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Apple Introduces Logic Studio

Apple announced Logic Studio yesterday, a new suite of applications for professional audio and music production.

Logic Studio is more than just an upgrade to Logic Pro, Apple's flagship audio application. It's a collection of programs and supporting media, analogous to Final Cut Studio, now provided at a bargain price. Here's a rundown of its components:

The Studio is anchored by Logic Pro 8, a new version of Apple's professional audio tool. The program has a new, single-window interface, reinforcing the family resemblance with Final Cut.

MainStage, a brand-new program, is one of the more intriguing items in the set. It allows musicians to use a Mac as hardware rig in live peformance. Integrate software instruments and effects processing with hardware controllers in real time.

And speaking of software instruments—the Studio comes with a large assortment of Studio Instruments including synths, the famous EXS24 Sampler, Vintage Instruments, Ultrabeat (for drum kits), and Sculpture—an extremely flexible component modeling tool that lets the artist create a mind-boggling array of original timbres. In surround sound, too, no less.

Studio Effects—a collection of 80 sound-processing plug-ins that let you adjust the sonic environment of your composition or recording.

The Studio Sound Library contains somewhere north of a zillion Apple Loops, sampled instruments, and presets of various kinds, including the contents of all 5 Jam Pack collections.

And an old friend from Final Cut Studio: Soundtrack Pro 2, designed to streamline the process of scoring video and film.

One of the most amazing statistics about the new package is the price: the entire Studio sells for $500—half the price of Logic Pro 7 alone!

At the same time, Apple quietly released Logic Express 8, junior sibling of Logic Pro. Logic Express 8 shares the same one-window interface as the Pro version and ships with more of the high-quality plug-ins for which Logic Pro has long been famous, including Ultrabeat and the EXS24 Sampler. The price-cutting gods were also kind to Logic Express—it will set you back only $200, unlike the previous version which cost $300.