flextime

Flex Time is likely to be the feature that will have the biggest impact on users, by making audio more malleable.

Logic has been a big box of sound toys for some time, but I think what decides whether you really build a working relationship with software like Logic is whether you like editing in it. And that makes Logic Studio 9 worth a new look – and a must-upgrade for fans of the tool. Its combination of subtle tweaks to the editing interface, the ability to edit inside takes, the incredible Flex Time for squishing around audio like Play-Doh, and easy conversion to sampler tracks makes it really fun to edit audio in Logic. You can read the full, detailed review I wrote for Macworld:

Logic Studio: Music workstation suite adds flexible audio, improved editing and live performance, simulated amps and effects [Macworld.com]

playbackmainstage

MainStage adds backing track playback, looping, and ReWire hosting to make it more versatile for live performance.

The amps and such are fun, but to me the other banner feature in Logic 9 is the vastly improved MainStage, which adds backing tracks, ReWire hosting, and other features that could make it more powerful for live performance. Apparently MainStage has crept into some big-name live shows; I’m going to work on getting more reports from the field. (Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out how I can rework my own live set so it requires less software, but that’s me.)

Oh, and one little improvement I didn’t fit in the review: there are some amazing special effect convolution impulses Apple threw in with Space Designer, which should give you more fodder for sound design experimentation.

The record industry may be dying, the planetary economy failing, and music technology elusively complex to most average musicians, yet competition in the DAW space just continues to heat up. I find it amusing that some claim Apple’s aggressive pricing is only possible because they sell hardware. I’d buy that, except for some of Apple’s own competitors. Digidesign will add a pretty powerful version of Pro Tools to a hardware bundle. Cakewalk’s SONAR, once a little more bare-bones in the extras department than Logic, now offers a lot of the same sorts of goodies to Windows users in its own (underrated, I think) DAW. And Reaper is a powerful, cross-platform option that costs just US$60, even for most commercial work (now that they’ve made the individual license more open). In fact, various tools are so good that I think it’s really hard to give people advice. Personal taste is more likely to dictate which you prefer, because the ineffable feeling of using these tools – as similar as they may look on paper – is very different. If I ever work out a good way to describe that in words – which does happen to be my job, whether I’m up to it or not – I’ll let you know.

Any tool you’re using is a tool that matters. And I know we have a number of readers using Logic. Later this week, I’m planning a Logic Q&A to fit some of the technical revelations that didn’t fit in the review, so feel free to ask more questions or comment however you like on the Macworld review.

  • http://www.suecae.com Suecae

    Looking good. Things are only getting better by the day! :)

  • http://www.myspace.com/tooltablist Mudo

    Better tools, easier work, full enjoy.

  • Bynar

    I want to see a video demo of the new Mainstage features.

  • dyscode

    REAPER doesn´t work for me, literally. It crashes always while scanning my VST Folder on 10.5.8. So I never see the GUI in the first place.

    So no recommendation here.

  • Peter Kirn

    Okay, for now and for ALL TIME …

    If ANY program crashes when scanning your VSTs, you've almost certainly got some problem in your installed VSTs/AUs.

    Try temporarily disabling your plug-ins and running the host.

    I say this because I keep seeing people blaming hosts for problems that are clearly plug-in-related. That doesn't mean hosts can't continue to improve and to better handle exceptions when their validation fails, etc. But unless you never want to touch third-party plug-ins, you have to get used to doing some troubleshooting when they go wrong, rather than immediately blaming the host program.

  • spunkadellic

    I once used solely Pro Tools…

    Then Pro Tools and Logic…

    Now, only Logic.

    I have convinced many people to switch to Apple and Logic

    Logic 9 is mostly a big improvement from 8 – there are some serious stupid bugs though. The comp feature has never really worked in a stressful professional session. That has never been a problem because compings and folders could be "bypassed" via replace mode for a "Pro Tools" style recording. However, in Logic 9, replace mode is broken causing many headaches and nightmares.

  • http://kief.net/ Valis

    Got my Logic 9 in last week and have been putting it through the paces. I used SuperDuper! to clone my main Leopard partition, and fully removed Logic 8 from that clone. Took the chance to update the 'testing' partition to 10.5.8 which went much better than expected, then installed Logic 9. My plugins seem to be mostly intact (including Komplete 5, although Reaktor is still laggy in Logic for me).

    I noticed that many of the bugs people have complained about with v9's preferences didn't occur for me, I suspect that some conversion of preferences from v8 (when installing alongside the older version) is at fault for some of the more common 'new' bugs being reported on forums. Not to suggest that spunkadellic's bug above (or some of the new bugs in flex-time etc) are the result of this, but it bears thinking about. Also note that many users of LARGE sample libraries are reporting 'out of memory' warning problems even when they have plenty of memory remaining.

    Overall things seem relatively stable and I'm thinking I'll migrate to doing the same updates (10.5.8 & L9) on my main working partition once I hit parity with current projects.

  • dyscode

    Peter

    I don´t want to argue about plug-in related problems, but while every other VST/AU Host works fine with my plug-ins Reaper does not

    (files at the Reaper Page).

    And I have done my share of trouble shooting.

    And concluded Reaper is not there yet.

    now back to the topic…

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @dyscode: Absolutely, that may well be the case. But if you've already isolated this as being a plug-in problem, why not go to the next step and determine which plug-in (or plug-ins) were causing the issue? I mean, if you have other hosts you're working with and you're happy with them, then maybe there's no reason to invest this time anyway – fair enough. But this isn't just about Reaper. Plug-in specs and implementation can be so unpredictable, that just about any host is dependent on you going out, testing something, and filing a detailed bug report. Even the Apple guys I know have said they'd like to see the details of systems on which their stuff isn't working.

    @Valis: Yeah, unfortunately, I couldn't get to the bugs that other people were complaining about, which meant that I couldn't comment on them. I'm curious with the sample library issue whether that's with the EXS24 or other plugs.

  • EJ

    Looks cool. I'm looking to upgrade from Garageband and this seems like the most logical next step. I wanted to try Reaper, but effects are a real limitation on OSX – if the included effects aren't up to par (Reaper has some gems but a pro suite it isn't) there aren't a ton of options.

    How would you compare this to the latest version of Digital Performer?

  • nagard

    i still have system overload message:(

    leopard 10.5.8 on macbook 2.4

  • shubs

    This is something which is supposed to be great about Logic 9, which is yet to be documented "Plugin Parameter Reordering"

    Details of which are found here.

    http://www.soundonsound.com/forum/showflat.php?Ca

    I think Logic 9 is fantastic. A few little niggles which really annoyed me have been sorted out, one of them being the lack of mono outputs.

    For the price of the package, I really think that Logic is one of the best music making packages around. I actually think that Sculpture and Space Designer are the worth the price alone!

  • dead_red_eyes

    I'm also getting the "Disc too slow or system overload" error hagard, it really sucks. I'm using a Macbook Pro… Core 2 Duo 2.16Ghz, 2GB Ram, 7200rpm hard drive.

    I can stream 30+ tracks from Logic 9 or Digital Performer 5 and have no problems whatsoever. But in MainStage 2 ( with CPU usage at 25% and RAM usage at 40%, using 2 playback units for backing audio tracks) I get this error quite often, and it's freaking killing me. I bought Logic 9 specifically for MainStage 2, and it pains me that this is happening to me.

  • Basser

    System Over load is a KILLER!!!

    Ive been using my friends studio as we work together and he's using Logic Express Version 7!!

    So Im no pro at using this type of soft ware but I was thinking of buying Logic Pro 9 as I just bought a mini mac and wanna get my own studio going..I write chart music.

    Do any of you guys think its too much of a big step for me to buy this, i.e. will I be lost jumping from Version 7 to 9????

    I have concerns about decent tutorials for beginners with this product but I do wanna learn and make the most of my music..

    Any suggestions or help is greatly appreciated!

  • Jason

    What the hell do you mean "FOR THE PRICE Logic is great" ??? $500 freakin bucks!! That's the MOST expensive DAW out there! Cubase 5 is also $499.. WTF do you mean "for the price" LMAO – $500 isn't cheap you idiots!

  • http://danjmccoy.com daniel

    is the idea of using logic 9 on a mini out of place? can it be made to work or would I be facing crashes for lack of power?

  • daniel

    one other question…since i can not afford a new intel mac now could i simple buy 9 and use the sounds, loops, etc on logic express? and later..use logic 9 on a new faster macine…please

    someone do a comment…thanks

  • Peter

    Jason: $500? Yesterday I saw Logic 9 on sale for $409 at BH audio video. It's not inexpensive but if you remember the prices on DAW software some years ago you must admit that the price/performance ratio has improved immensely!

  • bobby jungle says

    system crash? OVERLOAD? DISC TOO SLOW???

    TRY FREEZING YOUR TRACKS … MADE ME HAPPY.

  • Ulf

    logic 9 is one of he worst programs i have used. it's full of bugs probably intentionally in order to create a desire among hopeful users to buy an updated version in the future. Bugs are bad, but good for business!

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