Apple unveiled one of the most substantial updates its flagship DAW has ever seen today. The gigantic Logic Pro X 10.5 update revolutionizes the way users can create while offering up its own take on some of the more popular workflow styles its competition has become famous for. Head below for a closer look at the major new features.

A closer look at Logic Pro X 10.5:

Features once only available to Ableton Live, Bitwig, and FL Studio users are now present and accounted for in the new Logic Pro X 10.5. And if it wasn’t already obvious, this is a completely free update for existing users and does not alter the regular $199 price tag for potential Logic producers. While you can expect full hands-on impressions for many of the new features soon, it’s time to take a closer look at what we actually got here today.

Live Loops:

Live Loops is the Ableton-style workflow found in GarageBand for iOS. It essentially offers musicians and producers a whole new way of creating inside of Logic with a more freeform approach. Users can stack audio clips of any kind — loops from Apple’s library, live guitar recordings in a take folder, vocals parts, an already existing region on your timeline, live software instrument recordings, and just about anything else — to create songs, new arrangement ideas, and more.

Logic Pro X 10.5 Live Loops

You essentially have the usual horizontal tracks along the left-hand side with vertical columns carrying scenes or each part/section of your song. Each scene is made up of as many loops or cells as you want — all of which can be processed and edited like a regular track — and then organized or arranged on the usual Logic Pro X timeline (Tracks area) in several ways.

You can use your mouse or your iOS device running Logic Remote to then record or arrange each of your scenes (or each of the individual cells within) on the familiar Logic Pro X Tracks area like magic. The scenes and cells are then placed on your timeline in full multi-track form as regions — not some near-useless stereo mix — with each track and region fully intact and editable using all the usual means. All of your cells and scenes will remain in tempo sync in the Tracks area no matter how shoddy your performance might be.

A wonderful way to try out new arrangements, a single-click will ready Logic Pro X 10.5 for your new Live Loops arrangement performance. That includes the Remix FX suite — filters, gates, note repeaters, and more — from GarageBand to create live FX flourishes on your entire song.

More Interesting features of the new Live Loops:

  • Supports full multi-touch control via Logic Remote on the iPad or iPhone, allowing users to get fully hands-on. Trigger multiple loops or scenes with both hands and all fingers at the same time while recording Live Loops arrangements to the Tracks area (timeline)
  • Drag and drop loops directly from the loop browser to automatically create a new cell. Hold Shift to align a family of loops vertically in a scene or just drop them down for horizontal placement of the cells.
  • You can trigger down to a 16th note of each cell or scene.
  • All third-party instruments can be used in Live Loops.
  • You can use the Marquee tool in the Tracks area to send certain portions of an existing song to Live Loops. In other words, Live Loops can be sent to the Tracks area and regions in the Tracks area can be transformed into Live Loops cells or scenes.

Logic Pro X 10.5 Sampler


Well, I was going to start this part off with a eulogy for EXS24 — a software sampler instrument cemented into the Logic Pro eco-system for 15+ years at this point — but Apple has done some amazing things with the new Sampler. Starting with the new Logic Pro X 10.5, this is effectively the next generation of EXS24 in every way. A brand new interface from the ground up with new flex time technology built-in (finally allowing sounds to be played at the same length, regardless of the pitch), it also sports new filter technology from Apple’s incredible Alchemy instrument alongside the legacy options.

This thing is 100% backward compatible, but that can be a slightly confusing way of looking at this. Sampler is EXS24 now. All of your EXS24 instruments just automatically load up in Sampler. Have an older project that uses loads of EXS24 instruments? No problem, they will just automatically load up as usual after updating Logic, but as Samplers now. All of the internal modulation routing on your existing patches will remain while offering up some new sources and destinations.

For those who have been creating EXS24 instruments for years now, everything still works essentially the same as it did before, except it’s all a little bit faster and more intuitive. Simply dragging an audio file on to its interface will present the user with a few different ways for Sampler to handle the incoming audio, all of which will be mostly familiar to seasoned vets.

Logic Pro X 10.5 Quick Sampler

Quick Sampler:

Sampler is also getting a new companion instrument known as Quick Sampler in Logic Pro X 10.5. This is essentially a trimmed down version of Sampler that allows users to create immediate sampler instruments with a single click. It will automatically analyze the root note and loop points as well as your project tempo, and you can edit all of those automated moves after the fact if you want.

One interesting feature here is the ability to drag and drop a loop from the Loops Browser directly on the Track Header area where Logic Pro X will present you with an option of creating a Quick Sampler instrument based on that sound or loop (it will also provide options for creating Sampler, Drum Machine Designer or Alchemy instruments). You could always drop a few clicks down to turn a region into an EXS24 instrument, but this is almost like no clicks.

Quick Sampler is a fast and simple way to turn any individual sound into a playable instrument. Musicians can pick a sound from within Logic, the Finder, Voice Memos, or even record directly into Quick Sampler. With just a few clicks, an imported sample can be trimmed, looped, and played across a keyboard controller, with access to creative sound-shaping controls.

Logic Pro X 10.5 Step Sequencer

Step Sequencer:

The new Step Sequencer is major win for anyone that loves the FL Studio style workflow. It is designed to mimic the grid-based beat creation (also works with melodic content) found on vintage drum machines directly inside of Logic. This can be used in much the same way as the Piano Roll editor we know and love but with some interesting tricks up its sleeve.

First of all, you can program any instrument with the Step Sequencer and it comes with over 150 rhythmic and melodic patterns that can be played by any of your drum kits/sampler patches. The real standout feature for me here is the ability to change the direction of the sequencer as well as have direct control over velocity, offset, step rate, skip, and tie for each vertical row on the sequencer. However, you’ll also find some interesting creative functions to toy with in the Logic Pro X 10.5 Step Sequencer like a note repeater and a chance parameter for creating even more crazy beats and rhythms.

Logic Pro X 10.5 Drum Synth - Drum Machine Designer

Drum Machine Designer:

Drum Machine Designer is also getting some major new updates today. All of today’s new features are designed to work in tandem with one another and this is no more apparent than with the way Drum Machine Designer handles the new Sampler and Drum Synth plug-ins. Along with enhancements for using melodic content, you can now quickly access Quick Sampler or Drum Synth controls for any pad. But more importantly, every pad on a particular kit can be its own instrument of sorts. In Logic Pro X 10.5, you can load up any instrument or third-party plug-in to each pad, drastically enhancing the Drum Machine Designer’s versatility.

While I’ve yet to get an opportunity to really give the new Drum Synth a chance, it looks like just another way for Logic Pro X users to bring the fat 808-style sounds to the mix. However, it’s likely even more robust than that. You can expect a much more detailed look at this down the road.

Be sure to check out our Logic Pros features and then head down to the comments section and sound-off on the new Logic Pro X 10.5 update. Is this everything you wanted and more? Already miss the old EXS24 like me for no good reason? Switching back to Cubase?

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About the Author

Justin Kahn

Justin is a senior editor covering all things music for 9to5Mac, including our weekly Logic Pros series exploring music production on Mac and iOS devices. Justin is an audio engineer/producer with over 10 years experience in the music industry.