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.


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Jun.24.2011 @ 4:52 PM
Excellent post about Final Cut Pro X:

link [pogue.blogs.nyt...]

The post seems like it is regurgitated from Apple spokespeople - the comments are where it gets interesting. What is most notable: Apple confirms that not only is Final Cut Pro X not backwards compatible, but they have no intention of making it compatible with older projects.

Jun.24.2011 @ 4:54 PM
Almost makes me wonder if Jobs has shares in Avid - the inevitable Downfall/Hitler parody nails more than a few issues with FCP X

link [www.youtube.com]

The most telling sign for me is the new FCP feature "Analyze and fix audio problems" - still laughing about that one...

I dont think the iMovie Pro comments are right, I think its just iMovie, plain & simple

Jun.24.2011 @ 5:03 PM
I assume that Apple would continue to make pro apps because, why else do you need a 16-core, 64-bit computer?

Interesting to hear if Murch, Coppola or ay of the others who have collaborated in the past were spoken to during this process. I mean, if you had Walter's number, wouldn't you use it?

Jun.24.2011 @ 5:35 PM
coppola makes wine these days...

unless you're talking about his fantastically alluring daughter

Jun.24.2011 @ 6:01 PM
Adam Schabtach
I was just mulling over saying something along the lines of "anyone who thinks Apple cares about backwards compatibility is either a new Apple user or not a developer," and citing a number of examples to bear up my point (OS X itself was the first that sprang to mind). But then I thought of one simple and relevant example:

Logic used to host VST plug-ins.


Jun.24.2011 @ 6:18 PM
and rtas plug ins too ;)

edit: in the sample editor anyway.. destructive editing w/DSP. was very useful for tweaking little bits of audio here and there.

Jun.24.2011 @ 8:13 PM
Ok Am I living under a rock or something? This week we get FCPX and its a professionally unusable turd dipped in chocolate. Now I am in this thread, freaking the fuck out that the Software I used since version 2.0 is gonna go the way of software formally known as FCP. Its like that movie where everything in the world has been dumbed down so far, the result is a planet inhabited by morons. Look I jumped from Stienberg when they wouldn't fix Cubase on Mac, tools hardware to Logic and have been a happy camper ever since. I was a little wary @ 6 when apple bought Emagic and they effectively made me a happier camper. 8 they fucked with my workflow, (I still run 7 on my mix cube system and its great) but I forgave them,9 got better. Now your telling me there is a possibility they are gonna reverse engineer my world, retrograde my artistic existence? Take away my virtual mixer and instruments?...(that's irony rite there isn't it)...No..Shirley not, your all fuck'in with my head and dont call me Shirley. I am already on Google maps as we thread, surveying potential clock towers or Book repositories in the vicinity of said Pro Applications group (Sounds like a hooker rolling on a condom) ...Who are these people?.....Steve's cancer isn't in his pancreas its in his company...Slice the brown bit off the apple before we take another bite I say. I'm a diplomatic technologist, a futurist and a pragmatist. I think Apple need me to go over and address the head of development at the Pro Applications Group with a great big book on diplomacy and I will enthusiastically beat him to death with it. Apple Genius Bar? More like a Zombie ranch.

Jun.24.2011 @ 8:36 PM
I keep saying this, but it should be obvious to any one of us; Apple is trying to make computers for my wife (and the millions like her). She works on a computer for hours a day, but doesn't really understand it. She doesn't really care if an app isn't backwards compatible as long as it works. I tried to tell her about the FCP hoopla and she just stared at me. There are way more of her than there are of me.

Of course that shit is going to happen to Logic. I can't believe it's gone on as long as it has. It doesn't fit in with Apple apps at all, it's a mess. Apple may do many things some of you don't like, but carrying dead weight is not on their list of faults.

Does anyone really think this is a good time for a major tech company to be invested in the pro audio industry? What pro audio industry? They'd have to find it first. Now the amateur audio industry, that's doing just fine.

What Apple does, the secret to their success, is give people like my wife exactly what they want and need, and tell them what they want and need. They cater to them and say "fuck the techies and the pros" because you can't try and have it both ways or you end up being Microsoft. And the pros will figure our how to get the tools they need and get the job done, because they're pros. The amateurs will not. My wife will just not buy anything she can't figure out in 2-3 clicks. Nor should she.


Jun.24.2011 @ 8:47 PM
@bongo_x - my friend's wife is an editor for a living ;)

i get what you are saying and i think most people do but how many people like your wife want to make music with a computer?

those people like your wife who want to do that already have garage band.. why do they need a way better garage band with "pro" features?

arguably, if apple does make logic into garage band pro then a lot of the people who like garbage band for all its simplicity and "3 clicks and done" UI might be turned off..

Jun.24.2011 @ 9:00 PM
Shamann is exactly right that Logic has endured this long only because Emagic did such a phenomenal job with it when it was under their care. All Apple has done is slash prices and give it a fresh coat of paint.

IMO Apple exiting the pro audio market would be a boon to developers. Nobody would have to pretend to support their stupid proprietary plugin format anymore or learn Cocoa just to get a knob onscreen. Microsoft may be *indifferent* to pro audio but at least they're not schizophrenically *hostile* to it the way Apple is.

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