Apple Music Apps: A New Logic Studio and Express On The Same Day!


Today Apple released the latest version of Logic in the form of Logic Studio. This is a huge update from Logic 7, and they’ve followed the “studio” concept of Final Cut Pro and bundled even more apps with it. They also cut the price in half, to $499.

First Apple had the major update to Final Cut Studio, including the addition of a Color application that had sold for $2,500 separately, yet the price of FCS remained the same. And now a major upgrade to Logic with the price cut in half. Is Apple getting aggressive in the Pro applications arena or what?

Now here’s the really big surprise to me: Instead of waiting a few months to roll some of the new features into Logic Express, that product was also announced today! Further, while not quite a 50% price cut, they cut it 33% to just $199. Again, a very aggressive move.

It’s remarkable what Apple is offering in these products for the price. In the case of LS, it comes with all five Jam Packs, which retail for $99 each. This means it’s like buying all the Jam Packs and getting the entire LS suite for for free!

And in the case of LE, Macworld talked to Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of Applications Product Marketing:

“According to Schoeben, there are only four features that separate Logic Pro from Logic Express. They are: surround sound, distributed audio, high-end control surface support and TDM support.

“There is a little bit of a stigma around the term ‘Express,'” said Schoeben. “Despite the naming convention, this is Logic Pro, minus those four features.””

And while LE also does not include all the suite apps from LS, you still get many of the instruments (like Synths and EXS24) and effects (like Guitar Amp Pro and Creative Effects).

I’ve been waiting for Apple to roll some FCS features into Final Cut Express to see if I want to go there (and wonder if it, too, will see a price drop). But music fans don’t have to wait for the “express” version of their software. It’s already here and loaded with features at a great price. Not that I’m jealous or anything.

And now I have a confession to make, which is partially why I posted about the Logic apps. I love music. Dearly. All other forms of artistic expression could be lost tomorrow and I simply wouldn’t miss them that much. Music is all to me. And yet, I can’t play an instrument, can’t put two notes together, and couldn’t carry a tune even if it had a handle. Hell, I can’t even whistle!

What am I trying to say? Well, consider the iLife apps. I’ve had my iMac for less than a month, and had never used any of them before, yet:

  • I’m knee deep in iMovie 08, having culled through hours of footage and created numerous movies. It’s a breeze. I know iMovie well enough to have posted a very detailed review of it.
  • I’m all over iPhoto 08, having re-categorized over 2,000 photos and implemented a new workflow with key-wording, deleting, and hiding that lets me fly through new photos. I use smart folders, publish web galleries, and made use of printing themes to complete a project for my dining room that had floundered on my PC. I wrote a review of iPhoto, too, and also published a detailed workflow for using it.
  • I’m totally immersed in iWeb 08, having put together and maintain not one, but two complete web sites with it (though I’ve since moved one of them here). I turned on the iWeb version of The Small Wave only two days after first launching iWeb. I’d never seen iWeb before, and yet had my site moved in only two days.
  • And I’ve used iDVD 08 as well. I burned slideshows, movies, and picture galleries I’d posted on the web to a DVD with themes, menus, and background music for grandma. (Sorry, Mr. Jobs, but people will be burning DVDs for grandma as long as she has no computer, which will be forever.)

There’s probably no agreed upon definition of “expert”, but I believe I’d meet the criteria for a lot of people in those first three apps, and I’m comfortable with iDVD as well. And this has taken place in just four weeks. I’m not being cocky, it’s just that I like this kind of thing and am a fast learner. I dig around, I click everywhere, I read, I experiment, I learn. It’s fun.

And yet, there on the dock sits Garageband. Alone. Forsaken. I launch it, I fiddle (pun intended), but I have nothing to “say” to it. I’m tongue-tied around it. I love music with a passion, but I do not have the gift. I’m lost. Sometimes it actually saddens me, but then I think that, frankly, if I had a modicum of talent there than I wouldn’t love music the way I do. I believe most people have a tendency to think that if it’s something we can do, then it must not be that special. Music is very special to me, and I sure as heck can’t do it.

I may look into FCE and Aperture in the future, and if iWeb doesn’t keep improving I may eventually leave that behind. But Logic may as well not even exist to me; Garageband is already useless in my hands.

And so I come to the beginning of this post. Music fans all over are likely drooling over the new Logic apps but, alas, Apple could offer me either one for free and I wouldn’t take it. Give it to an artist. Someone who can make it “sing.” That’s not me.

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