Logic Pro 10.4
Powerful music-making tool gets an upgrade
Free upgrade, or $199.99 From Apple, apple.com Features Automatic tempo detection, new plugins Needs OS X 10.12 or later
Unlike most point releases, Logic Pro 10.4 delivers significant new features. The first is automatic tempo detection. Instead of having to choose a tempo before you record, Logic can listen to you play and adjust the tempo accordingly. You can fine-tune its analysis and it copes admirably with subtle or dramatic tempo changes. It also works with imported audio, so it’s easy to add extra instruments or automation to existing recordings, and you can create DJay Pro-style seamless mixes by daisy-chaining files together ready for Logic to update their tempos.
It’s a real boon to songwriters, because you can now record your performance before piling on other instruments and Drummer tracks. There are two new Drummers — roots and brushy jazz — alongside two new brush kits. The two new virtual instruments — Studio Strings and Studio Horns — offer exceptionally realistic performance and extensive customization.
The familiar Space Designer plugin has had a makeover and is joined by new plugins Chromaverb, Vintage EQ, Step FX, and Phat FX. Chromaverb is a rebooted PlatinumVerb with a flexible algorithm that creates some interesting effects, although its real-time visuals don’t work on older Macs.
Vintage EQ is a lot of fun. There are three plugins to choose from: console, graphic, and tube, and each delivers the warm output of classic hardware; the console EQ is modelled on the Neve preamps associated with classic rock.
Apple has acquired Camel Audio’s Space and Phat, which are here as Step FX and Phat FX respectively. They’re multi-FX plugins that enable you to chain effects together. In Phat FX that means bandpass filtering, distortion, compression, LFO and limiting; in Step FX you can filter, delay, modulate, and edit individual steps. Phat is particularly good on bass drums and guitars, adding subtle warmth and extra kick, while Step offers a lot of fun with filters.
We’re impressed that Apple decided to make these free for existing customers. If you aren’t already using Logic, the 10.4 update makes an already superb music production studio even more compelling.
the bottom line. Logic Pro 10.4 is a major upgrade with superb tempo detection and impressive new plugins. Carrie Marshall