By: Carlo Libertini
Apple’s release of the latest Logic Pro update this year at The NAMM Show was no accident. Amidst all the clamor and thunder of almost countless software developers, Logic quietly hit the app store with nothing less then the highest anticipations! And why not. Logic has been a steady player for years in a tough and competitive market. Its users are loyal and growing every year, and version 10.4 brings plenty to be excited about.
First, let me be clear. I haven’t used Logic myself in quite sometime. The morning before NAMM 2018, I purchased and installed it on a hunch that exceptionally good things were coming… Glad I did.
Typically I have Pro Tools and Studio One Pro on hand for my demonstrations. Adding Logic or any other major DAW on a whim was something I wouldn’t normally do considering my lack of experience and time behind the wheel with it, however, I couldn’t help but feel a transcending vibe.
Like every NAMM event, 2018 was no disappointment. The new ACC North building was quite impressive. It housed the “audio production” technologies. Two massive floors of every audio engineers dreams come true! So one can imagine the excitement and promise of seeing and hearing the best of the best in everything the industry has to offer in one enormous place. Apple, however, wasn’t there. At least not physically. How a company as big as Apple can thrive on a grass roots word-of-mouth release is still beyond me. I was working. Music Marketing Inc. hired me to represent Celemony’s Melodyne. One thing I love about this gig is all the positive things users have to say and share with me about the program. But this year was a little different. It seems Logic 10.4 added something up it’s sleeve that not only changes the game for audio editing but the future of Logic as well.
Let me back up… The amount of new features and updates in Logic 10.4 are nothing short of overwhelming. From tempo detection updates, and new plugins to new user content and much more, anyone can understand the excitement. After reading through the included updates myself, I couldn’t help but wonder at first why this update was free… That was honestly my first thought considering how much Logic has transformed. As I quietly pondered this to myself in between attendee’s questions and such, I quickly began to realize a trend developing.
Almost every other question at our Melodyne booth was about Logic 10.4… “Does it run in the new Logic”? “How does ARA work”? “Does it come with Melodyne”?… On and on… Although I had just installed the software the morning before and honestly had hardly used it yet, I found their level of interest infectious! And the reason why was simple. Three letters: ARA. An acronym for “Audio Random Access”. Simply put, ARA is the latest in plugin formats found in the industry today. Much like Pro Tools AAX, and Steinberg’s VST. ARA was developed by two company’s, Presonus and Celemony together. ARA has been available for some time now, however, Logic 10.4 is the first to utilize ARA, version 2 of the plugin format. Logic simply jumped ahead one version of ARA and hit the ground running ahead of most competitors.
In a nut shell. ARA-2 technology allows your DAW and an ARA type plug-in to exchange information about the audio file more completely. It sees and understands the whole audio file at once rather than just processing it in-place. Thus, any processing can be more adaptive and dynamic based on the audio file’s sonic properties. This may include things like tempo, pitch, rhythms, dynamics etc. allowing plugin and DAW to work more closely together. Things run more smoothly and efficiently because everything is more integrated. Audio quality and software communication is key, and ARA version 2 expands upon this making Logic 10.4 ahead of even its self! I am certain (and have it on good word) that more developers will be taking advantage of this technology and offering more ARA plugins in the coming future. This, I look forward to!
Sometime during the event and Apple Logic developer by the name of Jeff came to my booth to talk about Logic and its ARA integration. Particularly how Melodyne now seamlessly integrates with the application. After just a few moments of conversation I was sold. He had just arrived from the Cupertino office eager about the 10.4 release. He outlined the numerous advancements with a true and genuine sincerity. This moment humbled me for I realized again how fortunate we users are in audio production today. For developers like Jeff work hard to create amazing things that help channel our creativity, provide industry, and make it easy to simply do what we love to do. And that is what The NAMM Show is really all about.
For now, what does all this mean? Quite a bit actually. For the Logic of NAMM 2018 was a big deal, and a sign of good things to come for everyone.