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Apple's Logic Pro 7 Bows

Long-anticipated announcement includes Logic Express 7 and new Jam Packs By Frank Moldstad
New software instruments, mastering plugins, built-in Red Book CD burning and a networking technology called Distributed Audio Processing are among the highlights of Apples Logic Pro 7 upgrade that was announced Sept. 29 -- along with Logic Express 7  and two new Jam Packs loop collections.

With the long-anticipated announcements, Apple also unveiled a more unified audio product line approach that targets beginning, intermediate and professional users with GarageBand, Logic Express 7 and Logic Pro 7. As users move up, they can continue to use Jam Packs and the open architecture Apple Loops format, both now supported across Apples audio product line.

?For the first time, we have the ability to take a person whos just starting out in music and bring them all the way through to becoming a professional in music all on our platform, without compromising the sound, the quality, or the instruments theyre using, says Richard Kerris, Apples Senior Director of Pro Applications Product Marketing.

 From Apple's Website:
How Distributed Audio Processing Works

 A distributed audio network requires at least two Apple computers running Mac OS X version 10.3 or later, with one acting as a master system (1GHz G4 or faster recommended) and additional computers serving as ?nodes (G5 recommended). Logic node software uses each networked computer as an additional processor for your Logic Pro 7 system. You may install Logic Node on an unlimited number of Macs. Gigabit Ethernet provides the best performance. If you use more than one node, the switch that manages them must be Gigabit to avoid data transfer bottlenecks.

Simple setup and control
Select which and how many nodes you want to use in the audio preferences depending on the needs of your project. A quick toggle in the Arrange window lets you take advantage of node power.

At the top end is Logic Pro 7, the $999 professional recording platform which has been bulked up in a number of significant ways. One of its most intriguing new features is the Distributed Audio Processing technology, designed to enable a computer to tap into the horsepower of other machines on a Mac network. Kerris says this is for ?the professional whos always going to find a way to push the system to the limit.

?We know that professionals are doing more recording with tons of tracks, mobile tracks, vocals, instruments and effects, he says ?And the great thing about Distributed Audio Processing is that you can go out there, pull in the processing power on the network and use it as an extension of your own, thereby avoiding the need to go out and buy big expensive hardware for something youre going to need just a few times in production.

Among Logic Pro 7s new instruments is UltraBeat, a drum machine with up to 25 independently modifiable drum voices and an integrated step sequencer. Another new instrument, Sculpture, is a component sound modeler that can shape sounds into eerily blended instrument textures. A new soft synth, called EFM1, use subtractive synthesis and FM-style modulation.

Nine new effects plugins are included, such as the Linear Phase EQ mastering plugin and Guitar Amp Pro, an amplifier simulator with digital models of 11 different classic amps and 14 different speaker cabinets. Plus, there are more than 100 workflow upgrades.

Sculpture morph
With Logic, I like to look at it from the standpoint of three main areas, says Kerris. ?These are sound generation, the studio, and sound processing. In sound generation, Logic has for a long time been known as a great comprehensive tool for creating, for sampling and for replicating traditional sounds, and then working to modify them for yourself -- or with new tools that weve brought out in version 7, like Sculpture, where you can actually go in and model and create a sound.

Sculpture is a unique instrument, Kerris says. Users can start from scratch with natural or environmental materials such as wood, steel, or glass and make them the basis for sounds with other attributes, like plucked or bowed strings, or drum hits.

You combine these things and add EQ to them, and modulation options, Kerris says. ?And what ends up happening is you create a sound that has familiar qualities to it, but is totally unique. You can record multiple parameters. And theres a great morph pad on it, too, where you can set up one and then morph to the other. So you can have the qualities morph between themselves. Its really out there, and its just amazing to think of what people are going to be able to do with it.

The Ultrabeat drum machine is designed to give composers wide latitude for constructing novel and original drum beats, using a hybrid of previously available drum synthesis techniques. ?You have a lot of different things you can do, from ring modulation to sample playback to analog simulation, says Kerris. ?You have a fully integrated step sequencer with that, and 25 independently synthesized voices. So, its really the combination of creating with our traditional kind of drum sounds and the new Hip Hop kind of sounds. Its really going to give you a lot of flexibility to construct your own rather than just sample some drum beat.


Leading the effects parade is Guitar Amp Pro, which extends into far deeper territory than GarageBands ability to play through different amps. ?With Guitar Amp Pro and Logic 7, you actually can model those amps, and combine the different attributes, says Kerris. ?So, for example, if you want a Fender Twin Reverb, but you want to have a drive and EQ setting from a Mesa Boogie, and you want to have the volume come out from a Marshall stack, and you want to record it with a Shure 57, or other kinds of mics, you have those kinds of controls with Guitar Amp Pro. You can control where youre putting the microphone in front of the speaker and how. You can control what kinds of speakers, whether theyre dual or quad, what kind of reverb. And you can combine them. We give you a bunch of models, but then you can jump in and tweak them and make your own.

Guitar Amp Pro

Logic 7s newly added support for Apple Loops and the Jam Packs adds a path for bringing these loops into the professional Logic users arsenal. ?With Apple Loops you have a great browser that we gave with Garage Band and Soundtrack where you can look and find loops very easily. You can find them on genre, you can find them on style, on many different things, Kerris says. ?But whats really great about bringing them into Logic if theyre MIDI-based is that you can deconstruct the loops. You can go in and modify the attributes and instruments that are making up that loop

Logic Pro 7s interface does not look radically different than version 6, but its smoother, and has a better consistency to it, says Kerris. ?Theres a lot of things that just make it easier to work in that low-light closed environment that musicians typically work in, he notes.

Logic Pro 7 also includes Waveburner Pro, a standalone Emagic app for burning and mastering Red Book standard CDs.

And the 100 new workflow enhancements are a subtle element that veteran Logic users will notice. Among them are song templates, channel strip save and recall, professional shuffle and auto crossfade edit modes from the arrange window. For the longtime Logic user, theres a lot of UI enhancements, a lot of things that have been ?Appleized if you will, Kerris says. ?Simple little things that we might take for granted in using the Mac every day, but that a Logic user might say, ?Ive been waiting for that for two versions, thanks. ? 

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Related Keywords:Apple?s Logic Pro 7, Logic Express 7, Jam Packs,

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