Apple have announced the biggest update for its flagship Logic Pro X DAW in years, with 10.5 bringing a whole new suite of compositional tools designed for beatmakers.
As good as Logic Pro X may be, it's never been the friendliest DAW for electronic or hip-hop producers. That all looks set to change now, however, with 10.5 introducing new features such as a step sequencer, a new sampling feature and a live loop mode.
The new Live Loop functionality takes inspiration from Ableton's clip mode, letting those who favour clip and launch based production ease into Logic. Samples and loops can be added into a musical grid that lets you trigger them in real time to record to the timeline, and you can also add in effects to filter, bitcrush, repeat or create a gate on each clip. Apple have also enabled this feature with their Logic Remote iPhone and iPad app, letting you use your device as a multi-touch control for live looping, which is a very, very cool feature.
The emphasis on electronic beats comes again with the inclusion of the colourful new Step Sequencer, Drum Synth and revamped Drum Machine Designer tools. The Step Sequencer allows for pattern-based sequences and control over features like velocity, repeat, skip, direction and randomisation, and looks like a pretty creative take on a typical step sequencer.
Drum Synth, on the other hand, is similar to Ultrabeat and can be blended with samples for unique percussive tones, while Drum Machine Designer can now host the new Drum Synth and Quick Sampler plug-ins to make custom kits. It can also be played in real time or programmed by the Step Sequencer, providing a myriad of options to suit differing workflows.
Finally - and perhaps most excitingly - there's a new Sampling functionality. Logic have taken a new approach to the EXS24 and split it into different models: Sampler and Quick Sampler. The interface is totally new, but backwards compatibility is available for those used to the EXS24. Quick Sampler essentially allows you to turn any individual sound into an instrument, and lets you trim, loop and play audio with ease, while Sampler is better for creating more complex samples and mapping them across instruments.
All in all, it's an incredibly comprehensive update from Apple, and should see a lot of producers eyeing Logic Pro X in a different light. The updated 10.5 DAW is available to purchase now, while existing users can download the update for free from the App Store.
Find out more about Logic Pro X 10.5 via Apple's website.