If you read CDM’s last ten blog posts backwards, you might discover the following: Paul is dead. The Environment is no longer in Logic Pro 8. Neither is true.

Despite numerous rumors to the contrary, general speculation that it might go away as Apple refocuses on ease of use, and me misreading tech sheets and panicking long-time users, the Environment remains in Logic Pro 8. The Environment is an entirely modular setup that allows you to effectively rewire the way MIDI and audio are managed in Logic. There’s never been anything else quite like it in a traditional DAW, particularly when you start manipulating MIDI data note-by-note, channel-by-channel, and so on.

From the tech specs, as caught by a couple of eagle-eyed readers, under Ultimate Writing Studio:

“Creative MIDI processing and routing in the Environment”

So, there you have it: the Environment lives. This may be non-news to some of you, but having seen what Logic ninjas can do with the Environment, I am convinced it could remain beloved by power users — and even that, with proper explanation of what the heck it does, could be accessible to new audiences. It’s not Max/MSP, but then, that’s not the intention: Max is useful for building ground-up synths and interactive setups, whereas the main advantage of Logic’s Environment is its integration with your DAW. (And odds are, if you can use one, you can learn the other.)

My apologies for scaring Environment fans and generally being inaccurate, but I’m at least happy to bring this news, even if belated.

  • no.op

    My fear is that the Environment still being there means that the guts of the program were not rewritten. I guess we'll see, but from what I've read about the update I am not seeing the radical rewrite to the core that has been necessary for well over five years now. Guess we'll see.

  • aj

    Judging by the fact that they published a set upper limit of tracks, it does seem that the core engine was not completely overhauled. I think that updating the UI alone was a massive undertaking; tweaks to the core might come later. What I'm interested to see is exactly how the Environment works in the new Logic, if they've managed to finally make it easy to use, and also not 'require' users to delve into it to do simple things like setting up tracks, inputs, ReWire etc. This, to me, was the biggest frustration with the program; it's the reason I switched from Logic to DP5, then to Live, then to Tracktion; this is making me take a serious second look at Logic, but it's really got to have great workflow to convince me to adopt it again.

  • My understanding is that pretty significant changes and optimizations were made to the core in the process of making Logic 7 Universal Binary. That's consistent with what I've heard from other audio developers going through the Intel transition — there was a lot of code housekeeping. Completely starting from scratch is very often unnecessary. The only DAWs I can think of that did a real code restart were Cubase SX and SONAR. Sometimes that makes sense; sometimes it doesn't. I still say, the only way to really tell about Logic 8 will be to use it, unless there were specific core-level improvements you felt like you were looking for?

  • no.op

    The core level improvements I'm looking for are mostly quirks that I assume are legacy problems. I haven't seen the code, so I obviously can't know what the cause of certains bugs and limitations are. But, Logic 7 had plenty of problems. I'd like to see:

    No more random Core Audio errors.

    No need for special, strange multi-instrument channels.

    Audio and MIDI sync done properly. Right now if I record a MIDI synced sequencer driving a synth, then change the driver buffer, then do the same thing again… the two files will be offset significantly in time. Actually from what I've seen MIDI hasn't been touched in this latest version which is a big bummer, I know Apple has a hard-on for plugins but just ignoring MIDI and hoping it will go away is not a "pro" approach.

    Plugin latency compensation done right: none of these options for doing it some places, or all places, or no places… just do it and make it transparent.

    No more weird automation quirks. Example: I put things in loop mode, I solo a track, I hear that track plus a ghost reverb send from some other random track.

    No more weird limitations on busses. Should be able to bounce them, do sends to other busses, etc. (I think this might have been fixed).

    I will reserve judgement on the elastic audio stuff until I see it… that and the multi-comp takes look like winners.

    I don't want to be a whiner, I am looking forward to the update, I just expected after all this time (even Logic 7 was basically just bundling all the optional parts of 6 plus some extras) that we were in for something a little more radical. If it is stable and less quirky then 7, I will be perfectly happy (if not maybe still dreaming a bit of what could have been…). With the announced changes and the price cut, my fear is that the reason it took so long is they are splitting their time with Garageband and bringing Logic into the 21st century is not a priority. I would love to see it (again) as a leader in new features rather than a follower.

  • Mike

    I was expecting a "protools killer". Logic 8 appears to be a tidied up Logic 7, which is great for Logic buffs, but I don't think it will attract that many new users.

  • Scott

    I think the price cut will probably attract many new users.

  • theo den brinker
  • @no.op: I'm with you, and I have heard that from many others. Incidentally, if you know any specific cases that cause those errors, send them my way and I'll see if I can reproduce them. The sync thing I've seen; some of the other random errors, not so much.

    To me, actually, I'd rather NOT get a completely overhauled engine that's likely to have bugs. Better to do a thorough bug-squash with the existing code base, at least in some cases. I'm not a programmer for Apple, so I don't know. 🙂 But generally speaking, DAWs are complex things, so there's a lot of this sort of stuff (it's always amusing to read the changelogs and realize just how many bugs you never see). So, yes, let's compare notes and I'll certainly be watching.

    @Mike: What exactly would define a Pro Tools killer to you? I guess that's the problem. I haven't felt any desire to use Pro Tools in years; for those who do, there seems to be a different set of priorities. People talk about mythical Pro Tools killers, but it's not clear to me what would constitute one if they saw one.

  • Simon

    Their is no point in speculating until you try it realy.

    @Peter I think that people wanted a multitouch hardware interface lol as well as some external DSP. anyway the pro tools software is not really that impressive.

  • P.C.

    Do anyone of you using the Logic Studio 8 have problems with the "jingle loops", in a way that the music still plays on but waveform on screen already ends. Very strange but if anyone out there could solve this issue, it would be a great help…..

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