The last update to Apple's professional audio editing suite, Logic Pro, was back in 2009. Since then the company has focused largely on the success of GarageBand and products for mobile users - sparking fears for many Logic Pro fans that the brand would be discontinued or dumbed down. Costing $200, this latest release seems to have allayed such fears.
The most obvious change to Logic Pro X is the interface, which has been tinted to a dark slate colour but offers extra power to users with easy-to-insert effects and a simplified way of shuffling about tracks. The library browser has had a similar overhaul, and the whole feel of the software has been given a sleeker look - right down to the icons.
Plenty of new tools have also been added, including Flex Pitch (allowing users to edit the pitch of any monophonic recording by dragging the waveform about); Drummer (which is supposed to emulate a realistic studio drummer without the walkouts); and Logic Remote - a free iPad app that offers remote control of various settings, hypothetically turning your Apple tablet into "a keyboard, drum pad, guitar fretboard, mixing board or transport control."
Writing for The Loop, Jim Dalrymple welcomes the upgrade, calling it "the same professional digital audio workstation software that we’ve used for years, only better". Dalrymple noted that whilst Apple certainly hadn't dumbed down the software they had made it more "approachable".
Macworld were similarly enamoured, praising the redesigned interface for making users feel "more welcome" and singling out the new Drummer feature as specially rewarding for its detailed customization options: "In short, unless you’re already committed to another DAW or aren’t entirely dependent on 32-bit plug-ins, you should plunk down the measly 200 bucks Apple asks for it. It’s an amazing piece of work."
Over at Wired UK, editor Nate Lanxon was less gushing, speculating on how Logic Pro's Drummer would "[digest] the complex polyrhythms and bizarre time signatures inherent to technical death metal". A question that YouTube will hopefully provide an answer to in short time.
All in all though, the reviews are incredibly positive, and by all means the four year wait since the last Logic Pro has been well worth it. Losing no functionality from previous versions whilst also simplifying the interface (most likely to encourage a transition from GarageBand) sounds too good to be true, but by all accounts Apple have another hit on their hands.