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Logic Pro 7 New Features revealed

Thursday September 30, 2004. 01:04 PM, by Francois Déchery Music Software > Apple
Music Software : Logic Pro 7 New Features revealed - macmusicAs usually the list of new features is spread accross several Apple pages. For those of you wondering what is really new in Logic Pro 7 and who are too lazy to surf the multiple pages and pdf files of the giant Apple web site, here is the complete list of new features, copied from Apple documentation.

DISTRIBUTED AUDIO PROCESSING

Easy expansion of computer-based audio workstations
In modern, computer-based digital audio workstations, sounds are generated and processed either natively by the computer's main processor or in combination with additional processors. Systems with additional processors—either in external hardware or on expansion cards—can be quite costly and often require an investment in proprietary plug-ins. Adding a second computer is an obvious solution, but this hasn't been a realistic proposition until now. Complex file management issues, expensive synchronization hardware, the need for additional software licenses, and the integration of additional audio hardware have made a second computer an unsuitable option for most musicians and producers.

The new distributed audio processing feature in Logic Pro 7 offers a plug-and-play solution that provides the ability to tap networked computers for more DSP processing power. Simply add one or more Macintosh systems via Ethernet (or FireWire) connections to your Logic Pro 7 system.The result is an audio and music production system with processing power that was previously unimaginable for native-based systems.

Logic Node
A distributed audio network requires at least two Macintosh computers running Mac OS X version 10.3 or later, with one acting as a master system (a 1GHz G4 or faster processor is recommended) and additional computers serving as "nodes"(a G5 processor is recommended). A small application known as Logic Node uses each G5 computer as an additional processor for your Logic Pro 7 system. Logic Node is included in the Logic Pro 7 package and requires no additional licensing; nor must an XSKey be installed on each additional computer.The distributed audio network technology supports a theoretically unlimited number of Logic Pro nodes.

The most appropriate link between the computers is a Gigabit Ethernet connection. When multiple nodes are used, the switch that manages the nodes must offer bandwidth of 1 gigabit to avoid data transfer bottlenecks. A distributed audio network running on a Gigabit Ethernet connection provides a maximum of 512 audio streams (mono).

Simple setup and convenient control
Assuming that the appropriate master and node computers are connected, you can choose which nodes and how many nodes you want to use in the audio preferences depending on the needs of your project.This ensures that your master system has reliable access to the maximum processing power of the node or nodes. Accessing the node's processing power in a Logic Pro 7 project is achieved by simply clicking the Track Node button, located in audio and audio instrument tracks in the Arrange window track list.When the button is activated, the bulk of the track's audio instrument and/or effect plug-in calculations is immediately offloaded to the node's processor.

Future scalability
The basis of distributed audio processing is an Ethernet connection that uses TCP (Transmission Control Protocol).This means that distributed audio processing not only runs on the Gigabit Ethernet interface of current PowerBook and Power Mac computers, but will also work with all current and future network technologies that support TCP. Although Gigabit Ethernet provides up to 512 audio streams (mono) at a time, this number is expected to increase with the introduction of advanced TCP-based network technologies that offer higher bandwidth.


NEW SOFTWARE INSTRUMENTS

Sculpture
Sculpture is the most technologically advanced synthesizer in Logic Pro 7. Based on component modeling technology, this new Logic Pro 7 instrument provides innovative sonic possibilities by virtually re-creating how sound is naturally produced. Component modeling technology emulates the vibration of real physical material, starting with strings. String and pad sounds are therefore a strength of Sculpture, but it can also provide a broad variety of blown (flute and reed) and percussive sounds with a crisp attack, for example. Given the flexibility afforded by its unique sound generation engine, Sculpture offers an extensive palette for innovative sound design.

The Sculpture user interface offers parameters you won't find in traditional synthesizers.The names of these parameters reflect the role they play in creating and shaping the sound. For example, the parameter Material controls what the string is made of—nylon, steel, wood, or glass—and Exciters determine how the vibration of the string is initiated—bowing, picking, blowing, and so on.The Material control is entirely variable, and the effect of up to three Exciters can be combined to create complex vibration patterns. Adjusting these two parameters alone delivers a wide range of unique and interesting sonic results.

Ultrabeat
Ultrabeat features a comprehensive array of sound generation technologies in one software instrument. Options include virtual analog sounds, FM and component modeling synthesis, and sample playback.You can easily build your own rhythmic phrases with the integrated, fully featured step sequencer. Ultrabeat is a brilliant tool for the development of expressive loops and is suitable for the needs of electronic music producers and remixers, as well as for many different styles of music.

The foundation of Ultrabeat loops is sounds generated by its internal synthesis engine. It has three oscillators and provides the presence of virtual analog sounds, as well as the punch of an FM bass. Incorporating your own sounds—such as your sampled drum library—is achieved via one oscillator that allows sample playback.The third oscillator is solely dedicated to the generation of noise. All of these tone generation possibilities can be combined in 24 drum voices, plus a chromatically playable sound that is ideal for bass lines.

The incorporated multimode filter, distortion, bit crushing, and envelopes are individually adjustable for each voice. A modulation LFO (low-frequency oscillator) keeps the sounds dynamic and interesting.The comprehensive user interface provides convenient, precise Bezier-curve envelope editing with the mouse. A 25-note onscreen keyboard allows instant auditioning of sounds.The diverse array of sound generation, effect, and modulation capabilities provides the capacity for drum sound creation that no other drum machine—virtual or hardware—can match.Whether you're building a punchy bass drum that dominates the mix, working on a rough snare, or adding some spice to a hi-hat sound, the Ultrabeat tone generation system offers all of the tools you need to realize your sonic ambitions.

Beyond being a comprehensive synthesizer, Ultrabeat enables you to easily program your own rhythm loops with the instrument's built-in step sequencer. It's a design borrowed from the classic drum machines of the 1980s and 1990s, providing steps that trigger note events for the 25 voices.The level and gate time can be controlled for each step, and the swing parameter adds infinitely variable liveliness to sequencer events, adding a human factor to loops.

EFM1
The EFM1 completes the family of basic software instruments that include the ESM and ESE. Its sounds are generated with FM synthesis.This technology was popularized in the synthesizers of the 1980s.The EFM1 enables you to re-create the classic synthesizer sounds of this era.Whether you are creating expressive lead sounds, soft strings, powerful bass, or crystal-clear bells, the richness of FM synthesis works well in a variety of musical contexts.The tidy, straightforward interface is easily accessible and makes tweaking sounds a pleasure. Alternatively, you can let the EFM1 create its own sounds by chance through the randomize function.

GarageBand instruments
The GarageBand instruments are the collection of software instruments provided in the GarageBand application.The inclusion of these instruments enables Logic Pro 7 users to open and work on GarageBand projects. Logic Pro 7 is the ideal partner for professionally fleshing out musical ideas created in the popular GarageBand. Logic Pro 7 users also benefit from the impressive combination of sonic excellence and enhanced editing features available in its user interface.


APPLE LOOPS SUPPORT

Apple Loops are an audio file format that—in contrast to standard audio file types— can be time stretched and transposed in real time. Time stretching of Apple Loops doesn't result in a pitch change, and the reverse is true, with pitch changes having no impact on tempo. Additional data stored in Apple Loops files enables Logic Pro 7 to handle these files with ease. In addition, some Apple Loops can be imported either as audio loops or as MIDI loops. This unique behavior provides a level of creative flexibility that was previously unimaginable.

First introduced in Soundtrack, Apple Loops have become very popular thanks to their integration in GarageBand. The supplemental information incorporated in the Apple Loops file format helps GarageBand users—including those with limited musical experience—to produce their own tracks. In a professional environment, these properties are useful for time stretching and real-time pitch shifting. Logic Pro 7 imports complete GarageBand songs as well, allowing a quick musical sketch created in GarageBand to be developed into a full-blown professional music production.

Apple Loops that can be imported as MIDI loops are called software instrument loops. These loops were created using a special development version of Logic and contain the original MIDI performance data as well as the synthesizer and effect configuration used to generate them. The result is that they sound and play exactly like the audio file version. The benefit is that users now have the freedom to change the instrument, effects, or even individual notes.


NEW PLUG-INS

Guitar Amp Pro
The Guitar Amp Pro plug-in enables guitarists to play their instrument through faithful re-creations of guitar amplifiers and speakers—directly in Logic Pro 7. The guitar must be connected to your Mac either with an appropriate cable plugged directly into the audio input on the Mac or via an additional USB-, FireWire-, or PCI-based audio hardware interface.

Guitar Amp Pro offers a wide range of legendary guitar amplifier sounds and a number of different speakers that can be freely combined. Additional modulation effects—Vibrato and Tremolo—and a Reverb section further increase its flexibility.

Whether you are touring or rehearsing, Guitar Amp Pro means the end of lugging heavy amplifiers around. Just take your iBook or PowerBook with you. Instantly switch between different amplifiers and speakers without patching cables. Build your ideal amp and speaker combos and save them as plug-in presets. Never before have Logicbased guitarists had this level of sonic excellence and ease of use right out of the box.

Many guitarists will also benefit from Guitar Amp Pro for re-amping duties. This method involves sending a sound through an amplifier and picking up the amplified signal with a microphone. The new tonal colors that can result are much sought after for many musical styles, but the process of re-amping can be difficult and frustrating. Guitar Amp Pro provides virtual re-amping with a mouse click.

As with all other Logic Pro 7 plug-ins, Guitar Amp Pro can be inserted in any audio or audio instrument channel for sound processing. This makes it a worthwhile distortion effect not only for guitar, but also for any other type of sound.

Ringshifter
The Ringshifter is a powerful combination of a ring modulator and a frequency shifter. Both modulation effects were especially popular in the 1970s. The frequency shifter was an expensive piece of hardware at the time due to the complexity of its analog circuits. Frequency shifter effects range from spacious phasing to strange robotic timbres. The ring modulator mode of the Ringshifter plug-in modulates the amplitude of the source signal with a second signal or an internal oscillator. This results in the addition of a metallic or clangorous character to the input audio signal.

Vocal Transformer
The Vocal Transformer allows you to manipulate vocal lines, percussive signals, or any other monophonic material in a number of interesting ways. For example, you can change vocals to a robot-like voice or increase the pitch of a vocal track until it resembles a "Mickey Mouse" voice. The basis of the Vocal Transformer's effect processing is pitch change without disturbing the transients of the input signal.

Pitch Correction
The Pitch Correction plug-in corrects improper intonation of vocal recordings. It applies the desired pitch to a vocal track without losing the natural articulation of the performance. While this use of Pitch Correction is a valuable tool for precise vocal work, the plug-in can also be used for expressive effects: The use of large transposition intervals allows you to create interesting sonic artifacts that are added to the voice signal (sometimes referred to as the "Cher effect").

Linear Phase EQ
The Linear Phase EQ manipulates the EQ curves of your audio signal without corrupting its phase. The interface provides the same eight-band layout and method of operation as the popular Channel EQ. You can even copy settings between the two EQs. The technology incorporated in the Linear Phase EQ is, however, all new. The Linear Phase EQ is specially tailored for mixdown and mastering situations and features integrated plug-in delay compensation.

Match EQ
The Match EQ acoustically matches two audio signals. In other words, this special EQ transfers the frequency spectrum from one signal to another. In this way, you can acoustically match various songs for an album or impart the "sound" of any reference source to your own recordings.

The Match EQ analyzes the signal of the track that it is inserted in, and settings are saved as a Match EQ template. You can change the sound of any other audio or audio instrument track by inserting the Match EQ and recalling the template.

Multimeter
The Multimeter is a powerful analysis and measurement tool for audio material, housing three functions in one plug-in window. These precise visual instruments aid the process of enhancing the mix during the mastering stage of a project.

The Third Octave Spectrum Analyzer is an industry-standard tool that analyzes 31 independent frequency bands. It complies with the specifications of the worldwide IEC 1260 standard. Two display modes show the effective signal average, providing a good representative overview of the perceived volume levels.

The Goniometer visualizes the signal's stereo phase. This helps in finding a balanced stereo image for the mix.

The Correlation Meter gauges the phase relationship of a stereo signal. It shows whether a stereo signal is in phase at a glance.

The Level Meter shows the current signal level on a logarithmic scale.

The Correlation Meter and the Level Meter are available as separate plug-ins as well.


INTERAPPLICATION WORKFLOW IMPROVEMENTS

Import/Export of Final Cut Pro XML
Migrating audio content from other applications such as Soundtrack and Final Cut Pro becomes much simpler with Logic Pro 7 support of XML audio files. This open and simple protocol guarantees robust and reliable transfer of data from one application to another. Logic Pro 7 also imports audio files from other programs that support the open source XML standard.

Import/Export of QuickTime movie soundtracks
The industry-standard QuickTime movie format has long been supported by Logic Pro. Now the import and export of QuickTime movie soundtracks accelerates the speed of scoring for film, as there's no need to transfer the file back to the video application to bring sound and movie together. Extract the sound of the movie or export your Logic Pro 7 productions to your movie—Logic Pro 7 does it all, without the need to leave the application.

Automatic Movie Cut Detection
Automatic Movie Cut Detection recognizes movie cuts and—if desired—positions markers in the Global Track area or places movie thumbnails at the start points of each new scene. This provides at-a-glance access to the storyline, allowing precise arrangement of your soundtrack to match the action of the movie.

Total Bounce and AAF support
The one-click Total Bounce renders all audio and audio instrument tracks—inclusive of all active effects and automation—to new audio files. This is an extremely helpful feature when transferring data to other applications or creating applicationindependent backups, for example.

An even more convenient way to export files from Logic Pro 7 to other AAF-compliant multimedia applications is to directly export AAF files. These files contain data on the positioning of individual files in a project, thereby assisting in the reconstruction of Logic Pro 7 projects in other applications. Logic Pro 7 can also import AAF files, allowing you to work on projects that were started in other applications.

AAC support
Logic Pro 7 now supports the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format, which combines high sonic quality and multichannel support with improved encoding efficiency and better compression than MP3. Its quality makes AAC the codec of choice for many Internet, wireless, and digital broadcast situations. AAC is directly supported by iTunes, making it easy to transfer your songs to iTunes and the iPod.

New Arrange window edit modes
The main working window in Logic Pro 7 is the Arrange, which provides the best overview of a project. The Arrange is used to move and edit MIDI or audio regions in order to arrange your song. An integrated channel strip allows direct access to mixing parameters. Logic Pro 7 further refines the capabilities of the Arrange window with several additional editing modes.

- Shuffle mode keeps regions from overlapping by restraining movement in relation to other regions.
- Multiple Snap mode options align edits with definable grids, giving you more control to set the appropriate setting for the given task.
- Crossfade mode automatically applies crossfades to overlapping regions.

Support for Broadcast Wave Audio
The Broadcast Wave Audio format provides time-stamp information and is used for seamless exchanges of audio data between different broadcast and audio applications.


PRODUCTIVITY ENHANCEMENTS

Improved project file management
The ability to manage all project-dependent files has been greatly enhanced in Logic Pro 7. All audio files, MIDI data, song files, plug-in and instrument settings, and movie data can be easily consolidated into a project folder. You can also create a project folder at the start of a project and have all imported media automatically copied or moved into the folder in the background as you work.

Templates
Earlier versions of Logic Pro offered the Autoload song as a customizable basis for your preferred environment. Now you can also start a new Logic Pro song by choosing one of multiple templates. You can select from preset templates or create customized templates for each type of job that you perform in Logic Pro 7. These templates also allow you to build personalized configurations for different studio environments—an advantage of special interest to laptop users.

Audio window
You can access the Finder directly from the Audio window, enabling audio files to be quickly located on any storage device. And with Audio Window Groups, you can bundle audio files, making file handling easier and faster. As an example, you could create groups for Vocals, Synths, Bass, or other genres to help you structure your audio files.

Track Solo
Another element that enhances the capabilities of the Arrange window is the Track Solo button, available for both MIDI and audio tracks and folders in the track list.

Controller assignment support
Hands-on control of your computer music productions has never been easier. Logic Pro 7 features extended support for passive fader boxes, including master keyboards equipped with faders. Simply use the Learn Controller Assignments menu option and set up your controller as desired—all information is listed and easily changed. Logic Pro 7 supports more than 128 parameters per track, catering to the ever-growing number of parameters in instruments and plug-ins.

Caps Lock Keyboard
The Caps Lock Keyboard feature takes advantage of your QWERTY computer keyboard to let you input note data—including velocity information—without a MIDI keyboard. Simply jot down melodies and chords using your computer keyboard.

External instruments
Use your external instruments as easily as internal instruments with the External Instruments I/O plug-in. It automatically monitors the correct audio inputs when a particular external MIDI device is selected.

Track Mixer improvements
The Track Mixer now offers Save/Load functions that make it easy to transfer channel strip settings. You can select multiple objects and edit them as a group, making routing faster than ever before. The Rename tool offers further convenience, enabling edits to Mixer Object colors and several other options.

Multiple undo for sample edits
Logic Pro 7 allows multiple audio data edits to be reversed. There's no need to make backup audio files before editing.


ID 3 tags for MP3 encoding
Logic Pro 7 provides built-in ID 3 tagging for MP3 files. This allows better presentation, sorting, and classification of your files without requiring you to leave the Logic Pro 7 application.

Global Tracks
The new Global Tracks provide a graphical display for control over global song events. Global Tracks appear just below the Bar Ruler in several editing windows, including the Arrange, Matrix Edit, Score Edit, and Hyper Edit windows. Global Track editing is much like Automation editing, but it has been expanded with a number of intelligent analysis tools. To prevent Global Tracks from constantly occupying precious screen space, they can be individually shown or hidden.

Those working on movie scores will especially appreciate the benefits of Global Tracks such as the Video Track. This track shows the movie as thumbnails and has an option to detect movie cuts. A marker can be automatically placed in the Marker Track at every detected cut position. In contrast to "normal" markers, movie markers are SMPTE synchronized to the movie and retain their positions even when the tempo is changed.

The Tempo Track contains all song tempo changes and allows you to insert new events and edit them graphically.

The Chord Track can be used to indicate chords and maintains a harmonic map of the song. The information can be inserted manually or derived from MIDI region data. You can then make global harmonic changes, which appropriate Apple Loops and MIDI regions will conform to.

The Transpose Track indicates and allows changes to the chord root. This is especially useful when you want to transpose an entire song, resulting in a new chord progression. The Transpose Track and Chord Track are always linked, so that changes to one
result in the appropriate change in the other.

The Signature Track displays all basic time and key signatures in a song. This information is especially pertinent for the Score editor, but also influences the functionality of Apple Loops.
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