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History of Logic

Page 4

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Logic Audio 3

 

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Logic Audio Platinum (PC) v3.5 (click the pic to see full 1280 x 1024 Screen shot)

The AudioWerk8 and Logic 3.0

Probably as a response to the maelstrom of discontent among PC users, Emagic decide to release its own soundcard, the Emagic AudioWerk 8, an unbalanced 2 in 8 out interface with s/pdif.  While the device sounded great, it performed poorly on my PCs (I have heard it was better on Macs).  This was introduced in near the end of the version 2 series and really got up to serious speed as we rounded the bend to 3.0.  On the Mac, many users were ecstatic with the Korg 1212 i/o card.  I ran Logic 3 on a Cyrix 133+ with an array of drives totally 1GB with the Audiowerk unit.  Audio barely worked, so I upgraded to a Pentium 200 and was able to finally get some work done, though there were still issues which were not resolved till I hurled the card into the closet.  Eventually, right as emagic was about to discontinue the AW8, they released new drivers which truly improved the product. 

Yet 3.0 truly whispered the promise of a full-functioning MIDI/Audio integrated application.  The coolest feature for me at the time, was the ability to non-destructively slice, cut and paste snips of audio wherever you wanted on 8 audio outputs. I used Logic 3 extensively as the MIDI backbone building samples for my hardware samplers. Logic 3.0 came with 11 real time effects that could be "plugged-in" to the mixer's channel stripped or put on a bus. Logic appeared to be following Cubase's lead.  Cubase had started including its VST (Virtual studio technology) and the competition between the two rivals appeared fierce. Logic 3 had 7 single band EQs, delay, flanger, chorus and reverb.  The EQs and delay were excellent, and they really helped usher in a transformation in popular music, as Logic was beginning be used in professional studios as an audio sequencer.  While the plugins were not much by today's standards (I did not know anyone that would consider using the software reverb instead of their hardware verb) the gauntlet had been thrown down.  Logic was on its way towards software plugins and virtual instruments. 

Above you see a screenshot of Logic 3.5.  Some noteworthy improvements in 3.5 were the introduction of the Adaptive Mixer, non-destructive crossfades, and perhaps, most far reaching, the ability to use DX (if you were on a PC) and VST plugins right in Logic's mixers. 

Logic 3.5 manual

Logic 4.0

Logic 4.0 was to introduce more plugins, and had a Platinum, Gold, Silver and MicroLogic version.  PC users now had a choice between different driver models (PC AV, AW, ASIO, EASI and more if you had the Platinum version.)  This eased the soundcard issues significantly.  Also, soundcards were improving dramatically, as were our computers. Audio interfaces with multiple ins and outs were released that finally got the latency issues satisfactorily resolved, Windows 98 was finally stable, and CPUs passed the 1 GHZ threshold.  It was in this powerful, but stable environment that Logic 4.0 was released.  To many of us at the time it was a dream come true.

 Many of the famous emagic plugins were introduced in 4.0--the compressor, Fat EQ, Overdrive, Bitcrusher, Auto Filter, the Notorious Spectral Gate, En-Verb, Platinum Verb and the creamy Phaser and wonderful Tape Delay and they were all automatable.  The Logic 4 Series was to see the first virtual instruments, sold as add-ons, which included, most notably, the Emagic EXS sampler.  Also, the Logic's GUI had a total makeover with version 4.  It looks quite similar all the way to Version 6.3.  Being on a PC in the Fall of 1999, I can recall many happy sessions with Logic 4.  Musical Productivity on a PC, at last!   On the next page you will read my review, written in 1999, a few months after the program's release.  This indeed was Logic's shining hour.

Logic 4.5 polished up the version 4 series nicely.  Surround mixer objects came into being which allowed you to set up your audio interface for 5.1 and 7.1 surround.  Also, Logic incorporated "input objects" in its audio mixer, which, in combination with a bus object, could let you connect external effects processors and synths to the output streams without recording them as audio.  While this may seem like a minor point, the result was profound.  You could now connect all your analog gear to Logic's mixer if you had enough inputs, and for the first time, the user could "mix in the box", that is, do a full mixdown totally in the virtual domain.  Indeed, it was now possible to go without a hardware mixer.

During the Logic 4 series, Emagic replaced the old dongle with the XS key.  The key was designed to hold all your Logic authorizations and replaced their old CD authorization ritual you had to do for your emagic virtual instruments.  Towards the end of series 4, Windows XP was released. Up through version 4.7, Logic incorporated many of its new virtual instruments Logic 4.8 was the first XP version and required a special updater.  With the release of WinXP, many audio drivers bit the dust and there was a period of instability, but thankfully, the major manufacturers had learned a lesson from the horrid transitions from windows 3.1 to 95 and 95 to 98.  The transition period was short, and with Win XP, logic was about to go full stride.

---end of original review---

Emagic's Second try at an Audio Interface

During Logic 5's tenure, which was to be the last on the PC platform, Emagic released its own USB 1.1 audio interface.  The device was 24 bit, had 2 inputs and 6 outputs, coaxial s/pdif, and a switchable clock and choice of 2 sample rates.  I was one of the first to have this in the US, and i learned a brutal lesson about buying things that were "new".  USB was young and largely untested as far as audio went, but like the Audiowerk8, the sound was good.  I had a disasterous time getting it working with a Toshiba Satellite laptop.  I spent weeks trying to get the two to talk nice but it was all in vain.  I was never able to get more than two audio tracks playing back on the Toshiba.  This was probably largely due to the way the laptop shared its memory with video. 

Later Emagic also released another Emi.  The Emi 6/2 which had 6 inputs and 2 outputs.  emagic 2/6

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