App & Software Review

Logic Pro for iPad review: fun with few compromises


Over the previous few days, I’ve been having quite a lot of enjoyable composing riffs, beats, and rhythms utilizing the brand new iPad model of Apple’s music manufacturing software program Logic Professional. The subtly redesigned app interprets the corporate’s pro-level audio app to a touchscreen interface very well, and fortunately, it doesn’t dumb it down for a cellular display screen. 

Those that have used GarageBand on an iPad will likely be conversant in a contact interface for digital devices and recording, however with Logic Professional, you will have an entire lot extra issues to regulate — extra knobs, faders, automations, plug-ins, and samples. I’ve been utilizing Logic Professional on a 12.9-inch iPad Professional, so I’m utilizing the most important touchscreen accessible for this app (and principally the dimensions of a laptop computer). That being stated, nothing actually felt cramped or onerous to navigate on this interface. Utilizing it on my iPad mini may not be as enjoyable, although. 

The most important change with adapting Logic Professional for the iPad is the way in which you work together with plug-ins, the play surfaces, and the redesigned browser. To accommodate the display screen measurement, the plug-in window has simplified variations of every plug-in that Apple is looking “tiles.” There, you may tweak fundamental settings on compressors, EQ, reverb, and many others., after which faucet the tile to open up the complete model of the plug-ins to refine settings. Rapidly adjusting one thing like the brink on a compressor, viewing the parametric EQ, or adjusting the moist / dry mixture of a pitch shifter whereas nonetheless having the complete view of the editor is actually useful and extra environment friendly for this form of setup. 


Plugin tiles provide a preview of the consequences on a observe

Utilizing multi-touch to play the neck of a bass, keys on the piano, or a drum pad is an apparent plus to utilizing the iPad for producing music just about, and that’s the place quite a lot of the enjoyable is available in. I made a cool beat sitting within the airport ready for a flight, tooled round with mixing on the airplane within the air, and landed a couple of hours later with one thing that I might severely think about using for knowledgeable challenge. 

In Logic Professional for the iPad, discovering devices, samples, and audio loops is barely totally different than the way it’s laid out on the Mac, with devices, loops, samples, presets, and patterns multi function place. At first, this was a little bit complicated determining which type of sound will help which type of observe, however total, it’s loads simpler to navigate once you need a sure sort of instrument, style, or pattern. The browser allowed me to seek for the correct sort of kick drum I need to add to my drum pad or preview a synth that may work finest for my challenge, so total, not many complaints there. If you wish to add your individual samples or audio information, you may drag these right into a challenge from the Recordsdata app.

Apple has additionally added extra samples and instruments to this new model, together with Pattern Alchemy and Beat Breaker, that are some very enjoyable experiment instruments for manipulating sounds. I might in all probability spend a couple of hours simply taking part in with Beat Breaker on a observe and making wild new sounds chopping up a drum beat or pattern. 


Pattern Alchemy permits you to pattern a number of sections of clips to create a brand new sound.
Picture: Apple

Surprisingly, I didn’t really feel the necessity for a keyboard with Logic Professional and used the Magic Keyboard to principally prop up the iPad. There are nonetheless some issues I choose to make use of a keyboard for, after all, like urgent the spacebar to play, switching between the mixer, editor, and plug-in home windows, or looking within the browser window, however like quite a lot of DAWs, Logic Professional’s interface is modeled after analog mixers, so adjusting a knob or a fader along with your finger simply makes extra sense. (I’ve by no means met an engineer who likes to make use of a mouse to regulate a potentiometer knob.) 

If you wish to benefit from each the touchscreen and a keyboard and mouse, Logic Professional for the iPad nonetheless acknowledges a few of the keyboard shortcuts from the Mac model, however not the whole lot. This app actually advantages from you utilizing multi-touch. My reflex shortcut that I’ve ingrained in my head is Command-S for saving, however this doesn’t appear to do something on the iPad. (The initiatives do auto-save, however to rename or save as, I needed to do within the file browser.) 

Finally, I began to choose the precision of the Apple Pencil over my finger to fine-tune MIDI be aware placements or trimming clips. However like different Pencil-centric apps, it was a bit awkward going again to utilizing multi-touch to zoom out and in of my timeline with the Pencil in my hand. Probably the most helpful Pencil characteristic is for drawing automation curves proper on the display screen slightly than the marginally irritating desktop method of clicking and dragging little dots over clips with a mouse. 

Drawing automation curves with the Apple Pencil
Photograph by Andrew Marino / The Verge

I additionally discovered plugging the iPad in to a monitor was a fairly neat expertise — form of like utilizing a Wacom pill — drawing automated curves or taking part in a digital instrument whereas viewing the DAW on an even bigger display screen. 

As for compatibility with the Mac model, the most important factor you can not do with the iPad model is load quite a lot of third-party plug-ins utilized in many desktop DAWs. The iPad model helps a bunch of Audio Unit plug-ins , however when you use any VST plug-ins or ones that aren’t within the App Retailer (similar to the favored Waves choices), they gained’t carry in your challenge on the iPad. These plug-ins will likely be lacking. Your finest guess is bouncing these results right down to a brand new audio observe and saving earlier than your switch to the iPad. There are another energy person options which are lacking within the iPad app, like viewing extra MIDI information, including challenge notes, and extra customizable export settings. This didn’t actually impression my workflow, particularly if I’m going to hold over the challenge to my desktop, but it surely is perhaps a problem for some. 

One other stumbling block is after I transferred an iPad challenge to the Mac, an audio pattern from the library was not accessible on my desktop. So when you’re going forwards and backwards between units on one challenge, you’re going to have to consider what’s appropriate with what model. Apple says Logic Professional for Mac could have a compatibility replace immediately to make it work with the iPad, together with the power to open tracks with non-editable variations of Beat Breaker or Pattern Alchemy, however no phrase on when the complete model of these plug-ins will come to the Mac model. Nevertheless, when you should not have the sounds downloaded in your Mac that you’ve got downloaded within the iPad model, Logic Professional will routinely obtain these sounds for you when opening the challenge on the Mac, and vice versa. And, after all, that is all nice when you even have a Mac to go and use some pro-level plug-ins — Logic Professional is barely on Apple merchandise. Exporting allows you to AirDrop the file to a different gadget, in addition to the opposite apps in your share sheet. 


Mixer window in Logic Professional for the iPad

What excites me probably the most about utilizing Logic Professional for the iPad is simply having knowledgeable and dependable multitrack digital audio workstation on an iPad that I can simply switch initiatives to my Mac. I used to be in a position to plug in various exterior audio interfaces into an iPad Professional, and Logic Professional acknowledged them rapidly within the audio enter / output settings. That’s the place it actually began to really feel like knowledgeable audio workstation. 

And actually, the perfect strategy to combine with Logic Professional for the iPad is with an exterior audio interface. There aren’t many iPads with a headphone jack anymore (Logic Professional is supported on iPads with an A12 chip and above, which incorporates the ninth-gen iPad, the lone remaining possibility with a 3.5mm jack), so that you’re probably going to wish some form of adapter anyway to pay attention with headphones. After all, you may attempt to use Bluetooth headphones, however that’s not preferrred for music-making attributable to Bluetooth lag and syncing points. Apple even warns you within the app once you pair wi-fi headphones that “You might discover a delay when taking part in Contact Devices or taking part in again your track.” Once I paired my Bose QC35 to my iPad to attempt to combine, it was unmanageable. 

I performed the bass on the iPad.
Photograph by Andrew Marino / The Verge

Apple affords Logic Professional for the iPad (with a month free), versus the $199 perpetual license on the Mac. Although I’m hesitant about subscription-based manufacturing software program, 5 {dollars} a month can be a nice value for a robust device like this, and you may unsubscribe once you’re not utilizing it. I’ll most certainly be paying for Logic Professional on and off on my iPad Mini after I need to do some multitrack recording or make some enjoyable tracks after I’m touring. 

5 bucks a month is a really low bar to entry for anybody eager to get into making music, so I’ll be searching for the primary album made solely on this app. Logic Professional for the Mac has been used by artists and producers for years and has been the DAW of alternative for artists like Lil Nas X, Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and plenty of extra. Bringing this software program to the iPad (together with Last Reduce Professional) actually reveals off the energy and suppleness of the iPad greater than any software program I’ve seen up to now. 


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