Logic Pro X 10.4.5, seen onstage at WWDC, is now available. And yes, it supports the new ultra-high-end Mac Pro – but there are fixes and performance optimizations for everyone, with or without new machines.
10.4.5 looks like the most pro-oriented Logic Pro in a long time. Apple has been aggressive with its update cadence for Logic for years running now, even with free upgrades, and this version is no exception.
This release also marks the end of the road for Mac OS X 10.12 Sierra. The new minimum OS requirement is 10.13.16 High Sierra. (Mojave is seeming stable these days, and it’s summertime, so maybe now is a good time to do a full backup and take the plunge.)
First up – yes, the banner feature from Apple’s perspective is that the new Logic runs on the new Mac Pro. Under the hood, that means support for up to 56 threads, the kind of massive multiprocessing the new Mac Pro can do.
The use case for this kind of processing power is slim, but then, that’s what the ‘pro’ concept is all about. Doing artist relations, you may have a film composer with advanced technical needs and a shelf full of Academy Awards. Even one user in your user base can be critical.
That said, I think the real story here is that Apple is shaking the tree across the whole code base – meaning these performance optimizations and fixes could benefit you even if you’re running on a beat-up older MacBook, too.
So, think really big track counts – which could be meaningful since even some mid-range CPUs can theoretically churn through a lot of tracks, to say nothing of that shiny Mac Pro tower.
Increased Number of Tracks and Channels, up to:
1000 stereo audio channel strips
1000 software instrument channel strips
1000 auxiliary channel strips
1000 external MIDI tracks
12 sends per channel strip
Way back around 2006, I heard from a Macworld reader complaining about lifting exactly these limitations and how I didn’t mention them in a review. (See above: that one user thing.)
There’s a bunch of other new features that are serious DAW improvements – and almost no mention mention of any fictional artificial drummers.
An all-new DeEsser 2 plug-in
16 ports of MIDI clock, MTC, and MMC from Logic – yeah, expect to see a Mac Pro in broadcast/film/TV applications running audio
Mixer configuration can be set to your own user-definable defaults (huge time saver there, finally)
A clever automatic duplicate erase when you’re merging MIDI recordings
And some new keyboard shortcuts to save you time when editing:
- Option + Shift while rubber-band selecting in the Piano Roll: new time Handles selection.
- Option-click track on/off button: loads/unloads the plug-ins on the channel strip (wow, easy A/B!)
- Shift-double-click Tracks background: start playback from that position.
And for the “I have an old beat-up MacBook you can pry out of my dead fingers” crowd – finally Freeze works the way it should. (How many of you were desperately freezing tracks while cursing Logic as the CPU meter refused to go down?) From the release notes:
“Freezing a track now unloads its plug-ins to free up resources.”
There are also fixes and performance optimizations and workflow and display improvements throughout. As you’d expect, fixes are concentrated on newer features – Smart Tempo, ARA, Flex, and the like.
So you don’t get any earth-shaking new features unless you’re really into de-essing, but what you do get is some evidence the Apple engineers are working through their log of stuff.
Logic Pro X 10.4 release notes (Apple support, 10.4.5 stuff is right up top)
Full disclosure: I will now this week refresh my MacBook Pro’s OS and then Logic release.
Hey, say what you will about Apple, but Logic Pro these days is pretty accessible from a user experience perspective. There’s some powerful and numerous competitors that either fail that ease of use test or that simply lack features you need to get big jobs done in scoring and the like. Maddeningly, a lot get the ease right but lack features, or have insanely powerful features but demand you contort your brain to use them. (Once upon a time, an earlier version of Logic was also far harder to use.)
I know from CDM’s own site stats and plenty of anecdotal evidence that all this matters to music makers. It’s not just Apple brand loyalty that makes Logic last.