Does this in-depth guide tell you everything you need to know?
Despite being well in excess of 300 pages and based on v.10.0.4 of the program, Logic Pro X: How It Works doesn't purport to tell you everything you need to know about Logic X, but rather to explain what it does, how it does it and how to navigate the various screens and menus. Author Edgar Rothermich makes good use of analogies and clear, colourful diagrams, and the book is structured so that you can treat it as a reference, dipping in and out of the various sections as necessary.
There's a lot of depth here, with the author unearthing operational gems that even experienced Logic users may not have discovered. But as a 'read from the start' introduction it might make Logic X seem far more intimidating than it really is. Everything is explained in great detail but, although these explanations are to be commended for their clarity, there's little guidance on which pieces of knowledge are key to using the program and which can be left for when you've gained more experience.
My own view on instructional material — where new users form a significant part of the target audience — is that it should acknowledge the fact that even experienced software users probably use only two percent of the available functionality for 95 percent of what they do. If this key two percent can be identified and explored first and then additional information introduced as necessary, the whole process becomes more relaxed. After all, what do you really need to know to make a basic recording? How to send audio and MIDI data to tracks, how to do basic cut/copy/paste/move editing, how to drive the mixer, how to set a tempo for the click and bar grid, how to insert plug-ins, and so on. You could probably sum up in a couple of dozen bullet points what you really need to know in order to do some basic recording and mixing in any DAW.
We all get past that point, however, and this eBook makes an excellent resource for when you need to delve into the finer points of Track Stacks, multi-timbral instruments, the more arcane menu options and the true value of Logic's Environment. What's more, it's extremely affordable, and those who already use the program but feel there's a lot more to discover could really benefit.
A second book, Logic X: The Details, is due out in 2014 and this (to revert to the type of analogy favoured by the author) might actually let us have a go at driving the car after reading up on what the pedals do, how the gears operate, and where the fuel and oil goes.
Intended primarily as an eBook, a hard copy of Logic Pro X: How It Works will also be available via Amazon.
PDF version $15.