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Logic Studio

More than your money's worth with Logic Studio By Kevin McAuliffe

For a while now, we, as video editors, have been spoiled. Final Cut Studio gives us six excellent applications that cover everything we need to get our jobs done, and Apple gives them to us at an exceptional price ($1299). But something is missing. What about our friends in the sound world? Up until this point, they have had Logic Pro for music creation, but what they really need is a package that gives them music creation, editing, mixing and finishing all in one package.  Their wait is over. Apple has released a new "Pro" application bundle pointed straight at musicians and audio engineers called Logic Studio. Let's take a look and see what Apple offers.

What you get
I decided to write this article a little differently this time, as I always write the installation segment first. Not this time. With Logic Studio (LS), I think it's really important that we look at what Apple has given the users first. LS is broken up a little differently than Final Cut Studio, so I'm going to break things down into categories, for ease of explanation.

Logic Pro 8
Logic Pro is Apple's flagship music creation, recording and mixing program and it gives users complete music creation, whether you are recording live, or using Apple's extensive library of loops. Logic Pro enables you to create, arrange, edit, mix and export your music in stereo or surround sound in various file formats, depending on what medium you are delivering for.

MainStage is a brand new application created specifically for Logic Studio and is for musicians and vocalists who perform live. Pack up your MacBook Pro, bring it with you to your concert, and keyboard players that play MIDI or USB keyboards can have MainStage control a wide variety of software instruments, such as percussion, horns and strings. Guitar players, vocalists and other musicians (violins, woodwinds, etc.) looking to create unique vocals and sounds can use MainStage's live effects capabilities to add a variety of different effects (reverb, EQ, etc) to their voice or instrument sound.

Soundtrack Pro 2
We all know that there is more to a promo, television show or movie than just music, and Soundtrack Pro 2 brings Logic Studio users the capability to take their music and mix in dialog, sound effects, voice over and on-camera dialog all in Stereo or Surround sound, to mix a full and complete soundtrack.

Compressor 3
On Apple's website, they have included Compressor and WaveBurner as Utilities, but I have to disagree. For video editors, Compressor is a vital part of their workflow if they are delivering their files for DVD or the Web. Things haven't changed here. Musicians and audio engineers will be using Compressor to stream AC-3 surround sound files (as well as many other audio file formats) for their projects, and will also use it in conjunction with Soundtrack Pro for approvals or finished products.

I refer to this application as "CD Studio Pro," as WaveBurner is where you will create all your CDs for your personal or production use, as well as duplication masters for mass production.


Studio Effects
Almost every project will require some kind of sweetening. Whether you want a little bit of reverb, EQ or delay, Apple has made sure that pretty much all of the tools you will need will be at your disposal. Here's a quick look at what you will find across your three main applications:

  • Amp Modeling (Bass & Guitar Pro) (Not in Soundtrack Pro)
  • Delay (Echo, Tape Delay, etc.)
  • Distortion (Clip Distortion, Phase Distortion, etc.)
  • Dynamic (Compressor, Enveloper, Limiter, etc.)
  • EQ (Channel EQ, Linear Phase EQ, etc.)
  • Filter (Fuzz-Wah, Spectral Gate, etc.)
  • Imaging (Stereo Spread, etc.)
  • Metering (BPM Counter, Surround Multimeter, etc.)
  • Modulation (Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, etc.)
  • Pitch (Vocal Transformer, Pitch Corrector, etc.)
  • Reverb (AVerb, EnVerb, etc.)
  • Specialized (Denoiser, Speech Enhancer, SubBass)
  • Utility (Downmixer, Gain, etc. )

Overall, you are looking at 80 effect plug-ins, most of which are available to use in Logic Pro, Soundtrack Pro, MainStage and WaveBurner.

Logic Pro and MainStage also have instrument plug-ins that enable you to take your music, get really creative, and add the sounds of instruments that most people don't hear on a regular basis. Some of the included instruments are:

  • Synthesizers (EFM1, ES E, ES M, etc)
  • Drum Synthesizer (Ultrabeat)
  • Software Sampler (EXS24 mkll)
  • Vocoder Synthesizer (EVOC 20 PolySynth)
  • Vintage Instruments (EVB3, EVD6, EVP88)
  • GarageBand Instruments (Drum Kits, Guitars, Strings, etc)

Overall, not including the GarageBand instruments, you are looking at 40 instrument plug-ins to be used in the studio (Logic) or for your live performance (MainStage).

Studio Sound Library
Not only do you get everything that I have mentioned so far, but you also get four of the five jam packs that Apple sells on its website. The four you get are World Music, Symphony Orchestra, Rhythm Section, and Remix Tools. The only one that's not available in Logic Studio is Voices, but it is brand new, and will hopefully be added to the next incarnation of Logic Studio. You also get more than 18,000 Apple Loops, 1300+ EXS instruments, 2400+ Channel strip settings, which includes combinations of Studio Instruments and Studio Effects (think of them like presets) ready to go, more than 600 royalty-free surround sound channel strip settings and 1000+ surround sound effects and music beds. Oh, and there's still more…

Along with everything that I have mentioned above, you also get the Apple Loops Utility for taking your favorite audio files, and creating Apple Loops out of them, and the Impulse Response Utility to simulate your favorite spaces anywhere from your living room, to a church cathedral to a stadium, to create some truly awesome reverb effects.

And last but not least, Apple includes the Pro version of QuickTime. Apple has gone to great lengths to include EVERYTHING that a musician or sound engineer could possibly need, and all of this for $500. I'm going to give this section a ten out of ten. What You Get: 10 (out of 10) 

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