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Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

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Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby tomdot » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:32 pm

Hello all and Merry Christmas!

I'm running Garageband on a really old MacBook (2006 version) with Lion and due to a new music project I'm starting, the stuff I'm recording is now having to stretch a little further than a wry smile at the end of a songwriting session. I'm finding that the the stock piano, organ and horn sounds are now not good enough to use as a showcase for my "talents", especially when put alongside Addictive Drums and some nice real guitars.

Looking around over the past few days I decided to maybe look at purchasing Addictive Keys, GSi VB3 and possibly NI Session Horns, but money is tight. I could splurge, but it's a large outlay for all of that, however good it will sound - I'm still only going to be a very keen amateur at best.

I then had a thought about upgrading to Logic Pro as they have a lot of stock instruments for a sightly lesser price, but I don't know how the piano/organ/horn stuff stands up to both the mentioned plugins and the real world - could someone please advise me on whether this is a viable option? I obviously don't want to waste my money and would rather spend a little more if that gives me what I want. My skills at keys are pretty rudimentary too - lots of multiple passes with alternating hands, and what can only be described as a lack of both dynamics and dexterity...this matters I'm sure.

To compound things, I'm also unsure whether I want to make a switch to Logic. I had originally downgraded from Pro Tools as at the time I either wasn't using most of the instruments and features, or I was getting bogged down in never ending tweaking and mixing. Garageband has limitations but definitely suits my workflow now.

I'm a bit all over the place, so some third party insight would be helpful!

Thanks
Tom
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby DAGGILARR » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:44 pm

Have you considered what is available for free ? THIS for example which has a free library as well, there are quite a few freebies out there.
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby tomdot » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:11 pm

Funny you should say that - I have been thinking of it, but I wanted to sound out a worst case scenario just to cover all my options.

I downloaded a few things that seemed good last night but haven't had a chance to try them out yet. Kontakt Player was registered last night actually, so I'm going to try it out. From there I thought I could buy some of the other NI stuff if I wanted to, but what I don't want is to buy something and it have limitations due to Kontakt Player being a "lite" version.
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby DAGGILARR » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:28 pm

Full Kontakt can get a bit pricey but it does have lots of good stuff at least with player you get a chance to really try stuff out

I am not sure what is included with logic 9 now its a download from the app store, some of the content that came with Studio may not be included for the £149.
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby desmond » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:37 pm

DAGGILARR wrote:I am not sure what is included with logic 9 now its a download from the app store, some of the content that came with Studio may not be included for the £149.

All the content is included. The only content difference is that there is no more Logic Studio, so you don't get the audio content that was included with Soundtrack Pro (mostly foley, backgrounds and other film type stuff). Possibly some of the older legacy content is also not included but I'm not sure, and this is no big deal anyway.
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby Dave Rowles » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:11 pm

The stock instruments are pretty good, and with a bit of fiddling you can get some great sounds out of them. Sculpture remains my favourite, and I think it's worth the price of logic alone.

Given what you're looking for in sounds, the organ and piano sounds will probably be alright for you, but the horn sounds I find a little lacking. They are definitely better than general midi, but not as good as a dedicated sample set.
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby tomdot » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:57 am

Thanks for all of the input everyone.

In the end I have decided not to upgrade to Logic - I almost bought it and even figured out a new workflow of doing the main bulk in GarageBand and the heavy duty in Logic. Alas, maybe in the future when I get a bit more of a powerful MacBook, but I think it will strain right now.

What I did decide to do was download Model V which is a good sounding Vox Connie plugin that I hadn't heard of before. That's good enough for me - you know, the only thing I didn't like about the stock GB Tonewheel Organ was the tremolo/stereo panning effect that you couldn't remove.

I also found you could download just the one piano for Addictive Keys - so for about £40 you get the Studio Grand which is also great as I really wanted the tweakability inside the plugin. I must admit I haven't yet dropped the money on it as I have the Free version, but as soon as I hit the wall with it then I'll buy.

Finally, I have loved Lounge Lizard for years but could never justify the cost. In step Cakewalk who have Lounge Lizard Session for download only for an astonishing £15.00 - £85.00 off of retail price. That's all I'll need I think.

As for Horns - meh, I'll just have to figure out another way - maybe my Big Muff and some creative tweaking can do the business.

I also downloaded Kontakt 5 Player too, so thanks for that tip!

Though, it does bring up another question - are the AU Plugins in GarageBand the stock Logic plugins or are they sort of middle ground between GB's in built plugins and the Logic stuff?

Thanks again everyone
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby DAGGILARR » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:52 pm

you may want THIS
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby JDoo » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:01 pm

Sounds like you have a good plan. Worth mentioning though... if you were considering Logic Pro for the instruments alone... is MainStage. For $30 you get all the instruments of Logic.. just not the DAW bits.

Happy New Year..
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby tomdot » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:59 am

Yeah I did look at Mainstage as well. I would want the full Logic eventually though because I used Pro Tools for years and at that point I'll need the routing and bussing options that I sometimes miss.

Quite honestly the reason I use GB is for the features it's lacking - less time fiddling, more time recording and writing. I don't listen to those who say it's not "Pro" - it's not as deep or very flexible, but there's no doubt that for 90% of the people like me playing music in their houses it's more than suitable. Couple it with a ROMpler or two and some track processing (maybe), and you can make great sounding stuff.

I also had Driver early on - it's nice enough sounding, but for me it's a poor mans Fromage!!!
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby Richard Graham » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:43 pm

tomdot wrote:Yeah I did look at Mainstage as well. I would want the full Logic eventually though because I used Pro Tools for years and at that point I'll need the routing and bussing options that I sometimes miss.

Quite honestly the reason I use GB is for the features it's lacking - less time fiddling, more time recording and writing. I don't listen to those who say it's not "Pro" - it's not as deep or very flexible, but there's no doubt that for 90% of the people like me playing music in their houses it's more than suitable. Couple it with a ROMpler or two and some track processing (maybe), and you can make great sounding stuff.

I also had Driver early on - it's nice enough sounding, but for me it's a poor mans Fromage!!!

With you 100% about loving Garageband for the features it leaves out - you might want to think about getting an iPad solely for GB, as it leaves out even more feature, but makes it really really easy to make music... which you can then import into Logic.

I just bought Logic Express (off eBay) for £20... so now mix my GB creations properly.

I have no intention of using Logic for being creative, though. iPad + GB is better.

Great tip re. Mainstage. For £30, it's a no-brainer for me, and will saves me having to install Komplete on my Mac - with all the usual activation hassle from NI.
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby Dee » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:01 pm

Is Halion Sonic available on mac? It has a decent set of standard sounds.
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby tomdot » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:46 pm

Richard Graham wrote:you might want to think about getting an iPad solely for GB, as it leaves out even more feature, but makes it really really easy to make music...

Great tip re. Mainstage. For £30, it's a no-brainer for me, and will saves me having to install Komplete on my Mac - with all the usual activation hassle from NI.

Well, I have GB for the iPhone as I dont have an iPad - it's a great app, however even then I was fiddling with sounds and levels rather than recording them! I must admit though, this is a discipline thing with me.

I'm going to look into Mainstage more - I recommended it in another thread, but only because the OP was looking to use Logic live, when this would have been more appropriate. So if you bought Mainstage, you would get the instruments and effects used in Logic? Are they stripped down, or not complete, or what?
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby Richard Graham » Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:01 pm

tomdot wrote:
Richard Graham wrote:you might want to think about getting an iPad solely for GB, as it leaves out even more feature, but makes it really really easy to make music...

Great tip re. Mainstage. For £30, it's a no-brainer for me, and will saves me having to install Komplete on my Mac - with all the usual activation hassle from NI.

Well, I have GB for the iPhone as I dont have an iPad - it's a great app, however even then I was fiddling with sounds and levels rather than recording them! I must admit though, this is a discipline thing with me.

I'm going to look into Mainstage more - I recommended it in another thread, but only because the OP was looking to use Logic live, when this would have been more appropriate. So if you bought Mainstage, you would get the instruments and effects used in Logic? Are they stripped down, or not complete, or what?

A discipline thing, exactly. I think for me, GB on iPad works because there is only so much messing around you can do with the sound... No volume envelopes or EQ... And everything sounds good out of the box. The touch interface is great, it really is so easy to make songs rather than endlessly messing on with mixes, that before you know it half a dozen tunes have appeared. I've often thought the phone looks a bit small to really do GB justice... Certainly this is what my daughter thinks, she has GB on her iPOD touch.

Only problem with getting Logic Express is, now I'm wasting loads of time mixing/messing about with my tunes instead of making new ones! As well as all kinds of other PC maintenance! (I run a couple of Reaper DAWs)

I need to spend a bit of time on jury service again... or break my other shoulder to put me in bed for weeks, just me and my iPad and nothing to do for hours on end!

Logic Express 9 is good but you don't get (for instance) the drawbar organ like you do on GB on the iPad. I think Mainstage includes that kind of thing.
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby Richard Graham » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:30 pm

I've just checked and it seems you can't use the MainStage instruments within Logic Express... So it's not for me... Unless there is some way of re-wiring it to accept Midi in from Logic?
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby desmond » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:33 pm

Well, yes you can run Mainstage & Logic together, and just use IAC to pipe MIDI between the two. Mainstage is just an instrument host as a standalone application like any other AU standalone host.

But as the whole point of MS is to be all the stuff Logic has *except* the DAW, running both together is mostly pointless - if you want the Logic instruments *and* the DAW, then just run Logic - it will be much better in performance terms - but of course, if you don't want to upgrade to Logic Pro, it may be your only option.
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:38 pm


What does the IAC pipe thing mean, Desmond? I'm getting quite tempted to add the Mainstage instsruments to LE 9 now that Mainstage is only £20.
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby desmond » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:11 pm

Huge Longjohns wrote:What does the IAC pipe thing mean, Desmond?

Think of it like a MIDI cable between applications. So Logic can send MIDI to Mainstage to play/sequence it.

The IAC MIDI bus is a standard feature of OSX.
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:34 pm

How do you use it/access it? Not something I was aware of at all.
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby desmond » Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:21 pm

Like any other MIDI port on your system.

If it's not turned on, run the Audio/MIDI Setup Utility and enable the IAC bus. It just appears in your list of MIDI inputs and outputs as any other MIDI port on your sysrtem, real or virtual.
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Re: Making an Upgrade to Logic Pro...for the Instruments Alone?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:15 pm

Interesting! Thankyou.
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