Feature Request is a new regular 9to5Mac series where authors offer their opinion on how to improve popular hardware or software products.
With the introduction of iPad Pro, now is the time for Apple to finally bring Logic Pro to its tablet. Apple has long had Garageband available for iOS devices, offering what is essentially a feature for feature companion for the desktop Mac app, albeit with a user interface tweaked for the smaller touch display. But it’s not much help to pros that have their workflow in Apple’s professional audio editing suite for Mac, Logic Pro.
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Apple does have an iPad app for Logic, Logic Pro Remote, which I wrote about when it launched alongside Apple’s major redesign of Logic Pro a couple of years back. It offers the ability to control your Logic projects on Mac, and it does it fairly well, but with improvements to iPads in recent years— the new larger display on the iPad Pro, multitasking, and a new cross-platform audio plugin version that works across Mac and iOS— I think it’s finally time Apple brings a full version of Logic Pro to the iPad.
Especially with the iPad Pro aimed at a pro market and most app makers targeting pros, a Logic Pro suite for iPad would make the device much more attractive to audio pros like myself and a real valuable tool for in the studio and on the go.
Portable studio recording features:
At the minimum, what the app really needs to make it a useful standalone audio suite rather than just the remote for Logic on the Mac, is recording features.
Being able to record something quickly on an iPad, for example when out of the studio or on the road, and then have it synced to a session on the Mac via iCloud, is something that is currently a clunky experience at best using other audio recording apps on iOS. To make it a great experience, we need Apple to build Logic Pro for iPad (and or build APIs for iOS devs) with full cross-platform file support for syncing sessions and or tracks from within sessions between devices easily.
The ability to record some ideas when mobile and quickly transfer or sync to Mac is something we only currently have workarounds for. For now, we’re unfortunately stuck with bouncing tracks to audio out of third-party audio suites on iOS, and that’s far from ideal to say the least.
iPad Pro, Plugins and Split-screen apps:
And beyond just basic recording features, now that Apple has support for real audio plugins on iOS, split-screen apps, and the larger, faster iPad Pro, there’s even more potential for a full Logic Pro experience on the iPad.
With the iPad Pro’s larger display now in MacBook-size territory, audio plugins make a lot more sense— you can now have a plug-in open large enough to manipulate its controls while still having a full view of your session timeline or, for example, two or more plug-ins side-by-side. With all that extra real estate, fitting in a user interface with the complexity of Logic Pro and the plug-ins others make for it in general starts to become a reality.
It’s also likely going to make it easier to attract the popular plug-in makers from Logic on the Mac, many of which don’t have offerings on iOS, to build versions of their plugins that work on iOS too.
Controllers, customizable interfaces, touchscreen possibilities:
And likewise, the larger display iPad means lots of new possibilities for using the iPad as a virtual controller. The more screen real estate means the more potential for MIDI controllers with inventive and or customizable user interfaces. We could get a lot closer to a knob-per-function user interface for our favorite synth apps.
But perhaps Apple has more in store for us with the iPad Pro. A lot of developers haven’t updated their apps yet to take advantage of the larger display and new UI possibilities. Even Apple’s own Garageband hasn’t received the iPad Pro treatment, for example, despite the company confirming an optimized UI is on the way with images on its website and elsewhere. But with the larger display, it’s time for Apple to offer apps truly aimed at professionals on a device that carries the “Pro” tag.