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Apple unveils biggest update to Logic since the launch of Logic Pro X (apple.com)
268 points by todsacerdoti on May 12, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 243 comments

I own Apple Logic and thus I'm grateful for the continuous updates. On the other hand, I'm mystified why Apple continues its investment in this audio program.

Yes, when Steve Jobs bought Logic from Emagic in 2002, it made strategic sense to fortify Apple's "software portfolio" to make Mac hardware more attractive. But that was before the surprising massive success of iPhones in 2007. Now, it seems like sales of Logic would be a insignificant rounding error in Apple's revenue. If Mac software portfolio was that big a deal, I'm not sure why they discontinued Aperture instead of Logic. It seems like there's a bigger market of customers that would catalog and modify photos rather than record music.

Intuit sold off Quicken to a private equity firm and yet Apple continues to own and develop Logic. I like Apple's stewardship of Logic but I can't understand its strategic value to today's Apple.

Anybody have any thoughts on what Logic does for Apple that Aperture didn't?

EDIT to several replies about "enhancing brand image": That's plausible but AVID Pro Tools is even more prestigious than Logic and AVID's market cap is only $250 million[0]. Apple could acquire AVID easily with their ~$200 billion cash on hand to "strengthen Apple's brand among the professionals". People have been speculating this possible acquisition for years but I don't think it will happen. So not sure what Logic does for Apple that AVID Pro Tools doesn't.

[0] https://www.nasdaq.com/market-activity/stocks/avid

To be more specific, and in response to your reply:

Together with Final Cut Pro, Apple wants to have Mac-only exclusive software that is aimed specifically at cool creative professionals to build up the image that trendy creatives use Macs (and you therefore have no choice but to use a Mac, otherwise you won't have the software you need).

Aperture couldn't really compete with Adobe's whole workflow (since Apple didn't have a full-fledged Photoshop competitor). But also, movies and music are "sexier" in a way.

AVID Pro Tools works on Windows so it doesn't do anything for Apple. The whole point is awesome software that works only on Macs.

The day that every single program creatives use runs as Windows as well as Macs, is the day it becomes a lot harder for a lot of people to justify buying a Mac. It's that simple.

(So it's certainly not about any profit from the software directly, and it's also not just a marketing "halo".)

>But yeah, AVID Pro Tools works on Windows so it doesn't do anything for Apple.

Before Apple bought it, Emagic's Logic ran on both Windows and Mac. After Apple acquired Logic, they immediately discontinued the Windows version. Can't Apple hypothetically run the same playbook and discontinue Pro Tools for Windows?

Apple could buy all DAW companies (Steinberg, Ableton, etc) for peanuts and destroy music production on Windows if they wanted. Heck they could even buy Adobe without much effort and make it mac exclusive too.

They don't do it probably because that would be considered a below the belt move and not worth the trouble since the mac is only 10% of its revenue.

They would probably be sued for being anti competitive if they bought out all the DAW companies and did that.

Apple is not in a monopoly position, so it's a perfectly legal move.

As long as they didn't become a monopoly in any specific creative field, it would be fine too.

Being a monopoly is neither necessary nor sufficient for an anticompetitive business practice to be illegal.

A literal monopoly is not necessary for a court to determine that a firm can exert significant and durable market power over its competitors and customers.

If a firm is able to achieve and maintain a monopoly solely through lawful and reasonable means, such as producing and offering a superior product at a lower price, it is free to reap the benefits of that fairly-attained monopoly.

Acquiring all of your competitors is a good way to become a monopoly.

In what arena does Adobe compete with Apple though?

> Apple could buy all DAW companies (Steinberg, Ableton, etc) for peanuts and destroy music production on Windows if they wanted.

That constitutes monopoly and anti-competitive business practices.

"Being a monopoly" is not necessary to be in violation of US antitrust law. Merely seeking to become one via restraining trade can put you on the wrong side of the law.

But this isn't the real issue. The real issue is that the US hasn't vigorously enforced its own antitrust law in over 20 years, because a policy of "monopolies are good" was adopted in the 80s and has only gotten stronger over the years. (The Microsoft antitrust case of the 1990s was an exception.)

Well, that's exactly what we're talking about, no? Buying out all the DAW software houses would give Apple a de facto monopoly in digital audio production.

In this hypothetical world where they bought all DAW software, wouldn’t they have a monopoly on DAW software?

I don’t see how this behavior would be particularly different from John Rockefeller buying up all the means of oil production.

The hypothetical here was to become a monopoly in professional audio software tools.

> Apple could buy all DAW companies

There's also the question of how long would this work. This would stimulate windows DAW market; every software shop would want to sell the next mainstream windows DAW.

Cubase would likely gain more market share I’d bet.

FYI: Yamaha owns Steinberg and Cubase.

Not only that - the next version of Logic was due imminently, with the engineering work done.

It was at that moment that I grew a strong dislike of Apple, having been a real cheerleader for most of the Macintosh's existence.

Oh wow, I didn't know that.

I mean, that seems like a pretty shitty thing to do to an existing userbase.

I guess they could, but risk generating a lot of ill will. I'm curious how discontinuing Logic was received. Seems very risky.

Music Tech teacher here... when it was discontinued, I was working (part time) in a couple of schools who used Logic on PCs, as well as working for a few people who used it in their own studios.

In the case of one of the schools and a number of the clients, I was the one who broke the news to them - generally greeted by disbelief initially, and then once they had checked up on it, absolute fury. If the intention was to get people to buy Macs so they could keep running Logic, in most cases it backfired spectacularly, and made life-long Apple enemies of those users - many of which either stuck with their old version of Logic for a number of years, or who jumped ship to Cubase (in the case of the schools, software cost would have been dwarfed by hardware cost when you have labs of 30+ computers, let alone trying to persuade a Windows-oriented ICT department to support Macs in any way, shape or form).

No they don’t really care about getting windows users to switch, they’re playing a longer game than that. Most people will never switch their operating system. They want people who want to get into music production to buy a Mac as their first computer.

Tough (sincerely), and congrats on finding a gig that rewards you daily with passion and enthusiasm.

But at the same time, I have little sympathy for people who hate Apple for a move like this - regardless of the optics and whether it was intentional.

No one has to use a Mac, but frankly, there’s a reason why the creative crowd does. And, it’s beyond just brand image. They have a clear and complete vision for their software (which yes, breaks at the edges), but overall provides the best foundation for the markets they cater to.

Apple doesn’t want to be hamstrung by people running Windows on shoddy devices for premium software and thus exited that market. They also don’t want to make software for shoddy Android devices, so are conservative where they do.

It’s not an attack on users, but a refocus on the golden path.

I'd disagree with "the creative crowd does" - I've been doing this self-employed for just over 20 years, and I'd say the split is probably 75/25, Windows / Mac. It used to be WAY more - like 90/10 in the favour of macs, but Windows has got a LOT better - back in the day I used to have to spend the best part of a day setting a new machine up, tweaking Windows settings, etc., to get anything like a reliable setup. Now I can just install Windows 10, do a batch of settings with one app, and you're away. I know that hardware has advanced and that's a part of it, but since Windows 7, the OS is mostly out of the way, and I know plenty of people who are creating music on Windows day in day out, without any reliability issues, and they're spending the money they save on hardware (i.e. not buying a mac) on soundware that makes them sound great.

I use both - Windows DAW is my studio machine (I have a slave which runs more plugins using Vienna), and a 2015 MBP as mobile and for creating videos/images for books as everything looks better. But I'm in the minority in being cross-platform, which is odd to me.

Apple does not have a clear and complete vision for their software. They consistently break things with OS and hardware updates. Many of the developers for audio applications are extremely small teams and cannot turn around updates at the drop of a dime when Apple decides to give them little notice that they're once again breaking shit. There is no "golden path" for pro audio on a Mac and that's evident in their desktop offerings over the past decade.

> cannot turn around updates at the drop of a dime when Apple decides to give them little notice

Which audio software developers are you talking about ?

The ones that are given a chance in June each year to preview the latest OS like all other devs, but decide to turn a blind eye while most indie devs get to work and release steady updates over the summer ?

And then, when asked in September if they're gonna be ready on day 1, reply "you know, there's not even a release date for this new OS thing yet". And then, when the new OS drops in October like clockwork, e-mail their entire user base with "OMG DON'T UPGRADE ! THEY DROPPED THIS BOMB ON US, WOW, TOTALLY UNEXPECTED, HONESTLY ! We'll check this out and let you know maybe, in the meantime DON'T UPGRADE !! APPLE BROKE STUFF AGAIN, DAMN APPLE!". And then, in December or January if you're lucky (or never), finally release a compatible version. Rinse & repeat for year n+1.

Or, maybe you're talking about those audio software developers that were given "only" 2 years notice that, ELEVEN years after macOS 10.6 introduced 64-bit support, it was finally becoming mandatory in Catalina. But they still decided to wait until it was released to believe it, like rabbits in headlights. Tough...

Seriously, audio software developers are the worst. They only get away with this behavior each year because musicians are some the most conservative and risk-averse userbase you can have. If you go to forums like Gearslutz.com, you'll find people asking you in 2020 if it's now safe to upgrade to macOS Sierra, or how to downgrade a brand new MBP to 10.13 because they don't "trust" the new stuff. It's utterly depressing.

> extremely small teams

Did you just wilfully ignore that part because it doesn't fit with your diatribe?

Extremely small teams = 1 or 2 developers, that still have to be creating new software if they want income. Having to divert their energy to fixing something that Apple decided to break hurts their bottom line.

Regardless of if you think your position is correct, pro-audio users are starting to get tired of Apple's bullshit (which really only started around 10.13 onwards), and I see more and more non-Logic users willing to make the switch to Windows.

Even a larger company like Ableton is not supporting the previous version of Live in Catalina and won't release any updates for it:


The grandparent suggests that conservative users are to blame on this and that's partially true but it's not out of irrationality. If you are charging by the hour, you cannot afford any downtime. Studios run extremely lean teams and don't necessarily have a tech person on hand to fix things. If they find a configuration that works, they're going to stick to it.

Why would they update Live 9 though?

For users that do want to upgrade their operating system (and audio users are notoriously bad for staying on old versions, for reasons you already noted) there is a clear upgrade path.

I didn't ignore it, I specifically added "while most indie devs get to work and release steady updates over the summer"

Each year between June-September, I see release notes for indie software like CleanMyMac, Gemini, Hazel... with fixes and improvements for the upcoming macOS. They seem to welcome new stuff with a sense of excitement and eagerness.

In the audio world, there is an attitude of conservatism and an untold expectation that users are always several versions behind, that I haven't seen in any other field I care about.

The differences are:

- those small developers only have 1 or 2 products to update

- audio devs generally have a larger set of products

- audio devs need to keep creating new stuff, it's kind of hard to just rest on your laurels (with some exceptions) in that space

I see it from both sides of the coin: as a user it annoys me that every year my inbox gets crushed under the weight of "DON'T UPGRADE!!!1!" mail outs, and as a solo developer it's hard to update all my products AND find time to create something new. I'd rather not be one of the developers who just sunsets products because they can't be bothered to continue updating them.

Apple buying a company and axing their products for other platforms is all too common and has nothing to do with "people running Windows on shoddy devices". They kill all the projects for other platforms, strengthen theirs, and hurt users in the process. It's that simple.

More recently, Dark Sky is in the process of being killed for Android

It's more like... why would they support other platforms?

They're moving to services now, but they've always mostly been a hardware shop. The software was "just" a "feature".

> has nothing to do with "people running Windows on shoddy devices".

You don't really believe that. This is specifically the reason Microsoft introduce their flagship device: the Surface Pro... and Google introduce theirs: the Pixel.

These companies don't suck, but their licensing model causes frustrations for even them!

>Apple doesn’t want to be hamstrung by people running Windows on shoddy devices for premium software and thus exited that market.

Yea that's really not true at all especially when you can set whatever system requirements you want.

There's nothing spectacular about apple software. It's not any better or worse than windows or android software that has has the same level of investment.

Apple is doing strategic moves to create temporary one-way streets from other platforms to their own and then shut those down before others manage to take advantage. They did that with itunes in the past and they do that periodically with cheaper iphones now.

The same thing happens with software. Shut down the alternative platoforms so you either switch software or you switch platoforms.

There's nothing magical about Apple. Stop trying to justify their decisions, they are not made with your best interests in mind.

> I mean, that seems like a pretty shitty thing to do to an existing userbase.

I understand, but realistically how could Apple have done otherwise without creating existential problems for itself?

In a nutshell, the marketing stance of Apple has always been, "Our products are the best, and they're all designed to work well together, so use them exclusively and you'll be good." That's the basic value proposition of Apple (whether or not you agree).

Supporting a Windows version of Logic would have undetermined the core value proposition and strategy of Apple. Apple, for better or worse, offers an integrated solution, using both hardware and software that it controls.

One advantage of Apple's integrated, focused approach is that it potentially allows for better and less costly quality control and testing than supporting every OS and every piece of hardware on the market.

> I mean, that seems like a pretty shitty thing to do to an existing userbase.

So... DarkSky for Android?

It was clear back then that they didn't want Logic in order to improve it, as being evidenced here by with this hodgepodge of 'catchup' features.

Tbh, I'm surprised they hadn't dropped the product already.

> "(So it's certainly not about any profit from the software directly, and it's also not just a marketing 'halo'.)"

along these lines and in the absence of other evidence, in these kinds of peripheral situations it's always a good guess that the peripheral product supports the profits of the parent product, and it's value shows up not only in it's own profits but in the parent products' as well, that it's a flanking product meant to protect the primary.

Furthermore DAW are very, very loyal and hesitant to jump ship. I'd bet that for many Logic users being able to keep using their DAW of choice is reason enough to never even consider a diffeent OS / platform.

On a sidenote it has to be mentioned that Logic is just incredible value. I'm an Ableton Live user myself and love it, but the amount of content and the quality of the instruments/effects/tools you get with Logic for such a reasonable price without being expected to pay for an update is unmatched among competing DAWs.

>The whole point is awesome software that works only on Macs.

And that is why I will never go back to Mac.

There is also awesome software only available for Windows, so I guess you can’t use that either. And there is awesome software only available for Linux, so that’s off the table too.

You missed my point because I wasn't very clear. Apple is actively trying to lock users into its ecosystem, and a few years ago I discovered how hard it was to switch.

I have found that the time invested in learning how to use a tool is far more valuable than having a tool with a few more features. So with that in mind, I choose to invest my time and money learning how to use open source tools.

I would much rather be an expert in an open source tool rather than some tool that only runs in Apples ecosystem. (Just in case one day I can't use Apple hardware for whatever reason.)

Krita is tops. Blender is awesome. Inkscape is getting there.

That's reading too much into the lines. Apple wanted to guarantee that a central piece of software for Mac's marketing success was under their control. Maintaining a Windows version of that software adds no value to Apple's users, so they stopped developing it.

From there to "Apple bought Logic to lock people to Macs" there is a huge leap of faith. The majority of Mac uses do not use Logic, so if their goal was to lock their users to their ecosystem, this move makes no sense.

Also, there are good and often better alternatives to Logic, including Cubase, which work on all major platforms. So if you don't want to move to a Mac from Windows or Linux for the next Logic version, you have many good options.

You missed MY point. If you rely on ANY software which is only available on Windows—whether it's published by Microsoft or say BandLab—you are locked into Windows just as surely as Apple software locks you to MacOS.

Your rationale is valid for avoiding Logic Pro, but not MacOS.

I agree about open source, of course.

Yes, I was agreeing with you, Windows only software _is_ off the table for me. Especially if a "nearly as good" open source alternative that doesn't lock me in to an OS is available.

Because one day, for other reasons, I might be "forced" to switch back to Mac and I will want to take my tools with me.

I was responding to you saying:

> And that is why I will never go back to Mac.

It seems like you've changed your perspective.

I will never "voluntarily" go back to mac because I think Apple does actively try and lock people into the ecosystem.

Update To clarify: because I don't want to pay a premium for a computer where I am running tools that work well or better on other machines.

Makes sense to me, but.. I don't know, maybe its not logical. I ran Macs as my primary machine for 10 years. Now I have a different perspective and don't want to go back.

The premium cost part is interesting. When my labour might be worth something in excess of $100k per year to the right corporation, for me to spend an extra $300 per year* on whatever I consider to be higher quality or even just preferred tools is for me the height of triviality.

* Remember that most people only replace their workstations every 3-4 years. So I'm assuming that the Mac could have an "Apple Tax" of over $1,000. Of course most of their machines are a lot more competitively priced than that.

Ahh see, for me the tools are _not_ preferred. (as discussed above I prefer to invest time learning portable tools) and I don't consider the quality to be better, so its just burning $300. I'd rather give it to my kids as pocket money. Or give it to a homeless person. Or literately do anything with it other than give it to Apple.

Looks like they'll be stuck doing all their computing on a windows phone -- there's no awesome software on that.

I can't think of any awesome software that only runs on Linux. I can think of a couple examples of not-awesome software (systemd and wayland come to mind). What do you have in mind?

Edit: Maybe WireGuard? But that's kind of niche.

If you qualify "running" to mean "I can run that executable somehow" then sure. I can use virtual machines and emulation to run anything anywhere.

If you qualify "running" to mean "runs well in an environment the developers will support", there is a lot of software that is only available for Linux.

Such as? Most software that runs on Linux runs on BSD and WSL as well.

> The day that every single program creatives use runs as Windows as well as Macs, is the day it becomes a lot harder for a lot of people to justify buying a Mac. It's that simple.

As long as Macs are the best way to escape from Windows, people are going to buy Macs. It's that simple.

As a counterpoint: Capture One is not a direct Photoshop competitor, yet it became very popular among photographers.

It's a direct Lightroom competitor.

It doesn't really make much sense from a $ perspective and really only serves as a lesser (and rapidly diminishing) halo effect for the rest of the brand. Logic is one of those programs that keeps people on Macs. I'm sure I don't need to explain this to a Logic owner but audio engineering and production was strictly a Mac-only affair in the past and that has rapidly changed over the past decade. Macs have gotten increasingly difficult to work with due to constant OS updates breaking everything and have only gotten more expensive with less options for actual professional users who need real I/Os. Keeping Logic fresh is important to keep people from switching as everything else they do on a more macro level is pushing people in that direction.

Someone somewhere in Apple decided that holding onto this market was worth it for probably solely the halo effect. I can't think of any other reason and makes no sense from a strictly financial perspective.

> I'm sure I don't need to explain this to a Logic owner but audio engineering and production was strictly a Mac-only affair in the past and that has rapidly changed over the past decade.

Strictly? Not at all. The crown was lost a lot earlier - around the time that digidesign started offering non-hardware versions, and for the same reasons.

Sure, probably a bit earlier but the vast majority of [i]real professionals[/i] were stuck with Macs. Pro Tools M-Powered for example had to have been a minuscule portion of overall Pro Tools market and people still used that on Macs. Not having a real desktop solution for a long period of time was the last nail for a good portion of users.

It wasn't people following Protools: it was Protools chasing the chasing markets that had already started to leave.

Avid is not exactly known for their strategic vision. And talk about wringing customers for every possible penny too.

I agree with you wholeheartedly on the halo effect point. Without Logic and Final Cut, there’s no reason to not run Protools and Adobe Suite on a cheaper PC workstation.

I’m curious about your statement that professional-grade audio software had historically been a Mac-only affair. Is that really true? I was using some pretty serious audio production software in Windows as early as 2003. What kinds of software were Mac-only at that point?

As another reply took issue with, strictly was probably a bit overstated. Software support was a secondary issue vs hardware support. You simply did not have Windows drivers for many of the top audio interfaces or you had major stability issues that vendors would blame on Windows. Macs were really plug and play hardware-wise and putting together properly specced PCs to run hardware on a stable basis really made the cost of advantage of a PC questionable.

I've never been in a pro audio studio that runs a windows machine and I've been in more than a few over the past 20 years.

Don't forget the midi equipped Atari ST! A lot of musicians used that for years even after Apple became dominant in music.

Separately it is great that Apple only charge 200 bucks for such sophisticated software

Especially given it used to cost well above $500.

> That's plausible but AVID Pro Tools is even more prestigious than Logic and AVID's market cap is only $250 million[0].

In no universe is Pro Tools more prestigious than any of its competition.

I think Pro Tools is viewed as The Thing That All Studio PHB Managers Purchased At Some Point So It's Reasonable For Studio Techs to Be Trained For. Kind of the "nobody ever got fired for picking IBM" of the music industry. In my opinion, AVID does not have a reputation for making innovative products. See what happened when they acquired Sibelius (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKx1wnXClcI).

My limited experience with the industry suggests that Ableton, Bitwig, and Logic are the Cool Tools for Producing Music, that Cubase (Steinberg) is particularly popular with composers, that FL Studio is the cool low-cost leader among students, and that Reason is The Outsider. Notice which software is not in this list.

There’s also the legacy of pro tools and logic.

For many years pro tools was the only game in town for serious non-linear audio editing, and did not support midi at all.

Around the same time period Logic was the only game in town for serious midi work and didn’t support audio at all.

> My limited experience with the industry suggests that Ableton, Bitwig, and Logic are the Cool Tools for Producing Music, that Cubase (Steinberg) is particularly popular with composers, that FL Studio is the cool low-cost leader among students, and that Reason is The Outsider. Notice which software is not in this list.

I wonder where a modern tracker such as Renoise fits in. This one even works on Linux.

Pro Tools is seen as the serious tool while the other DAWs you mention are toys for electronic music producers

They're different product categories entirely these days. The other DAWs aren't "toys" and in fact do a lot of things significantly better than Pro Tools.

Pro Tools as a product only makes sense at scale, with multiple people in the workflow in different locations. Same story for Media Composer compared to other NLEs.

I know they aren't "toys" but when I tell the Ableton crowd I use Pro Tools the common response is what one of respect for using more professional tools. I know it's mostly perception at this stage however this is from people who've been releasing music and touring with large crowds.

Pro Tools has brand recognition amongst non audio engineers and inertia of older engineers who can't be bothered to switch, but no-one actually likes it. Nuendo, Sequoia and SADiE are the Serious Professional options, while Reaper enjoys a growing cult following.

I like it. All the other stuff makes the music for me. I feel way more in control on Pro Tools. I make what's in my head and not what the software funnels me into.

20 years ago maybe.

I don't know if you've noticed, but there's hardly any music that isn't electronic these days.

> I don't know if you've noticed, but there's hardly any music that isn't electronic these days.

That's true, but you can hardly say the same thing about synths, which seems to be the salient detail.

Came here to ask the same question and so far none of the answer seems convincing to me. It would have made a little more sense if they had released this update as Logic Pro 11 and charges some upgrade fees. Instead it is free. To put it into perspective, Logic Pro X user has been getting free update for nearly 7 years running!

I think one possible reason / theory is that the resource allocated to Logic is so small ( by today's Apple standard ) none of the management bother about it, and it is not running in direct competition to any of their own Apps ( Aperture with Photos ) or their close allies's ( Adobe ). So the name Logic dont even pops up into management radar and the team decide to keep working on it.

And compared to Final Cut Pro or Aperture against its competitors, I think Logic is doing very well for musicians in many professional market. ( And they are the ones willing to buy Mac Pro https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNrG2mwt4Uo. And in the later video, turns out literally most of his audio kits are ridiculously expensive. And Mac Pro isn't even considered expensive at all. )

So Logic is a "paid feature" and not really software. The product is the hardware, the feature is that you can buy Logic.

>the resource allocated to Logic is so small ( by today's Apple standard ) none of the management bother about it

I'm not really buying that because they've killed plenty of other things which would also be tiny investments in the grand scheme of Apple. Aperture, Shake and Motion come to mind.

Find it very strange they updated it at this point and really starting to wonder if the reason it still exists isn't something as stupid as by having an offering in the pro-audio space it gives executives more excuse to hang around with famous musicians. I mean it's pretty obvious Cook is celebrity obsessed.

> Aperture, Shake and Motion come to mind.

Motion has had continuous updates nearly every time FCP has. They updated it a few months ago. [0]

[0] https://www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/motion/

I don't think any of those pieces of software were in a position like Logic. Audio is a bit of a different beast.

You swap out Final Cut with DaVinci Resolve or Adobe Premiere and you're going to have to relearn workflows and keyboard shortcuts, but it's not going to be radically different. You still start by creating audio and video first, and then cutting it all up and putting it back together in your video editing program.

Same with photo software like Aperture or Lightroom. You go out and create photos first, and then you come back and edit and arrange them. Most of what you do is just going to be the same kind of changes, like cropping, adjusting curves, etc.

Logic is different. You might be using Logic from the very first moment when you're writing a song. You might open Logic first, before you even have an idea for your song. It's like a musical instrument, in the sense that it has unique sounds and textures that you can get used to.

>It's like a musical instrument, in the sense that it has unique sounds and textures that you can get used to.

All creative software that outputs the level of complexity of a song, video or image is like this. Each has their own algorithms and quirks that end up in the final work in some way. There is nothing uniquely romantic about Logic vs other creative tools.

Plenty of us start the project off right there in the software the project is finished in.

> All creative software that outputs the level of complexity of a song, video or image is like this. Each has their own algorithms and quirks that end up in the final work in some way. There is nothing uniquely romantic about Logic vs other creative tools.

This has nothing to do with algorithms or quirks. This is about different sounds, the different UX for performance, and the different tools for creating sounds. Whether or not you care about this depends on how you use the software, but many people actually do care about this.

You can, of course, use Logic as a simple DAW to record a song that’s already been written. Write your song, come into the studio, fire up Logic and hit record. It’s more or less interchangeable with other respectable DAWs like Reaper when you use it like this. You might notice some differences between the EQ, compressors, reverb, or other plugins. Most people don’t care.

But Logic also comes with a huge library of sounds and presents a particular interface for sound design and performance that isn’t interchangeable with other DAWs. Compare it to something like Ableton or Reason and you’ll get the picture that different people are using their DAWs in radically different ways at the songwriting stage.

> Plenty of us start the project off right there in the software the project is finished in.

Not for Aperture, Final Cut, Shake, or Motion. At least, not in general. Those are the pieces of software I’m talking obut.

Hm...I wonder whether this could also be an effect of a special case of company culture legacy - with the eMagic-based Logic/Core Audio team very much retained as a unit in Rellingen, Germany and co-founder Lengerling being Sr. Director in Cupertino.

Don't worry, Apple gets their money back on the hardware.


The reason Apple keeps Logic is they generally have a strategy of trickling down features from big pro apps to smaller consumer apps. Logic -> GarageBand, Final Cut -> iMovie, Xcode -> Swift Playgrounds.

The AVID idea doesn’t make much sense as Logic and Final Cut are already integrated into their product lines. I think there’s a certain amount of truth to the brand prestige argument, but I think the more important point is that these capabilities are actually core to Apple's product strategy, they just manifest themselves in unintuitive ways. E.g., Apple's AUv3 strategy would never have worked without GarageBand and GarageBand is Logic.

In this case, many of the features appear to be improvements upon features originally introduced in Garageband iOS, so the features are trickling backwards consumer -> pro.

My guess is that Apple knows a lot of people need to keep on buying macs to use Logic and Final Cut.

Look at the price of Logic compared to other DAWs. Apple is almost giving it away for free. It only costs $200 but in contrast comparable DAWs cost many times that. Ableton Live Suite costs $750. Nuendo costs $1000. Etc.

AFAIK Aperture never had such a hardcore following and didn't offer such a unique product. The photography market is clearly dominated by Adobe anyway.

> AFAIK Aperture never had such a hardcore following and didn't offer such a unique product. The photography market is clearly dominated by Adobe anyway.

At the time, sure - but none of my friends and contacts who do part-time and professional photography have anything good to say about Adobe Lightroom - the move to Lightroom CC left a bad taste in everyone's mouth, as have the many Cloud-related SNAFUs (apparently a couple of years ago Adobe screwed-up Lightroom's non-destructive edit files and caused a load of people to lose all their Lightroom work - and times when people are unable to authenticate with Adobe so they can't even open the program). Apple would be on to a sure-winner by re-launching Aperture, especially if they give it the visual indexing features present in Apple's existing photo-management products.

> Apple would be on to a sure-winner by re-launching Aperture

In my limited experience, products whose main differentiating factor is being "not the other guy" usually generate a ton of hype, but end up flopping.

Wasn’t that the basis of Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign though?

Right - you have to have a better product, but Lightroom isn’t Photoshop (i.e. it isn’t impossible to compete with) and Aperture’s codebase already exists. Apple could divert the profits from a single day’s worth of iPhone sales into an endowment for Aperture to keep a halo-effect on their Mac hardware.

I have switched to Capture One, which is overly expensive and has less-intelligent defaults, but I can also buy a perpetual license.

I agree - at $200 Logic is a great value.

After considering Ableton's high prices and competition from Bitwig, I haven't been enthusiastic about paying for a Live Suite upgrade.

Bitwig 400$, expensive, but closer to the goal and it seems that it provides more content.

Bitwig is amazing, specially now with The Grid.

But it's still the underdog. If it becomes more popular I'm sure the price will go up at some point.

I wouldn't really compare the two. They target much different markets.

True, and neither is Ableton Live, but look at all the new features in Logic blatantly copied from Live.

It's definitely a good way to branch out on their current user base and probably makes a lot more sense for people starting out to buy Logic than base Ableton. Ableton Suite just doesn't seem like a great value vs Logic unless you absolutely need something in Ableton.

The value of Live is in the workflow which is very different from Logic or any other classic DAWs. It's much more creative and streamlined. The Suite version includes Max which opens up the creative possibilities way beyond anything Logic can do.

Of course this is only attractive to a smaller part of the DAW market. People working in recording, mixing and mastering will not find any value in those things.

Also people working in media composing have tended to prefer Cubase or Logic because the arrangement view in Live was pretty bad up to version 10.

I know how Live works, I've owned it for way too long now. I'm talking in relation to features Logic has lifted from Live, if you are just starting out and don't really know what's going on, it's a very hard ask to spend double on base Ableton (3x? for Suite) vs Logic especially when Logic comes with more stuff.

OTOH you need to have a mac and there are cheaper Live versions to get you started.

Also if you buy a midi controller in many cases you get a free version of Live which is plenty for people getting started.

Yeah, I'm thinking of the person who either fell for the Mac propaganda or already had one. There still is a sizable advantage to knowing that things will probably work out the box on a Mac laptop vs random PC laptop but the price gap is unreal. Live Intro is definitely enough for most people to get a feel for things.

> So not sure what Logic does for Apple that AVID Pro Tools doesn't.

Logic (besides being one of my favorite DAWs, supporting poly pressure and MPE, etc.) also forms the basis for GarageBand (and MainStage, which I also like.)

GarageBand is a fantastic and widely used program; personally I consider it a "killer app" that makes iPads (and iPhones and Macs) incredibly useful in music education, recording, and performance. The live loops view actually showed up on iOS GarageBand before being added to Logic.

Other responses have made great points about why it's worth something, but I'll take another tack:

I don't think it costs Apple much to do this.

How much does it cost to keep Logic around? There's engineering/product/design costs, marketing, and training/selling costs in store. The training probably pays for itself and not many staff at Apple Stores are trained anyway. There's very little marketing, so it's entirely possible there is no dedicated marketing resource for Logic.

As for the product/engineering/design, it's well known that Apple is pretty lean on these sorts of things and often has far smaller teams than outsiders expect. I could see this easily being no more than a team of 5 at this point, maybe less. It obviously took a lot more to get it to this point, but with very few features over the last ~5 years, it's possible that it's been iterated enough to just be easy to maintain in its current form (assuming no major changes).

All in maintenance team budget could be <$2m/year (not including store training in this). Apple probably spent that on door handles in the new HQ, and I can see Logic being as important a "halo" project as the HQ door handles.

> As for the product/engineering/design, it's well known that Apple is pretty lean on these sorts of things and often has far smaller teams than outsiders expect. I could see this easily being no more than a team of 5 at this point, maybe less.

You are wrong by several orders of magnitude.

I could well be, but do you have any more information/hypotheses about why they need 50-500 people working on Logic?

It’s great for their brand. Apple has always used musicians to brand itself as a creative brand.

Musicians are way more visible as creatives than photographers. Becoming a rock star is a thing, becoming a rock star photographer is... uhm... yeah well no, not the same as a real rock star.

> Becoming a rock star is a thing

Not really in 2020.

It's the perception. It might not be "rock" star anymore, but genericised "music superstar", yes.

Like many other things involved in this decision, it's the perception that matters, not facts.

> It might not be "rock" star anymore

That's the point, the "rock" stars aren't making any money in the industry like other pop acts anymore - they're mostly doing their own thing on Patreon and streaming on Twitch.

If they're recording music, they can certainly still use Logic to do it, and Apple wants to give them reasons to keep doing so. It's hard not to notice that Apple has been courting YouTubers really heavily over the last few years.

It's not about whether they make money.

It's about whether the end result is that the brand gets associated with the idea of "cool creative".

It's a common theme in many areas of Apple after Jobs return, including the whole Apple Store design.

Yeah, it's all about that neo-soul, 90's R&B rebirth jazz fusion wave that we're blessed to be riding.

Look at someone like Billie Eilish and her Apple Music-exlusive content. Obviously not literally "rock", but becoming a global star is still very much a thing.

In this Rolling Stone video she and her brother walk through how they made "Bad Guy," I don't know audio software enough to know if this is Logic but I'm sure a Logic users would recognize it in some of the shots if so:



correction! rolling stone not nytimes. edit

yeah, Finneas uses Logic Pro

Billie Eilish is our Lennon, Elon Musk is our Tesla and Donald Trump is our JFK.

What a mess we are in culturally.

Lennon, Tesla, and JFK were deeply flawed human beings living in a different time, with far less media coverage than today. I suspect your view of the past may be unfairly rosy due to the effects of time.

Billie Eilish is simply the current incarnation of the "breathy misfit 'poet' girl singer" that comes around over and over and over and over. And then disappears.

I hope she makes an enormous amount of money while she's popular and has a smart enough brain to bank it for when she is not.

This is, of course, the far-too-common "appeal to antiquity" fallacy.

Just wait until January when Elon replaces Trump in the Oval Office.

Anecdotally — I have a lot of friends and colleagues in the music industry — I wouldn’t say Pro Tools is more prestigious. It seems pretty split on people’s preferences and old habits die hard, but a LOT of top composers and producers use Logic.

Avid has pissed off a lot of users by being greedy while not providing a reliable product.

PT was pretty much the industry standard ten years ago, but since then there's been a lot of churn to other DAWs - primarily Logic and Cubase, although a lot of dance/rap newcomers use Live and FL Studio.

Bottom line is the resources Apple needs to devote to its media products are barely a rounding error, and the rewards are increased traction with professionals and a few extra hardware sales, especially at the high end.

It's a conservative strategy, and not a terrible one.

The disappointing part is that it could have been part of a consistent product plan ten years ago. Now there's always the worry that Apple will lose interest again for another 5-10 years.

This is just my random thoughts, but it would seem like Apple learned a lesson with the Mac Pro that they're not looking to repeat. The other advantage of creating high-end tools in-house is that it moves hardware, which remains a huge part of Apple's bottom line.

It's the same reason Apple invests so heavily in Pages, Keynote and Numbers (all free apps on three different platforms). They believe that building software internally (taking hardware into account) leads to a better user experience, and sparks an intangible 'joy' when using their products--a sense of completeness that transcends software and hardware. This was the core of Jobs' philosophy and I think still drives the entire company.

Apple invests heavily in iWork? That's news to me. Occasionally it'll see a couple new features (it's gotten better at that recently) but there was a long period between 2009 and 2017 or so that it was just worse than the iWork suite it replaced.

You're right--'heavily' relative to their purchase price ($0).

> Anybody have any thoughts on what Logic does for Apple that Aperture didn't?

I'm not familiar with Aperture. According to Wikipedia it and iPhotos were abandoned to the benefit of Photos. Not knowing why Apple made this choice, I don't know if doing something equivalent with Logic would make sense.

I do know Logic. It's a well respected DAW and some musicians do buy a Mac just to be able to use Logic. Also, DAWs take a long time term to learn well, so when the time comes for a Logic user to upgrade or replace an old machine, they'll probably buy a new Mac. (More convenient, less hassle.) All this of course helps Mac sales.

And while Mac sales might not be much these days compared to iPhone and iPad sales, the margins on Macs are still high, so why shouldn't Apple continue to sell Macs?

> I do know Logic. It's a well respected DAW and some musicians do buy a Mac just to be able to use Logic.

I think you just hit on the test Apple has historically used to decide which pro software to continue developing and which to discontinue.

Logic and Final Cut are both decades-old industry standards that demonstrably sell Mac hardware. Aperture, though? It was too new to have the installed base of either. It debuted around the same time as Lightroom, and as competitive as it may have been, I have a hard time imagining a Windows user in the 2000s specifically eyeing it as a reason to switch to Mac.

It's interesting to see so much commentary (on HN and elsewhere) about Apple having lost its way with "pro" users from a hardware perspective (touchbar, butterfly mechanism, lack of a desktop tower)... But not see this as its attempt to avoid the same criticism from a software perspective.

I suspect they continue to invest (at least some) into their "pro" software because they have a loyal user-base that they don't want to tick off in the same way they did with their hardware business.

The Windows port was discontinued the same day Emagic was sold to Apple.

I always assumed that the goal was to strengthen the Apple brand and signal that it's a more suitable system for creative work.

It is simple, it continues to keep professional people with large budgets on the Mac. These creative people are often influential to others (an example of this is a music artist I follow on Instagram who basically constantly posts their mobile studio setup that involves a MacBook Pro - free advertising of the most valuable type, organic).

Compare Logic’s cost with a $800/year ProTools subscription and suddenly you might not really mind the fact that the SSD in your new Mac is overpriced. With that price difference it would be illogical to ever move to software that can run on Windows.

When Apple vs. PC wars first started, PC won because of software. It’s a lesson Steve learned which is probably still guides their thinking. This is why there is numbers, keynotes, Pages, etc.

Apple still wants to empower the creative community with Finalcut Logic. To ensure if you’re a creator there is a software to support you on the Mac platform.

I'd think it must be to sell laptops, not to sell Logic.

Now, do they need to do this to sell laptops, does it actually sell significant laptops, are there more people that buy a Mac laptop for Logic than who bought or would have a Mac laptop for Aperture? I dunno. It's also possible they miscalculated with Aperture. Or may be miscalculating now with Logic. Apple can make mistakes or behave irrationally too.

But it's gotta be to sell laptops. (Which is consistent with not charging for the upgrade; it's not about revenue from the software at all). And there are definitely at least some people buying a Mac laptop for Logic. (In a world with decreasing laptop sales in general, as many move phone/tablet only).

Now, with what you say about iPhones... I keep worrying that Apple will decide they don't really care about selling laptops after all someday...

I agree with this and it makes me chuckle to think about how much Google has distorted outer world view. A tech company isn’t nuking their legacy software!? I’m shocked!

I think killing off Aperture was as much a strategic focusing move as anything else. Prior to developing the current Photos app (Mac and iOS share a codebase), Apple was developing and maintaining Mac iPhotos, iOS iPhotos, Aperture and the old iOS Photos app (Pictures? I don’t even remember).

Reducing it all to one cross platform codebase allowed them to make the bundled app a bit more full featured, double down on a few headline mass market features like photos sync and theoretically add more features that are missing from Aperture over time. That said, they’ll probably never duplicate it all, probably don’t want to duplicate it all and they seem to have focused more of their photography effort on iPhone computational photography. Not to mention when Aperture was first released, Pixelmator, Acorn and Lightroom didn’t exist (on the market at least) yet.

Contrast with Logic where there still isn’t a lot like it and part of how you get to be a billion dollar business is by maintaining those hundred million dollar businesses. There’s a lot more YouTubers, DJs and Podcasters out there now, not just musicians and one thing they all have in common is they’re all dealing with audio production.

Apple doesn’t sell a service for 10.99/month to look at the photos you and others edited. They sell a service for you to listen to the music you made on software you already paid to license. Logic is also used as a front end like abelton/fl studio before a finishing software like protools is used for mixing in final workflows in my experience. Major label recordings are filled with sounds made in logic, sequenced in abelton, mixed in protools then finished in sequoia or something else. Apple has a bad rep for not supporting creative professionals, but they support when it benefits them like every other business. Logic has massive professional marketshare, it would be like Crescent stopping production on adjustable wrenches, because craftsman makes them anyway and it isn’t really making a dent in the bottom line. It’s one of the archetypal UX of a DAW and the expectation of good sounding stock instruments kinda came from them. I also hate when I have to use logic and would love if it went away, but that ain’t happening!!

I wonder if Apple discontinued aperture because the number of potential users is so high? Everyone who buys an iPhone is a photographer, and their consumer solution for them is the photos app. They want to dumb everything down and make it more streamlined, so all your photos just sync via the photos app to icloud and there’s no work involved like cataloging or organizing. You can make all your basic exposure and color edits right in the camera or photos app.

Positioning aperture alongside final cut and logic, as the power tool for cool creative professionals, would confuse that because of how big photography is for the iPhone.

Edit: also come to think of it, aperture was almost exclusively a tool for managing your photos shot on a dslr. Apple just wants everything to be “shot on iPhone” now so you shouldn’t need that type of legacy workflow.

For decades creatives and even non-creatives were able to be convinced that "Macs were better for audio, video, photography" without any analysis of benchmarks, hardware differences, performance.

This thought pattern transcended the PowerPC processor, to the off-the-shelf Intel processors that the competitors used, to the ARM processors the mobile devices used.

Apple continuing that perception with at least software updates can continue to cement their hegemony amongst the minds of people.

They're also good machines without the fluff! But merely showing support for that perception can help retain the premium pricing when even artists across the entire socioeconomic spectrum (heavily weighted to one side) will still prioritize getting Apple devices over other expenses, or at least aspire to and talk about those dreams.

In my experience, musicians and other creative types care first and formost about getting results. So that means they need a toolchain that is flexible and rich enough to yield great results. Performance is a factor there, inasmuch as it constrains results.

The toolchain part is pretty broad: this includes OS services (audio routing!), outboard hardware, DAWs and video editors, and third party plugins.

When comparing macOS vs. Windows for audio, macOS wins for most people on those axes. Apple wins on OS services (audio routing is super annoying on windows) and on outboard hardware (USB3 works okay, but Thunderbolt is better, and it's a pain to get configured on a Windows machine). DAWs is mostly a wash with the exception of Logic, and third party plugins is a total wash.

Even given that, Logic plays a strategic role in that ecosystem for Apple. As the more expensive option, Apple always runs the risk of being the secondary platform for application authors. Without Logic, other DAW vendors could be free to neglect their offerings on Mac. That ecosystem is healthy right now, but Logic is a key hedge.

Oh, and lock-in is a big thing, too. Logic users may be a minority, but they're firmly locked into the Mac in a way that Reaper users aren't.

Video is different. Many video creatives have made the switch to windows. There were two key reasons they have jumped:

1. Hardware. The Mac Pro was neglected for years, and third party graphics card support has always been better on Windows. Performance isn't paramount, but it does matter.

2. Final Cut Pro X. This completely changed the editing model from under a lot of pros, requiring them to completely rethink their workflows. Since this happened at the same time that hardware support was really bad, a lot of pros thought, "Well, if I'm going to have to rethink my workflow anyway..." It loosened lock-in at a time when the other parts of the platform were pretty weak.

I'd be curious to see what OS audio routing support you're talking about. Maybe I'm just done, but I've not seen anything with the capabilities of voicemeter for Windows or Pulse or JACK for Linux.

Specifically I'd like to have application A and B play to speakers, and have an output I can record that has application A and my microphone, without sending application B to that output or my microphone to my speakers.

At least to me, this is what "audio routing" implies, so it'd be great if this feature was there and I'd just missed it.

Simple stuff works out of the box in the OS for most flows; Soundflower (as mentioned elsewhere) gets you the rest of the way.

macOS also has the capability to create an aggregate audio device from multiple devices. That's a pretty niche scenario, but I used it and I haven't been able to get something like that working on Windows at all. The fix was to shell out more $$$ to expand the inputs on my interface.

It's not in the OS - deliberately, because being able to record an audio stream you're playing makes it easy to copy.

But you can pay money for apps that make it happen, and you can also Homebrew free options like BlackHole. (SoundFlower used to do this, but the more recent MacOS security updates seem to have nuked it.)

I recently performed research to find a solution to this. After evaluating various free apps, etc, I actually landed on Loopback. I have been using it for the past several weeks to do stuff like: “Record the audio from my headphone mic, Facetime audio from another person, and the audio output of my browser” or “I want to to share the output of Ableton Live to the input to Google Meet” etc. Check it out (it does cost $, but actually seems to be a very quality product, and fairly easy to use). Best of luck!


You can route the audio with soundflower

Maybe if you install software like Voicemeter on Windows it's tolerable, but the experience of doing simple audio stuff on Windows still frustrates me in 2020. It's way too common that I see some application that has exclusive use of a device which means that everything else is going to be silent. JACK is great by itself, but it's one good piece of software in the giant mess that is Linux audio.

On the Mac, you want something like Logic to run, you just go into the Logic preferences, set the output device and the buffer size. You get the low latency you want and other apps are free to use the same device as well. It's the only platform where I consistently get both "all the apps just work without messing with it" and "the pro apps have low latency".

If you want desktop audio recording you can install iShowU or one of the others.

For things that require stability, Microsoft has an advantage because they have needed to support things for a long time. You can still run a supported version of IE 11. Apple is mercurial and increasingly disruptive with updates.

As Windows 10 leads us to the subscription based computer that exists to apply updates as a primary function, that distinction may disappear.

It really is incredible how badly Apple screwed up video.

Have you ever actually compared audio capabilities of Windows with macOS? (Or Android with iOS?) There's more to a computer than the clock speed of its processor.

You have the stage, why won't you expand on your point a little.

If I may jump in: One of the more critical issues with real-time audio processing on CPUs (as opposed to DSPs) is latency. And Core Audio in both, MacOS and iOS, is particularly good in this regard compared to the equivalent structures in Windows and Android (and probably also Linux).

It's an older paper, but the general direction still holds up today:


I'll tell you this much - if there were a good alternative to Logic that ran on Linux, I'd stop buying MacBook Pros. But I can't adjust to any other workflow, so I bought a new MacBook this year.

Bitwig isn’t bad. I know a couple people using it on Linux that have good things to say.

It seems with live loops a change in workflow is coming to you

Taking a step back from objective pros and cons or other traits of individual DAWs, the fact that so _many_ producers and YouTube stars use Logic suggests its' value. This more from a populism standpoint, but there is assurance that a great crowd of users could help a single user when an issue arises.

This is like the metrics SW engineers keep tabs on for language popularity. More questions in Stack Overflow and number of lines registered in GitHub suggest a language's value separate from, but suggestive of, objective traits.

With logic Pro, the money is not made in the software, but in hardware. Users of Logic Pro will buy thousands of dollars of Apple hardware to support music creation with the software.

Aperture did not have a monthly subscription that's why it was dropped.

Photos has a monthly subscription and Music has one, that's why those were kept.

News has a subscription.

They are working on Chess and Dictionary to get subscriptions too. But if you open the about menu, you'll see these have been updated in 15+ years, so it has not been much of a cost to maintain those.

The answer to the Aperture question is easy: Apple decided those are more popular features and largely rolled those features into Photos.app. Even Adobe generally agrees, Lightroom CC is more of a competitor for Photos.app (both are entirely cloud-based) than Lightroom Classic (which is focused on the offline features that professionals generally need).

Photos in no way requires any cloud connection.

I own Logic, so I too and happy about the updates. I use Logic every day and since my preference is making music, I don't really have any reason to want to spend the time to learn another DAW.

So, by keeping Logic reasonably up-to-date compared to other DAWs, Apple retains my Mac loyalty. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

In addition to what others have mentioned, it is also the step up from their free and cross platform Garage Band application. It is an easy way to build lock-in on those stepping up from novice/hobby users into a professional daw without losing control of the soft-synth voice control from one platform to the next.

Logic is not just a step up from GarageBand, GarageBand is Logic re-skinned, if you use GarageBand and import into Logic, you can see how all the simpler instruments in GarageBand were created by configuring the more complex Logic instruments. Logic is probably integral to GarageBand not just as being the same code base, but as the creative tool in which the GarageBand instruments are designed and prototyped.

I'm sure the thinking is similar to this:


The stock photos with the monitor, iMac Pro, iPad Pro, and iPhone 11 easily contain $15k worth of Apple products. If this $200 software can attract people with that budget, it's a win for them. Unlike much programming, audio and video production seems to still need powerful local computers.

> People have been speculating this possible acquisition for years but I don't think it will happen. So not sure what Logic does for Apple that AVID Pro Tools doesn't.

Might be a little ot. But Apple did actually acquired many top visionaries and developers from Avid to Logic team many years ago.

Is it possible they keep it around as a pet project for developers whom they wish to keep on staff?

Doubtful since there’s never really a shortage of things to work on

There might be a shortage of cool fun things to work on though.

Thinking about a Mac Pro market I came to the conclusion [1] it might be for the audio market. If this is true I can imagine that Logic is still important for Apple.

[1] Lack of Nvidia support means 3D/CAD and video/FX users will choose other brands.

Maybe a mix of marketing value and organizational inertia? Music software allows you to do the famous musician uses Mac sell which Aperture does not. People probably can name you their favorite musician but not so much photographer.

1 - It makes money.

2 - The team is in place, and they are good at it.

3 - They bring internal feedback about latency, driver reliability etc, that makes the platform an excellent one for artists

4 - It is exclusive - so why get Windows when you can get more options on Mac?

> I can't understand its strategic value to today's Apple

I've long had the same question about Claris. At least Logic fits in to Apple's brand thesis; FileMaker would make way more sense at Microsoft or Oracle.

Teach a person how to make a song and they might buy your hardware.

Teach a person how to make a song in Logic Pro X and they must buy your hardware. (so that their workflow doesn't get impacted)

Logic is better than ProTools (not encumbered by legacy implementation). It is also the basis for GarageBand on Mac and iOS.

I don't ask questions; I just gratefully take the cheap Logic updates as they come!

I think without knowing how much it costs Apple to maintain and update Logic it's hard to know. How do I way value versus cost without knowing costs? As far as Logic vs Avid; Logic locks a user into the Apple ecosystem, that is one difference.

If you don’t think Avid / Pro Tools relies / relied on lock-in as much as Apple you weren’t paying attention. It was tied to hardware dsp boxes and iLok dongles for a long time.

Pro tools first big “unlocking” came when they bought m-audio and then would allow a crippled version of PT to run if you owned certain m-audio hardware.

That's not what I meant. The question was asking what does Logic do _for Apple_ specifically. Logic is Apple only, that's the difference I was referring to.

Selling the super high end Mac pros into the audio industry probably

One thing that’s always been very important to Apple’s marketing is the sense that the coolest people in the world use Macs. The positioning has always been “Well that CEO has a PC but that artist with a lot of sexual partners uses a Mac.”

Logic is part of the portfolio to preserve that image by having as many musicians as possible using Apple hardware and software.

Once the DJs start using Windows, they'll stop buying iPhones, and once the DJs stop buying iPhones, the people who go to clubs will stop buying iPhones, and once the people who go to clubs stop buying iPhones so will everyone else.

Even at triple the price Logic would be a compelling product. Feature by feature it's an incredible piece of software, coming with a series of great instruments, effect and tons of loops. Feature-wise it covers more or less everything you'd need.

However after trying Ableton for a few weeks (they offer a 90 day trial + 30% discount) I recently switched from Logic and I find the Ableton interface and UX in general much more intuitive for electronic music. In Logic I always had the feeling that there's too much choice and couldn't really get into a flow.

Looking at these screenshots the new features probably sound great and look good but there's simply too much happening on the screen. Honestly Ableton's been a breath of fresh air for me.

I switched from Logic to Ableton recently and now I love Ableton's workflow. I just downloaded the Logic update, and while there are new things, it feels like the same old Logic that I just couldn't get into. I'll be sticking with Ableton.

You are not alone.

I follow a youtube show where producers talk about their mixes and 90% use abelton live.

Do you mind sharing that channel. Trying to up my Ableton Live game. Thanks

Andrew Huang (?) - Four producers, one sample

MusicTechHelpGuy on Youtube has summarized all the updates.

If you're new to Logic really recommend his YT channel he has one of the most complete Logic training out there and it's all for free. His videos are a great place to start for Logic beginners


I'm surprised to see so few (zero?) comments specifically about the content of the update. This is an _amazing_ release from a user's perspective.

I'm a Logic user who creates modern sample-based music at a pretty rapid clip. The Quick Sampler here is pretty much perfect and it's what anyone would expect in 2020 – a tremendous replacement for EXS24.

This was a long time coming and (IMO) makes Logic almost a no-brainer for a lot of people who make music.

After you hang around a bit more here, you won't be surprised anymore. Guys at HN have a specific way of destroying any good news or ideas...

I am incredibly excited to see (from the release notes[0]) that they've finally added support for Novation Launchpad controllers. As much as I love Logic as my main DAW, a lack of Launchpad / Launchkey support meant I often had to lean on Ableton to do live "jams". Not sure how well Live Loops will stack up against the tried-and-tested Ableton Live, but it's a big step in the right direction.

[0] - https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203718

My novation lauchkey 49 works perfectly with logic 10.2 (control surfaces->setup->new->mackie design HUI and then select the input/output port to your lauchkey)

Sorry should've clarified. You're right that it works as a keyboard controller (w/ sliders and knobs) but I never found a way to make the pads useful (at least not in the way they so seamlessly integrate with Ableton). To be honest though, I always felt that mapping assignments to the Launchkey in Logic was quite clunky UX, hopefully this has improved a bit in this update.

I mapped the pad to the keyboard shortcuts, very useful to change the patch plugins ([] on keyboard) or to the utrabeat machine to play samples, not quite like ableton but you kown... logic was not for live performance and I hope it will never be.

As a musician, this is no doubt an exciting release. It’s good to see integration with Voice Recorder.

Now Apple, please update your Music Memos app which is rated 3.5 on the App Store, and is holding over 1,000 of my ideas hostage to sync issues.

A stagnant app on your own platform is a broken promise to your users.

The first two things I looked for are the price (free upgrade):

"Logic Pro X 10.5 is available today as a free update for all existing users, and is available on the Mac App Store for $199.99 (US) for new customers."

... and the system requirements (doesn't require Catalina):

"macOS 10.14.6 or later"

That second one is super important for any of us stuck with 32-bit plugins that haven't gotten updates!

Relative to the competition, Logic is an incredible value. I am an Ableton Live user, but Logic, an arguably superior product, is available for a fraction of the cost of Live Studio. I have my fingers crossed that Ableton can catch up on some of Logic's features (flex pitch comes to mind).

Agreed, but Logic's heavily subsidized by Apple. There's no way a DAW could cost so little, especially considering the plugins and instruments it comes with out of the box.

Still the UX is cluttered and the shortcuts obscure, I find Ableton much cleaner.

I wonder what the competition think about this.

It can't be easy for abelton and Steinway to compete with the richest company in the world.


> Logic, an arguably superior product

how so? I personally find Ableton to be vastly superior to Logic. Some of these latest Logic updates look like copies of core Ableton workflow / features:

Live Loops : Session View

Drum Machine Designer : Drum Rack

Sampler & Quick Sampler : Sampler & Simpler (also Looper)

So Apple is basically copying features Ableton Live has had for years here, then dumping this product on the market at an unsustainably cheap price that none of their competitors can match and stay in business.

If you care about the health of the music software industry spend your money on Ableton Live or Bitwig instead of this.

I don't quite see how it's an unsustainably cheap price that none of their competitors can match, considering that the implicit price of Logic includes $1000+ hardware to run macOS on.

Because you'd also have to pay that $1000 hardware cost to run any other DAW. Apple laptops aren't that much more than PC laptops with comparable specs anymore.

They have no laptop options that don't have soldered in ram and CPU and proprietary SSDs that cost 2-4X per gigabyte to upgrade. You end up with dongles and external drives, and Logic used to go out of its way to make that hard to manage (it has gotten better within the last year or two).

Are there any PC laptops you recommend for music production? I'd like this Macbook I'm typing on now to be my last.

Very cool that the Logic Remote apps can actually be used for triggering sounds and performance now with the Live Loops as opposed to only being useful for mixing / engineering.

I despise having computers in front of me when in the zone, but somehow iPads and iPhones don’t bother me. This allows setting up in a different room and going to town.

I recently switched to more hardware based setup, because I just lost creativity on the computer and needed a switch up. I still use a DAW to record audio/midi from hardware to mix and master. But other than that all recording happens on hardware. Something about the computer doesn't really do it for me anymore when I stare at it all day programming. I'm liking hardware, I'm currently using Roland Fantom and the archaic sequencing and certain limits really inspire me. I can sit in front of that thing for hours.

Logic has been an amazing and deep app for decades, but it's been lagging in recent years with regard to hardcore electronic music production and live performance. This is the update that turns that all around. Live Loops alone would comprise a solid upgrade, and that's just one of the many new marquee features. It's also bananas that existing Logic users can get everything new for freeeeeeee!

Sure, this whole release is small potatoes in the larger world of Apple, but for a long-time Logic user like me, today's Christmas. :)

Having used Logic (on and off) for almost a decade, and Ableton for more than that, I recently decided to stop using Logic. I know both softwares pretty well (I read both manuals) but in the end, having 2 DAWs is useless.

I think overall, Logic has mostly an audience of "hardware" people. As in: musicians who compose and record with hardware, and then mix in Logic. From the top of my head, Calvin Harris and Disclosure use Logic, mostly for putting together recorded audio and mixing, but not really for writing. Also, professional mixers who are used to massive mixing consoles use either Logic, Pro Tools or Cubase. Adele's "Hello" was mixed in Logic. These 3 DAWs have a lot of similarities. One of them is their "skeuomorphic" interface. Why do digital faders look like the real ones? There's no need to. Alos, the arrangement-only view. Or the plugin inserts and bus/aux channeling. But I think all of this emphasizes the need to satisfy the "hardware" audience, who want to have the digital equivalent of their hardware interface.

Ableton on the other hand (and Fruity Loops for that matter) didn't look at the hardware. They created an interface for the digital age. That's why faders are just colored bars. Session view? Genius. Very intuitive. Instrument racks to regroup plugins? Straightforward. You want to do parallel processing? No need for a bus or aux track: just create a second chain in your instrument rack and you've got your parallel processing done. It literally takes 3 clicks to go from a plugin insert to parallel processing. Color-tagging your samples and plugins? Yep. Compare that to Logic where loading a plugin requires you to navigate from dropdown upon dropdown. You can't even group inserts to disable them all at once.

Now I used to go with Logic for my mixing and mastering purposes. Having 2 separate DAWs allowed me to separate the creative from the "engineering" process of mixing. Logic also has great comping features, a nice "flex" mode, a better quantization tool, and nice built-in plugins. Also, the slower workflow felt better for mixing. But now I just do everything in Ableton.

With this update, Logic is going into Ableton territory. Sampler-> Sampler. Quick Sampler->Simpler. Step Sequencer->Session View. But I don't think that adding a few features on top of an outdated workflow will turn me away from Ableton.

It's weird that they're going into that direction because I always felt that there was a clear distinction between Ableton and Logic, and that the lack of crucial Ableton features (like the aforementioned comping) was to not annoy the Logic developers. But now I guess it's open season?

>It's weird that they're going into that direction...

I think it's a reflection of the fact that there are (at least) two different kinds of ways to make music:

1. the "traditional" way of recording individual instruments in a more or less linear fashion

2. curating/compiling pieces of pre-recorded audio, aka samples, and triggering a sequence of them on-the-fly, while recording that sequence.

Each calls for a different set of tools and workflow. Logic's roots are in the former but Ableton tapped into the latter. Logic is trying to appeal to both.

I'm glad for all the logic users and students I have. If you want to get serious about making music I'd urge you to check out REAPER.

Why? I've been in a lot of studios and never seen Reaper used once. It's all Pro Tools and a surprising amount of Cubase. This is very much the same as "if you want to get serious about coding use VIM not VSCode".

Because its extensibility is enormous and it has a thriving community of people developing for it. The JSFX alone has made it possible to replicate thousands of dollars worth of dsp algorithms for everyone for free and The developers listen to concerns of the users. For me it's a DAW that represents longevity in a creative practice.

this is highly dependent on region, genre and demographics. every scene has their own tools. in the EDM scene, Pro Tools is regarded as a joke -- absolutely no one uses it, and the impression is that it's for old and out-of-touch people. I know a team producing music for several very well-known television series entirely using Reaper

In the BBC remote vans they run REAPER alongside some other proprietary stuff.

REAPER has a great workflow. Its like the vim of DAW.

I read the GP comment and I was about to downvote. Then I read your comment and sat up in my chair.

I use Ableton and I also play with Logic, FL and the occasional tracker. I would love to know what you mean with "the vim of DAW" and perhaps if there is a video or text that describes it?

Great hotkeys for everything .. just install it and give it a try. '?' key is your friend - from this you will learn the ways of the REAPER ... ;)

For tutorials: you need to get some Kenny Gioia in your viewing time. It will make the power of REAPER so much more clear:


You just reminded me about Reascripts.

Now I know what I'm spending the rest of my lockdown doing.

If you're interested I have a load of scripts that access some command-line audio processing algorithms (non-negative matrix factorisation, harmonic percussive source separation) to do batch processing inside REAPER.


Thanks for thus - very cool bunch of scripts, highly useful!

Amazing. Cheers dude.

It seems odd to me that there are no videos accompanying this press release, and there also don't appear to be any videos in the Mac app store. It seems like video (with audio!) would be a much better way to show off what this new version can do.

Your comment reminds me of the last time they tried to show off audio production using the all new Touchbar in 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oO-t2TTIdPE

Hah! Thats pretty wild, but I wish I could have some apps that use the touch bar like that. It seems so worthless now because I only really use it as a bunch of buttons. But if I used just one app that had that rich multi-touch input, it would be so fun I think.

I imagine its one where the vision of the product and what developers actually came up with never really aligned prroperly.

Lol! I think the best scenario I have experienced with the touchbar is when using Windows-products through Parallells.

Wich is insane considering the possibilities.

I want to never see my dock on the desktop again, and have it on the touchbar. That was almost possible with the other replyers suggestion but still not perfect.

Get BetterTouchTool and go wild

I think one reason that is ofter overlooked, that I didn't even knew was a thing until later than I should, is that out of the box, a beginner can still play around with stuff on Mac after just plugging in his midi-keyboard. Through after locating and plugging in at least one dongle. Professionals will have an external audio interface. Try to do the same thing on windows, and it will be practically impossible to do anything without an external audio interface.

I'm not an expert but as I understand it, it's because of CoreAudio allowing direct routing of midi (and/or/xor?) audio through the system, while in windows, without an external interface, everything has to pass some sort of queue, adding a simply unusable latency out of the box.

This might have caused the "myth" that Apple is better for audio production.

I'd still use Reaper

There really is an embarrassment of wealth in terms of DAWs these days.

At the low end, Reaper, Cakewalk, GarageBand (not to mention Cubasis and Auria on the iPad), FL Studio, Reason Essentials, Bitwig 16-track et al. give you amazing capabilities for very little (sometimes no) money.

There is also an amazing wealth of great cheap or free instrument and effect plugins.

Is this for catalina only? The irony is that most musicians are held back from Catalina and even older OS X because compatibility issues. E.g. no 32bit apps in Catalina kills a lot of VST and VSTi that many of us need. So No Catalina, No Logic Pro X.

Nope. From the release notes the system requirements are 10.14.6 or later, so Mojave.

I like the Ableton-style clip view and the step sequencer.

Apple is also offering a 90 day trial of Logic (as well as Final Cut Pro) during the pandemic.

Eric Prydz uses Logic

And he has a radio show on Apple Music. ;-)

(And the late great Avicii famously used FL Studio to great effect. These are amazing and affordable tools that are good enough for everything from podcasts to bedroom recordings to multiplatinum albums to film scores.)

Above and Beyond use it, Gabriel and Dresden, Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten.. A ton of famous names in the electronic music world use it. Many use Ableton and Logic together.

Oh yeah, I remember seeing logic in several videos.

Maybe Trance music is the killer app for Logic or vice-versa. ;-)

The problem with Logic and other DAWs is that they focus too much on sampling and beat making and not enough of tonality.

I'm launching an IDE for MIDI soon http://ngrid.io.

Isn't Cubase supposed to be more focused towards composition, sequencing, tonality

Cubase sucks a stiff one.

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