Uncluttering Music Production with Logic Studio

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Not so long ago, creating professional music tracks required racks upon racks of specialized equipment and cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

While thousands of little blinking lights and twisted nests of cables may look impressive when Sean “Puff ‘P Diddy aka Puffy’ Daddy” Combs rolls up with his entourage to cut a new single, such setups can do serious damage to both your wallet and your limited space.

Apple recognized the burgeoning independent music market in 2002 with the first version of it’s Logic Pro software, and truly brought production abilities to the masses in 2004 with GarageBand. It didn’t take me long to ditch my PortaStudio, VS-840, and associated bins of tapes, disks and patch cables.

GarageBand is currently included as a standard software application on all iLife suite. It’s perfectly suited to quick recordings when inspiration strikes, and even producing very passable demos. Professional quality recordings, though, still demand more robust — and much more expensive — software.

But yesterday, Apple changed the game again with the announcement of Logic Studio, which integrates Logic Pro 8, formerly separate application Soundtrack Pro, a new interface for using Logic Pro for live shows, as well as thousands of loops, plugins, and software instruments. This is a pretty incredible suite, and I predict that some musicians will literally be abandoning their racks for Macs and USB controllers.

And the best part — the whole package can be had for just under five bills, which makes it the ideal solution to serve as the hub of a minimalist recording setup. Add a decent mic, and good pair of reference monitors or headphones, and you’re in business. As an added bonus for us unclutterers, Apple also has abandoned the annoying USB dongle that formerly plagued pricey pro software packages.

Way to go Apple — yet again.

9 Comments for “Uncluttering Music Production with Logic Studio”

  1. posted by mark on

    OK. I am a huge Mac fanboy myself AND I’m a user of Logic 7, and so am equally excited about this new release. Furthermore, I love this site and visit daily. But even *I* think that this post has nothing at all to do with decluttering, which is the main point of the site. This is only so much Apple chest-pounding. There’s more appropriate sites for that, IMO.

  2. posted by PJ Doland on

    Mark-

    This is definitely about clutter (albeit clutter related to a specific hobby).

    Are you old enough to remember needing a roomful of equipment in a home recording studio? Mixing board? Signal processors? Birds-nest of cables? Variety of guitar amplifiers?

  3. posted by Kris on

    I agree. This is definitely a decluttering item. I’m in the music biz and yes, this is HUGE. Being able to eliminate an entire room’s worth of cables, connectors and ‘stuff’ is terrific.

  4. posted by Brian on

    Something I only touched on in the post, and may perhaps go into greater detail about later, is the serious case of musical “Gear Acquisition Syndrome” that used to plague both my space and income.

    I’d obsess over every new amp, guitar and effect that I came across, in an endless search for the perfect combination of sounds that would bring my compositions to life. In college, I worked a job in a music store in order to afford to buy gear at a discount.

    I went through several recording setups over the years, starting with a used Tascam PortaStudio and later upgrading to a Roland VS840. Tapes and disks littered my basement. At one point I had three guitar amps, six mics, five guitars, and dozens of pedals and rack effects. Cables running everywhere.

    I tried out various software based recording setups, but none were as flexible or intuitive to use as my tape and disk based multitrack recorders.

    I switched to Mac in 2004 mostly in order to try out GarageBand. I immediately knew that I’d found a software solution that I could use. The sounds weren’t perfect, but it was dead simple to track percussion, and basically drag-and-drop entire compositions. A couple months later, I mixed all of my tapes and disks down to my computer, and eBayed the multitrack recorders. The last piece of equipment I bought was a PodXT PRO so I could get realistic amp and effects sounds — and that was 2004.

    I now have my Mac, the PodXT, a Mic and preamp, headphones, a pair of monitors, and two guitars. That’s it. The pedals, amps, and recorders with tapes and disks are all gone. And with the introduction of Logic Studio at that price, I may even ditch the PodXT. And the results will be just as good, if not better than what I was getting with all that equipment.

    If that’s not in the spirit of Unclutter, I don’t know what is.

  5. posted by mark on

    OK, while I admit, I’m not old enough to remember needing a room full of equipment of the sort that software like Logic eliminates (I assume effects processors, mixing boards, multitracking tape equipment and all the instruments now covered by virtual instruments), the release of Logic Pro 8 won’t eliminate any more clutter than I had before. I still need all my instruments, patch cables, audio interface unit, microphones, MIDI keyboard interface, and speakers and all the cables that go along with them. When I’m deeply ensconced in a recording session, the room is an utter disaster that looks like some combination between a music store exploding and a Circuit City throwing up. Wiring is just AWFUL.

    The point here is that the software, which is what this post is about (not the peripheral equipment it might have replaced), has nothing to do with decluttering. At least, not that I can see. The amount of wiring that I have won’t be reduced at all whenever I can afford to step up to Logic Pro 8. If this software had been released in 1985, then heck yeah it’d be a decluttering issue… but not today.

    But then, I’d have given my eye-teeth for the setup I have today in 1985. I expect in 2021 the home studio will be completely wireless, wherein I will concede that the software is absolutely about decluttering. But we’ll need to wait for that solution. 🙂

  6. posted by Cottser on

    I think the point mark is making is that this post shouldn’t have been about a specific piece of software, and I agree. Personally, I use an Mbox 2 along with Pro Tools LE.

  7. posted by jeffu on

    Erm…

    Emagic was the company that created Logic. Apple purchased the company and absorbed Logic into it’s product line. Just to be clear. Logic has been around a lot longer than 5 years.

  8. posted by Mssr.pants on

    The big move is getting rid of the drummer. That frees up a lot of space and a the need for a lot of mics and cables. A decent sampler/sequencer does a lot too. I’m all about the Roland MV-8800 (a cheaper and more idiot proof version of the popular Akai MPC line). It’s basically a crappy computer that powers a bunch of classic roland drum machines (808, etc.), keyboards (Juno series), sampled drums/instruments, and effects (many Boss effects as well as a space echo clone). The pads on it are nice. It’s a hip hop machine though, so it is hard to do multipart guitar and bass things on it. The akais handle audio a bit better. The who thing takes up the top of a footlocker that my girlfriend refuses to pitch. It’s the 8 or 9 guitars and basses that are still around that are my problem. I put most of my old amps into storage. The wonders of a $50 a month offsite 5x5x5 closet…

  9. posted by tom on

    hmm

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