If you’re into MIDI sequencing, you’ll be well aware of Logic Audio – the leading package for the Mac. There are actually three versions on sale – Silver, Gold and Platinum – mostly distinguished by the range of hardware and the numbers of tracks they support.
I checked out Logic Audio Platinum 4.6.2, which works with Pro Tools TDM systems and features surround-mixing capabilities. This version supports more audio hardware than any of its competitors, and even lets you use different audio hardware simultaneously.
Both 16-bit and 24-bit files can be played back simultaneously, as long as you have a 24-bit card and interface available – a neat trick that’s not possible with most competing systems. The software can also work with 96KHz audio if you have the hardware to support this.
Since version 4.5, you can use both OMS and Logic’s own MIDI drivers at the same time. This is important if you want to take advantage of the tighter timing from Logic’s drivers when using E-Magic’s Active MIDI Transmission technology, while also working with TDM plug-ins and virtual samplers and synthesizers.
Logic Audio also offers multiprocessor support when using its native audio engine on G4 Power Macs – but not with TDM systems that use the processors on the Digidesign cards. For the truly virtual musician, all versions of Logic Audio now have RocketPower capabilities. This allows Logic-users to collaborate on recording projects using the Internet to transfer files from anywhere in the world directly into each other’s projects. Exciting stuff.
Logic Audio’s audio monitoring has been improved, and you can now choose between software and hardware monitoring. This is particularly important if you’re not using an external mixer, because the inevitable processing delay makes it difficult to play along with existing tracks. With Software Monitoring disengaged in Logic Audio, the audio card and its driver are responsible for monitoring, and if your audio hardware supports ASIO 2.0 zero you will get no delay.
Existing users should definitely upgrade, while potential newbies will find that Logic Audio is stiff competition for Digital Performer and Cubase VST – its main competitors.