The Logic Pros: 6 powerful new features you may have missed in Logic 10.1

6 New features-The Logic Pros

The Logic Pros is a new regular series exploring all of the most interesting gadgets and software for making music on your Mac/iOS devices. If there is any gear you would like us to take a closer hands-on look at, let us know in the comments section below or shoot us an email.

In this week’s edition of The Logic Pros, we will be diving into some of the most tucked away and over-looked features packed inside the release of Logic Pro X 10.1. We saw a number of interesting new features get added including AirDrop/Air Mail, a host of new Drummers, and Retro Synth got a seriously powerful overhaul (something we will be looking at in the future). But there were also a few features that didn’t get much attention, whether it be Logic’s brand new MIDI performance creation tool, its simple embedded automation, smarter quantization, or its fully customizable plug-in menus: Read more

The Logic Pros: How to control anything in Logic using your hardware MIDI controller

Novation 64-Button Ableton Controller-Logic ProsThe Logic Pros is a new regular series exploring all of the most interesting gadgets and software for making music on your Mac/iOS devices. If there is any gear you would like us to take a closer hands-on look at, let us know in the comments section below or shoot us an email.

In this week’s edition of The Logic Pros, we will be looking at how to map all those fun looking sliders, switches, buttons and encoders on our controllers to various functions inside of Logic Pro X. In many case, we get home with our MIDI controller, plug it in, and it just works. The keys/pads function just as they should, but the plethora of other dials and faders available generally won’t do much, unless you tell them to.

We will be covering the basics of how to get our MIDI keyboard/controller mapped to just about any parameter in our session, along with a few creative ways to bring some of Logic Pro X’s more powerful features into the real world: Read more

How-To: Prepare your iPhone, iPad or Mac for iOS 9 + OS X El Capitan public betas

ios9ipad

Up until recently, unfinished “beta” versions of iOS and OS X were only officially available to registered Apple developers, enabling companies to make their apps compatible before the operating systems were publicly released. But to increase openness and expand its pool of beta testers, Apple decided to offer “public betas” of both iOS and OS X to interested users, starting with iOS 8.4 and OS X Yosemite. Very soon, both iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan will become available as public betas under the Apple Beta Software Program, which you can sign up for here.

Should you install these new and unstable betas on your iPad, iPhone, or Mac? What can you really expect after doing so? Below, I’ll provide you with some guidance so you can make an informed decision to participate in the public betas, or hold off…

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The Logic Pros: How to create multi-layered synth patches & drum sounds with Track Stacks

The Logic Pros-Track Stacks-01The Logic Pros is a new regular series exploring all of the most interesting gadgets and software for making music on your Mac/iOS devices. If there is any gear you would like us to take a closer hands-on look at, let us know in the comments section below or shoot us an email.

In this week’s edition of The Logic Pros, we will be sticking with the basics to highlight one of Logic Pro X’s most helpful additions: Track Stacks. It is mainly used for organizational reasons and to provide a simple way to create sub-mixes inside your DAW, a technique that has been used by recording engineers/song makers for decades, and previous to Track Stacks, required a number of clicks to get up and running.

Most tutorials and articles online that showcase Logic’s macro, auto-grouping feature focus on the track management abilities and the ease with which Track Stacks allow not-as-experienced users to group tracks together in sensible ways. On top of all that, we will be exploring some of the more creative ways to use the feature, including the creation of fat, multi-layered synth patches/drum hits, and the streamlined editing there of: Read more

Apple Watch How-To: Take and share screenshots from your Apple Watch

Apple Watch Screenshot

Now that you have your Apple Watch, you might be curious to know how to take a screenshot from your your new device. The process is a little different from taking screenshots on an iPhone or iPad and the photos aren’t automatically saved to the watch, but you may want to screenshot fitness and activity achievements or show friends your customized Apple Watch face. In this how-to article I will quickly discuss how to take a screenshot on your Apple Watch and how you can make the process easier.

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How-To: Build a $150-$300 iTunes video + music server for your home

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In May 2005, iTunes evolved from a music player into a video library manager, paving the way for video iPods (October 2005), Apple TV (March 2007), and AirPlay video streaming (September 2010). Since then, iTunes libraries have become bigger and more central in homes, as users now stream content stored in iTunes — sometimes called a media “server” — to “clients” including Apple TVs, iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches. Unless you stream all of your content from the iTunes Store, you probably have some space-consuming videos sitting in your computer’s iTunes library, where they can be accessed by client devices so long as both the server computer and iTunes are turned on.

Apple has resisted calls to release a standalone, inexpensive iTunes home media server for years: 2008’s release of Time Capsule came tantalizingly close, but couldn’t act as a standalone streamer. So when my video library became too large to keep on my iMac, I bit the bullet and bought a used Mac mini to serve as an iTunes server. It works well, and consumes a lot less power than keeping my iMac on all the time, but it’s still a full-fledged $700 computer — overkill for streaming videos to the Apple devices in my home.

Today, I’m going to help you build a small, inexpensive, and ultra energy-efficient iTunes media server. Depending on the size of your iTunes library, it could cost as little as $150, or as much as $300, in either case much less expensive than a Mac mini. The key component is Intel’s new Compute Stick, a tiny basic Windows PC that can plug directly into an HDTV, run iTunes, and stream videos across your network. For around $130, you can now get an iView-branded Compute Stick with a CPU similar to the 12″ Retina MacBook, bundled with a wireless keyboard and trackpad. Although there are some important caveats you should understand up front, the Compute Stick can become a ~3-Watt video server using a $20+ microSD card, radically reducing the energy required to stream iTunes content in your home. If you need more storage and power, you can easily add a near-silent $90+ hard drive with 2TB-5TB of capacity

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The Logic Pros: Turning iPad into a virtual pedalboard using Logic Remote

Logic-Remote-Pedalboard

The Logic Pros is a new regular series exploring all of the most interesting gadgets and software for making music on your Mac/iOS devices. If there is any gear you would like us to take a closer hands-on look at, let us know in the comments section below or shoot us an email.

Apple’s Logic Remote app for iPad allows for a lot of control over sessions in Logic Pro X on the Mac— its two main functions include controlling the mixer/transport controls, and using it as a midi controller for playing virtual instruments with user interfaces for keyboards, drumpads, and fretboards. But the app’s other feature is a grid of drumpad-like squares that can be used as buttons for key commands.

My goal was to be able to easily flip through amps and pedals as I jam, rather than having to deal with mouse clicks, opening/highlighting the plug-in I want to interact with, etc. So using Logic Remote, I setup a workflow with custom key commands that makes the drumpad-style interface work like a giant foot pedal for flipping through the awesome set of virtual amps and pedals Logic includes. Here’s how I did it: Read more

How to fix the iOS text message bug causing iPhone crashing/reboot (U: Apple statement, watches too)

messages

Update: The Guardian notes that the bug also crashes the Apple Watch when you try to reply to a message.

Today news is flying around regarding an iOS bug that causes the Messages app to crash and iPhones to reboot when a certain string of text is received. There isn’t an official fix from Apple yet, but there are a few workarounds and fixes that you can do in the meantime before Apple patches the bug.

Here are a few fixes that users have discovered and sent in: Read more

The Best Mac Accessories and Upgrades

Over the past six months, I’ve published quite a few tutorials to help Mac users improve the performance of older computers, as well as some great guides to the best Mac accessories across a variety of categories. Today, I’m tying them all together in this handy, one-stop roundup of the best Mac accessories and upgrades.

This guide walks you through everything: in one place, you can learn about the best Mac hard drives, RAM upgrades, docks, keyboards, trackpads, stands, bags, and travel accessories out there. And you can also get free apps to improve your Mac’s storage and responsiveness, find plain English explanations of your Mac’s technical specs, and learn about the little security screws Apple uses to tamper-proof its machines. There’s a lot inside, so you may want to bookmark this piece for future reference!…

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The Logic Pros: TE’s new pocket-sized synths & how to sync them up with your Mac

teenage-engineering-po-16-pocket-synthsizer-mac-ios-07

The Logic Pros is a new regular series exploring all of the most interesting gadgets and software for making music on your Mac/iOS devices. If there is any gear you would like us to take a closer hands-on look at, let us know in the comments section below or shoot us an email.

Teenage Engineering, best known for its flagship synthesizer/sequencer the OP-1, recently unleashed a new line of tiny music makers on the world known as the Pocket Operators. The PO-12 Rhythm is a drum machine, the PO-14 Sub is a bass module and the PO-16 Factory is dedicated to melodies and lead lines. The appearance of the units may have some writing them off as toys, and considering they were partially inspired by pocket calculators and the Nintendo Game & Watch products, that may not be totally off base. But creativity and musical inspiration come from unexpected places sometimes.

Having gone hands on with the PO-16 model for over a week now, I have found it to be quite a playable little instrument, with its own interesting quirks, creative limitations, and boutique sound. Most examples of the little device in action appear to be freestyle techno jams, song re-creations or somewhat avant guard pieces that don’t seem to offer much in the way of real-life production applications. So I decided to run the new Factory model through its paces, putting it alongside some bigger name virtual/hardware instruments in the space to see how it would hold-up in a more typical Logic or GarageBand production.

Read on for more details on the PO-16, how to sync this bad boy up with your other hardware and to hear how it sits inside a mix with some big name software/hardware… Read more

How-To: Install Watch OS updates on your Apple Watch

update-apple-watch-os

The Apple Watch received its first official software update today, giving lucky early adopters their first opportunity to see how the Watch OS updating process works. Unlike the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, which can update themselves using iOS’s Software Update feature, the Apple Watch depends upon an iPhone to download the update from Apple’s servers and install it on the Watch. You’ll also need a Wi-Fi network, your Apple Watch charger, and at least 50% battery life in order to do the update.

Here are the full details…

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How-To: Benchmark your Mac with these three free downloads

cinebench-1

Over the course of writing guides to boosting Mac and hard drive speeds, I’ve discussed the incredible performance improvements Macs can get from simple upgrades — adding RAM, choosing a fast solid state drive (SSD) as an internal or external drive, and even running a simple disk optimizer tool. But there’s a common question that comes up when considering upgrades: how can you tell in advance how big of an improvement you’ll actually see?

The answer: benchmarking tools. Many apps help you measure the speed of various components of your Mac, and with a little help, you can estimate the performance jumps you’ll see after an upgrade. Below, I’ll introduce three of the best free Mac benchmarking tools, and explain how they work…

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