Audio creation and the iPad haven’t been a symbiotic relationship, but with the debut of Logic Pro today (May 23), that looks set to change.
It’s available for $4.99 per month or $49.99 for a year’s subscription, a far cry from the $199.99 one-time fee you’ve traditionally been able to snag for Logic Pro on Mac. But there’s also a one-month free trial, so you can see if Logic on iPad is an easy transition for you compared to working on your Mac.
Logic Pro first appeared in 1993 and was acquired by Apple in 2002, where it allowed a group of creators to have a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) to help create music, podcasts, and more.
While GarageBand met some of these iPad users’ needs, they wanted the full experience on a tablet, and eight years after the iPad Pro debuted, they’ve got their wish.
After trying the app on an M1 iPad Pro for a week, we came away impressed, and its first-touch design makes us wonder why Logic Pro wasn’t introduced to Apple’s tablet sooner.
Beat Boppin’ Beats with multi-tap
Logic Pro starts with a sample project that contains a number of drums and samples that you can change to your heart’s content, with the basic interface remaining largely unchanged from the Mac version. But here’s where it gets interesting because, like Final Cut on iPad, which also debuts today, it’s made with multi-layer touch first.
Every menu and feature is selectable and customizable, you can pan around, add instruments and write hippy-hoppy beats, all with your fingers, no need for a mouse. As in the Mac version, multi-colored icons representing tools and samples cover the track timelines, but now they can be manipulated and moved with a finger. You can even highlight pitch and edit samples by dragging your finger over them.
Sitting downtown in my hometown working on my iPad, I couldn’t help but smile and laugh at the random snaps of my fingers. I would switch between portrait and landscape on the iPad to get a better handle on tempo and pitch on certain instruments, and the results kept pushing me to keep going.
This resulted in me, a total novice, creating a track that sounded like a stage show. Revenge of the Shinobi On the SEGA Genesis.
But that’s only half the story of what makes Logic Pro work so well on the Mac and now the iPad; apps have been a hot topic since the announcement of this feature, and after some testing, we came back with some interesting results.
Turning it on
First, if you expect to move your frequently used plug-ins to the iPad and continue your project as before, it’s not going to happen. Given the way iPadOS is designed, Logic Pro on iPad requires plugin developers to port them to iPad, where they can be downloaded again. It’ll be a pain to begin with, but the reality is where iPadOS’s audio apps are clearly headed.
99% parity with Logic Pro on MacOS. you can easily create a project on Mac and transfer to iPad. The only possible problem would be the plugins you used before.
It’s a small price to pay for the wish here, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the lack of plugins on Day 1 evaporate by the end of the Christmas holiday.
Makes sense for everyone, not just professionals
That said, Logic Pro isn’t just limited to Apple’s silicon iPad Pro like Final Cut. Logic Pro works on iPad with A12 Bionic and higher, i.e. iPad Air 3rd generation, iPad mini 5th generation, and iPad 8th generation and higher.
So if you want, Logic Pro can be used on the latest iPad mini, and if you think it’s a waste of time, I’m here to insist you try it before you judge.
The multi-layered touch-first interface, with its large, colorful buttons and the ability to resize and minimize almost every menu, allows the 7.9-inch tablet to be as advanced in design as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Professional creators are always looking for bigger screens to work on their projects, but Logic Pro is designed to be multi-layered and fun, which is why the iPad mini works so well here. But either way, if you want a bigger screen and more power, the iPad Pro is the way to go here.
But creators will want to make it easier to move their projects from iPad to Mac and vice versa, and this will be a big draw for some, rather than the multi-touch capabilities, and it worked great in our testing.
This is a program that clearly wants to help you create great music or edit podcasts with your hands, and the Apple team has made sure that this iPad version will help you achieve your goals.
It’s also important to note that Accessibility works great in Logic Pro. Logic Pro doesn’t have any special accessibility features, but in our testing of what iPadOS 16 offers, we were able to use keyboard shortcuts to select certain functions, while using voice control to add certain drum beats worked great.
When you compare this to Final Cut for iPad, Logic Pro feels the more complete of the two new apps released this week. The user interface looks more modern with its color scheme and layouts. This is not an app where you feel it needs another update in some places. Logic Pro is already the full package here, and it’s very impressive.
The podcast elephant in the room
The only caveat so far is how audio still works on the iPad. Meanwhile Ferrite was able to edit and export podcasts, iPadOS always had a problem with multiple audio streams at once. You can try to play a track and it will suddenly stop as just another game. When it comes to managing multiple guests while you’re editing, it can be a pain.
I tried to edit the Podcast project in Logic Pro on my Mac, then tried to continue it with my iPad Pro in Logic Pro, but because I used a time-based ruler to line up the different guests, it just refused to load : the project. It gave the following message. “The project cannot be opened. Logic Pro for Mac projects that use a ruler in standard time format instead of a music grid cannot be opened in Logic Pro for iPad.”
That put an end to trying to edit podcasts in Logic Pro, and that’s a shame. I hope it’s a bug, but I doubt that’s how iPadOS handles audio.
But this looks like it could be addressed in iPadOS 17 when it’s supposedly announced at WWDC in June. The ability to control multiple audio tracks playing at once, similar to Final Cut’s multicam where multiple videos are playing at the same time, seems like an obvious win for Logic Pro users.
It’s worth the wait
Simply put, if you’re looking to step up from Garageband or want to start making some great tracks for an album or even a game like I tried, Logic Pro is worth the price of the subscription.
It’s rewritten with the first touch, and it reminds you how the iPad can be a fun product for creating quality content. This is only highlighted when you notice that it does not support Stage Manager and split-view; this is an app that needs to be front and center on your iPad, and rightfully so.
Like Final Cut Pro for iPad, it feels like Apple wants to get these apps as soon as they’re available, and I’d argue that Logic Pro is more than Final Cut in achieving that. the now. From using the Apple Pencil to draw edits and automate some tracks, to new plugin tiles that give projects new alignment options, there’s a lot to like here.
So if you were hoping to leave the MacBook Pro at home to tackle that project in Logic Pro while you’re away for the weekend with the iPad mini on the iPad Pro, you’ll have a fun and productive time. . You can even create random tracks, like I did for imaginary game soundtracks.