Apple adds fresh beat-making tools to Logic Pro X

Igor Bonifacic
Contributing Writer
music software DAW

When it comes to digital audio workstations (DAWs), there are a variety of compelling choices for both beginner and more experienced audio producers. For Apple users, Logic Pro has always been a popular go-to thanks to its relatively affordable price and Mac optimization. But in recent years, the app has lagged behind the competition, particularly options like Ableton Live. That gap narrows today with what Apple is claiming is its most significant update to Logic Pro X since it launched the software back in 2013. The latest version of Logic Pro X, which you can download today, adds new features that make the app better suited for non-linear recording. 

Leading the list of marquee additions is a new feature called Live Loops. Taking a page from Garageband and Ableton Live, the tool allows you to create and trigger loops, samples and recordings using a grid interface. Live Loops work in conjunction with another new feature called Remix FX that lets you apply effects like filters and gaters to individual tracks or an entire song in real-time. With the updated Logic Remote app, you can even use an iPhone or iPad's touch controls to take advantage of Live Loops and Remix FX at home or during a live performance. 

Logic Pro X

Apple has also updated Logic's Sampler tool with a refreshed drag-and-drop interface and additional sound-shaping adjustments. As in previous versions of Logic, the tool allows you to edit and rearrange instrument samples. With the Quick Sampler tool, it's also possible to turn a sample into a playable instrument. The feature lets you import sounds from Logic itself as well as Voice Memos. You can also record a sample from within the tool. From there, it's possible to edit the audio, as well as map it to a keyboard controller. Like Live Loops, you'll find similar features in other apps designed for electronic music production like Abelton Live and BitWig.  

Elsewhere, the latest version of Logic simplifies beat making. Apple has introduced a new Step Sequencer editor that features a drum machine-like interface to allow for programming beats, bass lines and melodies. With each part, you can tweak things like note velocity, gate and playback direction to fine-tune the sound you want. There are also updated tools for building out an electronic drum kit. As with a variety of the other updated features, Apple has tweaked these tools to make them a better fit for more modern electronic production. Last but not least, Apple says it has tweaked Logic Pro X to optimize it for it latest Mac hardware.

In its approach, Logic has always been closer to Pro Tools, making it a great fit for recording bands. However, it didn’t have the advanced sound manipulation tools that Ableton had, which was built from the group up for electronic music. Today’s update helps address that issue. The latest versions of Logic Pro X and Logic Remote are available to download today through the App Store