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What Does Logic Studio App Mean For Musicians?

Apple Notes
By Mike Watkinson

Not only is Logic Studio now on sale at the Mac App Store, but its price has been massively cut, making Logic Express redundant. What does it all mean for the Logic musician?

To all the naysayers who stated that Logic Studio would never be available from the Mac App Store, we say "Ha! You were wrong”. Logic Pro 9.1.6 is available for purchase for the quite stunning price of £139.99$199.99. It's only a 413MB download, but the library of loops, instruments and effects presets is accessible as an in-app download after installation.

As a result of this huge price reduction, Logic Express is no longer a viable product and has been dropped, as have Soundtrack Pro and WaveBurner. The latter I understand — optical discs are no longer part of Apple's vision (DVD drives will soon disappear from Macs altogether and iDVD and DVD Pro are no longer in development) — but the disappearance of Soundtrack Pro is a tough one. The stock answer to the question 'What does it do?' has always been that it was 'designed to create backgrounds and sound effects of Final Cut Pro projects'. OK, but that dramatically undervalues its capabilities as an audio editor (with true sample-accurate editing), an audio restoration tool and a file-based audio processor, with its ability to apply chains of effects to specific selections of an audio file (in the manner of AudioSuite processing in Pro Tools). These are not capabilities found in Logic Pro, despite statements from Apple to the contrary.

Logic Pro 9.1.6 is a free upgrade for existing owners of Logic Studio, but what of the other applications that made up that package? Mainstage, which has also appeared on the Mac App Store as version 2.2, is termed a 'feature upgrade'. Apple reckon they have made enough changes to the interface, as well as enhancing MIDI control and support for auto-assignment of additional MIDI devices, to charge you £20.99$29.99, with no free upgrade path for existing owners. Compressor 4 is already available on the Mac App Store (following the recent transition from Final Cut Studio to Final Cut Pro X).

Signs Of Life

For existing users, the list of new features and bug fixes (at http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2565) is significant enough to warrant installation of the Logic update, especially if you are a Lion user. However, for your faithful columnist, and speaking as someone who relies on Logic Pro for a significant part of his income, what is most encouraging about these developments is that they are signs of life from Logic's development team, and of active engagement with Apple's ecosystem, which is vital for the application's survival. With Pro Tools setting the pace for annual upgrades, Logic users might have begun to feel that their engine of choice might have been shunted into the siding reserved for legacy and incompatible software and left there to rust. I, for one, am very glad to be proved wrong! Who knows, perhaps these green shoots of recovery are a sign that a whole new version is being prepared for shipping. Sorry, I meant download!  

No More In-stalling

We're just in time, then, for me to tell you how to create a quicker and easier way to install disc-based boxed copies of applications:

  • Insert the first installation disc.
  • Select Disk Utility (HD/Applications/Utilities).
  • Click 'New Image'.
  • Select the location for the disc image you're about to create.
  • Change the image format from 'compressed' to 'read-only' (leaving encryption set to 'none').
  • Click 'Save'.
  • Repeat for all other installation discs in the set. Creating disc images in Disk Utility.Creating disc images in Disk Utility.

Once you've completed those steps for all the discs, installation is achieved as follows:

  • Open every disc image by double clicking.
  • Each disc image will start verification, but you can skip this step for all discs to save a lot of time.
  • Double click the first disc of the installation series (for Logic Studio, this is called 'Logic Studio Install') and run the installation as normal. You can skip the verification stage when opening disc images, to save time.You can skip the verification stage when opening disc images, to save time.

You will now be able to leave the installation procedure unattended without having to insert each disc! On my MacBook Pro (with the disc images on an external Firewire 800 drive) installing Logic Studio (56GB) took 19 minutes!  

Published February 2012