There was a time when I would have scoffed at the idea of making music on any kind of mobile device. I remember being 18 and having a super basic Korg synth app on my iPhone, and feeling underwhelmed at the capabilities of it compared to the computer based synths I was used to using.
But fast forward to today, and the capability of mobile devices has completely outpaced my ability to keep up with them, and so I'll admit I'm even a little surprised that what would ten years ago been a pipe dream, is today a reality!
I am of course talking about Apple's announcement that Logic Pro is available on iPad from May 23rd. It's also joined by Final Cut Pro, but we are going to be focusing on Logic today.
Let's explore some of the new features, shall we?
A studio at your fingertips.
iPads are seriously powerful now, which - as someone who has a model that's a few years old - is easy to forget!
Indeed, owners of iPads running iPadOS 16.4 or later can now access Logic Pro for iPad, a fully functioning DAW in the palm of your hand. It's the music creativity and possibilities you know and love, right at your fingertips.
And that last point is an important one. Logic Pro for iPad has been redesigned with an all new creative interface made specifically for the touch capabilities of an iPad.
What's most impressive about Logic Pro for iPad is how complete it looks and sounds. It isn't just a gimmick, or a "lite" version of the full DAW. This is Logic Pro as you know it.
Logic Pro for iPad is packed full of features, and Apple are clearly confident that it has packed it full of enough features to be seen as a viable product in its own right. There is potentially some controversy around the pricing of Logic Pro for iPad, but we'll get to that later.
What's clearest about this news though, is that it's going to change the game for how a lot of people make music. It's making Logic Pro even more accessible. You don't even need to own a Mac computer anymore to use it, simply having an iPad gives you access to Logic now.
Every element from Logic Pro is present here. The timeline, Live Loops and the mixer. You also have third and first party plugins available, so transitioning between the Mac version and the iPad version should be a seamless process for long time Logic users.
There's also the possibility for audio and MIDI interfaces, as well as controllers. It really is the full package.
Touch to play
With Multitouch, you can use your iPad as a creative and expressive instrument, playing keyboards and guitar lanes, as well as drawing in automation curves with an Apple Pencil.
The precision you can get with drawing in automation curves is one thing that gets me really excited, and you can even pair a Magic Keyboard or Smart Keyboard Folio for powerful shortcuts to enhance your experience even further.
Play expressive software instruments, tap keys on a virtual piano, or trigger drum pads or use a step sequencer. Your iPad can instantly become all different kinds of musical instruments.
There are dynamic and intuitive controls built in for all of the instruments and plugins you're used to using.
This is more than just a port of the Logic Pro we know from desktop use; it's a complete rebuild with the iPad interface in mind.
Simply swipe across to see all the plugins on your track at a glance, and then double tap a tile to access full controls.
Moving around a Logic Pro project with touch is intuitive and fun, giving you easy controls like pinching to zoom, dragging and dropping regions, and swiping across the track header to reveal basic mixing controls.
This level of intuitive control allows you to seamlessly move between making your music nad organising your project.
It's simple and most importantly, fun.
New Sound Browser
Another exciting addition to Logic Pro for iPad is the newly designed Sound Browser.
Logic has always been known for its extensive loop and sound library, and this seems to be front and centre with an expanded collection of royalty free loops, samples and instruments with free sound packs available to download within the app.
There's also a new predictive filtering system which makes the selection and manipulation of your sounds easier than ever.
The new browser gives you an easy to navigate and clear way to find and audition new instrument patches, audio patches, plugins, samples and loops.
What makes me most excited about Logic Pro for iPad is discovering all the new ways of making music in an environment that's familiar. It's taking everything we know from Logic Pro and transforming it into a mobile environment.
The sampling possibilities are exciting, the on the fly music creation is too. And the fact that everything is running with a touch screen interface to play with!
For example, the Multi Touch functions are particularly good when it comes to the idea of doing a mix. You can now ride multiple faders at the same time, just like you would on a real mixing desk.
Just the idea of adjusting multiple levels at the same time has got me so excited!
Multi Touch for the mixer in particular brings a whole new level of connectedness to your music making process.
Another exciting feature is the ability to "easily move your Logic Pro projects between Mac and iPad to create in the studio or out on the road." though I'd say it remains to be seen just how seamless this process will turn out to be. After all, you'd need to be able to ensure all your samples and plugins were consistent across both machines, for one thing.
But having said that, there are a whole range of compatible third party Audio Unit plugins supported in Logic Pro for iPad, meaning you can take advantage of apps from developers like Eventide, FabFilter and MoogMusic on the app store.
We can't talk about the Logic Pro for iPad without talking about the price options.
In a move that some may find controversial, Apple has opted for a subscription service model, with options for monthly or annual payments for Logic Pro for iPad.
The monthly cost is £4.99/$4.99, while annually it will cost £49/$49.
While this may upset some users, you can see how a subscription might be good option for the average Logic user.
You may not want to dedicate all of your production time to working on the iPad, but you could take up a subscription for a month while you try it out, and the cancel it when you aren't using it.
Otherwise the alternative might be paying for an app you don't necessarily use enough to justify it.
Either way, that's the price, and people will pay it! Many people complaining about the subscription model may not remember when softwares like this required a huge upfront payment. In the grand scheme of things, £49 for a year of Logic Pro for iPad is well worth it.
The implications for this announcement are significant for a number of reasons. We are likely to really see what iPads are capable of in the coming years, and the new possibilities for making music are only going to foster a new generation of ingenuity and creativity.
It's also worth noting that if Apple has announced Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro for the iPad now, they must have some really exciting things ready to announce at WWDC (Worldwide Developer's Conference) and perhaps we might see more things which will make using Logic Pro even more exciting!
Anyway, that's our take on Logic Pro for iPad. Are you going to be grabbing it when it releases on May 23rd? Let us know in the comments what you're most excited to try out!
As always, thanks for checking in with us here at logicxx.com, and be sure to head over to our blog for more inspiring Logic Pro news and guides. While you're here, you should also check out our deals on Logic Pro Project Remakes. We have a dedicated team of producers who create industry standard recreations of top EDM tunes, and you can download these projects and really dig into the inner working of a professional track.
So be sure to head over there, and check back in with us soon!