The rumors of Logic Pro X have shown the possibility for the long-standing Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) to shift in a new direction. Logic is quickly becoming tightly integrated with all things “Apple.” Will the new Logic Pro X alienate the professional market? It is a valid question. Logic was always destined to merge with other visual and UI ideas from Apple Apps. Apple is all about its common themes and designs. It is what makes Apple a continued dominant innovator in the technology market. Utilizing the Mac App Store to sell Logic Pro X has a two-fold benefit. One they promote the App Store to audio software consumers. Two they effectively lower the price of Logic while reducing cost. It is cheaper to sell a “digital” product than it is to sell a “physical” product. A “physical” product involves packaging, shipping, warehouses, store related costs, etc… The audio software market is saturated with Digital Audio Workstations. (DAWs) Anything Apple can do for Logic to gain more exposure, lower costs, and lower the price for consumers boosts Logic’s competitive edge in the market. It is really a win win situation for Apple and Logic. Whether or not these decisions make Logic Pro X a poor man’s DAW is yet to be seen.
Many of these decisions by Apple are moving Logic into a better competitive position in its market. There is little to no information in terms of the exclusion of long time standard features in Logic Pro X. It is a DAW’s feature set that makes it valid in a professional setting. The hobbyist application focuses on an entirely different music making approach. The addition of Waveburner into Logic itself, and the decision to exclude MainStage do shed light on Apple’s intentions with Logic. It is moving away from live performance options and focusing on studio production. Logic’s original niche is as a midi sequencer and studio production environment. Another audio software giant with a unique penchant for creative features is Propellerhead’s Reason, which is due at the end of the month…
Propellerhead will release version 6 in stores on September 30th 2011. Propellerhead has combined both Reason and Record into Reason 6 for this new release. Reason will feature for the first time in its history the integration of audio tracks as a stand-alone product. This merger is viewed as an attempt to make Propellerhead’s flagship product Reason a stronger product without relying on a lesser known addition, Record, to add to its functionality. This same idea can be applied to Apple’s decision to add Waveburner into Logic instead of having it as an “addition.” This move will help Logic Pro X appear to be a solid product without the need for “add-ons” to be complete.
Many professional users fear that Logic Pro X will take a step towards the hobbyist musician. The addition of Waveburner seems to point to Apple’s wish to make Logic Pro X a stronger product rather than an “entry level” solution. Apple already has Garage Band and Logic Pro Express for these purposes.
Reason is a single program that has been widely used by both professionals and hobbyists for over a decade. Reason 6 will now include Propellerhead’s fully modeled SSL mixer. Several well renowned music professionals have given high remarks to the SSL mixer during their recent Music Making Month. Reason is constantly growing with a full professional creative feature set. This is what drives both professionals and hobbyists to use the product. If Apple alienates professional users with its release of Logic Pro X it only needs to look at Propellerheads for an example of how to appeal to both the professional and the hobbyist. They need to combine user friendly features and a strong creative feature set. If Logic Pro X succeeds in both of these areas it is sure to be a very successful release.
In other industry news, Avid showed off some new ProTools tricks at IBC Amsterdam earlier this weekend.