And you thought Apple was just going to turn everything into an iPad. Instead, they make something that looks like a home appliance designed by Master Control Program, covered in ports.

And you thought Apple was just going to turn everything into an iPad. Instead, they make something that looks like a home appliance designed by Master Control Program, covered in ports.

Here’s a quick way to sum up the revelations in today’s Apple event: “Oh, so that’s what was keeping them.”

It’s certainly true when it comes to OS X and the long-awaited Mac Pro.

Critics of Apple and concerned loyal users have worried that the growing success of iOS and consumer platforms would erode support for the company’s pro users. But evidence of a strategic shift has been largely absent. Sure, Apple has added cloud features, an App Store, and iOS apps to the desktop platform – significant changes. But those are all essentially no-brainer updates, and need not conflict with the needs of pro users or the creative community. The desktop is still a platform on which you can install software from any source you like – app store release or not. Desktop is still the place for high-performance I/O like Thunderbolt. Desktop OS X is still centered around mouse and keyboard. In fact, for all the worries about Apple blurring its tablet with its desktop, it’s been Microsoft and the PC ecosystem that has done that more than Apple – for better and for worse.

It almost seems like Apple is unwilling to walk away from the lucrative ecosystem that allows it to sell high-end, high-profit hardware, huh? That should surprise no one. Apple themselves point out their computer sales have grown while the PC has sagged, and they earn #1 spots for desktops and laptops and in customer satisfaction. This formula is working for them as a business. The Apple you know – what you love, what you love – is the Apple on desktop you’re going to continue to get.

If you like the Mac the way it is, Apple’s WWDC keynote today ought to calm fears. Apple updated the MacBook Air, but focused on extended battery life rather than rethinking the UI or functionality. You can’t fold a MacBook into a tablet; Apple will sell you an iPad for that. And there are major advantages to that strategy. It’s hard to imagine Apple ever selling you a laptop that will make your arms numb or leave you frantically tapping through UIs designed for a mouse, fat fingers struggling to make a menu open.

In fact, for blurring lines, look instead fo Microsoft and OEMs. It’s on Windows that you’re seeing tablets and laptops blur, for better and for worse (see: fat finger problems). (We’ll return soon to a review of what the PC world is offering after our visit to Acer and Computex last week in Taipei.)

So, yes, you can sync your Maps app with your iPhone. But otherwise, Apple touted greater performance, new technology for coaxing speed out of memory and disk access, and “high-end” usability features like better multiple display support. Apple even acknowledged that video editors and musicians demand high-end machines with a sneak preview of the Mac Pro. That upcoming cylindrical machine will focus on loads of I/O (multiple Thunderbolt ports on dedicated controllers, multiple USB3, and an enhanced Thunderbolt 2), and the latest CPU and GPU tech from Intel and AMD, respectively. This is pro stuff, creator stuff. It’s a Mac that’s even more focused on the high-end user. Correction: Schiller incorrectly said FireWire, and then so did I. It’s Thunderbolt, though backwards-compatible with FireWire. Incidentally, at least so far, that backwards compatibility hasn’t had some of the early troubles that USB3/USB2 did. And, hey, at least neither of us said “SCSI.”

There are some question marks. Apple mentioned “energy-optimized audio buffering” in a slide, but it’s not clear what that is or if it will have an impact on audio latency. And “inter-app audio” is back on an iOS slide, even more confusingly than last year. (In the past year, Apple unveiled nothing, and third parties created not one but two tools that do the job.) We’ll find out about these and other changes when we can, and all bets are off until there’s something real to test.

But the overall story is clear. The Mac in the age of the iPad is getting smarter, not more dumbed down.

Just Don’t Ask About Logic

So, musicians need not worry about the health of the Mac. Of course, this brings us to a certain flagship music production tool called Logic, and there, I don’t think you can be quite as confident.

WWDC is not the place you’d expect Logic news, but is a reminder of … the absence of Logic news.

Apple is both a hardware and platform company and an app developer. Parsing the two can be tricky. Apple referred to musicians by name in the keynote as a target audience for Mac Pro – the hardware. But not one instant in today’s keynote mentioned music production. Final Cut Pro X made an appearance, with expanded multiple monitor support and the guts to take advantage of the Mac Pro’s new horsepower. All that absurd I/O bandwidth and more powerful GPUs seem to make sense for the video market. It’s the music side that was absent. That may or may not be meaningful, but it means we still don’t know what’s going on.

Final Cut is safe; that’s clear. GarageBand is unique and a showpiece both on iOS and OS X. But Logic is a complex, niche DAW with a presumably large codebase that extends back to Emagic days. It’s hard to put yourself in Apple’s shoes and know what you would do with it, let alone read Apple’s mind.

And apologies to Logic and GarageBand fans, but Mac audio pros don’t need Apple making apps for the Mac to remain a viable audio platform. (Ask, in alphabetical order, Ableton, Avid, MOTU, Native Instruments, Propellerhead, or Steinberg, for starters.) So, the motivation for Apple to be in the DAW business may be waning.

Logic’s absence of updates – even recent maintenance updates – is also cause for concern. It seems to indicate either a lot of work on Logic, or none – making any sort of speculation maddeningly useless.

I think Logic as we now know it is almost certainly dead. What we don’t know – and this is fundamental – is whether it’s dead in advance of a genuinely new version, or truly being put out to pasture. We also don’t know how any new version would stack up to increasingly-advanced competition; Apple’s competitors haven’t stood still waiting for the company to release its new DAW. They’ve continued to advance.

All Logic users can do is wait. The Mac Pro announcement today is a reminder that Apple sets its own pace. Logic fans can only hope that, like the stuff in today’s keynote, there’s something great that’s taking some time.

But either way, fears of the iPad hurting the Mac as a music platform are clearly unfair. Apple isn’t your only choice in music platforms. But it remains in an enviable position in desktop, tablet, and phone – and there’s no reason to think that position is going to change any time soon.

Addendum: Apple, if the reason Logic Pro X is taking a long time is that it’s because there’s some ridiculous new version of Sculpture written entirely in OpenCL optimized for the new Mac Pro, oh, yes, all is forgiven. I shouldn’t be writing that here, as it’ll get Logic users’ hopes up. Let’s keep it between us.

  • Shelf-index

    It’s gonna be tragic if they revamp logic into something like final cut x, and losing the leadership

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Right, though at this point it’s unclear where *any* new version of Logic (tragic or otherwise) is lurking…

    • foljs

      How exactly is it “unclear”? The Logic guy at Apple said they are working on it, and it’s coming. What more do you want? It’s not like they ever pre-announce anything.

      And for those thinking 4+ years is a long time, remember that Live also took around 4 years to get from 8 to 9, and that in between logic has had 9 point releases (not just bugfixes, also major stuff, like 64 bit and OSC).

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      It’s unclear in that we don’t know what “it” is that’s coming, or when. As I’ve said, all you can do is wait.

    • ragin

      What more do I want? Something more than a one line email. Something that suggests that Logic will still be a viable tool in the professional market. Nearly everyone I talk to in the professional community thinks “Logic is dead.” That, in and of itself, suggests that perhaps if Logic does, in fact, have something great coming that they should let us know what the fuck is going on. Professional tools have value in compatibility. If everybody jumps ship to Cubase, the tool loses value exponentially.

    • ragin

      Oh, also, in case you missed it: They just pre-announced the Mac Pro. Why did they do that? Because people were complaining and they realized they were going to alienate their market if they didn’t say anything.

    • A

      Seriously, we got a nice touch osc template and integration for “free”. What other DAW has OSC? Re-tooling the environment for OSC and making OSC/ controller mapping less convolutedcould easily take that amount of time, considering no one else has really solved it!

      Then, you have the 64-bit upgrade and the purchase of Redmatica, to address Logic’s sampler, which is perfectly usable, but is lacking a lot of “pro” features.

      Add some Final Cut X style waveform editing and you have a DAW that’s as current and usable as anything.

      Look, the DAW paradigm appears to be mostly fleshed out, and all the major options are comparable. We need stable, transparent software, not more features and updates just to entertain and excite us.

      I mean the multiple monitor support in 10.9 is as likely to provide an “upgrade to ALL DAWs as anything else.

    • A

      It’s really disappointing to see this kind of fear mongering on CDM. Software development is going to get slower as computer get better.

      Think about OSX, (and iOS too) it’s an “update” to a positively ancient bit of software.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for hearing more from software developers of all the DAWs I use, Logic, DP, Live.

      If you’re going to get on someone about updates, how about NI? What’s FM8, 7 years old? :)

  • http://facebook.com/sequadion Sequadion

    I was somewhat relieved by the Mac-related announcements, but secretly I hoped for an update for the non-Retina MacBook Pro line. Perhaps it’s just the engineer in me, but I prefer my hardware to be user-upgradable, but sadly it looks like Apple has a different direction in mind.

    • VirtualMark

      I’m the same – a Haswell Macbook Pro would have been most welcome. Also a 1080p screen option and SSD drive would be good.

    • http://facebook.com/sequadion Sequadion

      I’m sure it’s coming though, but I was so ready to pull the trigger on that right now. Mac OS X has me so spoiled that I really don’t want to go back to Windows, and Linux is not quite there yet in terms of audio software, so dear Apple, better get busy with that MBP update…
      While I do appreciate all the innovation that goes on in other areas, I really want Apple to be able to sell me a plain, boring, but up-to-date laptop.

    • foljs

      “”" and Linux is not quite there yet in terms of audio software,”"”

      Linux will NEVER be “quite there” in terms of audio software. Even in 10 years, assuming they might get something like Cubase/Logic/ProTools/Live/NI/Waves/etc of today, the other platforms will have moved 10 years forward.

      (And when I say “something like” the above Mac/PC programs, I don’t mean a few rudimentary DAWs in various stages of abandonment or the ability to hack your way to run some VSTs inefficiently, or merely having JACK etc available and a few ho-hum plugins).

    • PaulDavisTheFirst

      perhaps you’ve encountered my favorite solution to Zeno’s paradox. It was proposed by the British philosopher Alfred North Whiteheard. Pondering how the hare could ever catch the tortoise via an infinite series of asymptotically smaller intervals, he realized “ah! the hare doesn’t try to catch the tortoise. He figures out where the tortoise will be and meets him there”.

      While I entirely understand personal preferences and even the occasional objective dig at the state of Linux audio, you could perhaps get your overall perspective right. What do I mean? The notion that there is a “there there” which defines what an audio software platform looks like is misleading and unhelpful. Will Linux ever be a good platform for people who want out of the box solutions for creating popular music with current workflows? Probably never as good as OS X. Is this the only way that music (or recorded sound, more generally) can be made? Definitely not, and some of those other approaches are already easier and more productive on Linux than OS X.

      Horses for courses, and intelligent hares catching tortoises in the future, and all that. Cheerio!

    • http://facebook.com/sequadion Sequadion

      Fair points, thanks for this insightful comment.

      You are right in assuming that I meant the lack of Linux tools equivalent to mainstream, out-of-the-box audio software available on other platforms. This is what I use and what I know best, so I guess this does skew my perception a little.
      I’m playing around with Max/MSP and love the endless possibilities, but what I found with open-ended systems (digital or analog) is that it easily devolves into hours of noodling with little or no results to show for at the end. Hence my preference for self-contained solutions.

      Note to self: maybe I should try and focus on the fun in making music as opposed to the tangible results?

      Out of curiosity, what are the alternative approaches you mentioned that work well on Linux?

    • PaulDavisTheFirst

      the most obvious alternative is simply recording people playing instruments. you will find the workflow on linux to be easily up to the same level as any other platform. perhaps you want to do simple edits afterwards – maybe you can come up with something as beautiful as this (which apparently contains dozens or hundreds of edits): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXvOPWrQsrk (admittedly just a single performer, but all done with Ardour)

      the second alternative is the use of what you referred to as “open ended systems”. Csound, Pure Data, SuperCollider all work as well if not better on Linux than they do on any other platform, and their use can be more easily combined with many other “traditional” tools for electro-acoustic composition (traditional to that genre, not traditional to people who use Cubase or Live).

      i think you should make music in whatever way works for you, but shouldn’t be so quick to judge the possibilities that systems that don’t work “for you”. most of what we consider “intuitive” and “easy” when using software is really just learned behaviour. if you are the kind of person who finds it easier to compose music in ways that have more to do with text editing than with dragging your mouse around a shiny GUI, you’d likely find Linux a very, very hospitable environment. that doesn’t mean that people are not using shiny tools there either. This guy: http://www.louigiverona.ru/ is one of my favorite Linux-based artists, and his work ranges from dance stuff to slow drone music, using a wide variety of tools, some of which exist only on Linux.

    • VirtualMark

      Bitwig will be available for Linux, and it is looking like it’ll be the DAW of the century! It’s made by some of the programmers from Ableton, and seems to be like a far superior version of Ableton(fixed PDC, drag and drop modulation, online collab etc).

      Of course it might turn out to be rubbish, but I remain hopeful.

    • Samuele Cornell

      Well seems that Apple has been taking that direction by long time , hardware upgradability has never been a priority for them , as far as i know , but the old Mac Pro was somewhat of an exception .
      Beside that upgrading hardware on a laptop is always difficult.
      Sadly planned obsolescence is the best way to make business today .

    • foljs

      “”"Sadly planned obsolescence is the best way to make business today “”"

      Who, in the western world, exactly keeps a computer for more than, say, 5 years? That’s ages in the computer world.

    • Samuele Cornell

      5 years are ages in the computer world , you’re right , but being able to update your CPUs and GPUs can extend your computer life .
      The recent shift from Desktop computers to Ultrabooks and Tablets is indicative : people tend to keep desktop longer than you think , while buying mobile computing devices instead.
      For me this Mac Pro is a step behind in that sense , they’ve sacrificed upgradability for design purposely .

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      I don’t think the Mac Pro was a paragon of upgradeability of CPU and GPU. That’s why I say it’s not a step backward. All you’re losing is slots – and in their place, you get vastly-expanded I/O possibilities via external ports. It’s a pain for people with existing PCI cards, but then, if you’re trying to avoid throwing away hardware, you would presumably continue to use those older machines.

      If you want more expandability and flexibility, you would do now the same thing as what you would do when the first Mac Pro came out: get a PC. They have greater choices when it comes to upgrading these components.

      And those vendors continue to make those machines, whatever the ultrabooks may be doing.

    • Samuele Cornell

      Maybe you’re right that i am criticizing Apple for what they’re not known, surely i have exaggerated with the term ‘planned obsolescence’ , the new Mac Pro have great features : top notch hardware , thunderbolt interface etc.
      still i can’t understand this design obsession at expense of practicality , its more compact indeed but it must require ad-hoc hardware to fit the cylindrical shape , for me its a trade-off not worth…
      Apple thinks differently .

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      I don’t see any additional obsolescence here. Upgrading CPUs and GPUs has never really been practical on the old Mac Pros. When it comes to storage, video capture, and audio, all of these devices work perfectly well on Thunderbolt. And backwards compatibility with FireWire, USB1 to USB3, and expansion chassis options mean you’re not throwing away anything.

    • Frankie

      Upgrading GPU in MP is easy as changing the PCIe video card. And you can install few of those if needed. Good thing with that is it comes with basic GPU that is enough for most users and video users can install their super GPU’s.

    • Frankie

      And ppl who use Adobe’s video software changed AMD videocards to NVIDIA to get CUDA support. Probably not possible in new MP. But hey! Maybe they all switch to FCPX and Motion!

      Maybe FPCX, but doubt that any AE user would ever switch to Motion.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Apple doesn’t like to be vendor dependent. I find it ironic that people are complaining that Apple isn’t standards-compliant, but then also expecting them to support a vendor-specific spec like CUDA. OpenCL is the cross-hardware spec. If you want to choose specific video cards to run Adobe software, you really should go buy a PC. You’ll be happier. (Seriously.)

    • Frankie

      Problem is that ppl like me prefer FCPX for editing and AE for motion graphics (not mention Logic for audio, but i know few ppl who still run Logic 5.5 in their PC’s). But for premiere/AE folks who do not use any other mac specific software it’s should be no-brainer.

    • http://facebook.com/sequadion Sequadion

      “”"Beside that upgrading hardware on a laptop is always difficult.”"”

      Yeah, I guess you are right. For laptops what I really meant is being able to upgrade to a newer/bigger/faster system drive, pop in an additional RAM module, or maybe even just replace the worn-out battery. The thought of throwing away an otherwise perfectly good laptop just because it’s not feasible to replace the battery makes me sad. I’m looking at you, MBA and rMBP.

    • rgb

      it simply isn’t true that the battery can’t be replaced in an MacBook Air/Pro. It just isn’t replaceable by the user. Apple does it for $100 and is often a ‘while you wait’ repair. Plus the new batteries have 1000 cycle/3 year warranties. It’s ok, really, it is.

    • http://facebook.com/sequadion Sequadion

      I did not say impossible, just infeasible. I looked it up now, and it’s $129 and $199 for MBA and rMBP respectively. I expected much worse. Should have looked it up _before_ ranting…
      Also, apparently Apple still sells batteries for quite old MacBook models, which is reassuring. Looks like it really is, as you said, OK. :)

    • rgb

      :) Apple generally pretty decent about those things. Not perfect, and I HATE the way they made everyone go to 10.7 to use the iCloud stuff.

      But the battery thing is a common rant that doesn’t deserve the ire that it gets. As someone who has fixed these for a long time (for Apple and outside of Apple) I can tell you that even when the batteries were removable people just never replaced them. They’d come to me with a massively swollen battery that didn’t work and they didn’t know they could simply pop it out.

    • http://facebook.com/sequadion Sequadion

      Well, I’m the kinda guy who took apart his white MacBook a few times to clean the CPU cooler and to replace the dead hard drive. I’m clearly in the minority, I know that.
      Lenovo seems to make the most user-repair-friendly laptops, but they just don’t come with Mac OS X, which is my favorite platform.

  • RB

    Ok… I see Audio I/O, (2) Ethertnet, (4) USB3, an HDMI, and (6) Thunderbolt ports. No dedicated FW800 ports. (I know you get FW over TB w/ an adaptor). Phil made an error in speaking during the Keynote, and it appears it was echoed in your article (unless of course I’ve overlooked something).

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Yeah, we’ve all been doing this too long. I’m glad I didn’t say SCSI.

      They are backwards compatible, though, so my point about I/O flexibility remains. And… I think this may mean actual backwards compatibility, i.e., without some of the issues we had with USB2/USB3. But we’ll know when we try it. Fingers crossed.

  • Frankie

    As a long time mac pro user i now know i can safely switch to iMac. IMac has no needed PCI slotts and multiple hd bays, but now mac pro has neither. Yes, please bring us more ports for usb, tb and fw external devices. That is what we all want. Loads of expensive boxes to fill the tables. Thank you apple for being forward thinker!

    It is seriously amazing why would anyone even think of removing expandability from desktop machince that has no screen or is portability. We have, imac, macbook pro and mac mini for that.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Right, there’s no difference between this and a Mac mini, except that this has a) a vastly more powerful CPU architecture, b) a vastly more powerful GPU architecture, c) vastly expanded I/O ports running on additional dedicated controllers.

      Unfortunately, whether you like those external devices or not, that’s what you’re getting, because at this point Thunderbolt is a faster bus than the PCI buses you know from the past, and I suspect that they’re selling better as add-on devices.

      But plugging in a cable *is* expandability.

      I’m unclear on what this offers in storage bays; that’s an open question.

      Now, an iMac makes a perfect good pro machine. (One issue, though – wouldn’t you prefer your own display?)

    • Frankie

      Unfortunately that is the case. But fortunately new iMacs are very good machines for making music IF you don’t have internal sound card and UAD cards. Our studios Mac Pro has both so next mac Pro is not an option. It seems that next machine will be then hackintosh if it works properly with PCIE. hackintosh needs a bit adjusting, but it can easily have the same CPU/GPU power that the next mac Pro will have.

      So choice is either to dump the PCI RME sound card and UAD cards and buy iMac + FW sound card. Or keep those and build new machine around them. Next mac Pro will probably be so expensive that there is no option of doing the sound card update at the same time.

      No i don’t prefer my own display :D
      All displays what we have had in our studios suck compared on the screen of 27″ iMac. That screen is great!

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Or buy an expansion chassis. I believe that will also work, though it isn’t cheap. It’s tough again to really know what will make sense until we see pricing on the Mac Pro. And there will likely be some kind of iMac revision between now and then. That’s a likely timeframe for MacBook Pro revisions people were missing in comments here.

    • Frankie

      Magma chassis is 999€ and it MIGHT work. When we ran out of PCIe slots in our MP we tried Magma Chassis but it didn’t work with UAD. These days those should work i’ve heard.

      999€ addition to the price of next MP is probably a lot. Or maybe apple will sell it for 2000€? Just kidding :D

      Protools users are probably quite happy too with their cards.

      As for GPU and video folks. It’s nice that the machine has loads of CUDA incompatible GPU power. Adobe likes.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      I agree – if you’re trying to leverage an existing PCI card investment, this is tricky. But some studios will simply leave that in the old machine, making better use of the hardware they already bought. So saying this is necessarily a step backward in obsolescence I think isn’t entirely fair.

      Now, why Avid isn’t supporting Thunderbolt is an interesting question.

      And CUDA – I mean, okay. OpenCL is the standard Apple has consistently backed. AMD is a competing vendor. I don’t think you can fault every single decision on this.

    • Steve Steele

      Peter – You are a breathe of fresh air. You are right, at least in my case. I will keep my existing MacPro as a slave, then grow and expand with the upcoming MacPro with Thunderbolt. Also, as you state, Apple has a good record supporting industry standards all the way back to the mid 90s when they decided to support internet standards like Java. CUDA is NOT a “standard” just because Adobe supports it. Your comments in this thread are right on the mark!

      Bravo!
      Steve Steele
      stevesteele.com

      P.S. If Apple has ever said there will be a Logic X, I believe there will be. Last year at this time people cried that the MacPro was being “put out to pasture” and many, ehem “naysyaers” migrated to PCs and Avid (haha). But recall Tim Cook’s “We’re doubling down on secrecy statement”! Patience all.

    • foljs

      “”" That is what we all want. Loads of expensive boxes to fill the tables. Thank you apple for being forward thinker!”"”

      Whereas you want want? The same thing in also expensive internal PCI cards?

      Or some Hard Disks? Who uses internal HDs anymore anyway? It’s not like even a 2TB disk will do anything for you if you do video or work with large sample libraries and 24/96 multi-track audio files…

    • Frankie

      The thing is that there is quite many PCI soundcards and DSP cards in use in studios around the world. Those are already bought. Replacing internals HD’s is not that expensive, but annoying. TB HD bays are not cheap.

      Most likely new Mac Pro will be priced to the limits of prosumer/small studios anyway so there will be no room for updating sound cards and UAD cards. If all you currently have is already external and the machine will not be as expensive as mac pro’s tend to be, then i think it will be as good option as any new computer.

    • James Husted

      There are plenty of TB1 cases out there for multiple PCI slots and hard drives. With TB2 there will be bigger ones too taking advantage of the increased bandwidth. I myself will be glad to put my drives in a box in the closet so I don’t have to hear them. One TB display will give me a hub for all my legacy gear. Now my desktop can actually BE ON MY DESKTOP, and not on the floor sucking in all the dust down there. And it will be quiet.

  • Chris Muir

    The article is incorrect in listing Firewire ports, but so was Phil Schiller in his presentation. Zero Firewire, Six Thunderbolt 2 (!)

    This is typical Apple: jettisoning legacy and pointing towards a future. I just hope that the Thunderbolt-reliant future that they are pointing to comes to pass. This machine could be wonderful… but only if Thunderbolt takes off enough so that there are a lot more Thunderbolt expansion options than exist today.

    I’m still using a liquid-cooled G5 tower with PCI-X slots as my audio machine. I’d love to be able to get this new Mac Pro, but I remain a little nervous about the all-in bet on Thunderbolt.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Well, then the main question is how backwards compatibility works. But it seems people are already using this without issue, to my knowledge – unlike the USB3/USB2 glitches at first (and that’s been ironed out, as well).

      Talking to video people, talking to third parties like Apogee and Universal Audio, people han really happy with Thunderbolt. I don’t think this should be a major source of anxiety. (We have other things to worry about, generally.)

  • srsly

    The next version of Logic has been being beta tested for a long time, it’s coming.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      And until it’s here, everything is speculation – or someone violating NDA. ;)

    • http://www.olajideparis.com/ Olajide Paris

      exactly.

    • disqus_08sdLZM0LR

      Can you elaborate ? I beta test for a well known Plugin Company using Logic 9.1.8 and they have given no indication of any changes to future testing regarding this DAw. Many Thanks

    • Tammo Heikens

      Look at this video of Toad Nevo, he definitely seems to have a different looking version of Logic that might be the beta of Logic Pro X.
      So instead of the EQ diagram on top of the channelstrip, you now have a kind of VU meter and also the buttons on the toolbar look very different.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2V9d6zQzcrg

    • Alex

      I work for Waves and endorsed by them.

      My email

      Hey **** hope all is good.

      I am working on some new Element Presets and Videos over the next 2 weeks aimed at house and techno : )

      I was just watching the Yoad Nevo Video for a bit of research, His Logic ( i use to produce and test your plugins) looks very different to mine ??

      Is he using a New Version of Logic Studio ?? or is it a secret ?? : )

      Many Thanks

      Reply

      We get asked that a lot. I believe he just customized the template himself.

      Looking forward to the videos/presets. Send me via FTP before you upload to Youtube. Thanks.

    • Mitchell Sigman

      I call bullshit :) I did some googling, and though you can re-skin Logic to alter the appearance of existing icons (i.e. meters, icons, etc.), none of this would add a VU meter or the extra buttons at the bottom of the channel strips in the inspector at left. I imagine he’d have to be a serious programmer to “customize the template” so extensively.

    • Jamie

      but those VU meters don’t move when the music plays. Oh well.

    • brian botkiller

      Yeah, it’ll be called Garageband Pro.

  • retroz

    Thank god there are no “Durr! It looks like garbage can. Ugh!” comments here; my faith in humanity is restored (well, the technically-inclined musical portion, anyway).

    Everything hinges on price and performance. If it’s good enough, this little monster will sell.

    The fact that it’s not a boring beige rectangle or aluminum block is a plus; just because everyone has grown accustomed to PCI(e) slots and the traditional “case, mobo and drive slots” way of doing things doesn’t mean we have to continue that way for eternity. I, for one, don’t miss having a pair of 5 1/4″ floppy drives to feed…

    • Evan

      The problem with not conforming to standards is just that though, they are not conforming to standards such as PCI(e). This is a pain in the ass for everyone but apple. As a consumer you now have to decide between your macpro specific gear and any tech support headaches you might have with that.

      From a companies point of view developing add-ons that were traditionally ITB expansion cards now they have to start sorting out new chipsets, interfaces, and drivers to go along with moving all of their expansions out of the box into enclosures and dealing with whole new chipsets and drivers that will invariably cause headaches for both them and the end customer when they dont work. Then the rollout of driver fix after driver fix. Sure theres a pci expansion chassis, but its still a middle layer, and that usually causes issues for at least some product out there

      So while its nifty to come up with a new form factor and design, walking away from tried and tested committee developed standards used across the computer manufacturing industry only hurts everyone but apple

    • retroz

      The traditional desktop PC is on life support; most people opt for notebooks or tablets these days. As a result, we’re going to see fewer companies developing for PCI, which is an aging standard.

      Thunderbolt isn’t an Apple standard, it was developed by Intel. Hopefully, we see affordable peripherals arriving for it in the next year or two. There’s probably more future in that market than in PC add-ons.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      I expect more Thunderbolt support on the PC side, as well, however. And I wouldn’t call the PC industry “on life support.” They’re in a cycle of flat or negative growth, depending on vendor, at a time that was a weird upgrade cycle combined with a global economic downturn. They’re a massive industry – which is part of why sustaining growth was tough.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Right, so DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, IEEE 1394/FireWire, USB3, USB2, USB1 are all supported on this machine. And Thunderbolt is part of the PCIe spec. They are standards-compliant. This is just a machine that lacks slots.

    • Evan

      but the pcie spec it supports is only x4, so if you want a new gpu thats x16 your SOL, or any x16 card.

      I get it though, apple’s trying to push thunderbolt as hard as possible, but if I were wanting a workstation class box I would want to keep much of it self contained without a rats nest of external boxes and adapters, etc etc

    • brian botkiller

      durr, it looks like a garbage can.

      well, it does.

  • Amanda Whiting

    What do you think of the circular form factor? I’m curious. It should help with heat, but how are would you rig up a studio with this tube?

    • foljs

      What exactly would be the problem with “rigging up a studio”? It has a straight panel with connections in the back, like every other tower PC or Mac Pro has had.

      What would you want to do with the front face?

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      If you mean putting it in a rack, yeah, there’s some discussion about that. Short answer: you can’t easily. But that’s really then not an issue in the studio – this thing is tiny – as it is easily putting it on the road. If this hardware itself is unpopular, it’s a non issue. If it is popular, I expect someone will devise a solution. And it may come down more to the form factor of external thunderbolt devices.

    • Graham Thorne

      It’s not really an issue come one. A cut out piece of foam, rounded struts, its not that hard guys. It can probably be mounted sideways too. You will be able to buy houses for it within weeks of it being released. In fact; people are already working on it now.

    • TheMetalSgt

      I don’t think it’ll be a problem. Lots of studios keep their computers in a separate room, at least music studios. And if they don’t have the set up to do that, then it’s usually under the desk or something.

  • meez

    personally i am excited (my wife, no) but did i miss something? where is the cd/dvd slot on the mac pro/deth star droid? external super drive? wha?

    • Graham Thorne

      Superdrive? Buy a £20 external USB 3 one.

  • http://alexanderlindo.com/ Alexander Lindo

    Depends on your definition of advancement. Logic Pro has provided and still does provide many advanced features that other DAWs are just now implementing. Logic Pro has been and still is a favorite of many professional composers/producers. A new version of Logic would be great but the fact is: In terms of features and stability, Logic has been and still is ahead of the game, even in its passive state. Now, with the release of Pro Tools 11 that may change…

  • plurgid

    A few years ago, I had a choice to shell out for Logic or Ableton, and I chose Logic, because all of Apple’s marketing seemed to make it so clear that they were committed to this and in it for the long haul. Ableton seemed new and sort of iffy at the time, and pro-tools still wanted to lock me into a proprietary audio interface … it seemed like the (ahem) “Logical” choice.

    Except like 3 years (and one major update) later it turned out that Apple really wanted to be a cell phone company … and I could get Logic from the app store for roughly half what I paid for the physical package only a year earlier … they were clearly done pimping it to sell new computers, and were now putting it in the discount bin.

    And what really kills me is how GREAT Logic + the app store could have been. We could all be doing in-app purchases of our plugins right now. No iLocs, no Service Centers, no having to get updates from 50 different vendor websites, no plugin hassles when I swap out a broken hard drive, or get a new computer. But no … the AU spec was practically made for this very purpose, and BAM, guess what … still can’t buy a plugin on the app store (though the deal where you buy a standalone on the app store and go to the vendor’s site to get the plugin is sort of ok duct tape).

    So now I’m all invested in Logic. It takes time and patience to get over the hump on a new DAW so that you can actually get stuff done. I don’t want to have to start over … but it kinda looks like I’m gonna have to eventually. Lesson learned … next time I’ll buy a DAW from a company that is in the DAW business.

  • JonYo

    My take on the lack of PCIe slots:

    I feel like we have to step back for a minute and remind ourselves, why has high end gear traditionally come in various card slot form factors in the past? All the way back to the NuBus and ISA says, the reason was simple: bandwidth. In the past, no onboard cabled interface has had the I/O throughput of whatever was the the top card slot standard of the day. I feel this is finally changing, and with USB3 for standard peripherals, and TB (and TB2) for the higher end requirements, the whole point of card slots is being lost outside of the tinkering and custom gaming PC world. As usual, Apple is very forward looking on this with the new Mac Pro, not to mention they’re obviously going all-in with Thunderbolt moving forward. For right now, people have money in their card-form-factor devices, high end video I/O stuff, outboard DSP, etc, so they get stuck with a slightly more expensive option for now, an external PCIe chassis. Works fine for most stuff, but it’s a pricey thing you have to buy, so you’d have to put it in the budget if you’re panning on upgrading to the new Mac Pro.

    Going forward, especially if TB adoption by non-Apple motherboard makers accelerates, I feel it’s won’t be too long until we see a lot of peripheral makers that have traditionally made card slot devices due to bandwidth requirements start coming out with TB and/or TB2 versions of their stuff.

  • Andrew Thomas Sinclair

    the lack of internal slots is going to painfully reshape the high end recording industry that’s dependent on Pro-tools Hd systems. I know there are a few pci-e to thunderbolt adapters/racks but this kinda annoying they didn’t even leave one internal expansion slot. everyone with a silver hd system you macs value just went way up in the short term

  • Les Farrington

    Ive been using Logic since UNITOR days so naturally i try to stay tuned to any developments. If memory serves i was reading UP TO LAST WEEK about the demise of the Desktop Pro and the rise of the iMac and Laptops. Supposedly the rumors were strong that Logic was going to be merged with Garage Band and “dumming it Down. Tim Cook said that they were working on something great for the Pro Community and ALSO said they were not killing logic and were working on something great (with actions such as buying Redmatica etc)….SO MONDAY THEY DEBUTE AN UPCOMING MAC PRO…..so much for NO MORE DESKTOP PROS……and now im reading that LOGIC IS MOST LIKELY DEAD. I hope you dont pet that Crow because its gonna suck to have to eat it when youve become too attached! Logic is coming. APPLE DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY…if they say they are doing it..they are doing it…and even when they ARE going it, they keep it fully and completely secret….perhaps the NSA should let Apple handle all their Secrets!!!

  • Ollie

    What if….

    the GPUs in the coming Mac Pros doubled as plugin horsepower number crunchers for a new set of Logic plugs? Remember Grand Central Dispatch?

    From what I understand these DSPs could grill the hell out of Avid’s AAX cards….

    Just dreaming

    • PaulDavisTheFirst

      latency to+from GPUs is not good for a lot of audio work.

  • G.K.

    When revealing the new MacPro to the KEYNOTE-Audience Phil Schiller said as introduction : ” Videoeditors , musicians, photographers, graphic designers count on products like MacPro to get their work done .” ( KEYNOTE Video @ around 52min30sec http://www.apple.com/apple-events/june-2013/ ) . For me this is definitely a hint that Logic is alive .

  • TheMetalSgt

    Didn’t Tim Cook or another high profile Apple employee say that they were working on the next Logic? I might be wrong but I remember reading about this in a thread.

  • eleKtris

    I’d cry my living ass off if Logic won’t be updated anymore since it’s the only thing I can use now. Stick any other motherfucking DAW up my ass and I’ll go crazy. I want to make music, not figure out how to use a goddamn piece of software I’ve never used. (=)|_|<|-|!

  • Dylan

    I think it’s pretty hard to argue that Apple plans to discontinue Logic when they have recently put so much energy into Final Cut and now very recently the Mac Pro. It’s quite clear they have no intention of leaving the pro market. Considering that Final Cut had a similar period of absolutely nothing before it’s major version X overhaul, it would be unsurprising to see the same happen to Logic Pro. It’s just a matter of time before we see an update to Logic.