Logic Pro 8: New UI, MainStage, Soundtrack Pro, and No Dongle, $499

My inbox and IM queue is full today. After a long wait, rumors, and buzz, Logic Pro 8 is here. It’s a huge overhaul, from UI to features, but the big news for many will be the price: US$499 now buys you Logic Pro Studio, which now also includes Apple’s Soundtrack Pro audio editor. We’ll be spending some quality time with the new Logic over the coming weeks, but here’s the mile-high overview: New user interface: Logic’s UI has been rebuilt from the ground up with a new, single-window view, evidently largely inspired by Soundtrack. You never have to switch …

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Thomas Dolby Extras: Live Performance Technical Details, Logic + Max/MSP

Photo randomduck. At the 1985 Grammies, Thomas Dolby played alongside Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, and Howard Jones. It was the golden age of synths and keyboard-driven pop. (Yeah, I know, some of us kinda miss those days.) But Thomas Dolby is significant, as well, as one of the pioneers of the computer-driven one-man band. Almost a decade into the age of soft synths, at a time when Logic Pro’s most punishing physical-modeling synths and convolution reverbs run just fine on a $1000 laptop and Ableton Live is becoming commonplace, musicians still struggle with some of the technical details of how …

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Control Logic, Cheap: Tutorial for Behringer BCF2000 Motorized Fader Unit

We have a love/hate relationship with Behringer. Some of their products are crap, some are blatant rip-offs of other gear — some are both. But they make some very nice control surface units that lack a direct alternative, particularly at a low price. Prepend “poor man’s” on the beginning, put in some controller elbow grease, and you’ve got a potentially great controller — if you can set it up right. From n0d3.org, we get just the help we need, chock full of tips and guidance: How To: Setting up the Behringer BCF2000 for Logic Express 7.2 Conclusion: The Behringer BCF2000 …

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Serial Logic: New Steve Horelick Tips for Logic Pro, Including (Gasp) the Environment

Breathe deeply. Listen to Steve Horelick’s soothing voice. And you, too, can take on the Environment. Steve Horelick, the composer and Logic guru who’s produced work for HBO, ABC, PBS, Ford, Volkswagen, and IBM and was just nominated for an Emmy for his years of work on Reading Rainbow, has a new Logic Pro training series out. This one I’m especially looking forward to: it’s being released as a year-long subscription, so you’ll get at least 15 minutes of training each month for a year. The idea is “advanced” Logic tips, not just the usual “here’s how to use the …

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Soundtrack Pro 2 Gets Post, Surround; Glimpse of Logic 8?

Shown above: Soundtrack Pro. But could we finally be seeing a glimpse of what’s coming in the next Logic? Contained in the Apple Final Cut Studio 2 announcement is a new version of Apple’s video-savvy sound editor, Soundtrack Pro. Unfortunately, Apple still hasn’t restored the a la carte, Soundtrack-only purchase option — you have to get Final Cut Studio to get Soundtrack Pro 2. But the new release does build on some of the unique interface ideas of the first version, while adding the key capabilities the first version lacked — namely, usefulness for actually creating soundtracks. And look closely …

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Messe: Dexter, the DAW-Friendly, Surround Sound Follow-Up to Lemur Touchscreen

JazzMutant’s Lemur touchscreen turned a lot of heads, at least as a concept: precise, multi-touch tracking that could follow all ten of your fingers independently, and interactive, custom controller touch layouts looking like something out of Star Trek: The Next Generation. That was the good news. The bad news: difficult assignments for OpenSoundControl (OSC), extra steps required for MIDI (especially in the early versions), controller layouts limited to pre-defined objects, no tactile feedback as with physical controllers, and a steep price (US$2500). Some dedicated electronic musicians loved it, and were willing to put in the time to use it. Many …

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Why Would Apple Patent a Blatantly Obvious Synth Method?

The Week of Deep Apple Electronic Music Patent Mysteries continues! Behold as Apple submits a patent for — as near as observers can tell — detuning oscillators with common beats. Let’s switch to synthesis 101 for a second. Detune two oscillators, and destructive interference between them will create beats. Apple’s patent claim: “The present invention relates to a music synthesizer and a method of generating a synthesizer output with a constant beat.” 1. A method comprising: generating a constant beat parameter; adding the constant beat parameter to a pitch signal to derive an input for a first oscillator; and combining …

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More Apple Patents Suggest New Music App, Musical Instrument?

At the very least, it looks like Apple is working on significant new music software features, as you might expect. But depending on how you read their patents, new music hardware — even touchscreen hardware — could be in store. Apple is a big company with a lot of intellectual property, so teasing out patents can be difficult. But, as others have observed before, looking for Dr. Gerhard Lengeling, the Emagic founder who came to Apple along with his company, reveals interesting results: 20060278058: Frameless musical keyboard 20060272485: Evaluating and correcting rhythm in audio data 20060022956: Touch-sensitive electronic apparatus for …

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