Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger: A Logic Pro X Wishlist
Every now and then, I get these “I wish I could do this in Logic Pro” moments. And in the past year, a lot of article drafts for this site have turned out to be mere feature requests. This post is a good place to put all these ideas together.
I will probably add to this post in the future, so consider it under permanent construction. Feel free to add to it by leaving a comment. Whether Logic Pro X will be revolutionary, evolutionary, consumer focused, prosumer focused, or another joke on Conan – who knows? Let’s just kick off 2012 with a Logic Pro X Wishlist.
Audio Region Editing
ARA: Melodyne Integration
It’s time. Something’s got to give: Either Apple buys Celemony (Merkel would be pissed!), or Apple further develops its own Pitch Correction technology (it needs work…), or Apple fully embraces Audio Random Access (ARA, Celemony’s audio interface extension that enables full integration of Melodyne into your Digital Audio Workstation – if your DAW happens to be Presonus Studio One Version 2).
Post Plugin Waveforms
Have the option to preview what the waveform of an audio region looks like after processing.
Apple Loop Editing In Sample Editor
Most edit functions in the Sample Editor are greyed out when trying to edit an Apple Loop. Understandable – no one would want to destructively edit an Apple Loop – but there’s got to be a better way.
Audio Region Gain
Just like in Pro Tools 10: the ability to change gain on the audio region itself, with changes immediately reflected in the waveform.
Change volume of selection/slice while Flex Mode is active. Lots to be learned from Melodyne here.
Having some form of spectral information right on top of an audio region. Forgot to filter out stuff? See it instantly.
More Fade Options and Pitch Curves
Be able to move a fade freely over a region (not just at the end or beginning). In the case of Slow Down/Speed Up fades: control over intensity (not just all the way down/up). Create breakpoints with the Fade Tool. Copy/paste fades on regions. Convert fades to automation. Share fades. Import Tiësto’s backspins. I digress.
A Faster Loop Browser
We need instant loop playing in the Loop Browser while your song is running. That, and the option to quantize loop triggers (on the next 1/16th, 1/8th, 1/4th note, like in Ableton Live). Speaking of triggers: why not be able to trigger samples straight from the browser, and record that live on an audio track?
Fix Audio Region Length To Locators
Even if this requires inserting silence, or adding it to the end of an audio file. See this article.
More Stretch Algorithms
That includes the grainy ones from the old days.
True Audio Region Cloning
A potential timesaver. For now, only region length changes work when you’re cloning audio regions in Logic Pro.
Roll Edit Tool
Just like in Final Cut!
MIDI Region Editing
MIDI Take Folders That Really Work
You can make a take folder from a selection of MIDI regions, but you can’t comp them. The insanity! (Thanks, Volition!).
Live Updating Of Changes In Region Parameter Box
Hearing changes made to some playback parameters requires you to release the mousebutton. This gets annoying, especially in the Advanced Quantization section.
Better Navigation Snapshots
At least have something display what navigation snapshot is currently active. The navigation snapshot buffer should be saved along with the project. We should have the option to edit what’s in that buffer. Currently, the buffer evaporates after quitting Logic Pro.
Warning: Odd Region Length
When looping regions with odd lengths, optionally get a warning about it.
Color Multiple Regions In Gradients
Auto color multiple regions in gradients: color all your synth tracks with gradients of green.
Takefolders: Instant Updates
Comping while Logic Pro is playing isn’t instant. It has to be faster!
After editing one comp, have the option to automatically create comps based on the preceding and succeeding takes that were used to make the first comp. A lot of times a singer or player delivers a winning streak of good takes. This option would greatly speed up instrument or vocal doubling.
Takefolder: Partially Mute/Delete Take
This would enable muting or deleting parts of a take you’ll never use anyway.
Automatable Automation Breakpoints
Breakpoints in Logic Pro automation should be automatable. Provided that Logic Pro automation remains sample accurate at all costs, this feature would open up a ton of creative possibilities. Much to learn from Cableguys’ Volumeshaper here.
If you are into putting your automation on separate regions, you’ll know that making changes to your automation won’t be reflected in any aliases of those regions. What a potential timesaver that would be!
Sample Accuracy – No Matter What!
Sample Accurate Automation – no matter what or how many plugins are being used. Nuff said.
Save Automation as Apple Loop
Fades are an integral part of a composition. Building your own fade library by saving automation as an Apple Loop unfortunately is not a very intuitive process. Automation data that’s on a separate audio region can’t be saved as an Apple Loop.
Automation Curve Presets
Sine wave, pulse wave, square wave – ready to be used as automation via a drag and drop interface. Great alternative to LFO’s, providing that Logic Pro’s automation is sample accurate.
Stack Channel Strip Settings
Visual Mixing Interface?
What if we could actually push a sound to the back of our soundscape on an iPad or Magic Trackpad? Swipe a sound to the left or right, and pinch to make the stereo field of a sound a little narrower?
Reorder Tracks In The Mixer Window
Change the order of tracks in the mixer window, with changes immediately reflected in the Arrange Window (thanks, MacAudio!). There are other ways to organize audio objects in Logic Pro however.
Scalable Channel Strips
Pointed out by Artdog (thanks!).
Delete Unused Audio Objects In Mixer Window
Title says it all…
Plugins Pass Data Succesfully
After connecting two audio objects with a cable in the Environment, parameter changes in one plugin should be reflected in the other in real time. One of my top requests. This would lay the groundwork for some heavy duty data mangling possibilities. Plugins with output are there, but Logic Pro won’t let us use them.
Third Party Plugin Integration
Third party plugins! We need them right there. Combined with audio region clones: winning!
I/O Plugin Support
Speaking of plugin support in Sample Editor: Having access to outboard gear right inside the Sample Editor – with the I/O plugin – would be a big step forward. You could touch up a sample with your favorite outboard EQ, then apply it to the sample. All audio region clones will then follow. Winning!
Drag Selection To…
Drag Selection to Arrange Window, Browser, Desktop, Mail.
Send Score To iPad
Basic Music Theory Integration
Logic Pro is chord-aware. Next step: awareness of chord function within a key. Possible edit functions: Auto Chord Substitution, Quick Chord Inversion.
Legato based on locator length. Also: for basic string section editing, have the option to merge all repeated notes (of same pitch) with one click.
Piano Roll Step Time Editing
Create notes by clicking on the piano keyboard in the Piano Roll window.
Select a chord, then replace it by merely playing a new one on a keyboard.
Select Equal Subpositions
Have the option to select equal subpositions by beat, measure, or bar.
Open Project Without Plugins
Although the Import function was a great step forward, it lacks visual feedback. In the OS X Finder, the project screenshot that gets attached to the project file can help out but still: a weak track naming regime can result in some serious guesswork. Having the option to open a second project without any plugins would be a good alternative to the current Import function in Logic Pro.
Export As Quicktime Movie
The option to bounce the entire project, including a video of the moving timeline.
Export Production Notes/Log
When bouncing all tracks, have the option to create a document or .PDF file with information about plugins used, and their settings, including screenshots of all plugin windows. Also: include the option to export all used plugin presets, while being able to separate Logic Pro’s stock plugins from third-party plugins. Yes!
_bip at the end of each filename after bouncing all tracks looks silly. The option to either remove it or change it would be nice. Just to make your Pro Tools engineer a little happier. You can batch rename audio files with Automator.
Soundcloud, Youtube, the works.
After bouncing all tracks: have the option to ZIP the folder containing all audio files used in a project. Password protection should be optional. These are all basic functions in OS X, and they should be implemented in Logic Pro. After all, this intuitiveness is Apple’s hallmark.
Plugins & Softsynths
Refresh Channel Strip Settings Menu
Changes made to your Channel Strip Settings in Finder won’t automatically be reflected in Logic Pro’s Channel Strip settings menu. You’ll have to quit and relaunch Logic Pro. How about an option to refresh that menu?
Deactivate All Bypassed Plugins
You may want to load plugins by the bunch. In that case, being able to quickly deactivate all bypassed plugins would be handy. See this article.
Musical Equalization For Channel EQ
Have the option to automatically set Logic Pro’s Channel EQ bands to multiples of the band you are working on. Say you found a sweet spot to be at 500 Hz, then this function would automatically set the frequencies of the consecutive bands at 1 Khz, 2 Khz, 4 Khz, and so on.
A Better Direction Mixer
The interface of Logic Pro’s Direction Mixer is dangerously deceptive. Putting ‘extending the stereo base’ of a L/R signal and the option to decode M/S material in one plugin can potentially force newcomers to mid/side processing into huge trouble. See my article for some great free metering plugins.
A Randomize Button For All Softsynths
The randomize button on the ES2 is great for inspiration. All synths need this button (and the button should show up in Automation).
Truncate & Purge Sampler Plugins
No matter what your Mac’s specs are, the rule somehow seems to be that you will push it to its limit. Memory will be your first problem, especially when running Logic Pro in 32-bit mode. There should be some form of communication between plugins and the Arrangement Window: Sampler plugins (EXS24, Kontakt, Kontakt Player, etc.) should be aware of what samples are being used in the regions that play these instruments. In other words: once you think the arrangement of a certain instrument is finished, you should be able to remove all unused samples from a sampler instrument.
Finer control of the ADSR envelopes. See this article.
EXS24: Disable “Convert to Sampler Instrument” for .CAF Files
Or rather enable it, because now you can convert an apple loop to a Sampler Instrument, but you’ll hear nothing when playing it.
EXS24: Modulate Sample Start
It seems that it’s limited to 500ms of a sample. Pourquoi?
Plugin Menu Structure
The human wrist is not made of steel. Ever had a mouse misclick while selecting a plugin from the Waves Mercury bundle? Navigation for the plugin menu should be better, preferably with a folder structure that can be customized. We should have the option to organize third party plugins by category. And once a plugin is active: have the option to select the next/previous plugin in a category.
Delay Plugins: Delay Time Resolution
We could use a better resolution here. (thanks, Kenlanders!).
Panning Control In Stereo Delay
Because hard left and hard right are just what they are: hard. Direction Mixer can solve this, for now.
Multipressor With Multiband Sidechaining
Preferably have one sidechain input for each band. 6 bands would be nice. Knee control, and Auto-Release. Now-now-now-now we’re feeling fly like a C6.
This one could use an attenuation meter…
Bigger Voicecount On The ES2
Make ES2 compete again with the Virus TI and Sylenth. The ES2’s voice count is just very yesterday.
Plugin Grouping/Alias Plugins
Edit multiple plugins of the same kind in one go.
Plugins With MIDI and Automation Output
I believe Bluecat Audio really was on to something here. Their plugins offer actual MIDI and automation output. From around version 9.0.1 on, this stopped working in Logic Pro however. I’ve contacted Bluecat Audio about this in October 2011, and they got in touch with Apple. So far, no answer.
A Randomize Button On Every Softsynth
All softsynths should have one, not just the EFM1 and ES2.
Better arpeggiator, and skins for real-world synths (i.e. control a hardware synth via this plugin).
This would open up a whole universe of possibilities: remote control, sample editing, score editing. There’s already an ocean of third party apps out there – I’d love to see Apple’s take on this.
Read this article for some ideas. Unlikely in the near future, but fun to dream about.
You have to give it to them: the people over at Ohmforce have taken a giant leap for music-making mankind when it comes to music collaboration over the web. Apple’s got the backbone (iCloud), but will they nail this, or even dare to try?