Throughout all of my whinging and moaning about the lack of Final Cut Pro on the iPad, I completely overlooked Apple’s DAW. Why wasn’t I just as publicly incessant with my desire for that piece of software to make its way to the iPad?
I have absolutely no idea.
This is made all the more strange when you consider that I’ve been making music for much, much longer than I’ve been making videos.
Since about the age of 12, I’ve considered myself a bedroom music producer who does it for nothing more than his own pleasure. This hobby has unfortunately suffered as I’ve grown older, taken on more responsibility, and started my own business, but the love for it has never evaporated entirely.
Now, it feels like I have the opportunity to dip my toes far more regularly into music production, and it’s all thanks to an iPad app that, clearly, I never thought we’d see.
I have a feeling that Logic Pro on the iPad is going to change everything, and not just for yours truly.
Mobile music production without limits
Apple refers to Logic Pro for the iPad as the “ultimate music studio at your finger-tips”.
Boy are they not messing about.
From 23rd May and for just £4.99 per month (or £49 annually), anyone with an iPad running the A12 Bionic chip or later will gain access to a full fat version of Logic on Apple’s tablet.
I’m yet to get my hands on it, but the landing page for Logic Pro on the iPad confirms that pretty much everything is present. Everything from the traditional timeline to the Ableton-inspired Live Loops, and the mixer have made the transition to touch.
New features such as plug-ing tiles, a producer-fed sound library, and Sample Alchemy arguably move Logic Pro for the iPad a step beyond its Mac companion. It’s an incredibly exciting prospect and one I cannot wait to get my hands on.
Oh, and just to confirm – regardless of your stance on subscription pricing and the absence of a buy-it-outright option, Logic Pro on the iPad is an absolute bargain. Complaining about spending £49 a year on an app as capable as this illustrates how spoilt we are by technology these days. Get over it.
Back to the analogue days?!
As much as I’ve wanted Final Cut Pro for the iPad, I’ve always been cognisant of the issues inherent with converting it for touch input. It would be very easy to make video editing incredibly ham-fisted when swapping the mouse pointer for your finger.
For that reason, I remain on the fence about the Final Cut Pro iPad conversion until I’ve laid my hands on it.
Logic Pro is a different matter entirely. Making music is so much more enjoyable when it’s tangible. Logic Pro becoming entirely touch-based harks back to the days of analogue music making when artists, producers, and engineers had proper knobs and buttons with which to fiddle.
This is why I’m so excited about Logic Pro on the iPad. In one fell swoop it has combined an entirely new, fresh way of making music, with the tactility of the pre-Pro Tools era. Sure, we’ll still be making everything ‘in the box’, but we can now touch that box.
Unchained from the desk
One of the main reasons my music making has suffered as the responsibilities of adulthood and business ownership have taken over is because it’s quite a cumbersome undertaking.
Traditionally, you’d need a fixed workstation containing a computer, audio interface, midi controller keyboard (and any other peripherals), external hardware, and the multitude of control surfaces you inevitably become addicted to buying.
Put simply, it’s an event every time you decide to make some music. You have to turn everything on, open up Logic Pro on your Mac, spend time working out why Plug-in X is no longer working, fumble around for your sample library, and update three of your soft synths. This is before you lay down a single note of music.
Simply diving in for some causal beat making or loop jamming is an impossible dream. Or at least it was until Apple announced Logic Pro for the iPad.
Yes, you can still connect external gear. And, yes, there will (wonderfully) be third-party plug-in support available from the off. But this is the iPad and, as we know, the iPad excels as an iPad; no faffing, no disruptive multitasking, and absolutely zero whiff of third-party background software to halt play.
You don’t need to get your hands on the iPad version of Logic Pro to know that operating it will be a simple case of unlocking the device, tapping the app icon and cracking on. That isn’t the experience of making music within a traditional computing environment – trust me.
Not just for beat makers
At face value, the iPad version of Logic Pro is made for people who produce electronic music. Whether it’s house, hip hop, or ambient, this is clearly a platform for those who revel in layering repetitive eight-bar loops with beats, samples, and arpeggiated synth riffs.
However, Apple clearly isn’t keen on it being limited to that crowd. At the top of the Logic Pro for iPad webpage, we’re told that users can “create and produce music in any genre”.
Apple wants this to be a tool for all artists and music producers.
This only adds to the excitement and reveals the full potential of Logic Pro on the iPad. You can, after all, record directly into it via an audio interface, and the wealth of instruments and plug-ins made available at launch will satisfy all types of music making.
GarageBand has been around for a long time on the iPad, and Apple is clearly conscious that it is used extensively by musicians for capturing ideas and starting the production process before moving it across to the Mac and Logic Pro. The release of the latter on the iPad completely removes the need to transition anywhere; they want you to start and finish your work on the iPad.
It’s rare that I feel this confident about a piece of Apple software before getting my hands on it. But Logic Pro somehow feels like a sure-fire win, right out of the box.
Apple will have had to do something alarmingly stupid to spoil this app. Unlike the ludicrous decision to launch Final Cut Pro for the iPad without external drive support, there doesn’t appear to be any limitations with Logic Pro on the iPad.
The trick, I think, will be to keep your mobile Logic Pro setup super simple. With that in mind, I’ve already bought myself a Novation Launchkey Mini midi keyboard, but I won’t go any further than that. I want to live by my desire to have on-the-go music making available at all times, without any hassle.
I don’t think I’m alone with that desire, either. The iPad version of Logic Pro is going to redefine music making and, thanks to that generous pricing, make it available to more people than ever before.
Stay tuned for my full review.
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