Today, Apple announced Logic Pro X 10.5, a major update to its popular digital audio workstation (DAW) for macOS. Key new features include a pro version of Live Loops, a new drum-machine-like tool (Step Sequencer) for making drum beats and other sounds, and some significant updates to the Sampler tool.
Taking a page right out of competing DAW Ableton Live’s book, Live Loops offers a grid-based approach to plotting out loops and samples. Apple also introduced a new feature called Remix FX that allows application of filters in a way that works for live performance. Live performance is something most music producers feel competing DAW Ableton Live excels at, compared to Logic, so this reads as an effort to close that gap.
The Sampler tool has been updated with a new interface and some small new features. The company also offers Quick Sampler here, a tool that lets you pull audio samples from places like the Voice Memos app (and elsewhere) and turn them into playable instruments within Logic.
The new Step Sequencer is a tool “inspired by classic drum machine workflows,” but it’s not just for drum sounds. It allows tweaking velocity, repeat, gate, skip, playback direction, and randomization for the individual components of the composition you’re working on.
All in all, Apple called this “the biggest update” since “the launch of Logic Pro X.” The new features appear intended to bolster Logic Pro X’s competition with other popular DAWs like Ableton Live, which excels at live performance and electronic music production.
Even though Logic has sometimes lagged behind competitors in terms of some use cases like those, Logic’s strengths have long been highly optimized for Mac performance, affordability, a strong user interface, and a particularly strong library of sounds and loops out of the box.
Here are the full release notes from Logic Pro X 10.5:
• Compose music by arranging and triggering cells in a grid using loops, samples, and your recordings
• Perform and capture freeform arrangement ideas into the tracks area
• Add Remix FX to perform creative effects like filters, gates, repeaters, and bitcrusher
• Use Logic Remote on your iPad or iPhone to perform Live Loops and Remix FX using Multi-Touch gestures to trigger several loops or effects simultaneously
• Create and edit sophisticated multi-sampled instruments using a drag and drop workflow
• New modern design provides synthesis, mapping, and zone editing in a single window interface
• Integrated zone editor offers detailed control over start, end and loop points
• Mapping editor enables fast and flexible assignment of samples across the keyboard
• Flex Time has been integrated into Sampler allowing sounds to be played at the same length, regardless of pitch
• Auto Sampler automates the process of converting MIDI-enabled hardware and software instruments into Sampler instruments
• Supports all existing EXS24 instruments
• Import a single audio file to instantly build a playable sample instrument
• Quick Sampler automatically identifies the root note and optimal loop points and matches your project tempo
• Use Slice mode to chop a vocal or drum sample into multiple slices that can be triggered on a keyboard
• Record live samples using a microphone, external hardware, or from any track or bus
Drum Machine Designer
• Use Drum Machine Designer to build custom drum kits by dragging and organizing samples
• Directly access Quick Sampler or Drum Synth controls on any pad
• Easily assign any instrument or third-party plug-in to a pad
• Perform any sound chromatically to create bass lines or other melodic parts
• Build your own beats, melodies and effect automation using an interface inspired by classic drum machine workflows
• Create and edit patterns with discrete control over velocity, repeat, chance, offset, step rate, skip and tie for each row
• Use any patch as a sound source, including custom kits made with Quick Sampler and Drum Machine Designer
• Includes a library of over 150 rhythmic and melodic patterns
• Over 2,500 new loops in a variety of instruments and genres covering modern and classic hip-hop, electro house, reggaeton, future bass, techno, and transition effects
• 17 Live Loops starter grids covering a range of electronic and hip-hop genres
• More than 70 new Drum Machine Designer kits
• Over 1,500 new patches
• Original multi-track project of Billie Eilish “Ocean Eyes”
• The Drum Synth plugin generates synthesized kicks, snares, toms, and hi-hats with dedicated sound shaping controls
• Individual or multiple audio files or software instrument regions can be dragged into an empty track header to provide instant options for creating Sampler, Quick Sampler, Drum Machine Designer, or Alchemy instruments
• Multiple additional enhancements and stability improvements
Listing image by Apple