I got my copy of the Logic Studio upgrade yesterday and had about an hour of borrowed time to play with it last night before bed. When it was first announced I was one of the people who was thinking something along the lines of “including Soundtrack is cool, but is this really IT?” The upgrade from 7.0 to 7.1 added several very useful virtual instruments so it felt like a jump to 8.0 should have also included some. I still would have liked to see some of those (maybe 8.1?) but after only an hour I have to say I am happy with the UI changes Apple has made. Logic actually feels like an Apple application for the first time in its history, and that’s a goooood thing!
The new unified window interface is pretty slick. It effectively makes window management almost completely a non-issue. In previous versions of Logic I would always use at least 2 or 3 screensets to give myself different setups… a main ‘overview’ screenset, a midi edit screenset with one arrange window and one linked edit window, and sometimes a mixing screenset with the mixer on the bottom and the arrange on the top. Now you can still do all of that but you can also quickly bring up an edit window (or mixer or whatever) without disrupting your flow and having to resize windows. It sounded like a small upgrade when I read about it, but it’s nicely thought out. Another neat bonus is the screensets menu now shows you a list of what windows each screenset has showing so you know what you’re going to get when you jump to it. I’m sure I’ll find other niceties as I play with it more, but that’s the things I noticed right away.
One small oddity I noticed when trying to open a quite old Logic file (probably made with Logic 6) was that Logic 8 refused to open it and told me I’d have to open it in Logic 7 first. I guess they decided to not bloat Logic 8 with support for converting project files from two versions back, but I’ll have to see later if I agree with that decision or not. The upgrader does leave the previous version of Logic sitting in your Applications folder with the name ‘Logic 7’ so I’m not stuck or anything. I do have to make sure to keep that old Logic 7 sitting there, though.
Overall I think it’s a nice upgrade but it is still mostly look and feel and workflow oriented. It is undoubtedly a more pleasant interface and I think I’ll be more efficient with it, but I don’t know if that will help me make better or more interesting music or not. Only time will tell, I guess!
After I spend some time with Soundtrack Pro, I’ll post some thoughts on that, too.