Apple’s Logic Pro remains one of the most popular DAWs these days. In this article, we’ll help you understand if this software can meet your music production needs.
But Is Logic Pro Worth It today?
Logic Pro has a user-friendly interface, advanced editing features, and a ton of built-in plugins and virtual instruments. It’s priced at $200, and you don’t have to pay for every update – just the most important ones, which don’t happen very often. So, yes, Logic Pro is worth it because it has everything you need for recording, audio design, mixing, and mastering. It could become your favorite music production software later on.
Brief History of Logic Pro
The history of Logic Pro dates back to the first half of the 1990s. The ancestor of this software, called Notator Logic, was developed by the German specialists at C-Lab. They later moved on to the Emagic company.
The turning point in creating the nowaday’s Logic occurred in 2002 when American tech giant Apple bought out Emagic and renamed the product Logic Pro. Over the years, the software has gone through such versions as Logic Pro 6, 7, 8, and 9. Version 10 was released in 2013. It received the most dramatic changes in design and is still in operation today. Despite this, the DAW is still updated periodically. For example, you can get the latest version of Logic Pro 10.7 in 2022.
A notable fact of Logic’s history is that, according to a 2015 user survey, this software was the most popular after Ableton Live. 16.95% of people voted for the Apple product.
How Do You Get Logic Pro?
Like other official Apple software, Logic Pro is available from the Mac App Store. You can purchase it for $199.99. For a minimal installation, you’ll need 6GB of disk space. And to get the entire library, be ready to dedicate 72 gigabytes to it.
Logic Pro costs $200 on the App Store
Logic Pro Interface & Usability Overview
The Logic Pro design is pretty clean, simple, and intuitive. And this is not strange since most Apple products are famous for their ease of use.
As soon as you open a new project, the software asks what exactly you want to work with. Want to record a guitar as clean audio? Logic will give you that option – just select the inputs you need. Or maybe you want to use a virtual instrument? Drummer, Guitar or Bass, or an External MIDI function – you will see all that in the startup window.
The Logic Pro start screen will offer you different ways of working
Speaking of the other essential elements of Logic Pro, they can be divided into separate categories – the main window and the mixer. It can all be a bit complicated at first but don’t worry. Once you understand the basics, everything will look simple and straight to you.
On the Logic Pro main window, you will find all the necessary settings for your project. Everything is literally at your fingertips here.
- Top control bar
Here you can open and close additional sections – Library, Smart Controls, Mixer, and Editors. It’s also where you can adjust the playhead position, tempo, key, and signature. In addition, a metronome, notes window, loops window, and browser are available at the top of the head window.
The top control bar contains the basic settings of the project
Here is the main thing – the timeline with your audio files and all its necessary settings and track header area. You can also adjust the size of your elements here, choose the snap position – whether it will be on the beat, bar, division, or smart position. In addition, you can open automation, flex editing, and other features here.
In the workspace area, you will find your timeline and audio tracks
- Region Settings & Channel Strip
On the left side of the main window, you will have access to the region settings: mute, loop, quantization, and other functions. In addition, there are also right and left channel strip inspectors where you can adjust the levels of the selected track, apply plugins, and more.
Region Settings and Channel Strip you will see on the left side of the screen
It can be an auxiliary window in which you can work comfortably. The thing is, we can open a small mixer, which will be on your main window. But if you have more than one monitor, it would be a great addition to see the whole picture of the main window and the big mixer separately. In essence, this is your virtual console analog with all your channel strips.
- Level section
At the bottom of the window, you can adjust the levels of your tracks or bus sends. It is handy if you have a DAW controller because you can control several channels at once, choosing the ratio of the ideal levels.
Adjust the levels of your tracks at the bottom of the mixer
- Settings section
Here you will see all the slots you need for your music production. You can add plugins or assign bus sends here. There are also input and output settings.
Add plugins or assign bus sends at the upper area of the mixer
Click the icon in the upper right corner, and the Loop window will appear in front of you. Here you’ll find over 20,000 different sounds that you can use for your music production. They include both audio and midi tracks with drums, percussion, bass guitars, acoustic and electric guitars, pianos, various effects, and anything else you might ever need. You can sort it by genre, instrument, and key. Just drag the loop you want into your timeline and experiment with the sounds.
As we can see, Logic Pro folds down from one main window and a second window, which can be auxiliary and is a large mixer. Also, there are some other additional sections with loops and settings. Everything is structured and accessible. If you don’t even have any experience with Logic, you can intuitively find all the features you need.
The appearance will not be annoying to your eyes since everything consists of gray, calm tones. It is beneficial if you have to work with this software for hours every day.
What Audio Editing Features Does Logic Pro Offer?
Editing is probably one of the most important parts of audio production. Logic Pro provides ample built-in editing features for a variety of instruments and needs. For example, you’ll find Flex Time, Flex Pitch, Smart Tempo, and other necessary functions. It means you won’t need to use additional plugins. But that will depend on your desire and work habits. Let’s take a closer look at the available options.
What if you don’t have Melodyne or some other software, but you need a pitch correction? Or perhaps musicians did not play the tracks in time with the tempo? The Flex features have your back here and help you achieve professional results.
- Flex Time
The Flex Time features help you make your performance more evenly timed. Logic will suggest where to slice the track, and you can move the individual notes around. But here, it’s crucial to know the settings. For example, simple Slicing will cut between your transients without any stretching of the audio signal. The Monophonic mode will stretch and is designed for single-note performances. It is ideal for bass guitar, for example. And Polyphonic mode is for guitar, designed for instruments that play multiple notes at once.
Align audio tracks with the Flex Time feature
- Flex Pitch
You can use this function to make corrections to vocals or any other instrument. Notably, here you can also move the distance between notes and even adjust their gain. In addition, there is a quantize function. Just select notes and Logic will quantize the performance according to them.
Make vocal corrections with the Flex Pitch function
Suppose you have two audio files that are similar in tempo but not in the same BPM. Logic will analyze the transients and help you sync both tracks to the same tempo. This feature can be handy for creating DJ sets.
If you want to cut off parts of tracks manually, glue them together and perform other necessary manipulations, Logic also has all the essential functions. Notice the cursor icons in the center of your workspace and editing window. There you will be able to select the editing tools you need. Let’s look at the most important ones.
- Pencil tool
This tool lets you quickly put midi notes. Just choose whether you want the primary cursor (left) or the auxiliary cursor (right) with the command button and set the note where you want it.
Use the Pencil tool to insert midi notes
- Scissors tool
Thanks to the Scissors tool, you can quickly divide the regions in the right place. Also, choose exactly where you want to cut, and Logic will do it at those points. The Smart mode will try to cut between transients, Bars, and Beats in the appropriate places.
Use the Scissors tool to cut the audio track
- Fade tool
With the Fade tool, you can quickly assign crossfades to your regions. If it is selected with the auxiliary cursor, press the command and choose the desired area where you want to place it.
Use the Fade tool to quickly place crossfades
Logic Pro’s audio editing capabilities are excellent. It has everything you need to manipulate transients the way you want them. The main thing is to understand all the features and try them out. Pretty soon, you’ll be bravely using them in your arsenal.
What Plugins Does Logic Pro Have?
Logic Pro X has over fifty different built-in plugins. They include everything you need for both mixing and mastering: EQs, compressors, filters, effects, meters, and more. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
It seems that the creators of Logic decided to treat their users to the full. The variety of mixing plugins here is impressive.
- Channel EQ
With Channel EQ, you get four bends, two shelves, and two high and low pass filters. That is all you need for what is called a “surgical EQ.” There is also a visualization of the frequency spectrum. Of course, you should mix with your ears, but sometimes the visuals can come in handy.
Use Channel EQ as a “surgical equalizer”
- Vintage Tube EQ
But what if you don’t want a “surgical equalizer,” but one that can give color to your sound. Logic also has a collection of vintage EQs, including Tube EQ. It can help you with individual tracks and groups of instruments and work on the mastering stage.
Add color with Vintage Tube EQ
This plugin provides as many as seven compression characters that you can apply to different needs and tools. Here are replicas of studio, classic and vintage compressors, as well as a separate digital from Logic Pro. In addition, you’ll find all kinds of settings, a limiter, and even a distortion.
Logic’s Compressor provides seven compression characters
You won’t need to look for additional effect plugins outside of Logic Pro unless you use specific software from other manufacturers and don’t want to part with it. However, this DAW has a bunch of different variants, which we’ll talk about next.
You will be able to use five different Delay plugins at once. There’s Tape, Echo, Sample Delay, along with an advanced Delay Designer. And of course, there’s Stereo Delay, which will be indispensable for your mixes.
Logic has five different Delay plugins
Four reverb plugins will be at your disposal in Logic Pro. Among them is the legendary Space Designer, which uses impulse responses. There’s also a simple SilverVerb, EnVerb, and ChromaVerb. The latter will surprise you with its beautiful design and ease of use.
Logic has four reverb plugins
If you need to give some grit to your sound, Logic Pro offers six different plugins for that. The list includes Bitcrusher, Overdrive, Clip Distortion, Phase Distortion, and two versions of the Distortion plugin. You can choose different colorings and change the settings. The variety of possibilities here is excellent.
Logic Pro offers six different distortion plugins
- Multi Effects
Three plugins here include several effects at once. These are Step FX, Remix FX, and Phat FX. With the last one, you can adjust distortion, compress, enhance the bass and apply clipping. It’s a very convenient solution for all-in-one fans.
Logic Pro has plugins with several effects at once
Stereo Bus Processing Plugins
The creators of Logic Pro have also prepared for you some plugins that you can use in stereo bus processing. Let’s take a look at the main ones.
Multipressor is essentially a multi-bend compressor that you can use to have more control over your frequency spectrum and dynamics, both on individual tracks, groups, and the stereo output. Some people use it just at the mastering stage to compress different frequency ranges.
Logic has a multi-bend compressor called Multipressor
- Adaptive Limiter
It is like your old brick wall limiter, only from Logic Pro. You can use it on individual tracks to catch peaks and on the stereo bus to adjust the overall volume at the last stage.
You can use Adaptive Limiter to catch peaks and adjust the overall volume
As we can see, the number of built-in plugins in Logic Pro is simply overwhelming. If you’re new to music production, you can safely use them to practice. After that, they may well make their way into your working arsenal.
What Options Will You Have With Logic Pro’s Virtual Instruments?
Logic Pro X features more than 20 virtual instruments that may surprise you with their sound quality. You can use vintage and modern synthesizers, samplers, studio horns and strings, organs, drum machines, and acoustic drums. Here are a few of the most outstanding in our opinion.
It is probably one of Logic Pro’s most famous virtual instruments. Alchemy is a humongous synthesizer with thousands of presets and different instruments. Its versatility also means that you can use both the simple and the advanced versions with many settings.
Alchemy is a humongous synthesizer with thousands of presets and different instruments
- Retro Synth
Another great virtual instrument from Logic comes in handy when you need the well-loved and well-known vintage synthesizer sounds. Retro Synth brings us four shades of classic analog synth tones, and they all sound just great.
Logic provides a vintage synthesizer Retro Synth
- Studio Strings
It will be an excellent solution if you need to get quality sounding strings recorded in the studio. The remarkable thing is that you will have the ability to change settings such as Resonance, Attack, Release, and others. In addition, you will be able to choose between different types of instruments – violins, cellos, double-basses, and violas – and instrument sections – String Ensemble, Disco Strings, Small Section, or Singer Songwriter.
You can use Studio Strings virtual instrument in Logic
- Drum Machine Designer
You can use this tool as a virtual drum machine. It has just about every sound you’ll ever need, from kicks and snares to clicks, claps, and all kinds of effects. Insert your samples, or select them from Logic Pro’s massive library.
In Drum Machine Designer has every sound you’ll ever need
- Drum Kit Designer
It is a virtual acoustic drum instrument that will give you a pretty good sound. You can select different drum kit parts and tune them to your liking – change the tuning and damping. In short, everything you need to polish the sound you want.
Drum Kit Designer will give you a pretty good sound of acoustic drums
Logic Pro’s number and variety of virtual instruments can easily set it apart from other DAWs. It is a beautiful place to experiment with sound and find your perfect sound. At least you’ll have plenty of options for that. Let’s be honest, where else will you see something like that?
What are the Pros and Cons of Using Logic Pro?
The DAW market is now more developed than ever. A ton of software is available that will allow you to achieve professional results, both in your home studio and on a more commercial level. But should you give your preference to Logic Pro? Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of this music software.
Pros of Logic Pro
- User-friendly interface
A calm color scheme and all the settings at your fingertips – that’s how you can generally describe the advantages of the Logic Pro’s appearance. If you already have experience with DAWs, everything will be easy for you. If not, you’ll need to spend a little time understanding how it all works. In any case – you can find all functions intuitively. So, it won’t take you long to figure out even the most advanced options.
- Huge sound library
With Logic Pro, you have access to over 20,000 different loops. There will be any instruments and sounds you might need in all the keys. You can create entire songs from them simply by drag-and-drop.
- Advanced audio editing capabilities
You can do audio editing in Logic, either with the built-in Flex features or manually. It has all the tools you need. The creators even implemented a Melodyne-type vocal correction feature called Flex Pitch. How well it works – you should judge. For our part, let’s say that this feature is quite acceptable for music production at different levels. The main thing is to understand it and use it wisely.
- A lot of built-in plugins
It is probably the most crucial advantage. The thing is, if you buy Logic Pro, you don’t need to spend extra money to buy other tools for your work. It has about everything you need unless you’re just used to other plugins. Logic will give you equalizers, compressors with lots of coloring. It also has all the effects you could need. So this is the golden point of this DAW.
- Many built-in virtual instruments
This feature also sets Logic Pro apart from other DAWs. You can purchase this, plug in your MIDI keyboard, and experiment with sounds immediately. That’s all you need until you decide to go ahead and buy other expensive virtual instruments. Logic has lots of synthesizers, samplers, drum machines with just a massive library of sounds.
- An extensive number of features for the price
Summing up all these advantages, it is worth noting that all this costs 200 dollars. Yes, that may be a lot of money for some people. But let’s be rational. There are a vast number of plugins, loops, tools, and features. In essence, Apple is giving you professional music creation software that you can use to make money. So it’s not that much of an investment.
Cons of Logic Pro
- Available for Mac users only
It can be called the most significant disadvantage. Logic Pro is only available for Mac users, and you will not find this DAW for Windows. So whether you should buy a computer just to use Logic is up to you.
- It can use a lot of RAM
If you’re using an older version of the Mac, you may notice some hiccups in Logic Pro. This software requires a fair amount of RAM. Unfortunately, there is no information on how much in the App Store. In any case, you can affect the RAM consumption manually if you go to Preferences – Audio – Devices and adjust the number of Buffer Size samples.
Over the years, Apple has done an incredible job providing its users with fantastic professional music software. For $200, you can get all-in-one software with tons of loops, plugins, and virtual instruments, along with different features for all kinds of music production.
We advise you to weigh all the pros and cons that might be crucial for you. Does your budget allow you to purchase this software? Do you have a Mac that is not very old? If yes, then you can safely try this software for yourself. If you already have experience in DAW, learning Logic will be elementary for you.
If you don’t like Logic Pro, you can always find something else. There are plenty of DAWs out there that are cheaper. But if you love it, we don’t exclude that it will become your main thing for a long time.
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Ilarion Ivanenko is a remote mixing and mastering engineer from Ukraine, a musician with more than 15 years of experience. Specializes in rock, metal, progressive and the other genres. He can’t imagine his life without music, as it is the biggest passion in his life