July 16, 2013 marked a milestone in Apple’s development of the Logic recording program. Then version Pro X (10.0) was launched with a completely new interface, timeout (Flex Time), new instrument and effect library, midi plugs and a lot more. It would take until May 2020 before we experienced an equally innovative and comprehensive redesign of the program. We go straight into the, in our opinion, most important news. At the end of the article there is a link to everything that is new in Logic Pro X. And it is not a little.
Live Loops takes its back on Ableton
Apple takes up the competition with Ableton and has developed a completely new workflow in Logic intended for recording, editing and performing music with loops and which complements the classic workflow with timeline. You who have used the later versions of Garageband for iOS know what we are talking about.
Basically, Live Loops means you can drag and drop loops to the left of the regular arrangement view. Then you can play the loops in any order you want, but only one loop per track. To create entire arrangements, it is therefore important to create groups with loops vertically.
Create a new track, midi or audio, and record a loop in Live Loops. You can edit a selected loop as usual with quantization and so on. The loops can be moved around, copied and pasted as you like.
Once you have recorded a loop, you can easily drag it right out to that event window if you want to continue as usual. Do not forget to click the loop symbol on the vertical bar between Live Loops and the arrangement view, otherwise it will double up with the loop. Here you can also see the new instrument Drum Synth, perfect for inserting a file with synth pucks.
A welcome addition to the news is Remix FX, which you will find under Audio Effect / Specialized. The effect gives you access to two interactive matrix plates to control things like filters, repeat and other effects that are well suited to urban popular music. You will also find buttons vinyl-like effects for tape stop and scratch. You can record your clever effects sweeps and edit them afterwards.
Remix FX is best suited for control with your fingers and if you have an iPad and update to the latest version of the Logic Remote app, you can do just that. And also remotely control all other functions in Live Loops, of course.
Since Remix FX is a sound effect in general, it can be used on any track in Logic. For example, to liven up a regular drum track outside of Live Loops.
Sampler replaces EXS24
The new sampler, which replaces the faithful servant EXS24, has two important improvements compared to before. Firstly, you can have all the editing windows open in the same interface, which speeds up the work steps considerably. Second, Apple’s time-out feature, Flex Time, has been added to the device, meaning you can get a more natural sound across the entire keyboard, based on a single audio file, if you like. Worth knowing is that you do not have to do anything when you open old projects with your EXS24 libraries. Sampler is fully backward compatible.
In addition to Live Loops, a new mini-sampler is another tool for faster workflow in Logic. You drag and drop any audio file into the Quick Sampler window. If you select the “Optimized” box, the sampling is analyzed for a few seconds, after which the plug finds tempo, pitch and other properties in the audio file.
After the analysis, you now have your sound in Quicksampler and can choose between using the file as a traditional sampler, in other words triggering the audio file with your midi control unit, or do something more advanced. If you want to record a sound live and directly into Quicksampler, select “Recorder” from the horizontal menu at the top of the instrument window.
Here we have selected “Splice” from the horizontal menu. Then Quicksampler has sliced the sound into parts that you can play with from your midi control unit. If you go to the small gear symbol at the far right of the instrument’s interface, you will get a menu with several functions. We choose to copy the position of the audio discs as a midi file which can then be cut into the arrangement window for further processing.
The procedure is reminiscent of how REX files work in Reason, for example, and is extremely handy for those of you who produce different types of beats because the audio discs make it easier to adjust to tempo and quantize to your turn. You can also use REX files in Quicksampler if you first import them into Logic via the import menu.
Another hotly anticipated novelty is the step sequencer, something Logic has strangely lacked in all these years. Step Seqencer is a bit awkward in the View menu and not during midi effects, such as the arpeggiator – which would have been more logical. You need to have activated a track in the arrangement view to be able to open it.
Finally, there is a classic sequencer for programming rhythms, bass lines or melodies. Step Seqencer has steps from 12 up to 64 and clear controls for pitch, if you lower the view for a single step with the small arrow on the far left, you can fine-tune the touch sensitivity, gate time and so on.
If you want to create more advanced sequences, you can also click in control data in steps. This can be midi automation of various kinds, but also direct control of controls in the software instrument that you currently select. In this case, we gradually check the glide function of Retrosynth.
In summary after a couple of days we have only scratched the surface of what can be achieved with the new version of Logic Pro X. The only negative we can think of at the moment is that the system requirements are tougher: you need macOS Mojave 10.14.6 or later .
The update to Logic Pro X 10.5 is free if you already have it. The new price is SEK 2,395.
Read more about the news in Logic Pro X 10.5 on Apple’s support pages.
How do you work with the news in Logic Pro X 10.5? Do you have any smart tips? Share them in the comments below.