I Really Like Logic, But …

Response to 9to5 Review of Logic 10.4

First of all, thanks to 9to5 for this in-depth review of Logic, not just 3rd party plug-ins – yes, you’re making me eat my words, and in this case I’m happy to. Second, I really like Logic a lot. Third, [and this is very difficult and troubling for me, because I really like Logic], I used to use Logic as an on-set audio tracker and was beginning to use it as a ProTools Replacement for audio post, BUT: There are a couple of issues that Apple has refused to address, even in this latest release, (I’ve tried many times and currently have 3 open support tickets going back to the summer of 2017), and they are both related to Logic’s ability to manage linear time. Here they are:

1) The out point of a project cannot be stretched, after-the-fact if the incoming audio TC transits 21:00:00;00. So, I open a new project, import tracks with the project conforming to the TC of the income audio – here’s the kicker, if the project goes past 21:00:00;00, the outpoint of the project timeline cannot be stretched to include the audio that transits that bearer – even though you can see the grayed-out audio tracks on the timeline. 2) Locking Logic to incoming TC [which is crucial to audio tracking that is slated for audio post with lock-to-picture] mysteriously stops at about 13:00:00;00. I use a Steinberg Nuendo Syncstation to grab House TC and make it available to my audio NLE via the USB port. With Logic all of the setup is obvious [if you do this for a living] and FAST, and, it just works … right up until, 13:00:00;00. What happens next is, Logic stops the recording and will not Play or Record or Freewheel until I disengage the external TC source, in Logic settings.

Much like FCPX is for professions that want to get a lot of work done faster and more efficiently, so too is Logic to the professional in real-world workflows. ProTools is fine, but Logic kills it, and after decades of using ProTools and Avid workflows in general, I’m beyond tired of Avid’s licensing BS. FCPX and Logic, done. But, Apple has got to fix these core TC issues in Logic, and, Apple has got to make a true, out-of-box round-tripping workflow between FCPX and Logic. I really like Apple’s media production tools and they come so dang close to killing everything else out there. Original 9to5 article.

Apple Matters Audio FCPX Logic X Tech Blog Work

A “Pro” Post to My “Pro” Blog for Professionals

It’s kind of interesting to analyze the effect of the label, “Pro”, when I’m on the consumer side versus the professional side. As a consumer the term, “Pro”, makes me feel a bit more comfortable with how much I’m about to spend, and as a professional user, it makes me raise my eyebrow in unapologetic suspicion. (If it’s really a professional product, aimed at professionals, why does it need to be said with an obviously manipulating title like “Pro”?)

I’m going to try the car analogy, again: In terms of basic performance, I can turn a VW bug into a Porsche 911, (that used to be possible), but if I do that, in the end, I still have a VW Bug, but a lot faster one. And, up to a point, being faster counts, but it’s still a Bug. If I really want the complete, carefully balanced, actual Porsche experience, I must buy a Porsche 911.

And this my friends is yet another attempt to explain my near contempt for the the whole of the iMac product line. Apple takes their iVW, a very cool machine in its own right, puts a screaming fast engine in it, slaps the “Pro” moniker on it and once again evades having to actually make another, real, professional desktop computer. To a consumer the speed of this thing, alone, makes the initial experience surreal – in a good way, to a professional, the speed is thrilling for somewhere between one hour and a week, or so. After that, I start asking real-world questions like: how come I have to tear the screen off of the front in order to do a basic thing like upgrade or change RAM? Or, swap CPUs to upgrade or downgrade the number of cores I’m using? [Yes, I might want to do that because the fewer the cores, the faster each core goes – see?) Or, why can’t I add high-end video cards to the existing system – Oh wait, I can! But, oh wait, I want to add six video cards to my system so that I can scale how my professional software applications use them – like Windows users can – And, yay! Look mom, six video cards, but, what a freaking mess on my physical desktop. Sure wish I could just put those things inside of my computer. And, my OS is still optimized for only one kind of video card language? (I’m speaking here of CL vs. GL.) Yes I can use both, but only one is actually native to the OS. WTF! I really do not want to get stuck with Windows, again, but, I will.

And, where is Linux in all of this marketing obfuscation [BS]? Linux foundations have the potential to build highly customized machines on a wonderful plethora of UIs on very powerful hardware architectures … Why is it that all I can hear from the Linux side is crickets chirping? (There actually are a few open source products, but a very few, and to-date, nothing that can well replace software products from Avid, Apple and Adobe, maybe with the exception of Black Magic and their Linux-ready Fusion product.) Please get on the ball and save those of us who: 1) Actually do care about what we use, but; 2) Are beyond weary of having to argue for anything and everything that isn’t 1000% Microsoft; 3) Are sick and tired of having to slog through the cesspool of hardware and software that recklessly slaps the, “Pro” label on everything – to the point that even consumers, by now, are completely desensitized to it. If any serious Linux developers want to take a serious stab at creating a truly professional environment for high-end media production workflows, please feel free to give me a call, because I guarantee you, there is a huge market place of deluded, tired and disenfranchised media producers who, still have a passion for the work, want to know and trust that the hardware and software they’re using IS professional, and, who are beyond weary of the two-choice reality they [we, I] work in. I’m serious.

In the meantime, I’m getting ready to install new Windows machines for our Adobe Premiere”Pro”/After Effects post production peeps [formally Mac-based], and iMac”Pro”s for our Final Cut “Pro” X/Motion users. And the jury is still out for our “Pro” Tools and Logic “Pro” X camps. They’re all unified in not wanting to go back to Windows, but they’re not convinced they want to get stuck with the iVW either, because, by now, they’re all fully aware of the BS factor in the “Pro” moniker and how difficult it’s getting to escape from it. I’ll let you know how it goes. (Call me, really.)

Is This The Year of Linux?

In a recent Twitter post Christine Hall [@BrideOfLinux] made the comment that, Is this going to be the year of Linux?, is getting to be a tired old question. My response was: From an end-user POV, an even more tired question/argument is: Mac vs. Windows. The world really needs Linux to come out of geekdom and into the mainstream. Now, we’re just minions of MS or Apple. SAVE US!! https://twitter.com/BrideOfLinux/status/954081071733313542

ApplePay Progress In My Area

In Southern IL not so much. One of the first places in my area was Panera, but the system at that particular store works sometimes and not at other times. Interestingly, I spent a month working in London last year and was able to use Apple Pay almost everywhere, even in the outlying areas of the city. And, in that city, the best exchange rate I could get was to use my Simple Bank card, with or without my iPhone, at most any ATM – even when including the service fee it beat anything I could get walking into a bank or exchange shop. Where I live won’t be much empowered with AP until/unless Sams, Walmart and Target get on the ball, which I’m guessing won’t be anytime soon.

It’s Not A Bug, It’s An Oopsy

I appreciate 9to5 NOT calling this App Store preferences goof, a “bug”, it’s pure mistake, oversight, a big oopsy. And, it comes at a very unfortunate time for Apple, and, gets added to the sudden heap of Shiite the entire computing industry finds itself in as we try to get the new year started. I’m perfectly fine with corps being in the game to make money, it can be a pure, clean and straightforward motivation … but, let’s not forget that, to continue to succeed you will have to continue to put out the best that your capable of. Unfortunately I think Apple has gone where many of us feared it would go if/when it ever began to really compete with MS. Now, it makes lots of money [GOOD! YES! YAY!], but it’s getting too close to becoming what many nay-sayers used to accuse it of being – all glitz and no guts. I’ve been using Macs and other Apple product since 1985, (and a lot of it, personally and corporately), and I find myself having to back away from being at the level of Apple advocacy I once was perfectly justified being at. (And please give me a break with Steve vs. Tim … it really isn’t so if you’ve been following along, all along.) And the biggest specter of all? If not Apple then what …? Windows … … …? Sorry, but all I can think of here is bad words, so I’ll sign off for now.

How Good Is This Machine, Really?

I’m a fanboy, but I’m also pretty hard on Apple Inc when it comes to their “Pro” products, and up to now I’ve been pretty unimpressed with the direction they’ve gone. I still maintane that, if Apple is serious about supporting professional media production, they would get back to delivering more traditionally open hardware platforms and forget about looking cool.

They really should deliver iMac Pro in a multi-slotted box with the most up-to-date busses and the ability to natively handle both GL and CL graphics languages. Saying all of that, I still cling to Randi Altman’s review of the newly released machine, and as always, I want to believe.

For our workflows that 10GBe port along with the USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports are what we’ll be paying for if it’s decided to continue to go with the Mac platform. For us it will come down to being willing to pay $$$$ for those updated and built-in items, and get a free iMac with them. Thanks very much for the perspective. There have been rumors that rendering h.264 files is significantly faster than previous iMac or MacPro hardware versions, but so far, I’m not able to find any reliable numbers.

Here’s a link to Randi’s initial thoughts on the new iMacPro: Altman’s iMacPro review

FCPX Logic X Mac Posted Tech Blog

Will The Real Logic Pro X Please Stand Up

Is there somewhere “real” Logic users can discuss all aspects of this fantastic ProTools Replacement … (With one exception.) All of the latest plug-ins, instruments and etc. are completely cool, but Logic is a full featured audio post production tool that needs to be talked about in that context. I seriously wonder how many audio-house post pros are actually aware of that. I cannot remember 9to5 once reviewing Logic, only 3rd party stuff, and rarely anything except instruments. Logic is a serious and complete audio production tool and once that’s realized, maybe Apple will be inspired to do more than just “fix” things, but to also continue to develop it as a truely audio postproduction/production tool set.

Final thought: I so want to get excited about FCPX 10.4’s new Logic plug-ins updates, I really do. And of course this isn’t the first update to FCPX’s audio tool kit – a very good one I might add. But, I can only get to, meh … Why? Because, by now we should’ve been well on our way to a full blown round-trip workflow between FCPX and Logic Pro X.

Audio FCPX Logic X Tech Blog

Has Apple Lost Its Design Mojo – or – Where’s The Real MacPro?

I really do not believe or see that Apple has lost its design mojo for the consumer marketplace, but, the high-end, pro media space keeps getting worse rather than better. (Yes, I know all about the new iMac.) By industry standards the new iMac, while an amazing machine in its own right, still falls short of being a true, top-of-the-line workstation, and that’s before we even get into the ever-frustrating closed hardware that we’re all stuck with now. (And yes again, I’m keenly aware of some vague apologies by top Apple dogs regarding lack of MacPro hardware updates, followed by even more vague promises of some mystery machine that’s supposed to be oderable in 2018 – for delivery in 2019.)

At home, Apple’s a beautiful thing, at work, a lot less so. One thing Apple has always fallen on its face with is, if we love to use Macs at home, we’re going to want to use them at work and not just for photoshoping, but high-end video, film and delivery systems too. I sure wish they’d wake up to this need. Lot’s of us requiring the fastest, most open and workflow-oriented tech would probably pay almost anything to make it happen on a Mac – Still, all I hear from Apple’s back yard is crickets chirping … nada. Oh and, let’s not forget that, Apple makes one of the finest editing suites available to the human race to-date – I speak of course of, Final Cut Pro X, Compressor and Motion. Motion is a potential After Effects killer, but few in industrial-strength workflows will utilize it because the hardware workflows are not there to support it above and beyond what a home power-user would require. Frustrating in the extreme. As a final word for perspective’s sake, this is not about Tim Cook, Apple’s lack of commitment to enterprise customers has always been an issue for those of us that want and need to be able to have consistent UIs across working and personal computing environments.

An Audio Producer’s Take on the AirPods

I’m sure everyone’s dying to know what I think about Apple’s AirPods, so: 1) Amazing sales numbers considering how difficult it was to order a pair and get them delivered in some more normal time frame. (Checkout 9to5mac.com for the numbers); 2) They are the best sounding earbuds I’ve heard, wired or wireless. (“Best sounding” is very subjective so here’s my POV: I’m no audio guru, but I have raised a family and funded an IRA for 30+ years working in audio production); 3) In fact, these earbuds do produce an amazing amount of low end, but as with all earbuds, you’re not going to feel it. However, headphones are NOT required to get deep, emmersive low end. Many earphones that are designed to fit into the ear canal, and seal it, will provide amazing low frequency performance, perceptually. Of course, a good pair of isolating headphones will still beat them, but not as much as one might think.

AirPods are not designed to fit into the ear canal, but if they were, you’d get hammered with a lot of perceived low frequency performance. Find some music with a good bass track, or a cinematic action scene and press your AirPods straight into your ears while changing the angle to optimize the test, and hear for yourself – DON’T HURT YOURSELF THOUGH!. 4) For the money, the hype and considering who the developer is, I’m quite disappointed with the lack of on-board features of these earbuds, and it’s getting to be a typical quandary that Apple puts its fans into [I’m a huge Apple fanboy – no apologies] with their hardware – What it does it does well, but there’s so much more it should be doing for the time and expense that we end up waiting and paying for. Let’s see, what else – Nope, that’s it. Cheers.

Who “Dislikes” Windows More Than Mac Users?

There are others who dislike Windows more than dedicated Macintosh users. As a long-time, old-fart Mac user, I used to think I was the biggest Windows-hater in the world – And then I started following Unix/Linux [nix] admins. Yikes! I almost pity MSWindows … Almost, but, not. And amidst all of this disliking, let’s not forget that Microsoft is an excellent application developer. I just think their OS needs to go away. Cheers!