Apple music apps reviews 2012


Winner of the TopTenREVIEWS Silver award, Apple Logic Pro is the best digital audio workstation software (DAW) product for the Mac OS. This audio production software records and edits audio and midi data. You can add high quality effects and then mix and master the music in stereo or surround sound. You can export the final mix as a variety of audio file types, burn it to a CD or DVD, and export it to other applications and devices. It is sad for PC users that Apple discontinued Logic’s development on Windows when it acquired the product in 2002, leaving 70,000 Windows users in the lurch. Logic was the first DAW software ever created. The product’s origins go all the way back to 1993, when it was first released as Logic Notator on the Atari by a German company named Emagic.With Apple as its current publisher, the Logic Pro fan base is enormous because the software is that good. There used to be a basic version of Logic Pro named Logic Express, but with the latest release of Logic Pro 9, Apple has discontinued Logic Express. The full-featured Logic Pro now costs what Logic Express used to cost.Logic Pro is a comfortable place for producing music. There are many ways to set up projects. You can view all working areas and editors in the Arrange window, which is where you record audio files and them and instrument parts as regions. In the Arrange area, you can also drag and drop audio files to add them to a project, and add or record midi information. The Toolbar contains quick access to buttons for frequently used commands. There is an editing area along the bottom of the Arrange window where you can open and close the Mixer, Sample Editor, Piano Roll Editor, Score Editor or Hyper Editor. From the Arrange area, you can open a Media browser that stores all of the files associated with the project in an audio bin. You can also access the loop browser, which is a library where you can search for premade loops and instruments, access plugins and midi instrument settings. There is also a file browser you can use to search your computer for all Logic Pro files as well as all other audio files on the hard drive.

Logic Pro equips you with every feature you can imagine to record and operate on music. There are extensive editing features, and you can automate many of the operations that you make so that they apply to multiple parts within a project. The Bounce function on the mixer’s output channel lets you render your projects as a variety of audio files or burn them directly to a CD or DVD.The Logic Pro mixer is the area where you polish the sound of each musical element of a project to make a unified mix. It takes full advantage of the Macintosh user interface, so you can open the mixer as a pane in the Arrange window or as a separate window. The mixer resembles an analog hardware mixer, so its operation is intuitive if you are at all familiar with traditional soundboards. There are channel strips where you process the audio or files information routed from the Arrange tracks. The channel strip controls let you adjust the level, panning, plugins and other characteristics of the audio files routed through the channel strip. To keep your projects organized, you can operate view and filter buttons that let you see only the channel strips that you want to work on. You can also save the mixer configuration at any time to use as a template for other projects.

The Logic Pro mixer can handle every stage of mixing. At the preparation stage, you can preview tracks in your arrangement to see if any of them could be grouped. If so, you can link and automate some of their parameters so that you can adjust their output at a group level instead of adjusting each individual track separately. You can set volume levels relative to each channel strip, which gives you control over the volume relationships of all of the parts of the project. You have control over where an audio channel is positioned within the stereo soundscape by adjusting the pan, balance and surround sound position. With the sound levels where you want them to be, you can add effects and figure out how to route audio to each effect. You can apply affects to each channel strip and route their outputs or portions of the signal to busses to apply the same effects to a number of channels. There are many ways to control the signal flow in the mixer, and you can apply track automation to levels, effects and instrument settings. Of course, when you are done with the project, you can render or bounce your music to a number of audio file types from the Output 1/2 channel strip.This audio mastering software supports many desirable effects. You can work with plugins such as software instruments and audio effects by inserting, removing or replacing them on channel strips. Logic has every possible effect and processor to color and shape recordings, software instruments and external audio sources. There is a complete collection of EQs, dynamics processors and modulation, delay, reverb and distortion effects. You can automate each effect to raise and lower the amount of signal it processes in much the same way as you can automate the volume and panning levels if you need them to change at various points within a song.

There are also plugins to simulate amplifiers and speaker cabinets. Guitar players can use a number of well-known pedal effect emulations. Logic has advanced effects features as well. There are precise signal meters and analyzers and a test tone generator. Of course it also has noise reduction, pitch correction and bass enhancement. There are also time-altering processors and various other utilities.The manual and help inside of Logic Pro are superb: clearly organized and well conceived. Online resources at abound.

The Logic Pro online user community is well attended and supportive. Online videos address useful topics such as “Logic for GarageBand Users” and “Designing Your Own Amp.” Telephone support is free for 90 days after purchase.

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