Apple has released an updated version of Logic Pro X, its professional music production software. The software is now souped up to show off the capabilities of the new Mac Pro, with improved responsiveness and a huge increase in the amount of tracks it can support in a project file.
This is a significant upgrade for Logic — it’s gone from support for 255 stereo audio tracks, 255 software instrument tracks and 255 aux channels to 1,000 for each, and now also supports 1,000 external MIDI tracks. Other DAWs already have some of these functions — Ableton supports unlimited audio and MIDI tracks, for example, and Pro Tools has 512 aux channels — but now Logic benchmarks or outpaces these DAWs in other areas. Additionally, this new version of Logic supports 12 sends per channel strip.
Why would anyone need 1,000 audio or instrument tracks? There are plenty of reasons. The average bedroom producer will likely never reach this threshold, but those who deal in dense, expansive composition like TV audio, adaptive video game music, and orchestral scoring very well could. The sound team for Game of Thrones recently talked to Insiderabout how they maxed out 720 tracks in the software they used between layers of sound effects, foley, background audio, and dialog.
Plus, that kind of support is a good way for Apple to showcase what the new Mac Pro is capable of handling. The company touts this version of Logic as specifically optimized for the Mac Pro, so it can handle much more complex and CPU-laden tasks. As an example, it says that with the new Mac Pro, Logic can now run up to five times the number of real-time plug-ins compared to the previous generation Mac Pro. That’s where most everyday music producers should feel relief. A small portion of people are likely to use up 1,000 audio tracks, but many know the pain of stuttering audio that can result from loads of chained plug-ins on only a handful of tracks, topping out CPU. Of course, to experience this you’ll have to use the new Mac Pro, which starts at $6,000 and can easily skyrocket into costing tens of thousands of dollars.
There’s loads more tweaks that come with this version of Logic, and many are devoted to performance and speed. A new project setting called “Only load plug-ins needed for project playback” will reduce load times for hefty files, while freezing a track now unloads its plug-ins. Almost everything has been touched in some way, from import and export settings to automation to sample-manipulation synthesizer Alchemy. Check out the rest of Logic’s upgrades on Apple’s website.
Logic Pro X costs $199.99, and those who already own a previous version can upgrade for free.