Let’s talk about “decimation.” Photo (CC-BY) Dale Gillard; explanation of the reason we’re using Roman soldiers here… in the article.

Apple tends to avoid commenting outside its famously-watertight public relations apparatus, but executives sometimes get personal. That appears to be the case for Xander Soren, Director of Product Marketing (and a key player in their pro audio apps). Xander has been in my experience an outspoken and articulate individual. Here, he dispels notions that Apple is backing off of Logic development:

Nicholas, thanks for your email. As the lead for our music creation apps, I always want to hear what our users are thinking. I want to assure you the team is still in place and hard at work on the next version of Logic Pro.

-xander

Apple ‘Hard at Work’ on Next Version of Logic Pro [MacRumors]

Yes, leave it to the site with “rumors” in its title to go with evidence, while other major tech outlets go crazy over the rumor. Synthtopia did an excellent – and amusing – round-up of those reports, as well as a well-thought-out argument against the rumors:
Did The Mayans Really Predict The Demise Of Apple’s Logic Pro?

Jim Dalrymple also discounted the rumor on The Loop.

Ironically, you could find some truth to this rumor if you want to get pedantic about the English language.

“Decimated” comes from a Latin origin meaning removal of a “tenth,” referring to not the complete destruction of your personnel, but some portion of, presumably, dead weight. (See any dictionary, or this Wikipedia entry.) I have also heard reports of some personnel changes related to Apple audio, though nothing suggesting any fundamental changes. That may mean that, yes, Apple reorganized and people over-interpreted the results. If they took one person off a ten-person team, they might have even “decimated” someone.

I’m also, frankly, sick of the Final Cut Pro comparisons. Final Cut Pro in its previous version relied on deprecated QuickTime frameworks, lacked a modern code base, lacked 64-bit support – the list goes on. So, Apple never “dropped” features from Final Cut Pro X, as Ars Technica writes, reporting on the Logic rumors. Apple decided to do a ground-up rewrite of their flagship video editor. They’ve gradually re-implemented lost features, and in at least some cases created better, more usable, faster-performing functionality. You may still not like the result, but that’s your prerogative – it’s a new app. It’s just unreasonable to suggest Apple was somehow trying to spite the people who buy the tool.

Logic, by contrast, is already modernized and ready for the OS. Apple has lagged between releases, no question. But let’s judge the results whenever a new release arrives. And, for now, you should make your choice of DAW based on what’s available today. If Logic is the most productive tool, then by all means, carry on. “What’s available today” is a whole heck of a lot of choices, from Reaper to Ableton Live to Cubase. If Logic isn’t competing, then move on.

Speaking of companies that began in Germany founded by guys named Gerhard who make major music production tools that had been in a lag in their product release cadence since around 2009 (phew), Ableton (Gerhard Behles) answered users with Ableton Live 9 this fall. So, now we wait for Apple’s pro audio team (Dr. Gerhard Lengeling) to let us know what they’ve been doing. And users I think deserve to be skeptical about that until they see something. It just means you should also be skeptical about these sorts of rumors unless you have some solid evidence.

To bring it back to Romans, I suppose this clip suits the situation. What has Apple ever done for us?

Moving on… for now…

  • http://twitter.com/Chris_Randall Chris Randall

    For various values of “already modernized.”

  • Terrible

    Peter,

    I’m not sure what distinction you’re making (above) between “dropped” features and “lost” features.

    Also, it’ll be interesting to see the reaction if Logic X is trackless and can’t open projects created in previous versions of Logic.

  • stumm

    Logic is dead, Long live Logic.

  • stumm

    btw.. Peter.. acting with out regard, is not the same thing as out of spite. Saying features weren’t “dropped” and then saying some features were “added in” to a NEW APP, is also a silly defense of a poorly motivated move. Just as Logic lost is grip as a Standard in the studio (at least in the UK), the exact same thing is happening with FCPX. It’s few defenders come off as nothing more than hipsters or desperate studios trying to re-adopt their production team without spending thousands upon thousands to fully move to another platform (platforms that were already in combined majority over FCP in the first place). Bad decisions are bad decisions, defendable or not.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      I’m finishing a separate article on Final Cut and its usability. But I stick by what I said. Building an entirely new app from the ground up means some degree of sacrifice. An obvious example: multi-camera editing. Apple didn’t “drop” multi-camera editing because they decided it wasn’t important any more. They shipped what I would describe as a premature-released product in the first release. They then followed up with a multi-camera implementation that a lot of people feel is superior to the competition — and the previous version.

      I’m still concerned about some missing features in Final Cut Pro X, like the absence of usable versioning. At the same time, this ground-up overhaul has resulted in a video editor that’s tangibly *faster* than anything else out there – the foundation in terms of performance is significant.

      But I think you’ll agree in this context, it’d be inaccurate to say “look, Apple released a new version and dropped features.” That’s not what happened. They re-built their app from the ground up, did some things better, and were found playing catch-up in certain areas of functionality.

      I’m not being semantic. These are different things.

      Likewise, extrapolating the future of Logic from Final Cut ignores major technical differences. Logic is an app built on the latest development frameworks in OS X. It shares code not only with GarageBand on Mac, but as I understand it, even GarageBand on iOS.

      Final Cut’s scorched-earth rebuild was partly because it was built on deprecated frameworks (think QuickTime). Logic Pro 9 is already 64-bit. Final Cut Pro 9 was never 64-bit.

      I think people are free to derive whatever deeper meanings they like once they’re evaluating the product. But these are the technical realities.

    • Terrible

      Peter,

      It’s intriguing that you’ve put the word “faster” in quotes there – like it requires some qualification.

      So you feel that any given filmmaker can reduce composition time simply by switching software?

      It’s a provocative idea, but I’m skeptical – you’ll need to back up that assertion.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Those are asterisks, not quotes.

      I’m referring to performance. The overhaul makes playback of a variety of media a lot quicker without rendering. Short of using something with proxies a la Blender, I haven’t seen anything perform quite as well – that’s why I make mention of performance. Whether you’re faster in terms of productivity is a different matter.

      And you can certainly say this without qualification: the rebuild of Final Cut Pro X resulted in something with greater playback, editing, and render performance than its previous version, and allowed it to take advantage of new core technologies in OS X. Apple obviously upset users, and understandably, when Final Cut Pro X lacked functionality from the previous version. However, some of that functionality has been restored – yet people appear to be making arguments based on the 1.0 release, not the more recent releases.

      None of this means you have to like Final Cut Pro X. But it does mean that saying Apple arbitrarily dropped features or dumbed down their program is a mischaracterization that ignores fundamentally what they did – a complete rebuild.

      And to then take that characterization and apply it to Logic, which doesn’t have the same dependencies and is not built on the same framework and wouldn’t have the same necessity for a rebuild, to me is at least results in something other than a sure thing.

  • Attic

    Ah well …… Reaper Rules!!!!

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      That I can absolutely get behind. Working with it now. I can’t believe more people don’t use it given its feature set and price.

    • Attic

      I was a windows Logic user when Apple decided we all needed to move to a Mac to use it. I couldn’t really afford to do that. I was on an Amiga when Commodore went bust and I also was an Atari user when they ended. I am happy that Reaper is cross platform. When deciding on recording software one thing that is tough is to know the health of its Platform and the Company producing it. Thankfully … I have never felt more secure then I do now with Reaper. Better yet Reaper has the tools I knew I needed and a bunch I didn’t realize I needed.

    • Laurentius Magnus

      Agree, I also abandoned Apple when they decided to ditch Logic for Windows just overnight. Not because I couldn’t afford it, but Apple is not trustworthy, especially when it comes to artists. They are a consumer focused company and all they wanted with the Logic engine was to create GarageBand for the mundane-wanna-be-composer-user. Why anyone wants to use Logic when there are so much better and “safe” cross-platform software out there is a mystery to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Philippe-Pascal/100003217824975 Philippe Pascal

    That’s up to the customer to consider if they want to buy a newer product with less features (for now) or keep/buy the old version with more features.Personally, i would wait instead of being a paying beta tester…may be because i’m using computers for more than 20 years and being a computer tech ;)

    And as @c5326b83ffffad45c9d3ea92a30aebd8:disqus pointed out, what will happen if you open an old project in new version with “missing” features ? Breaking backward compatibility is always a bad move, whatever (good) reason you got.

    • MrE23

      Apple’s mistake was calling it Final Cut Pro. It is a completely different beast. If they had simply called it something else a lot of the problems people have with it would magically disappear.

  • http://www.transit161.com/ Dan Gillespie

    I just can’t believe that nobody reporting on this story used the headline “Pros Before Hoes”

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Ha!

  • Freeks

    Only thing i’m worried is they Lionize it like they did with FCPX. Meaning that FCPX has no SAVE or Save As. functions.

    I was editing with FCPX other day and after few hours it crashed. Nothing new on that. Apps crash even on mac ;) Sad news was that when i opened the project my timeline was empty! All assets were in the bin and all keywords were still in place, but the timeline was empty and all my cuts were gone. This would not have happened if i would have had option for Save As. as i make versions quite often with all apps.

    If this would have happened with logic with few dozen tracks it would have been disaster! Logic have crashed and corrupted the project file, but as i have other versions of the project i never lose much in such cases.
    I learned that in FCPX you need to duplicate your project files to get backup copies. It’s a workaround, but i would pay another $50 for the Save As. button :D

  • Laurentius Magnus

    You must be pretty retarded to use any software from Apple. I have hundreds of projects in pre 7.2 format with no way of loading or importing them into Logic 7.2-8-9. I curse the day I started using Logic back in the mid 90′s. It has cost me an endless number of hours and virtually lost work. Apple is a completely insane company. There’s rumors that Apple is going to abandon Intel, and just wait and see, before you know it, none of your current projects will open in “Logic 11″. And don’t you dare contact Apple support about it. I wish that company to hell. It is the most artist unfriendly company ever. Shame shame shame.