October 17, 2004

A -> B and not C

I've been doing a lot of reading about Logic7 Pro and Express. I'm looking for something more "pro" than GarageBand and was close to moving to Ableton's Live when FruitCo announced the Logic7 upgrade. The ability to import GB files as well as support for apple loops seems really enticing. There are some things I've noticed that aren't covered anywhere:

  • GB looks like a polished gem, the UI has a nice splash of useful color and is very easy to use and navigate. Logic7, otoh, looks like it was designed by a spastic 11 year-old. All the dialogs are dark gray. Elements that are attractive in GB are downright ugly in Logic. This is illustrated to the extreme by the included manual describing how to use Logic7 for GB users. The side-by-side screenshots are a joke.
  • One feature missing from both GB and Live is the ability to "freeze" a track, bouncing all audio and realtime effects into a frozen track to reduce cpu load. You can then later "unfreeze" the track to continue to tweak parameters. Great for those of us w/out 2.5GHz G5's. However, the manualy notes that this feature is only available in Pro, not Express. It is not mentioned on the comparison chart. You'd think that this would be exactly the kind of feature that non-pros, the ones without high end hardware, would require. Guess Apple doesn't agree.
  • While I haven't used Logic7 yet, the manual's description of its UI for looping seems antiquated. In GB you can just drag any sound clip to the right to have it loop an arbitrary number of times. Logic7 just loops forever until it hits another clip, so if you want it to stop, you have to go and manually insert a blank clip. Bizarro. Also the looped clips are shown in an ugly (you guessed it) gray color rather than the same color of the clip. Just one more opportunity to look bad, I guess.
I'm going to an Apple training (read: marketing) session this week, hoping to learn more. I admit the only reason I'm giving Logic7 the time of day is because it's from the fruit. No wonder everyone uses Safari. I should know better, by now, shouldn't I?

EDIT:The spec page for LogicExpress7 mentions freezing at the top. Odd then that the getting started document would call it out as specifically not being in Express. *shrug* I'll hopefully find out on Thursday when I go to the PR event.

Posted by pinkerton at October 17, 2004 8:22 PM