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Logic Pro 10.4.2 allows photo notes, sound libraries on ext. HDs

Also improves Smart Tempo, automation and brings instruments/FX to MainStage

The Logic 10.4.2 update may sound perfectly unassuming but what it offers could make you jump for joy. Top billing goes to the newly introduces ability to easily relocate Sound Libraries to external hard drives.

This is a huge deal for two reasons: Logic’s Sound Libraries, if you download them in their entirety, are huge. Secondly, Apple only offer solid-state drives for internal storage on their laptops, many of which are 256GB in capacity or less in the base configurations. So, unless you’re happy dropping hundreds of pounds (128GB to 1TB SSD upgrade from Apple costs £800!) on a larger internal drive when you spec the machine, you’ll find your hard drive filling up very fast.

The next quietly significant feature is that dragging one automation point over another now aligns them vertically. If you’re in the business of tweaking automation endlessly, this will undoubtedly come in handy.

Engineers working with a hybrid setup will also rejoice in the knowledge that you can now save photos to the project or track notes area, meaning recalls of your hardware settings can be saved within projects.

As far as mixing goes, one big change is a new mixer mode that allows channel strip fader and pan controls to be used to set send level and pan. If you want a send panned to a particular place in the stereo field but want the main signal to be panned elsewhere, this is great.

There’s also some clever stuff in here about Smart Tempo and how it can now analyse tempo data across multi-track recordings and analyses MIDI data without a metronome, but there's too much to get into here. Regarding the MIDI portion of this, a similar feature was recently introduced to great effect in Ableton with Capture, so we're looking forward to trying that out.

MainStage also gets a massive upgrade, gaining many instruments and effects that were previously only available in Logic Pro X.

Here’s the full feature run-down from Apple:

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Logic Pro X release notes
MainStage 3 release notes

What’s New in Logic Pro X 10.4.2
• The Sound Library can be relocated to an external storage device
• Smart Tempo can analyze tempo data across multi-track recordings to define the Project Tempo
• Imported multi-track stems can follow or define Project Tempo 
• Smart Tempo now analyzes the tempo of MIDI performances recorded without a metronome
• Alchemy provides drag and drop hot zones that let you select re-synthesis and sampling options while importing audio
• Alchemy allows numerical editing of parameter values
• Dragging one automation point over another now aligns them vertically
• New mixer mode allows channel strip fader and pan controls to be used to set send level and pan
• Automatic Slurs can be applied to selected notes in the Score Editor
• Add a photo to track or project notes to help remember key session details or studio hardware settings
• This update also contains numerous stability and performance improvements

What’s New In MainStage 3.4
General
• Channel Strip MIDI input inspector allows any MIDI CC data to be filtered, transformed or passed through
• Text notes can be added to the bottom of channel strips
• The Metronome is now fully configurable, with separate settings for Bar, Group, Beat, and Division
• This update also contains numerous stability and performance improvements

Sound Library
• The Sound Library can be relocated to an external storage device
• 2 vintage brush kits for Drum Kit Designer 
• More than 800 new loops in a variety of instruments and genres
• New Visions library for Alchemy adds 150 cinematic presets

Plug-Ins
• ChromaVerb is a sophisticated new algorithmic reverb with a colorful, interactive interface for creating rich acoustic spaces
• Space Designer offers a new design and a scalable, Retina interface
• Step FX adds rhythmic multi-effect processing using 3 powerful step sequencers and an X/Y pad
• Phat FX makes your tracks bigger and bolder using 9 effects that add warmth and punch to your sounds
• The Vintage EQ Collection provides 3 accurate models of vintage analog EQs from the 1950s to the 1970s
• Studio Strings and Studio Horns are deeply sampled, realistic ensemble instruments with custom articulation controls
• Mellotron is now available as a standalone instrument plug-in
• Retro Synth now offers 18 different filter models
• The length of individual steps in the Arpeggiator plug-in are adjustable
• Loopback now applies a small crossfade at each loop cycle to reduce the likelihood of clicks or other audio artifacts

Alchemy
• Alchemy provides drag and drop hot zones that let you select re-synthesis and sampling options while importing audio
• Alchemy allows numerical editing of parameter values
• Alchemy adds 12 new synthesized formant filter shapes
• Alchemy now offers a side chain input that can be used as a source for envelope followers
• Alchemy includes an automatic time align feature for improved morphing
• New additive effects in Alchemy expand the options for filtering and modulating sound

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