June 24, 2011

The End Is Nigh...

by Chris Randall

The recent hubbub over Final Cut X (which you're no doubt familiar with, but if you aren't, Tom Ellard's highlights here and a funny but informative bit from Conan O'Brian here) is kind of silly. It's like standing on the train tracks, watching a train coming straight at you, and saying "there's no fucking way that train's gonna hit me." They showed it at NAB a couple months ago, and all the pros had a look at it. They knew what was coming, but they're all "there's no way they'd release that. It's just iMovie Pro!"

Newsflash: Apple don't care. Apple don't give a shit.

Ironically, for the kind of video stuff I do, which is of the "line up an audio track with a single video file, and shit it to YouTube" variety, Final Cut X is remarkably well kitted. I tried to use Final Cut Express for a couple months, and eventually pitched it for iMovie. Apple realizes that there are a lot more people out there like me (video-wise) than there are people that edit feature films. They'd like to make some money, please. Enter Final Cut X.

The thing to watch out for (and down the road when it happens, I'll reference this post as an I-Told-You-So) is this: Logic Pro is managed by the same group at Apple as Final Cut Pro; the Pro Applications group. This is the group of managerial types who most assuredly don't work in the media professions any more, and haven't for years. They're the group that thought making a "pro" version of iMovie and replacing the top-of-the-line video editing software with it was a good idea.

What do you think that bodes for Logic? Logic / Garageband has exactly the same pro:hobbyist footprint as Final Cut Pro / iMovie, and is managed by the same people. Pretty simple math there.

If you're a professional user, I'd strongly suggest taking a serious look at the other top-line DAWs: ProTools 9 and Cubase 6. I would, for obvious personal reasons, recommend the latter. It is a mostly lateral move from Logic Pro, features-wise. I'm not saying it's time to jump ship. I haven't heard anything more than you have. I am, however, deeply ingrained in the music software business, as you know, and have been for some time. You can smell these cycles.

Or don't bother, and when Logic X comes out and doesn't have a mixer, you can come back to this post, wherein I say I told you so.


Page 1 of 15

Jun.24.2011 @ 1:28 PM
I ditched Logic when Apple made it Mac only, and said 'well, you can buy a new $3000 system and replace all your software as well if you want to keep Using it'. They do absolutely not give a shit about users, pro or not.

Apple has done a brilliant thing. They have kidnapped and rapped their user and developer base for year, but managed to take advantage of some serious stockholm syndrome to get away with it. (not unlike the catholic church, now that I think about it). If you wake up one day, your wallet is empty and your ass is sore, your probably a regular apple customer.

Jun.24.2011 @ 1:28 PM
Raped, not rapped. I do not want to see Steve Jobs rap.

Jun.24.2011 @ 1:52 PM
You've remarked in the past, "not one of the people involved has ever set foot on stage..."

So easily avoided: just call it something different. Final Cut X, with the pro upgrade coming later. Same with Jupiter 80. It would be a great program if it wasn't supposed to be the direct replacement of something incredible.

Jun.24.2011 @ 1:53 PM
I think Logic's persistence in the market speaks volumes to just how good a job Emagic did with it in the first place. Apple has done so very little with it in the years since, in much the same way that Sony has done so little with Sound Forge.

Fucking big companies. Suck, the lot of them.

Jun.24.2011 @ 2:00 PM
Chris Randall
That, exactly. Someone that was using Logic 6 (the last true emagic version) and immediately jumped to 9.1.4 would not have any trouble finding his way around, and would probably be happy with the couple of extra plug-ins.

Of course, that guy running Logic 6 was probably doing it on a 19" CRT with a horizontal pixel resolution somewhere in the mid triple digits. He'd have a hard time making out the cluttered mess of UltraBeat. He'd also wonder what happened to the Environment. Once he figured out where it was, he'd be all "why did they leave it in but go to such great lengths to hide it?"

He'd also be bemused at all the Apple Loops, and the weird channel presets, especially the instrument ones, that assume that every user is in a Jethro Tull cover band. But he wouldn't have to use those. He'd have a product that was, at a fundamental level, exactly the same as the one he left. Except it wouldn't load VSTs.


Jun.24.2011 @ 2:01 PM
I think that outlook is a little drastic. Logic is already tied in with GarageBand pretty well (vs. the disparity between iMovie and FCP before this week) and the big moves in Logic already took place within the last couple of revisions, especially with the more automated handling of the Environment.

The two big complaints with FCP X are the inability to open older FCP projects (which is, frankly, a WTF? decision and I hope they have enough sense to be working on a solution, whether it's a converter or translator between the old and new formats) and the inability to export XML/EDL to work in other apps for color grading, etc.

But FCP and Logic started from very different codebases and it became clear that FCP was not aging well. I don't see the same thing happening with Logic. I expect the issues with FCP to be worked out over time but I'll keep my rose-tinted glasses on in regards to Logic's future.

Jun.24.2011 @ 2:07 PM
i've heard all kinds of rumors.. "apple is getting rid of all the instruments, no mixer, garageband pro.." etc and i'm curious to see what they do and how vigorously they screw the pooch.

i pretty much only use logic for mixing these days as i like the plugs and i'm just used to it. it feels like home and it sounds good and it does sound better than live.. you can't tell me otherwise.. get a lot of tracks and DSP going and live just doesn't get where it needs to..

if they really drop a giant turd on logic i'll just stay with the version i have and wait as long as possible to crossgrade to something else.. i do own DP and have dabbled with it for years so would maybe just go there but i kind of loath the feel of it even though it does many things in a more transparent way than logic.

pro tools? screw that nonsense. what about that presonus thing? cubase looks like windows to me... like sonic foundry's acid or something.

does logic have a larger user base than final cut? i know there are countless video people out there but logic seems to be everywhere

Jun.24.2011 @ 2:32 PM
Chris Randall
The music industry is to the video industry as, say, this pitiful rebel fleet is to a fully operational Death Star. Video is an order of magnitude larger. Think of it this way: at an NBA basketball game broadcast on TNT, you've got maybe 700 people that deal with all aspects of getting that game on camera and bouncing it off a satellite. In contrast, there's like 2 dudes that deal with the audio. In the stadium itself, there's another dude that either plays the organ or hits "go" on some sort of sample-playback engine.

That's pros, though, of course. There are way more music "hobbyist" types than there are video hobbyist types. That fact alone would probably serve to cast doubt on my argument.


Jun.24.2011 @ 2:35 PM
My guess is the complete break with the past was an unmaintainable code base confronted by major architectural changes like 64 bit, plug-in compatibility or certain UI libraries.

So, basically, opening/importing an older FCP project would vary between imperfect to terrible translation, so, why bother? Hopefully there will be some third party utility to rescue some amount of your project.

Final Cut was originally a macromedia project, so not invented here. Logic is the same thing, but, as far as I know, much of the development team is still intact. I'm not sure the same kind of drastic change will affect Logic, but what do I know.

Jun.24.2011 @ 2:59 PM
At this point, being any sort of "pro" using a Mac has become something akin to a George R.R. Martin novel.

Page 1 of 15



Sorry, commenting is closed for this blog entry.