As Apple removed ‘computer’ from its name in 2007 to become Apple Inc., so did their agenda. They then famously extended their product line, leaving the creatives who used to be a huge part of their early years now no longer their largest revenue stream. There’s a lot of fuss in our industry as to whether Apple’s ‘pro’ products are still pro. However, the latest 10.3 update for Logic Pro X has a lot to shout about. We probably ought to be thankful, because the future doesn’t look good.
Apple for the creatives
It’s very easy for us to moan about Apple’s ‘duty-of-care’ to the creative industries. After all, we were their core fan base in the beginning, right? Well, not any more. Although this isn’t an official number, my last knowledge of Apple’s income revenues showed that their computers only made up 12% of their gross income. The loss of the ‘cheesegrater’ Pro computer, to a small plastic tub is potentially the best we will get now.
In the creative world we’ve seen apps such as ‘Aperture’ wiped out. Final Cut Pro was re-launched as Final Cut X, re-designed for the growing trend of freelance individuals. This has had a major impact on the larger post houses, who are either stuck on old Final Cut Pro systems, or have moved over to the Avid and Adobe platforms.
I’m still a Mac user and I’m not holding a vendetta against Apple. However, like many, I am keeping watch on the Microsoft solutions. Who knows, I might even keep the Mac for my day to day admin tasks! Read Robin’s article about the Microsoft Surface Studio, which shows promising signs although there are still connectivity issues.
Logic Pro X v10.3 Update
When the MacBook Pro and its new Touch Bar was launched, we were anticipating how DAW’s might make use of the Touch Bar. (See my article back in October last year.) Perhaps unsurprisingly, other apps including other pro apps made use of the Touch Bar almost immediately, but Logic was left behind. Quite frankly, I think we should be grateful it even came to fruition.
Not only does Logic now offer time-line control and editing shortcuts via the Touch Bar, there’s even the ability to play keyboard or drums on the Touch Bar. This I find slightly gimmicky, but it demonstrates the support Logic is still receiving. Personally, I’m hoping this sets a precedent and a starting point for other DAW manufacturers to follow.
There are other new additions to Logic, including selection-based processing and track alternatives. Both these features look great and offer two very creative additions. However, i find the new iOS and iCloud integration, which allows GarageBand versions of Logic Pro X projects to be worked on remotely, pathetic. Again, this is aimed at the market trend towards ‘bedroom producers’, but it’s not a solution for professional collaboration. Avid recently introduced their Cloud Collaboration for Pro Tools users, which didn’t get off to a good start. There was an opportunity for Apple to offer something better, but it just didn’t fall into their list of priorities.
A troublesome start for the new MacBook Pro
If you like the look of the Touch Bar features in Logic Pro X and feel it isn’t time to move away from Macintosh, then the chances are the new MacBook Pro will look tempting to you. If other manufacturers develop their software and plug-ins to incorporate the Touch Bar then I’d be inclined to agree. I’m quite happy still on a Mac, thank you. After all, “it’s what I’m used to”… Right?
However, be warned. Besides the complications USB-C only ports might present, there are reports of poor battery performance. The irregular battery performance that some users were experiencing was met with a ‘fix’ from Apple, who simply removed the battery percentage counter. This isn’t exactly a fix in my book… Following a review in the US which also revealed poor battery performance, Apple claimed the problem was a Safari browser plug-in. This doesn’t seem reasonable for a flagship computer, especially when the new machines are more expensive than the previous model…
Visit the Logic Pro X webpage for more information on the latest update.