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Logic Pro 7 - first impressions


Dan South

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I ran the upgrade from Logic Pro 6.4.2 to Logic Pro 7 yesterday and noodled around a little bit. Here are impressions of my first bleeding edge session.

 

PROS

 

- I like the graphics. The toolboxes are easier to use.

 

- Installation was quick and painless.

 

- Everything pretty much works they way it used to in 6 with exception of several third party plug-ins (see below).

 

- I tried the new FM and beat box synths. They sound great individually, but there was some distortion when both were playing simultaneously (see below).

 

- Soft synths/EXS24/Space Designer have a lot more patches and samples. Good stuff.

 

- Guitar amp emulation is excellent. Will it fool Eric Clapton into thinking that it was a mic'ed Marshall? No, but it will go a long way toward warming up your guitar tracks.

 

- There are supposed to be some loops in here somewhere, but I haven't found them yet.

 

- The upgrade imported my Autoload file, but I couldn't find the file. The help browser indicated were I should put an Autoload file (different options), so I saved a new Autoload and customized it as necessary. Apparently you can set up templates for various types of peojects. I'll have to look into this more thoroughly.

 

- I like the information window that pops up when you drag an object.

 

- MIDI implementation appears to be identical to previous versions.

 

- Space Designer is easy to use to get an idea of what new tracks/instruments will sound like in the final mix.

 

- Authorization was quick and painless. No Challenge/Response email hoops to jump through.

 

CONS

 

- When I first launched the program, a little QWERTY keyboard was displaned on the monitor. While this little keyboard was visible, I couldn't use numbers to change screen sets. Killing the keyboard window fixed the problem.

 

- There seems to be more latency on audio instruments. Apple's site suggests lowering the buffer size. I haven't tried this yet. Latency is worst when you switch from one instrument track to another in the Arrange window.

 

- Many of my third party AU synths don't work. Apple's site says that they can be enabled in the AU manager, but that they may cause trouble. During installation, some AU's tried to start up and got error messages.

 

- I don't see any patch updates available on the Apple site.

 

- The program crashed a couple of times before I ran Repair Permissions.

 

- The "G" (Go) hot key doesn't keep the last Go target like it used to. This is a very important feature for me.

 

- When you move or stretch an object in the graphical editor or the Arrange Window, moves are not beat quantized as was the default in Logic 6. I'll have to look for where this is controlled.

 

- Gain structure is sensitive. When the beat box and FM synth play simultaneously, there's audible distortion on concurrent notes even when the gain of both instruments is lowered. EXS24 didn't exhibit this problem.

 

More comments to follow...

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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Originally posted by Dan South:

- When I first launched the program, a little QWERTY keyboard was displayed on the monitor. While this little keyboard was visible, I couldn't use numbers to change screen sets. Killing the keyboard window fixed the problem.

That's a feature, Dan. :cool::idea::)

 

It's CAPS LOCK. It let's you play Audio Instruments (polyphonically) right from the QWERTY keyboard. When it's on, the number keys select the octave and the Z-M keys set velocity. You should see a superimposed keyboard on the A-L and Q-P rows.

 

It's especially useful on a PowerBook when travelling without a music keyboard.

 

Chords, beats, lines, ... you name it... it works great.

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Originally posted by Dan South:

- The program crashed a couple of times before I ran Repair Permissions.

You should ALWAYS run repair permissions every time you install software, including updates. It helps keep things in order. I do it every time, including after running "software update".
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Originally posted by steadyb:

Originally posted by Dan South:

- The program crashed a couple of times before I ran Repair Permissions.

You should ALWAYS run repair permissions every time you install software, including updates. It helps keep things in order. I do it every time, including after running "software update".
Forgive my candor, but that's just stupid. The installation script should set the permissions properly before it terminates. This isn't a Logic issue, but it's apparently a really dumb oversight in OSX.

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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Originally posted by steadyb:

That's a feature, Dan. :cool::idea::)

 

It's CAPS LOCK. It let's you play Audio Instruments (polyphonically) right from the QWERTY keyboard. When it's on, the number keys select the octave and the Z-M keys set velocity. You should see a superimposed keyboard on the A-L and Q-P rows.

 

It's especially useful on a PowerBook when travelling without a music keyboard.

 

Chords, beats, lines, ... you name it... it works great.

How do I re-enable this gadget?

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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Originally posted by Dan South:

Originally posted by steadyb:

Originally posted by Dan South:

- The program crashed a couple of times before I ran Repair Permissions.

You should ALWAYS run repair permissions every time you install software, including updates. It helps keep things in order. I do it every time, including after running "software update".
Forgive my candor, but that's just stupid. The installation script should set the permissions properly before it terminates. This isn't a Logic issue, but it's apparently a really dumb oversight in OSX.
That's not an official procedure... just my own superstitious habit. But it seems to work for me. And it's not like it takes that long to do.
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Originally posted by Dan South:

Originally posted by steadyb:

That's a feature, Dan. :cool::idea::)

 

It's CAPS LOCK. It let's you play Audio Instruments (polyphonically) right from the QWERTY keyboard. When it's on, the number keys select the octave and the Z-M keys set velocity. You should see a superimposed keyboard on the A-L and Q-P rows.

 

It's especially useful on a PowerBook when travelling without a music keyboard.

 

Chords, beats, lines, ... you name it... it works great.

How do I re-enable this gadget?
Just hit caps lock when Logic 7 is open.
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Originally posted by steadyb:

Originally posted by Dan South:

Originally posted by steadyb:

quote:

Originally posted by Dan South:

- The program crashed a couple of times before I ran Repair Permissions.
You should ALWAYS run repair permissions every time you install software, including updates. It helps keep things in order. I do it every time, including after running "software update".
Forgive my candor, but that's just stupid. The installation script should set the permissions properly before it terminates. This isn't a Logic issue, but it's apparently a really dumb oversight in OSX.
That's not an official procedure... just my own superstitious habit. But it seems to work for me. And it's not like it takes that long to do.

For what it's worth, I've come across the advice to repair permissions before and after each and every installation, upgrade, and update from a wide variety of sources, most recently on page 15 of the November 2004 issue of MacAddict. (The context of MacAddict's advice in this instance was only in regard to OS updates, however.)

 

I've found that following this practice really helps things run smoothly.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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So, why is it a manual procedure and not at least an option (default) for installation scripts?

 

I've worked on UNIX computers for a couple of decades. If I installed software on a client's computer and it failed because I didn't set the permissions of some files and directories properly, the client would be extremely unhappy with me. It's not the CLIENT'S job to set up the computer; it's MINE.

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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Originally posted by Dan South:

So, why is it a manual procedure and not at least an option (default) for installation scripts?

 

I've worked on UNIX computers for a couple of decades. If I installed software on a client's computer and it failed because I didn't set the permissions of some files and directories properly, the client would be extremely unhappy with me. It's not the CLIENT'S job to set up the computer; it's MINE.

Good point Dan. Of course, strictly speaking, repairing permissions is a maintenance procedure, not a computer setup procedure; and computer maintenance is generally considered to be the responsibility of the user. However, when installations commonly go awry when permissions haven't been repaired, and when installations commonly cause problems with permissions, then the scope of the problem goes beyond simple maintenance issues.

 

Of course, it's not a big deal to repair permissions before and after a single installation; but when setting up a computer from scratch, it can be a real pain in the neck to repeat the process over and over again while installing each application and all of its updates.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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I should probably start a separate OSX permissions thread so that I can keep this one on Logic, but no body seems to be in a Logic 7 mood today, and I'm feeling lazy, so...

 

:D

 

The installation procedure would only be responsible for the permissions of files that it installs or updates, not the whole system. That shouldn't take long.

 

A bigger issue is why permissions of files are changed in the course of normally running programs on the computer. They don't change by themselves. It probably happens when new files are created, or when files are removed and then replaced by new files of the same name. Even so, a program that creates a file or a directory has the power to change that file's permissions. It should just be part of the application - set permissions properly every time you create a new file.

 

Maybe this is a new area that PC and Mac developers don't tend to think about. I find it amazing that someone would build an application that may run fine for a while but then start to fail randomly because files are being created on the hard drive with something other than they recommended permissions, and that the end user is responsible for cleaning up these permissions from time to time. I'm glad that my LIFE doesn't depend on OSX.

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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Originally posted by Geoff Grace:

Of course, it's not a big deal to repair permissions before and after a single installation; but when setting up a computer from scratch, it can be a real pain in the neck to repeat the process over and over again while installing each application and all of its updates.

Reparing permissions once right after doing all the updates would probably be sufficient.
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Originally posted by steadyb:

Originally posted by Geoff Grace:

Of course, it's not a big deal to repair permissions before and after a single installation; but when setting up a computer from scratch, it can be a real pain in the neck to repeat the process over and over again while installing each application and all of its updates.

Reparing permissions once right after doing all the updates would probably be sufficient.
Thanks for replying steadyb. I think that "probably" is the right word. Before I got in the habit of repairing permissions before and after every single installation and update, I only had one problem I can recall from not following this procedure. What happened in that case was that a destination folder for plug-ins had been created with faulty permissions by the installer and the updaters failed to update and add to that plug-ins folder. Reinstalling the application from scratch and repairing permissions before installing each and every update solved the problem.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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Getting back to Logic, why did it reject most of my soft synths?

 

Arturia CS-80 V

 

Bosendorfer 290

 

Korg Poly 6, MS-20, Wavestation

 

Waves Gold Bundle

 

etc.

 

Only a couple of NI synths passed its inspection process.

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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Most if not all have been updated by now. I view the AU validation as a good thing, though a bit of a hassle. At least some of the stability issues with third party plugins is being addressed, a major concern with all the Mac OSX DAWs from my experience.

 

Arturia

 

Korg

 

East West Kompakt Engine

 

I thought the Waves stuff was updated as well.

 

Busch.

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I got to play with LP7 a bit at AES yesterday, and am heading back today for some more tutorial time. Channelstrips are definitely a big feature. I'm also really impressed with Sculpture and Ultrabeat. One of the most under-trumpted features though, IMO, is the beat-mapping Global Track. Particularly if you are doing orchestrations or like playing in a more fluid style, that can be a really valuable feature for syncing up loops and MIDI tracks.

"I don't know anything about music. In my line, you don't have to."

-Elvis Presley (1935-1977)

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I tried some of the Apple Loops last night. They're fun to jam with and easy to use. I didn't know that they automatically sync to tempo. The documentation says that you can create your own loops. That's sounds great! I'll have to try this over the weekend.

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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I spent a fair amount of time with LP7 at AES. In addition to having a very lengthy demo from a very nice Apple staffer (she was nice enough to demo features that she wasn't prepared to demo, even though it meant she screwed up a couple of times and had to re-start), I took several of the free workshops on the various new features that Apple put on. Great marketing move that, by the way

(paging Steadyb...Steadyb..... :D:wave: ).

 

I was absolutely bowled over by this program. :love: It is just terrific. My favorite part (which is a bit difficult, as I like many of the new features) has got to be the channel strips. Being able to save and call up complete channel strip setups is HUGE!!! That is just a fantastic worksaver and a really great source of inspiration when you're stuck (just dial through a few channel strips until you find something you like).

 

One thing that surprised me was how much I liked Ultrabeat. I knew I'd like Sculpture (which I do, although I've only scratched its potential at this point), as well as the new FM synth, but I more or less hastily dismissed Ultrabeat. That is one extremely cool drum synth. Between being able to use your own sample, being able to control indvidual filters, envelopes, etc. for each part, calling up pre-set patterns for various parts, etc., it is extremely easy to use and has some terrific sounds.

 

I'll stop gushing, but I was completely sold by my time with LP7. Apple, being kind enough to provide discounts to AES attendees, has also ensured that I'll be buying a slightly more capable (and expensive) G5/monitor combo than I'd previously intended. :cool:

 

Slimy bastards.

 

--Mark

"I don't know anything about music. In my line, you don't have to."

-Elvis Presley (1935-1977)

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