on their iOS devices.

And yes, when I look at Lion, it tells me OS X is on the way out, but will eventually be replaced by iOS. This could be a good thing. According to every benchmark I've seen, OS X is rather slow when compared with Windows. I could imagine Apple is seizing the opportunity to build a modern and sleek OS.
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby Dave Rowles » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:49 pm

Actually, I recently saw a load of benchmarks on expertreviews.co.uk that kinda says that Lion brings OS X much closer to win7.

Not sure how I'd feel about iOS on the laptop. They would have to come up with a good way of doing file management for it to work.
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby twotoedsloth » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:11 am

Bring back system 7.6.2 and all is forgiven!
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby MarkOne » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:28 am

As someone else has said, I don't think the Apple Store is the place Apple sell most of their MacPros... (Or MacBook Pros come to that)

I was in an authorised reseller last year sorting out a MacBook Pro repair, and while I was waiting I overheard one of their staff on the phone discussing an invoice with a reasonably well known financial institution. It was for several million quid. From what was being said, that seemed like a fairly regular sort of amount for them.
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:18 am

MarkOne wrote:I was in an authorised reseller last year sorting out a MacBook Pro repair, and while I was waiting I overheard one of their staff on the phone discussing an invoice with a reasonably well known financial institution. It was for several million quid. From what was being said, that seemed like a fairly regular sort of amount for them.

I wonder why a "financial institution" was buying quantities of designer computers instead of cheap pc workstations?
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby Richie Royale » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:51 am

Exalted Wombat wrote:
MarkOne wrote:I was in an authorised reseller last year sorting out a MacBook Pro repair, and while I was waiting I overheard one of their staff on the phone discussing an invoice with a reasonably well known financial institution. It was for several million quid. From what was being said, that seemed like a fairly regular sort of amount for them.

I wonder why a "financial institution" was buying quantities of designer computers instead of cheap pc workstations?

They wanted a product that worked.
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby desmond » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:22 am

They took on the massive project of the iPhone, designed a new touch screen interface, developed that into the iPad, and are now transitioning that into conventional computers, all because...

Apple just can't design mice.
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby Tui » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:50 am

Who needs mice. Have you tried the trackpad?
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby Dave B » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:12 pm

WRT the lessening of the Mac Pro ... is this not kind of inevitable?

Who actaully _needs_ the PCIe slots in the Pro? Ok ... Pro Tools HD boys do, but for anyone else with a new native 9 system, they aren't essential..

I have an extra Firewire card in mine, but tbh, I could live without it as I just run a Powercore off that an it could easily be swapped out for Lexicon native plugs. My Liquid Mix is FW and I have 54 ins/outs on a Saffire Pro which is quite a few...

OK, so the UAD owners would be upset, but haven't UA already made noises about putting together a Thunderbolt chassis - they already have a FW offering and I can see that scaling up later on.

Duende cards went firewire, then native so they are out of the equation.

If someone did a Thunderbolt Magma chassis type box, why would we need the Pro? Hard drives could be over Firewire or thunderbolt, PCI(e) slots could be on the chassis and it could all be tucked away in a cupboard/machine room elsewhere just leaving the lovely big screen and oodles of CPU in one flat panel...

Don't get me wrong - I hope they don't do this (I love my 'Big Mac' to bits), but I can see the future and I'm not sure that it has a floor unit in it.
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:14 pm

Richie Royale wrote:
Exalted Wombat wrote:
MarkOne wrote:I was in an authorised reseller last year sorting out a MacBook Pro repair, and while I was waiting I overheard one of their staff on the phone discussing an invoice with a reasonably well known financial institution. It was for several million quid. From what was being said, that seemed like a fairly regular sort of amount for them.

I wonder why a "financial institution" was buying quantities of designer computers instead of cheap pc workstations?

They wanted a product that worked.

That's what I mean. A product that just worked, to do a specific job. That's cheaply and reliably available with mainstream equipment. Put a Mac on the MD's desk, if he thinks he deserves it. But why spend millions on hundreds of them? It's wasting everyone's money.
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby desmond » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:12 pm

Tui wrote:Who needs mice. Have you tried the trackpad?

Yes. The Magic Trackpad doesn't work as well and doesn't feel as good as the trackpad on my MBP, but neither are as quick or acurate as a good mouse. For clicking web pages or something equally trivial, well, who cares, use what you want. But doing something like brush work in Photoshop or Lightroom on the track pad is rather painful (though doable).

I do think the mouse though is one of those intermediate things that we all relied on for years because there was no better alternative, until one day we have a breakthrough that moves everyone onwards and we look back on the mouse as an antiquated old interesting phase of computers, much like eventually the combustion engine will be for cars...
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:49 pm

desmond wrote:I do think the mouse though is one of those intermediate things that we all relied on for years because there was no better alternative, until one day we have a breakthrough that moves everyone onwards and we look back on the mouse as an antiquated old interesting phase of computers, much like eventually the combustion engine will be for cars...

It could be they just got it right first go! Even for art work, where a pen and tablet OUGHT to be better, somehow the mouse does it for me. And, despite constant attempts to sex (and price)it up, that means a straightforward hand-sized Microsoft Optical Mouse, or something very close to it. All the variations I've come across just leave me asking "Why?"
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby desmond » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:44 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:It could be they just got it right first go!

Maybe. The thing is though that direct manipulation with your hands just works better, and technological developments aside in terms of touch screen surfaces, glass and software interfaces, the single biggest barrier to desktop adoption is that touch doesn't map onto the vertical displays we use. My hunch would be that in a decade or two, touch will win out and vertical will lose - most of our work surfaces will be flat or slightly angled, and the display will either be able to be tilted up for regular seated viewing (eg movies), or you have a second, display only screen for those uses, and other secondary uses.

Exalted Wombat wrote:Even for art work, where a pen and tablet OUGHT to be better, somehow the mouse does it for me.

The pen/tablet thing you have to work at, but the people who get it, love it, and tend to use the pen for everything - they become very pen-centric. Those of us that flip between the two probably never let ourselves get completely comfortable with either, as they have similar but quite different approaches to the cursor problem. I do have a graphics tablet for graphics stuff, but don't really tend to use it for regular stuff, unless my mouse hand is cramping up and I want to use the other hand for a while (use the trackpad like this too).

Exalted Wombat wrote:And, despite constant attempts to sex (and price)it up, that means a straightforward hand-sized Microsoft Optical Mouse, or something very close to it. All the variations I've come across just leave me asking "Why?"

I know people that love track balls exclusively too, though I personally don't. Whatever works for you, I guess.

but I do think that eventually, with good enough technology and interfaces, touch/direct manipulation will win out over indirect manipulation with some extra tool, with the possible exception of pens for drawing, where finger resolution is way too clunky.

Apple have already started modding their interfaces to be larger and more "hittable" - for instance, if you compare Apple's old ProApp frameworks through, say Final Cut Pro 7, and the newer more modern frameworks in FCPX, you can see that they are moving in this direction - spurred on by the success of their iPhone development etc for sure.
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:43 pm

desmond wrote:but I do think that eventually, with good enough technology and interfaces, touch/direct manipulation will win out over indirect manipulation with some extra tool, with the possible exception of pens for drawing, where finger resolution is way too clunky.

I'm thinking of an everyday task like editing this very text. I'm coping on a 17" laptop screen with touchpad. If there was lots to do I'd certainly plug in a mouse. It's hard to see how my finger on-screen wouldn't be impossibly clunky when placing the cursor accurately to select text blocks.
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby forumuser695516 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:57 pm

Laptops are vastly bigger sellers than desktops. And iOS devices outsell Apple computers by something like 4 or 5 times, if not more.

Apple stores, particularly the smaller ones like Brent Cross are laid out in a way that reflects that almost exactly..

Is the end near? Perhaps for bulky desktops..
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby chris... » Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:13 pm

Jonnypopisical wrote:Took a trip to the apple store in Brent X - London over the weekend to grab yet another replacement mouse.

Guess what - they only had one - yes one MacPro in the store - 90% of the floor space was taken up by ipads and laptops.

I've used Macs of all shapes'n'sizes for years. But had never been into an actual 'Apple Store' until last week.

Reason for visit - to get my iphone back cover fixed...
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby chris... » Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:14 pm

desmond wrote:I know people that love track balls exclusively too, though I personally don't.
Hate track balls. Love track pads.
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby Wease » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:44 pm

I understand the worry about apple going more consumer focused....but I also understand why this is becoming the future of computing.

We have more powerful computers (smartphones) in our pockets than I used in my music degree...and i can certainly record more audio at a better quality on my phone than i could on my first DAW machine.

We on this forum use computers in quite an unusual and 'high-end' way - and as long as we can connect our various external devices (such as a soundcard/mixer, firewire UAD, etc etc) and see the programme (ie have some real estate screen) then we can run our projects on a mac mini.
Apple bringing out the new screens, which have firewire/thunderbolt connections have helped in this area - and although they are expensive, they'll drop in price....

So, instead of a massive grey box in the corner at 2k, we have a small, palm sized mac mini, with thunderbolt firewire adapters (they'll come very soon - or buy an apple display) at £700 odd - thunderbolt drives recording the audio and half the cost.
Yup - the mac pro is probably dead......cloud computing, hiring of the use of online software (which would also stop piracy) and quick connection with firewire (through thunderbolt) would see to that - you won't need a massive computer to access massive power - the computer would just become an access interface...which is cool IMHO - and would actually save me £££ on replacing computers to 'upgrade'

I'd access al my usual computing needs (email etc) via an iPad....and just have the mac mini (or MacBook - if i want a macmini with a screen!) purely for my audio/film work - which would be powerful enough to cover those needs

the ease of publishing and sending out content quickly and easily has to be a bonus as well...from big bands (such as the nolans or chas n dave) sending live podcasts from the studio of the latest stuff for their fans - then releasing the album from their website direct to the fans....to me posting last nights gig on faceache live and direct from the old bull n bush...



It's already started in schools........iPad 1-1....smartphone content creation......youtube channels......

the children are already ahead of you - be warned - a new dawn is arising in the world of computing - and it will be ok - :headbang:
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby hugol » Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:44 pm

Jonnypopisical wrote:Took a trip to the apple store in Brent X - London over the weekend to grab yet another replacement mouse.

Guess what - they only had one - yes one MacPro in the store - 90% of the floor space was taken up by ipads and laptops. Is this the sign of the future of Apple. I really hope not as I would hate to have to switch over to a PC with all new software etc.

JP


I'll admit to having the same thoughts in the past, but let's think about this logically. Apple retail stores are targetted at average punters on the street.

Mac Pros are expensive, the main advantages are stability (ECC memory), expandability and that extra whatever % of processing power (which requires the right software to really notice the difference). Most people don't need a Mac Pro, so why take up valuable retail space on something that they just won't sell that many of?

And to add - if the latest Mac Mini had been available sooner I would have seriously considered one of those with an i7 + a UAD-2 Satellite rather than my current 6-core Mac Pro (with UAD-2 PCIe). Not quite as good - but not that much worse either for a lot less money.
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby Exalted Wombat » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:33 am

The end draws nearer?

Those of us who subscribe, check out today's article by Mike Watkinson on the dumbing-down of Final Cut Pro. It seems to be accepted as inevitable that this will also happen to Logic, and there's a strong suggestion that it will be a Good Thing if it does. He also opines that Logic isn't up-to-speed as a pro-level sequencer, its main attraction is the bundled loops and instruments.

Of course, this is one man's opinion and we can still run applications that WEREN'T bought at the App Store on our Macs. Last time I checked.

(Please note, I don't rejoice in this news because I don't Like Apple. This is WHY I don't like Apple.)
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby Richie Royale » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:54 am

I didn't think you were a Mac user?
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Re: Is the end near?!

Postby Exalted Wombat » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:40 pm

Richie Royale wrote:I didn't think you were a Mac user?

I have to be sometimes. And I support several Mac users. Some of them feel (quite possibly correctly) that a Mac in their studio adds credibility. Some of them have swallowed the whole Apple thing - they'll push aside a keyboard and mouse which accesses ALL their controls perfectly conveniently in favour of an iPad which offers a FEW of them. Odd.

I imagine the article, which mentions Logic's "...technical shortcomings as a DAW and serious audio editor..." will cause comment!
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