Featured Songs Made With Logic Studio

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.