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April 2014
Issue: April 1, 2008

REVIEW: APPLE LOGIC STUDIO

By: Tor Johansen
PRODUCT: Apple's Logic Studio

WEBSITE: www.apple.com

PRICING: $499

- Comprehensive surround
- Network-based save and share
- Powerful audio editing features


Finally a reason to bust out my Korg Triton from the closet and dust it off! Introducing Logic Studio, Apple's kitchen sink suite of audio tools that provide post production sound professionals with everything we need to create in the studio, on the stage and for the big and small screen.

Logic Studio includes Logic Pro 8.0.1, Apple's professional audio application; MainStage, an innovative new application for music performance; and Soundtrack Pro 2 for audio post production. It also includes acclaimed instruments, professional effects, an expanded sound library, and new production utilities — all in a single box at an astonishingly low price.

Here's the skinny on the goodies you'll find in the box: Logic Pro 8, a powerful music production app, features an intuitive new interface that makes it easy to write, record, edit and mix music. The brand-new MainStage simplifies your live rig using standard keyboards, pedals and other controllers. Soundtrack Pro 2 is full-featured and designed for film and video audio post. It offers deep integration with Final Cut Pro as well as powerful sound design tools, multichannel waveform editing and intelligent sound restoration capabilities. Studio Instruments and Studio Effects include 40 instruments and 80 professional effect plug-ins, many with True Surround capabilities. And Studio Sound Library includes the content from five complete Jam Pack collections and the entire sound library from Final Cut Studio 2, as well as new Logic Studio channel strip settings and plug-in settings.

Production utilities include WaveBurner for CD mastering; Compressor 3 for surround encoding; the Impulse Response Utility, used to capture the acoustics of real performance spaces; and the Apple Loops Utility. With Logic Studio, I have everything I need to capture an initial idea and take it all the way through to final mastering — no matter the sound and no matter where I work. Logic Studio allows me the freedom to focus on the mix rather than operating the software. I can use familiar tools similar to Garage Band and Final Cut Pro to experiment and get the sound I want, then I can refine my production all the way through final mastering.

AUDIO FOR VIDEO & FILM

Soundtrack Pro 2 and Logic Pro 8 provide all the tools needed to work in audio post for film, video and games. You can compose your score in Logic Pro 8, use Soundtrack Pro 2 to edit dialogue, design sound effects, and complete the mix in cinematic surround.
Personally, I don't have a ton of musical skills, but there's some in my blood, and I have a good ear, so… I bang around on my Korg for a while, then in Logic Pro I go back into the "piano rolls" and tweak some of my finger fumbles, apply more or less emphasis, subtly quantisize the groove, and ta-dah — I got a score Hans Zimmer wouldn't kick out of bed.

While I'm name-dropping, Soundelux's Per Hallberg, if you're out there — you inspire me daily. I barely met you in passing, but your dedication to the craft of sound editing has had a profound impact on me personally and the work that I do.

SURREAL SURROUND

Logic Pro 8 offers end-to-end surround capabilities, allowing you to record, edit, mix and encode projects in surround up to 7.1. It allows you to play, record and process multichannel, interleaved audio files. There are surround level meters so you can monitor volumes for all channels within a single channel strip. Logic Pro supports multichannel signal routing, so you can submix surround tracks or use sends to route audio to surround auxiliary tracks. The new Surround Panner window lets you use a graphical surround field to adjust track output signals to specific speaker positions in a Quad, LCRS, 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 surround field. Level sliders and fields provide independent control of the center and LFE channel levels. Additional parameters allow you to precisely control the separation between channels.

Many of the Studio Instruments and Studio Effects, including Space Designer and Delay Designer, are designed for True Surround. This means that all the processing for surround is handled in the plug-in to provide particularly immersive effects.

The multi-mono architecture in Logic Pro 8 lets you use any mono or stereo Logic Studio or Audio Units plug-in in surround, so you can take advantage of all your plug-ins when you create surround projects. For effect plug-ins, the multi-mono architecture offers options for creative processing on a per-channel basis.

You can burn uncompressed audio directly to DVD-A or transfer bounced surround stems to Compressor for industry-standard Dolby Digital AC-3 encoding in 5.1 surround. Typically, I use Compressor to preview my surround sound stems before encoding.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Seriously, folks. This is undoubtedly going to shake up the post production sound biz.  Everything you need in one box, for one sweet price. So many resources, sound effects, loops, amazing MIDI instruments and other industry tools that were previously only available at the elite post houses in the big cities. It really is exciting, all this potential at my fingertips.

Consider me inspired. I think I will begin with a 128-channel, 7.1 surround sound effect of my Cairn Terrier experiencing some gastro-intestinal issues.

Tor Johansen is an independent producer based in Los Angeles. He can be reached at:
tor@torphoto.com.