Review of Logic Pro 6 by Tweakheadz Lab
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Review of
Logic Pro 6

An Outstanding Sequencer now Gives you More

by the Tweak

Page 8

 

Apple Mac Pro 2.66GHz Desktop Computer
Two Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors up to 3GHz let you effortlessly synthesize instruments and apply multiple effects. Up to 16GB of memory provide ample bandwidth for recording an unprecedented number of tracks. PCI Express expansion slots support state-of-the-art audio DSP and I/O solutions, while support for up to eight displays lets you spread out all your tools and timelines. Run several applications simultaneously, thanks to Mac OS X with Core Audio. And connect virtually any audio, MIDI, or storage device using the optical digital and analog stereo audio ports and conveniently located FireWire and USB ports.
The Competition

Mark of the Unicorn (MOTU) Digital Performer Software Version 4
Digital Performer can record and play back digital audio without any additional hardware installed inside your Power Macintosh. Imagine being able to record anything: vocals, acoustic guitar, sound effects, or anything else — right alongside your MIDI tracks.
 

Steinberg Nuendo Recording Software

 
Steinberg Cubase SX Recording Software
The new Cubase SX 2.0 unites the proven and the pioneering in one fascinating new program. Cubase SX 2.0 is the next generation of one of the world's most popular sequencers with a new revised user interface and over 100 fantastic new features. Improvements such as the new VST audio engine with 32-bit floating point audio resolution, Freeze function for VSTi's, real multi-channel surround, Stacked Recording mode and the freely configurable user interface leave Cubase SX 2.0 without peer among music workstations. And because Cubase SX is a native application, you can choose which audio and control hardware you wish to work with.

Apple 30 Inch Cinema HD Display
Feast your eyes on more than 4 million pixels in the first high-resolution 30 in. flat panel display designed for the personal computer. The Apple Cinema Display line features a gorgeous new anodized aluminum enclosure to complement the Power Mac G5 or PowerBook G4.

Let's jump right in without any fluff.  There is one compelling reason to get Logic Pro 6 if you have never used a professional level sequencer before:  It includes everything you in need in terms of software to create 100% original, professional sounding music.  While it is apparent that Logic Pro 6 is, second to Nuendo, the most expensive sequencer package available. it should also be apparent that Logic gives you more than any package on earth.  You don't need more plugins (though you can always add more if you want them) as the emagic stuff is first rate, I think, the best package bundled with any sequencer. (And you guys know, I don't often say something is "best"). As one package Logic Pro 6 gives you a massive set of sound generators and processors; you add the computer, audio interface, mic preamp and talent.

 

 

 

 

Logic Pro 6 is actually version 6.4 and is not to be confused with Logic Platinum 6, which ran for versions 6.0 to 6.3.  Though this is just an incremental decimal jump, there is a massive difference...read on.  The Platinum name is now gone, and so are the Silver and Gold versions.  These are replaced with Logic Express, which is  Logic6SDnow the only other sequencer in the Logic line.

 

The huge news is that you now get all of Logic's plugins and virtual instruments, many of which previously required a separate purchase. You get the ES1, ES2, EXS24MK2, EVP88, EVD6, EVO20, and yep, Space Designer as standard equipment.  Heh, its like buying a car and getting all the luxury items thrown in free.  We are beginning to see a different kind of marketing strategy here, perhaps the influence of Apple's marketing muscle is beginning to be felt. In any case this move is bound to shake up the sequencer industry.  Logic is now in a class all its own--the total studio package for your Mac.

 

Otherwise, Logic Pro 6 is not a lot different than Logic Platinum 6.  It looks the same but does feel a little better and on my system it is quite stable.  You can check out my earlier review of Logic 6.3 to see the changes that occurred since version 5 (which was the last PC version). 


 

The Competition

 

You know that Logic is only a Mac sequencer now, so that limits the competition to the following:  MOTU Digital Performer 4, Nuendo, Cubase SX2, and ProTools LE (which requires a Digidesign audio interface, such as the Digi 002 or 002r. 

 

Which DAW and OS for Logic?

 

Well, you should know by now that Logic is Mac only.  The fastest Mac is always the best.  The new G5 Macs are ideal. 

 

Apple Mac Pro 2.66GHz Desktop Computer
Two Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors up to 3GHz let you effortlessly synthesize instruments and apply multiple effects. Up to 16GB of memory provide ample bandwidth for recording an unprecedented number of tracks. PCI Express expansion slots support state-of-the-art audio DSP and I/O solutions, while support for up to eight displays lets you spread out all your tools and timelines. Run several applications simultaneously, thanks to Mac OS X with Core Audio. And connect virtually any audio, MIDI, or storage device using the optical digital and analog stereo audio ports and conveniently located FireWire and USB ports.

 

Which audio interface for Logic?

 

Mark of the Unicorn (MOTU) 828mk3 Firewire Audio Interface

 

 

This is a much more thorny area as it is with all sequencers, particularly if you are running OS X.  Apple's Core audio at this point only lets you define one audio interface inside of Logic, so you should make it one that has the features you need.  I am using a MOTU 828mk2 and it is working great.  It's important to note that with the G5 Apple changed the configuration of the PCI slot.  This means that most PCI soundcards and audio interfaces designed for PC computers are not going to work.  Some companies offer a swap or upgrade to G5 compatible PCI cards (M-audio and MOTU do this).  Firewire and USB interfaces make good choices.  As always, do your research before deciding.  


Pros and Cons

 

Perhaps the biggest con of the package is that not much has happened in terms of new features in Logic Pro 6.  Even GarageBand has automatic time stretching in the arrange with Apple Loops.  Logic is not there yet.  With other sequencers like Sonar and Cubase SX2 having updated their software mixers lately one can only wonder why emagic is not following suit.  We'll have to wait till version 7  before we see any significant features added. Still though, don't think that Logic's look is crude because of this.  Indeed, Pro 6 is a beautiful looking as well as functioning application. Eye and ear candy are everywhere.   For now, the new features are the inclusion of the plugins and software instruments.  And indeed, unless you already had them all, this is plenty.  As should be known Logic will not let you run VST plugins or VSTi software synths.  However, with the VST to AU shell by FXPansion, this issue is 100% solved.  Also, in terms of 3rd party soft synths and plugins, the Native Instruments whole line and the Waves full line is now AU compatible.
 

Tweak's Conclusion

 

I went for it myself and have no regrets.  I am biased, but I do feel that Logic is the easiest sequencer to use on the market, once one gets to know it.  Now it is also the most powerful out of the box with its generous supply of plugins and software instruments.  Compare it to Digital Performer, and Cubase-the only real competition on OS X. What Logic has going for it is that neither can touch it with the sheer number of supplied instruments and processors.  Where they can compete is in features and how well they are implemented.

 

 

 

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Sequencers and DAWS Index
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Logic Studio 9
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Logic Studio 8
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Ableton Live
Logic Pro 7
Logic Pro 6
Logic Platinum 6
Logic Platinum 5
Digital Performer
GarageBand
Sony's Acid
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Early History of Logic
Mac vs PC for Music?
Project 5
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