Tag Archives: Logic

Review ~ Smart, protective keyboard overlays by Editors’ Keys


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I’ve always been a fan of keyboard overlays. Anything that stops your keyboard getting grubby is fine by me, and splash protection is a bonus. Sneeze on your keyboard with an overlay, you can just take it off, rinse it, shake it out, and it’s dry in a few minutes. Pop it back on.
An additional benefit is the rubberised (OK, silicon) layer between your keys and the screen, on laptops when you fold them, and the suppression of noisy key-clacking.
EditorsKeys from England makes excellent keys with all of the above properties, but there’s more. They have keyboard shortcut overlays for various pro apps like Logic and Final Cut Pro X, pointing out all the handy keyboards you may be using, and definitely should be using if you want to really get to grips with editing, and to speed up your work quite dramatically.

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Key points — You see, beyond the obvious like tapping the Spacebar to stop/start play, and the delete key working as you’d expect, and Command X, C, V and Z for Cut, Copy, Paste and Undo, all those keys on your keyboard are only going to be used for typing in words when you name tracks and samples, add notes or retitle things. If you’re not editing text, why not assign functions to them?
So Apple wisely added all sorts of attributes to the other keys for when you’re not actually trying to type in words while editing movies or sound.
There are many key commands and abilities I didn’t even know in Logic and Final Cut, but now they are – quite literally – at my fingertips. These include tapping the T key for instant access to Track Header Tools. Other new faves include Area Focus, smart keys for screen sets and Move to Playhead – but there are a very many more. With an Editors Keys overlay on, you will find yourself discovering all sorts of new possibilities and soon you’ll be working faster and with more precision.

Yet another benefit is that Musical Typing (Command-K to turn your alpha-numeric keyboard into a virtual musical keyboard in case you don’t have your input musical keyboard handy, or just want to add in tome quick notes and/or beats) in Logic or GarageBand is a little more forgiving on your fingers with this thin layer of silicon padding absorbing some of the tap-shock, and perhaps as a result, I found it easier to hit beats on time.

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The overlay for Final Cut Pro X (click the image for a larger view)
Some detail on the Final Cut Pro X version
Some detail on the Final Cut Pro X version

What’s great — Smart, stylish, well-made, protective and very handy. A range available for different Apple keyboards – accessory and built-in – and for different pro apps (not just the Apple ones). (Boy, would I like to try the microphones this company has for sale!)

What’s not — Can take a little getting used to if you’re a look- (rather than a touch-) typist, as although the letters are clear for normal typing, it’s a different look.

Needs — Anyone wanting stylish keyboard protection while easy learning great new skills for editing and creativity.

Editors Keys overlays for Apple Logic Pro X and Final Cut Pro X, US$39.85 (about NZ$55 – some of the MacBook Pro keyboard overlays are only US$29.85) plus shipping from the UK.

System — A variety of keyboards catered for, including laptop and PC.

Contact — Editors Keys.

GarageBand for iOS and Logic Pro X for Mac music apps get major updates


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This just in from Apple: “Powerful New Features Support Music Makers from Enthusiasts to Pros”

Apple has today announced major updates to its music creation apps with exciting new features for music makers of all levels on iPhone, iPad and Mac. GarageBand for iOS 2.2 now features the powerful creative synthesiser Alchemy and a new sound browser that makes searching through instruments and patches easier than ever. Logic Pro X 10.3 becomes an even more powerful tool for pros with a modern interface, new features for professional audio production as well as support for the revolutionary Touch Bar™ on the new MacBook Pro®, putting intuitive, context-sensitive controls right at users’ fingertips.

Logic Pro X users can also remotely add new tracks to their Logic sessions from their iPhone or iPad when they’re away from their Mac. With a new share option, users can upload a special GarageBand-compatible version of a Logic project to iCloud®, which they can then open on their iOS devices and add new recordings whenever inspiration strikes. When the project is saved back to iCloud, any newly added tracks will automatically appear in the original Logic project the next time it’s opened on a Mac.

GarageBand for iOS — GarageBand for iOS brings even more sophisticated music creation options to iPhone and iPad, while still remaining fun and easy to use. It features a redesigned sound browser that makes it faster than ever to explore Touch Instruments® and quickly find the exact sounds you’re looking for.
Alchemy, one of the world’s most innovative modern synthesisers and a favourite of Logic Pro users, comes to iOS and includes a rich collection of over 150 Apple-designed patches from a wide variety of genres, including EDM, Hip Hop, Indie, Rock, Pop and more. And with Alchemy’s Transform Pad, users can morph between eight sonic snapshots in real-time, to create expressive synth performances.
Recording music in GarageBand for iOS also gets easier with Multi-Take Recording, giving users multiple passes to capture their best performance and the ability to audition and switch between their favourite takes.
The release also features a redesigned Audio Recorder that adds fun, one-tap vocal effects and provides users with even more sophisticated studio effects like pitch correction, distortion and delay. Seasoned users looking for even more control over their mixes can use a new collection of advanced audio processing tools, including an interactive graphic Visual EQ and the ability to use third-party Audio Unit plug-in effects for expandable, creative sound design.

Logic Pro X — Logic Pro X includes advanced new features that make Logic an even stronger tool for audio production, giving musicians and audio engineers even more control over editing and mixing their music. The latest release features a new modern design that improves legibility in a variety of working environments.
Logic Pro X also adds support for the revolutionary new Touch Bar on MacBook Pro, providing the ability to view and navigate your project in a timeline overview, along with convenient access to volume and Smart Controls for any selected track. New performance controls let you play and record software instruments with the Touch Bar using a piano keyboard that can also be customised to a variety of musical scales, or by tapping drum pads to create beats. Assignable key command buttons let you customise the Touch Bar controls to keep your favourite keyboard shortcuts available when you need them.
Track Alternatives let users create and switch between different playlists of regions and edits on any track. This feature makes it easier to experiment with various creative ideas or evaluate different versions of a track as it evolves. Selection-based Processing allows users to apply any combination of Logic or third-party effect plug-ins onto any selection of one or multiple audio regions. It is useful for optimising sound quality and a great tool for creative sound design.
Logic Pro X becomes more powerful for professional mixing, with a 64-bit summing engine, 192 additional busses and true stereo panning, providing discrete control of stereo signals.

Pricing and Availability — The GarageBand for iOS update, available today, is free for all existing users and with all new iOS devices. New customers with older, non-qualifying devices can purchase the app for NZ$7.49 inc. GST on the App Store. For more information about GarageBand for iOS, visit: http://www.apple.com/ios/garageband.

The Logic Pro X update, available today [but not when I checked between 7-8am, yet], is free for all existing users, and available on the Mac App Store for NZ$299.99 inc. GST for all new customers. More information about Logic Pro X is online at Apple.

Yosemite beta and Photos, Desk 1.2, Camel Audio, market cap, clipboard managers, Xcode


The new Yosemite beta for developers is working through issues with the new Photos app.
The new Yosemite beta for developers is working through issues with the new Photos app.

Apple releases second beta of OS X 10.10.3 with focus on new Photos app — Apple on Monday seeded developers with another beta version of its forthcoming OS X 10.10.3 update, asking testers to focus (ha ha) primarily on the new Photos app with additional attention paid to Wi-Fi captive network support and screen sharing. [I want the histogram!]

Desk v 1.2 update adds visual themes, separates WYSIWYG and Markdown modes — Developer John Saddington’s Desk (US$29.99) is a simple-to-use editor with some surprising power built into it. Now Desk has been updated to version 1.2, adding some new features while retaining all of its user-friendliness.

Tim Cook commemorates Steve Jobs’s birthday on trip to Germany — Apple’s chief executive was spotted on Tuesday in Germany, where he took the time to tweet a short remembrance of late colleague Steve Jobs before visiting the offices of infamous German tabloid Bild. [Something to do with Apple Watch  I’ll wager.]

Apple buys audio plug-in maker Camel Audio — When Camel Audio shut down in January, customers who used its audio app plug-ins and digital instruments were left wondering why they so abruptly stopped selling their products, but now that mystery has been solved: Camel was bought by Apple. It’s likely we’ll see the company’s technology showing up in future updates for Logic Pro X and Garageband. [Woot!]

Apple closes in on $775B market cap, now twice as large as No. 2 Exxon Mobil — Apple stock hit a new high of $133 at the closing bell on Monday, rocketing up 2.7% on the day to grow its market capitalization to just under $775 billion, a number two times larger than second-largest publicly traded U.S. company Exxon Mobil.

Copy, Paste, Repeat: finding the best clipboard manager for Mac — OS X’s clipboard has always been a transient storage place, intended to hold whatever you copy or cut just long enough to paste it somewhere else. Once you copy something else, that new snippet overwrites whatever’s already on your clipboard. Joe Kissell looks at clipboard managers.

Apple introduces new crash reporting service for developers in latest Xcode 6.3 beta — After releasing a fresh beta of Xcode 6.3 on Monday, Apple outlined a new crash reporting service that will help developers target, fix and track problems directly from the development tool.