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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Am Switching To Cubase

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Yes I know this may come to you as disagreeable (but not shocking) news but I would like to keep it real and be honest with you. I will leave this blog published as reference as I still get the occasional thank you comment from people who read the blog and see something they like.

As I've stated I started this blog to just comment about things I liked/disliked about Logic Studio. I still like it a lot and I find it a viable product but seeing the way Apple handles their pro software it does not take a genius to see what's coming:

Exhibit A: Shake (Apple acquired the Nothing Real company, consequently Shake)
- Shake's status: RIP

Exhibit B: Color (Apple acquired the Silicon Color company, with it FinalTouch later on repackaged it as Color)
- Color's status: RIP

Exhibit C: Sountrack Pro (sold initially with Final Cut Studio and then with Logic Studio)
- Soundtrack Pro's status: RIP

Exhibit D: Final Cut (became a real alternative to Avid software and quickly earned the love of people on the upper crust of the food chain like Coppola)
- Final Cut status: Zombie... not really alive, not really dead.  

Exhibit E: Logic Studio (Apple acquired Emagic and with it Logic, the rest you already know it)
- Logic Studio status: Huh?

Seemingly, Apple has become ANTI-PRO (I said seemingly)

No I'm not being an alarmist, I have not smoked anything that would make my mind say crazy stuff...
How would you judge this phrase on the OS X Server page:

OS X Server is perfect for a studio, business, hobbyist, or school. It’s so easy to set up, who needs an IT department?

Yeah, fuck it, why would a school or a business need an IT department? A small business (a really small business like a Mom and Pop shop) I can understand but a school? come on.

Let's face it, Apple has become a consumer-orientated company not a company that caters to professionals.

They have left the initiative of making great (at least music) software to outside or independent or mainly NON-APPLE developers, which is OK. I just wonder if Emagic would have been better off not being bought by Apple. I cite that as a simply conjecturable matter.

What's that? the biggest company in the world doesn't have the resources to have heaps of developers working on Logic Studio/Final Cut and all those creative music and film applications? Oh, they do? It's just not the priority? Ok you get it.

Who should worry about the future of Logic or why? (or why I'm switching)

- People who invest in equipment: music machines, tape reel recorders (yes they are pretty much in use) vintage instruments, computers, you know, things that don't come cheap.

- You want that at least that the things you've invested on, that careful ecosystem of cables and switches be there tomorrow, let's say at least the next five years, and when you put a piece of software in the helm of it all you want it to be supported, again for at least that time period.

- Just ask those poor sods who invested in such ecosystem but in the movie-making process when Final Cut X didn't support half of the things they'd built their rigs around, yeah ask them how they felt, or just read an example: http://www.pbs.org/pov/blog/2011/11/pros-leaving-apple-fcpx/
or http://www.pbs.org/pov/blog/2011/08/final_cut_pro_x_editors_respond/

Why Cubase?

Don't worry I won't turn this into a Cubase eulogy or advertisement (I would have liked it very much if I got the software for free, though).

Simply because I think they will still be there 5 years from now, with a solid development, new, much demanded features and enough backward compatibility.

On what do I base my belief? Well, it has been there since April 1989 and that's the past, now for the future...  it was acquired by a company with a solid record of commitment to music: Yamaha.
They are superb (professional and consumer) music instrument and hardware makers.

Their main interest is (like all companies) to make money of course, but I don't see them tomorrow just pulling the plug from professional music software or instrument making. It will all still be there, they've been doing that since 1887, when they started as a reed organ and piano-making company, and that's simply reassuring.

I of course will continue to work on a few projects with Logic but since on that field the ground seems not very stable, for my onward developments I am transitioning to Cubase.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thank you for everything, Steve, now...

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Steve Jobs is no more. The man that created ripples everywhere he went. The visionary, the genius, the tenacious asshole that would insist in getting nothing but the best from every one so every little shiny conception would see the light.

He had Apple buy Emagic back in 2002 and with it Logic. Then he decided to kick every professional music software company in the nuts by releasing Logic Studio, a professional software package that had everything you needed to make an album: virtual instruments, synths, samplers, drum machines, plugins, compressors, reverbs, limiters... you name it. Oh yeah, the kick in the nuts was the price, 500 bucks.

That in itself inspired me to begin this blog, and give it the vision of a composer who was trying the LS for the first time, and narrate my experiences along the way, not to be an obsessed blogger for clicks and producing vapid top-10 lists out of my arse every 6 hours to keep trafic coming in. (Although I could because my day job has always been on Internet Marketing) plus I'd be hard pressed to do so as any news about LS is a rare occasion due to its update/grade cycles. No, this is a blog where in the last months I've refused to produce any post as a passive-agressive manner of saying that I am not happy with the way  Apple is handling LS.

I won't go into the details of why I don't like the way la pomme is handling the development and deployment of professional software, for that you've read the news, heck even Conan had a go at it with that Final Cut sketch.

To me, it feels as though LS is being sold for scrap, by having the much larger sum of its parts divided into the 'little things' such as GarageBand and GarageBand for the iPad. I am no stranger to corporate meetings and corporate decisions, I've worked for large companies, and I know exactly what they are doing, I've been there.

A company's primary mission is to make money, and money they are making.

Rather than see it as a disaster I see it as a natural evolutionary step, I imagine that they find themselves in the same position Yamaha did decades ago when they had realized they could make a lot more money by creating and selling the PortaTone and PortaSound brands of "toyish" music workstations. The demand for them was ripe, who after all could afford a professional synth back then? They used to cost as much as a car or a cottage in the Ardennes!

They were the GarageBands back then, they were certainly not concert pianos nor studio pianos of the "A" series, but hey, children, students and enthusiasts would be able to make music with them (I know I did and that's how I started composing).  At the time there was no retail store that did not carry a PortaSound or a PortaTone model on their music department, that's how consumer-accesible they were.

The only difference is that Yamaha has always had a very long and inviting progress ladder that seems endless, if you are a keyboard player you can start with the mini-keyed "toys" and if one day your prowess begs it, you can end up with the much beefier professional-grade offerings; either synths, synth-workstations or pianos with all the bells, whistles and hefty price tags.

Guess what, the same goes if you are a trumpet player, Yamaha are skilled horn makers and if you started tooting on a marching band with a student-grade instrument, you most certainly have the possibility to end up with a true concertista-grade trumpet if need be.

All this to say that Yamaha is a superb example of a company not ever letting down their professional musicians while attracting and satisfying newbies, they excel at this.

Don't forget that if this comparison seems far-fetched and you start flaunting your arms and panting furiously and yelling with a frothy mouth: "oh yeah, but Apple is not a music company, blargh blargh" well, neither is Yamaha, after all, they can sell you a motorcycle or a boat engine at any time.

Ok, time for a fairer comparison:

The difference lies in their never-ending commitment to music and music producers, Apple bought Emagic, and with it Logic, its future seems shaky, and whilst every blogger and their cat are predicting that Apple will abandon professional musicians (as they've claimed photographers and filmmakers are gone) I wish it will not become true.

On the other hand, Yamaha bought another German company, they copied Apple's move of acquiring a German professional-music software maker. They bought Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH, and with it Cubase. I am happy to announce the obvious, the future does not seem uncertain for them, at all. They seem to solidify their offer by the day and their commitment to professional musicians, – honoring Yamaha's tradition – is as strong as ever.

On a final note I'm sorry I've never got to chance to meet Steve Jobs and ask him in person what the hell was he planning to do in the end with Logic and all its legacy code that is starting to show its age, (Environment anyone?, old+new user interface splurged together anyone?, convoluted arpeggiator implementation anyone?).

I know I've would have gotten a straight answer, a short, blunt and honest one.
He would have told me "No, we are not going to continue in that way, we're phasing it out, we're giving much more attention to the consumer side of music production".

Or "We're going to launch something that will be incredible, you will see..." and we'd believe him for a while until they came up with something like FC X. A disturbingly disappointing piece of software with a tad revolutionary user interface that is not in connection with every day use, you know the 'status quo' you know, what actual people making a living out of it actually need.

I just wish he was around and as with the "antenna gate" fire the crap out of the one responsible for professional-grade software, as it seems there is less and less of 'professional' in it as the day progresses.

Let's see how it goes.

Again, thank you Steve and may you rest in peace.

Friday, March 11, 2011

GarageBand on the iPad

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Hey, has any of you people gotten to play with the GarageBand on the iPad?
It is seriously delicious. Alas there seems to be a hardware problem with my iPad, the accelerometer does not seem to pick up the sensitivity of strokes on the lower part of the virtual keyboards. Does anyone else have this problem? Feel free to comment!

I have a RDV with the Genius at the Louvre, I'll keep you posted on how it went, and hopefully I can write a review about this app.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Show us your studio! Join our newly created Flickr Group

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You've struggled so much to make your studio an inspiring place of work.
Why not share it with the community?

See other studios and be inspired. 
I've started with the first submission (granted the pic is not very good but hey...)

You can join our group by clicking here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/logicstudio


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Friday, April 23, 2010

More iPad TouchOSC - Logic Studio Magic with Noe Ruiz

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Ah, this guy... it's so inspiring to see someone putting so much effort and dedication to the use of one application, and taking it to the limit!
Now we have Noe Ruiz demonstrating how to use TouchOSC with Logic (as a controller).

Now, what's your excuse not to get an iPad?
Here's a nifty video of his latest demonstration.