If you’re a music producer that’s opted to use a Mac computer and setup for your production ventures, the chances are that you’re going to have heard of the audio recording software Logic Pro. Even if you’re starting out and researching the operating system and software that’s best for you, Logic Pro has probably topped a few lists.
So, what is it about Logic Pro that makes it so mentionable? Why does it continuously pop up as one of the best software options for music producers? After, with leading brands such as Ableton and Reason, is there even enough room for another software platform?
To answer all your questions and more, we’ve taken the time to explore all the ins and outs of the Logic Pro software, ultimately compiling this complete guide that details everything you need to know.
Whether you’re starting out on your music ventures, looking to upgrade your software, or simply just want to know more about the Logic Pro solution, this is the article for you.
A Brief History of Logic Pro
Let’s take it back to where it all began. Back in the mid-1980s, Gerhard Lengeling and Chris Adam developed a MIDI sequencer program which was titled Creator. This was available on the Atari ST platform and later became Notator when musical notation features were added.
While there were plenty of other MIDI sequencers and notation solutions available at the time, this one shone above the rest by being able to play up to four patterns simultaneously, a feature for which it rapidly became known as the most powerful and intuitive sequencing and notation platform of the time, on par with applications such as Cubase.
Fast forward to 1993, and a new version of the software titled Notator Logic was released under the newly formed company Emagic. This was an innovative product which aimed to fuse track and pattern-based processes into a more manageable form.
However, these efforts were in vain, and although the features were there, the program was too difficult to use compared with Cubase and other leading platforms, and Notator was unable to achieve the same level of success.
Later versions of the product were released on both Mac and Windows operating systems, and as the product was refined and simplified to the everyday user, the software was slowly regaining popularity. It wasn’t until 2002 when Apple acquired Emagic, instantly announcing that the Windows version was to be discontinued.
This was a controversial decision since over 70,000 users were then left without a product and didn’t wish to invest in an entirely new system. However, while it’s unknown how many users Apple lost for this reason, the company has since increased its Pro Audio profits year on year, which totals around $2 billion a year as of 2014.
The software was renamed into Logic, and Logic 6 was the first Mac OS only version of the software, which was released back in 2004. Four months later, Logic Pro 7 was released, and this was the version where the interface had been completely innovated, and now resembled your traditional Apple product.
The software was continuously updated and released over the next decade, which the latest version, Logic Pro X, being released in the summer of 2013, the most innovative version of the software yet, and is still the version that is available today.
The software seems to be primarily used by Dance, Electronic and EDM producers, most notably including Hardwell, Alesso, Steven Wilson, and many more. However, musicians from all genres this software on a daily basis, regardless of the genre or final purpose of music, video, television, film, or video games.
Why Use Logic Pro?
Logic Pro is a fantastic piece of software; there’s no denying that. It doesn’t matter whether you’re starting out in the music industry and trying to find your feet, or an experienced producer who’s looking for something new, Logic Pro has something for everyone.
Since this is a dedicated Apple product, it goes without saying that the user interface is one of the most innovative, captivating and visually pleasing interfaces out of all the DAW software available. It also looks aesthetically amazing on a Retina screen.
The software itself as marketed as all the production power you’ll ever need, and all the creative opportunities you’d ever want in your music ventures. There’s also a ton of features and plugins that you’ll be able to utilize in your media productions that can help you bring your success up to the next level.
The software is also highly compatible with a full range of virtual instruments and third-party plugins, which means you can continuously expand with the sort of thingy you can create.
Bear in mind that the software hasn’t really updated, apart from some minor changes, since 2013, and it’s still just as popular today as its always been, if not more so, which just goes to show what an amazing product this has turned out to be.
The Complete List of Logic Pro Features
Okay, so you know just how powerful this software is, but what does it actually provide you in terms of features? Why not opt for a competitor, such as Ableton, Cubase or Reason? To help you make this decision, here is a complete guide to the features you can expect when working with Logic Pro.
Smart Tempo is one of the latest features to come to Logic Pro X but is by far one of
the most renowned and powerful tools; one that sets Logic apart from its competition.
Using this feature, Logic Pro automatically tracks and manages the tempo of all your sounds and files across your project.
This means you can easily apply and implement all kinds of sounds and files from all different sources, whether that’s your instruments, a sample pack, or even vinyl samples. Regardless of the original tempo, you can still easily sync and match everything with Logic Pro.
One of two of the prime Flex features, Flex Time is a powerful manipulation tool which allows you to control the timings and tempo of your recorded sounds effortlessly. You can even use the integrated feature to edit within the waveform of your sounds without having to slice up your sounds or move your regions!
The second premium Flex tool to come with Logic Pro is the Pitch tool. This is a rather simple feature that’s easy to use but uses Smart technology to give you the best results.
With a simple click of a button, you can edit the level and pitch of each individual note quickly and effortlessly. All you need to do is roll any note, and all available parameters will pop instantly.
Complete Logic Remote
One of the most popular features of Logic Pro is the fact that it’s operated by Apple, so it should go without saying that you can link up your iPad and iPhone devices flawlessly. This feature is known as the Logic Remote, which can be downloaded for free via the App Store.
Using the remote, you’ll be able to expand your Logic Pro workstation that can help you simplify all kinds of processes, whether you’re mixing, mastering, playing a software instrument or shaping sounds in any way that you need to!
Build an Acoustic/Electric Setup
One of the most exclusive features that you won’t be able to get with any other DAW is the fact that you can build your own instrument; most notably the drum kit. You can create both acoustic and electric versions, which means you’ll be able to create an entirely new kind of sound.
This means you can match the set that you’re using in the real world or create something entirely new and original. This means you can create all manner of different sounds while experimenting or use the tools you need to create the sounds you’re looking for.
Built into the sound library of Logic Pro, you’ll also find an absolutely huge collection of Patches. You can load these effortlessly into your complex multi-channel sounds, and they’re even controllable through the integrated Smart Control features.
This means you’ll be able to tweak and customize every sound and patch within the tiniest increments. This in all allows you to edit your sound to perfection, enabling you to produce the exact sounds you’re looking for accurately.
Easily one of the most popular features of Logic Pro is the fact that it comes with over 7,000 royalty-free Apple Loop samples that you can use however you please. Each loop has been organized using an easy-to-find keyword and will automatically sync themselves to the tempo of your project.
You can even download and install your own loops, loops from other projects, or by creating your own. You can then add your own keywords or leave them blank, but they’ll still automatically sync to match the tempo of your project.
While we’re on the subject of drum kits, another one of the best features here is the fact that you can use the Drummer feature. Apple markets this feature as being ‘like hiring a session drummer or collaborating with a highly skilled beat programmer.’
In short, this means you’ll be able to use the Drummer feature to create organic-sounding electronic or acoustic sounds suing highly intelligent technology. You can even select the style from dozens of different drummers based on their preferred genre, alongside a complete array of controls so you can make it your own.
A Complete Studio Experience
In addition to being able to create, edit and master the sounds you’re creating in Logic Pro, it’s also important to remember that this software has been designed to provide you with a complete studio experience.
Whether you’re creating everything from scratch within the setup, you’re tracking a studio recording, or even managing a live band while they’re performing on stage, Logic Pro has all the features you’re going to need to make things as easy as possible while retaining the level of quality you’d expect.
The integrated recording features of Logic Pro are extremely powerful and are in fact some of the best in the business. You can enjoy all the benefits of seamless punch recording and leading automatic take management features.
The software supports crystal-clear 24-bit/192kHz audio, which provides you with a final sound final with incomparable quality. All of these settings are easy to set and manage, and you can edit and change them at any time.
You’ll also have the ability to control and manage over 250 unique audio tracks, as well as compatibility to run hundreds of recording-related plugins simultaneously, which gives you everything you need for a professional recording experience.
As you can imagine from a professional DAW application such as Logic Pro, you’ll also have the ability to fully control your application using nearly every single MIDI controller out there. What’s more, Logic Pro seems to go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to what you can with them.
You can record, manipulate and edit all your MIDI sounds and performances in any way you want, simply by using your mouse and all of the features we’ve listed above. You can freely master your tracks, or you can base the edits on your region-based parameters, such as note velocity, dynamics and other forms of timing.
You can also tighten up any loose MIDI performances you may have recorded and smartened your flams and chord rolls using features like Smart Quantize, and other professional features.
Outstanding Plugins, Sounds & Effects
When it comes to the Plugins & Sounds that are available through and with Logic Pro, this is where the software really starts to set itself apart from the rest of the DAW community. There are literally thousands and thousands of applicable downloads for you to experiment with and enjoy.
In addition to the thousands of virtual instruments, which of course can be shaped and mastered any way you want, there is nearly an equal number of plugins from Apple, and third-party develops that can provide you with a variation of exclusive effects and functions.
Below, we’re going to list of the best plugins that you may be interested in during your production journey.
Alchemy is renowned for being one of the most powerful instrumental plugins in all the Logic Pro universe. The enormous library comes with over 3,000 unique sounds to choose from and play with and contains a quick keyword-based browser, so you can navigate them all easily.
Once you’ve chosen your sounds, you’ll then find a full range of controls to help you shape them. Alchemy’s primary focus in synth and this is easily what it specializes in.
There are dozens of sound-generating engines, including spectral, formant, granular, addictive, virtual analog, and many more.
In short, Alchemy provides basically limitless options when it comes to producing sounds for your tracks, no matter what genres they are.
ES2 is a versatile and fully-flexible synthesizer that can produce a wide variety of sounds that range from classic analog to the forefront of modern digital productions.
Within this plugin, there are three analog-based wavetable oscillators, all alongside a range of multi-mode resonant filters and a ton of modulation options.
If you’re looking for something a little bit more traditional to bring your sounds to life, this vintage synth plugin may have everything you need. The sounds within this plugin have been designed with a 70s, and 80s feel to them and contain a mixture of analog and digital sounds.
This includes ground-shaking basslines, textures, pads that sweep, sawtooth-style waves, leads and more. If you require a digital touch, try the bells, leads or basslines that are both brash and plucky respectively.
Sculpture is an incredibly unique plugin that is capable of producing synthesizer sounds that you truly won’t find anywhere else or in any other plugin. This plugin works by reconstructing the sounds that vibrating materials make.
For example, you can choose anything from nylon, metal, glass, wood, and many more. By applying various types of vibration, you can create some truly unique sounds that are incredibly uncommon and literally limitless when it comes to audio opportunities.
Control of this plugin is easy thanks to the X/Y pad controls, deep-set modulation abilities and a ton of texture shapings and options. If you’re looking for something new to set your sounds apart from the rest, this is the plugin you’re going to want to use.
Beginning to detail some of the effects you can have access to, ChromaVerb is perhaps the most popular of reverb plugins that utilize a unique take on modeling your sounds which makes your effect sound a whole lot more natural.
This high-end plugin creates incredible atmospheric sounds and gives your productions much better acoustic sounds. There are 14 different models to enjoy, each with Logic’s paramount tempo-synced technology, and an outstanding ability to provide up to 100 seconds of delay.
This is easily one of the most colorful and visually pleasing plugins and will make a great addition to any producer’s plugin inventory.
While we’ve focused on the best aspects that Logic Pro bring to budding producers of any skill level, it’s important to note whether there are any negatives to the software or things that can be improved.
Firstly, as we’ve already mentioned, Logic Pro is only available for Mac users, so if you’re a Windows user, you’ll either need to upgrade your system or miss out on the software altogether. It’s also worth noting that there’s no trial version available.
We see this as a downside because there’s no way you can try the software out for yourself without having to pay full price. This means you may pay out for the software and find it’s not for you, which means you’ll have wasted your money unless you can secure a refund. You have 30-days from buying the product to secure a refund.
However, Logic Pro is rated one of the best DAW applications for no reason. While it may be a bit of a learning curve if you’re used to using other platforms, as soon as you get your head around the navigation, you can be sure that you’ll love what you can do with this piece of kit.
Apart from these points, there really aren’t any downsides to Logic Pro, and the more you use it, the more accustomed to it you’ll be, and the more you’ll get out of it.
A Supportive Community
One of the best things we love about Logic Pro that’s not actually included with the software is the fact that it comes with one of the most supportive communities out there. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the industry, or simply looking for help on a certain feature, there’s an online community that can help.
Whether you’re chatting on the Logic Pro forums, watching step-by-step YouTube video guides, or partaking in an online course, there are plenty of options out there that can help you connect with like-minded producers who can help you with your own projects.
Of course, you can choose whether you want to contribute to this community or not, and if you really needed help and can’t find it online, you can always contact Apple directly who will be more than happy to give you the support you need.
As you can see, when it comes to Logic Pro, there’s plenty of features and functions available to you which make it easy to see why it’s one of the most popular DAW platforms available today. While Logic Pro is only available for Mac operating system, if you own one, this is easily one of the best pieces of software to help you create your music and sounds your way.
With a simplified UI, a powerful and feature-rich history and all the functions you could ever need, including Logic Pro Remote access and a gorgeous visual experience, what more could you need from your DAW experience?