In stead of reviewing just Logic Pro X I'd like to give you my personal opinion comparing the DAW's I have been using over the years. I started out in 1996 on Cakewalk 5 and later Logic 5 on PC. Than switched to Mac in 2004 with Reason 2.5, Logic 7, 8 and 9. Then I switched back to PC in 2015 and used Reaper, Studio One 4, and Ableton Live 9. I also spent some years as a Live Sound engineer for a small venue, so I learned mixing bands on hardware consoles, which certainly has influenced the way I look at routing and mixing.
So here's my comparison of Logic vs Live vs Studio One vs Reaper! (I left Reason out, it's simply to long ago I used it.).
Sound design is a big part of my workflow. Therefore the routing possibilities of the DAW are of great importance to me.
Logic Pro X
There is a enormous amount of functions in the different menu's available, but in the key commands window there are even more. It means you can do anything, but you will have a hard time memorising key commands. Many key-commands use more than one modifier. How about Ctrl + Alt + CMD + Backspace for resetting track zoom!? So in practice I find myself using only a few of them and using Apple Notes to create a list of my favorites.
Routing in logic is simple and easy to work with if you're used to hardware mixing consoles. It is probably also the most restricted compared to the other DAW's.
Live has only a few functions compared to Logic, but I found this simplicity to be very user friendly and powerful. Assigning key-commands and MIDI controllers works the same in Live and I love that, but some functions simply can not be accessed via Key-Commands and that will slow you down.
Live's Instrument Rack is simple to use and insanely powerful. I really love how you can use them to create paralel effects chains without creating extra sends and returns. That's great for sounddesign.
Live's tracks can take their input from anywhere and send their output anywhere. It's powerful and you suddenly wonder why other DAW's place so many restrictions on routing. You could say Live is less a virtual hardware studio than Logic and Studio One, which allows Live to use different and in the software domain sometimes more simple solutions.
If you like Push, which personally did not win me over, then nothing beats Ableton Live. This degree of integration between software and hardware is only equaled by Native Instruments' Maschine, as far as I know.
Like Logic, there are many functions and many key commands to memorise, they are fewer and easier, though.
Studio One surprised me with the way tracks, instruments and mixer channels are managed more separately than they are in other DAW's. I found that confusing, but I love how you can create complex instrument and effects routings within the track. this allows for paralel processing without creating extra sends and return tracks, much like Live's Instruments Rack, although it works quite differently.
Studio One has a unique Project Page where you master your tracks. It has a nice workflow that is is very useful even when you're not using Studio One to record and mix your tracks. It is a bit like the now abolished Waveburner application that used to be part of Logic Studio.
This software has so many commands an so many options for customising I found myself constantly getting lost and wasting hours configuring Reaper instead of making music.
The mixer has extensive routing possibilities, but I had a hard time understanding them, though. To me it did not feel intuitive.
The winner in this category is Ableton Live.
Logic Pro X
In my opinion, the are the best of the DAW's I compare here. Great sounding and easy to use. If you don't own a bunch of plugins already and will be depending heavily on software instruments then I'd say Logic is the way to go. But you just might want to check out Reason as well...
I do not like the redesigned UI's (user interface; layout of buttons, sliders etc on the screen) of the older plugins, though: their default sizes differ too much and Apple has chosen to emulate hardware UI's. In my opinion a hardware like interface does not always work well on screen. The more abstract version 9 UI of the compressor felt easier to use to me.
The instrument plugins sound okay, but I never find the presets inspiring. I also think they are presented to small, making them fiddly to operate. The effects are great. Easy to operate and easy to chain up fro creative sound design.
The build in effects plugins sound nice and they look really nice. Quite simple but very easy to use. I did not like the instruments that come with Studio One.
The winner in this category is Logic Pro X for instruments, but Ableton Live for effects.
Logic Pro X
Logic has an awesome sound library. Both amount and Quality are simply stunning.
I personally don't like the Ableton factory sounds, but I find the browser very nice.
There are some nice vengeance sound samples, but most presets are just not very good. I hardly ever used the build in instruments.
Forget it. You'll need to get your hands on some serious software instruments, unless of course, you're using reaper as an audio recorder.
The winner in this category is Logic Pro X.
Value for Money / Who is it for?
Logic Pro X
Logic is really is ridiculously cheap, considering all it has to offer. The Alchemy synth alone is worth the asking price, so for me value for money is the best. If you do have a Mac, but don't own any plugins? It's a no brainer.
Logic is great for producers, songwriters, bands and film score composers. But DJ's really need to check out Live as well.
Ableton Live may be what you need if you're a DJ / producer, but I can not say it's cheap. I always have been using the Studio version because I did not find the extra devices and sounds you get with Suite that compelling, but even the Studio edition is almost twice as expensive as Logic.
More geared to the songwriter / recording type it's the alternative to Logic on the PC, I think. But on PC I'd surely would suggest looking at Steinberg's Cubase as well.
If you already own a bunch of great plugins, reaper is a cheap and powerful solution. Also, not getting any sounds with it that you don't need might be an advantage. It has by far the smallest footprint (meaning the application files don't take up much space on your drive and in memory) so it's the fastest to start up and I must say it is rock solid. If you want to record on location on a laptop with a small SSD or a slow HDD drive than you might even buy Reaper just for the one occasion.
There's no winner in this category, it just depends on your personal preferences too much.
After working for some months with Logic Pro X I have found myself slowly replacing the bundled plugins with 3rd party stuff. Like Fabfilters' eq, compression and reverb plugins, or Arturia's V Collection, or Samples from Mars' drum libraries. The quality of Logic's bundled stuff seems not to have been progressing with time as it should. Maybe my tastes are changing, I dunno.
I started using Ableton Live again. I still think it's the fastest to work with. It's easy. The routing is amazingly flexible. I still don't like the instruments, but the drumrack and simpler are nice. The effects are simple but flexible. The automation system is great.
To me, in the end, Ableton Live is the winner. I just hope that with version 11 everything becomes too complicated all of a sudden...
If you did not make your choice of DAW yet, demo everything. That will be a problem with Logic because there is no demo version, but you can try Garageband. Read the manuals. Figure out what stuff does and watch all the lovely youtubers...
When you've made up your mind to buy a certain DAW keep this in mind: most studio hardware like audio Interfaces and MIDI controllers come with light versions of at least one DAW, so if you're starting out you might find a good deal that way. You might also look out for a crossgrade deal, these are often not advertised as much as normal discounts, so dig around the webstore and compair prices. Last but not least, if money's tight, signup for newsletters and keep an eye out for end-of-year sales.Read Review
The best, most versatile, artist friendly DAW out of the box. Period. Pro level pitch correction? Check. Virtual Drummer? Check. Virtual amps and pedals? Check. Competitive built in effects? Check. Do you want to focus on creating instead of being interrupted by silly technicalities? Check. Every songwriter should have Logic ProX. Period. Also, Pro Tools is easily the Glitchiest software in existence. Evolve from ProTools and make music.Read Review
Logic was my very first DAW. I got it bundled as a light version with the "Guillemot Maxi Studio Isis" soundcard in 2001 when it was still developed and distributed for Windows PCs. I made my first homerecording experiences with this setup and was absolutely blown away by the astounding possibilities I couldn't even dream of before. Some months later I upgraded to the Platinum version and was even more impressed.
After Logic got sold to Apple I had to make the switch to Cubase but somehow never felt "at home" with that DAW. The workflow seemed so much more complicated and I just never began to like it. It always felt like an enemy I had to fight with.
When I finally bought a MacBook 2 years ago I had to get the good old Logic again, of course... and couldn't recognize it at first. The GUI really changed a lot in the 10+ years. But after reading a good book about it and trying a few things out I started to feel comfortable again quite soon.
In comparison to Cubase the workflow is just so much easier! Logic can do everything I need for homerecording as an amateur musician - and much, more.
There is just one thing I really miss from my years with Cubase and that is its great drum editor. Yeah, I know, using the step editor in Logic works too, but it just isn't that easy and straightforward. But that is basically my only complain.Read Review
Logic Pro is an incredible DAW, and is well respected within the overall music production community. The "Suite" caters to all-- from recent Garage Band upgraders to many well-known producers and DJs.
Logic's stregths have already been capitulated, to a large degree, in a few previous reviews. However, I will state--in Bold 20 pt Italics-- this currently is and will remain a "pro" application, despite trivial comments made otherwise.
The 10.1 update was incredible unto itself-- adding several new drummers, VCAs, and other sought out features.
10.2 demonstrates the clout, strength, and commitment of Apple to the Music Production community with the addition of Alchemy, let alone many bug fixes. Logic has been quite responsive to its user base and platform improvement / feature additions (they do listen to feedback and fix bugs. Maybe not every vocal critics' deal-breakers, but as of late they have come to the plate on many issues.) One area to focus on in the mixing stage is utilizing a well planned template. One area that could be improved is the matching of the mixer to the arranger, so if you set up the approriate placeholders, including sends/aux channels, upfront, you'll be better off through the course of a production. If you're a MIDI wizard, you also could engineer your own solution in the program's environment. Logic is an extremely powerful mixing and mastering studio.
Furthermore, Logic can serve as the rewire master with the likes of Ableton or Reason, so planning for those inputs too might be necessary. Rewire can be quite the drain on CPU, however, and if you connect Ableton, be aware that the DAW only acts as a true slave-- Ableton does not give access to anything other than the ability to port loops--or "clips--" to Logic (useful in order to access their Session view.) I believe with Reason you at least have access to its plugins-- the whole reason rewire was created? Perhaps one day Logic will create a Session-driven environment-- extremely beneficial for general workflow (and heck Apple just released an additional 1000 Apple Loops with the 10.2 release.) Given the CPU drain, I prefer using Bitwig and manually porting over loops / scenes into the arranger-- if I don't mix/master on their platform.
Logic's compressor received a faceplant in 10.1, and I dare say the GUI-- and sound-- is like a third party plugin unto itself. It has six different modes, including 2 FETs, one OPTO, and 3 VCAs (in addition to the base-line Platinum.) Also, the meters offer two views, one traditional, one more animated, similar to some others out there.
Space Designer is one heck of a convolution reverb, and its algorithmic 'verbs are pretty decent. I've read that some folk have used Logic just for this plugin alone. You can create your own Implulse responses or download others from third party sources, usually free. There's actually an Impulse Response Utility deep inside the plugin to manage the process.
Alchemy effectively affords the DAW two samplers, whereby some DAWs don't even include one (of course in addition to four or so other types of synthesis.) And talk about a good GUI. This plugin too might steer you in the DAWs direction; MacProVideo just called it one of the most powerful synths out there: http://www.macprovideo.com/tutorial/whats-new-in-logic-pro-x-10-2.
The Amps-- including Bass and Pedalboard-- are strong enough to ward off third party plugins.
Channel EQ-- and Linear EQ-- are quite good plugins too, both sonically and to a large degree visually. Q/Gain linkage is a great inclusion, and the ability to resize the GUI is awesome-- as is tweaking its settings on Logic remote.
The remote can serve as a MIDI keyboard, drum machine, or other more customized inputs such as guitar strings. It too can control Logic's transport and library, and it also can control the mixer and FX plugins such as Channel EQ. It's awesome.
Enveloper is one heck of a modulation plugin, the Delay Designer is excellent, heck some of its metering plugins are surprisingy decent, there's a sub-bass plugin similar to several third party offerings, and the included instrument library is quite deep-- amazing given the price point.
Yes, the EXS24 is dated. However, Alchemy 2 can play EXS24 instruments. And talk about good sampled pianos--let alone Saxaphones, Marimbas, and the relatively new Mellotron. Then there's the vocoder, organs, clavs, electric pianos, and a ton of orchestral samples in the EXS24. Several of the large loop vendors too include patches for the sampler, often in tandem with similar files for the likes of Kontakt.
Retro synth is actually quite good, the old ES2 is too, and you can generate decent sounds with even the simplest of plugins-- the ESM.
How about Beats? The somewhat dated, yet quite capable (if not powerful) Ultrabeat has received a face-lift with the new Drummers-- and now you can swap samples with the Front End (rather than the "Back-End" Ultrabeat.) I still like to get deep and dirty with the latter; its modulation parameters, filters, OSCs, and sequencers are all extremely flexible, again albeit somewhat dated. Enter the Drummer's front end and you have a match made in heaven. And if you want to further play around with drum loops-- just add certain arrangement parameters to your project and let 'er rip. Want to explore third party plugins? Just replace Ultrabeat. Want to experiement with the loops in third party programs? Just convert the drummer regions to MIDI. I do both all the time--all the while having fun with the original sequencer in Ultrabeat. The possibilities are just about endless. Lastly, Logic includes 50+ Gigs of content / Apple Loops. If you happen to be really experimental, after playing with Alchemy's 3000+ presets (14G alone, ) create a few with your own samples.
Anyone wanna FLEX? Time or Pitch?
In summary: Strong Buy.Read Review
Logic X is a comprehensive DAW shipping with everything you need as a starter. Record audio, play your MIDI gear, mix your tracks. And even mastering is possible. It comes with a huge sound, loop and plugin library and Logic X now also includes a live drummer.
Where to start... way too many features ;)
I will just list some of them off the top of my head
-) "Endless" no. of tracks (depending on your CPU power - and there is some max count, but never reached it)
-) Tracks can be audio, auxiliaries software instruments, MIDI, folders, and others
-) Each track supports plugins, MIDI plugins, sends
-) Insert Apple Loops and they automatically match key and tempo
-) Arrangement track that improves arranging (some features follow that track)
-) Track stacks groups instruments, so they can be played together from one track and summed together
-) Region aliases that point to the original. When you change the original region, the aliases in the arrangement change too
-) Full automation possibilities
-) Automation can be put into regions, then be looped or arranged with aliases
-) A lot of basic built in synths, worth mentioning is the the vintage synth that is good for starters
-) Mixing is fast and easy (compared to Ableton)
-) Complexe routing possibilities with the 64 busses
-) Customisable GUI. Just load the theme (found everywhere in the web). If you know how to program and create graphics, you can do it easily yourself.
-) Thousands of presets implemented, whether for audio or instrument channels, auxiliaries, plugins, MIDI files
-) New to Logic X is that channel settings can also include routing
-) Import complete channel settings plus regions from other sessions.
Sound is very good. From a certain point on, where your experience and requirement grow, you'll need to get 3rd party plugins. Most of the shipped plugins are ok or good, but there are way better developers of plugins. Does a DAW have its own sound? Have fun reading thru the gazillions of threads and webpages. I never compared "scientifically" the DAW sound. But then I make my own sound with the right plugins and the analog gear.
I noticed a sound change when upgrading to LX thought. I must say however, I also had to get a new converter at the same time, that features Thunderbolt. So I'd say the sound change derives from that.
Whatever you believe. If you're songs don't sound good in Logic, they won't sound good in any other DAW. Logic has definitely the capability of sounding astonishing. So it's up to you ;)
GUI & Usability
GUI is a matter of taste. Logic X became more modern, but the color palette is "muddy" and "toyish" (yes, there are ways to change that, but not to the full extent of RGB/CMYK). GUI can be customized with the thousands of available themes. As always with these themes, most of them are just experimental crap that hurt your eyes. A few are nice. I still prefer the default.
Logic X is easy to use. It's simplicity got better, which is neat for beginners. As a experienced user, it was somewhat tough, to go from L8 or L8 to LX. A little example: Changed standard short cuts! Again!! ... or how MIDI is recorded in loop and/or punch mode.
There are some GUI and usability issues. See below under cons.
Thousands of them, which is (again) great for beginners. Pretty much useless for me. Sometimes, here and there, I look them up and rarely I find something that I like. Most of the times, the "Logic sound" just doesn't fit my needs (I produce and mix electronic music).
Well, here are a lot of different experiences. I'm not at all satisfied with its stability. I waited almost one year before I upgraded to LX. And now I have at least a couple of crashes almost every day. That rarely happend with L9 and L8 before. I got the feeling, that there are more bugs than ever before. After almost one year it's still not on a pro level, although I don't expect a bug free software, because it is impossible. Crashes mostly happens due to plugins. You may now say, they should deliver an update, it's not Logic's fault. But when I can work with same plugin version crash free with L8 & L9, I wonder, what Logic X is doing wrong ;)
At least the automatic saving during a crash works fine and never let me down *phew*.
There are still a lot of bugs (not feature requests). Search the web and you'll see yourself. Here is a list of my experienced bugs, and also some features that could be done better.
-) Enhance color palette to full RGB/CMYK, so we can have more colors and also black, white and grey
-) Drawing automation graphs sometimes doesn't react in realtime, so you don't see where you are (can't read the value, until you let go of the mouse)
-) Window positions are not remembered. I think that happens especially when running a multiple screen setup. Dear reader: No it also doesn't work when the logic screen is locked ;)
-) In certain situations, the big time counter and the time line in the main window don't show the same (I experienced gaps up to 60 seconds)
-) Show in aliases to which region they point to (as it was in L8 & L9)
-) The difference between the region and its loops must be more clear. The arrangement overview is messier than it was before
-) The I/O labeling got worse and less understandable. I cannot use the long names properly. So why having the possibility of having long and short names. At the moment I have to use short abreviations for long and short names. And why are there I/Os that cannot be labelled as I want?
-) LX is still not as customisable as other DAWs. Especially when it comes to sizes of channel strips in the mixer window. And still it's not possible to change the order of the mix channels.
-) Still way behind other DAWs, like: region effects and region freeze, channel inbuilt gain staging possibilities, bounce in place is still not how it should be (best test: do a revers reverb effect in Pro Tools and then in Logic. With Logic you still have to time the effect manually), independent mixer and arrange window (see reaper), .
Logic X is a good piece of software. No matter what I wrote, you MUST have to make your own experience with it. LX is pro and will sound pro, as long as you know what you're doing.
If the learning curves for a new DAW wouldn't be that steep and would take less time, I'd be changing instantly to another DAW. Because with that update I got the feeling, that Apple isn't taking pro audio seriously any more. They can be innovative with phones, but not with DAWs it seems. I don't whine, but as long as I try to live with LX, it's not as fun using it as it was before. At the moment, I fear the day when I have attended sessions. That shouldn't be like this.
So I cannot give more than a 6/10, because of the reasons mentioned above. If it runs, it's a 8/10. Maybe you are lucky and won't be bothered with a lot of crashes.Read Review
I use Logic Pro for school and personal productions. I don't understand why people think its so hard to use or doesn't compare to other production programs. Honestly, the sounds are CRYSTAL clear and realistic. I haven't had an issue with it running or anything.Read Review
It's an everyday necessity. X looks smart but needs binging up to date along side the competition.
Takes a while to get your head around it but great mixing, great instruments and effects, and rock solid.
I've been a fan for a long time now and still discover new ways of working with it and Rewire is well integrated. Highly recommended and competitively priced.Read Review