Logic Pro 10.8 was just released by Apple. There are some great new features including new instrument and effect plug-ins (Sample Alchemy, Beat Breaker, Mastering Assistant) and a few other interesting additions.
In this guide, I share a rundown of all the new features in this latest update.
1. How to install Logic Pro 10.8 and update the Sound Library
Before updating Logic Pro for Mac, I highly recommend you first back up your current version. If you end up realizing that a bug in 10.8 is a deal breaker that really hinders your workflow, you will be able to close Logic Pro 10.8 and continue working in Logic Pro 10.7.9 (or your favorite Logic version).
In your Applications folder, Control-click Logic Pro and choose Duplicate.
A copy of Logic Pro is created, called "Logic Pro copy".
- Open the App Store and update Logic Pro to Logic Pro 10.8.
In the Finder, check the versions of your two copies of Logic Pro make sure Logic Pro 10.8 is named "Logic Pro", and Logic Pro 10.7.9 is named something else like "Logic Pro 10.7.9".
- Choose Logic Pro > Sound Library > Download All Available Sounds to make sure your Library is up to date.
Now let's discover the new features!
2. Sample Alchemy
One of the most exciting new plug-in in Logic Pro 10.8 is Sample Alchemy, which was already integrated with Logic Pro for iPad. Despite the name, and even though it is based on the Alchemy engine, this software instrument is quite different to use from Alchemy. First, it's much easier to use! And it really is one of a kind.
Sample Alchemy allows you to resynthesize an audio sample, process it, and play it in various, unique ways.
To try Sample Alchemy, you can load one of my favorite patches: click the Settings pop-up menu in the Sample Alchemy plug-in window header and choose Arpeggiated > Plucked Voice Arp. Or you can drag and drop your favorite sample onto the plug-in window.
Different parts of the vocal sample are triggered in an arpeggiated sequence. You can:
- Drag the A, B, C and D sources horizontally to change which part of the sample is played.
- Drag the A, B, C and D sources vertically to change each source's timbre.
- Click one of the four sources and change its playback parameters (pan, tune...) in the bottom area.
- Click the Mixer button at the top of the waveform to adjust the level of the four sources.
Sample Alchemy has 5 play modes that can be selected at the top of the waveform:
- Classic: playback starts from the source point and moves forward.
- Loop: playback loops around a determined section of the sample for each source.
- Scrub: you can scrub the sample by moving a source point over the waveform.
- Bow: playback loops forward and backward next to the source point.
- Arp: the four sources are played in sequence, one after the other.
For more complex sounds or sound effects, you can click the "Motion" button at the upper left to record the movement of the A, B, C and D handles on the waveform!
And if you want to dive deeper and get more control over a sound, you can click the More button (...) at the top right, and choose Create Alchemy track to leverage the full power of Alchemy.
3. Beat Breaker
Beat breaker is an effect plug-in that samples the audio coming from the track in real time, slices it, and lets you re-sequence the slices in a different order, pitch, volume...
Take for example a vocal sample such as the Apple Loop Daydream Delight Vocals 01 and place it on an audio track. In the Audio FX section, choose Multi Effects > Beat Breaker.
Now you can drag the line that appears for each slice:
- Drag up/down to playback a different part of the sample.
- Drag left/right to change the playback speed and pitch.
- Command-drag left/right to curve the playback speed and pitch.
- Drag a slice marker (blue vertical lines) left or right to change the length of a slice.
- Click the Repeat button (top left) and drag a slice up/down to stutter the slice.
- Click the Volume button and drag a slice up/down to adjust its volume.
4. Mastering Assistant
Logic's new Mastering Assistant plug-in allows you to do your own quick mastering in no time. When you first insert it on your Stereo Out channel strip, it analyzes your project to create the ideal mastering settings for your song.
Open one of your Logic projects, and on the Stereo Out channel strip, at the bottom of the Audio FX section, click the Mastering label. The Mastering Assistant opens and performs an analysis of your project.
The Mastering Assistant calculates the most appropriate EQ curve, dynamics processing, and stereo spread adjustment to process the audio signal on your Stereo Out channel strip to get the optimum result according to today's main streaming platform standards: an integrated loudness of around –14 LUFS-I peaking at -1 dBFS True Peak.
You're then free to readjust the amount of EQ you want to apply with the slider on the left, choose different processing characters from the pop-up menu at the top left (Clean, Valve, Punch or Transparent), and readjust the dynamics with the loudness knob and the stereo spread with the Width knob.
The Logic manual suggests the following applications for each character:
- Clean (clean yet punchy sound): EDM, acoustic music
- Valve (deep low end, refined high end): acoustic music, hip-hop
- Punch (aggressive sound, subtle mid-range bump: rock music
- Transparent (modern, tight-sounding compressor: most genres
A Custom EQ button at the bottom left lets you drag 3 blue dots to reshape the EQ curve in broad strokes.
5. Slip and Rotate tools
Two new tools made their appearance in Logic Pro 10.8. The slip tool lets you slip the audio waveform inside an audio region.The rotate tool is similar, except that whatever audio waveform portion is pushed outside the region on one side appears inside the region on the other side.
Here's the new slip tool in action:
6. Pitch Correction plug-in
The Pitch Correction plug-in got a facelift!
7. MIDI 2.0 resolution in MIDI editors
Choose Logic Pro > Settings > View and you can now choose to view your MIDI values as MIDI 1.0 (values from 0 to 127) or 0.0 - 127.9 (for increased resolution) or even Percent.
Now the editors will display MIDI values accordingly.
8. MIDI, Pattern and Drummer regions on any software instrument track
You can now create any kind of region on a software instrument track. A track does not need to be a Drummer track to have a Drummer region.
Control-click the track to create the desired region type:
In the Track inspector, a new parameter, Default Region Type, determines the type of region created when using the Pencil tool to create new regions on that track.
That default region type is automatically selected according to the type of track you choose in the Create New Track dialog. It also determines which editor opens when you open the editor panes with no regions selected.
ⓘIn Logic Pro 10.8, Pattern regions are now purple to distinguish them from the green MIDI regions and yellow Drummer regions.
9. New Sound Packs
In the Apple Loops browser, click the Sound Packs pop-up menu where you can find 2 new sound packs: Hybrid Textures and Vox Melodics.
There are also new patches in the Library, including (but not limited to) the following patches built around Sample Alchemy.
- Active Piano Rolls
- Airy Vocal Shimmer
- Bowed Vocal Pad
- Creaky Daruan Pad
- Echoing Swarms Pad
- Granular Kalimba Pad
- Guitar Orchestra Pad
- Rattling Bell Pad
- Rattling Piano Pad
- Stepped Octave Piano
- Subtle Friction Pad
- Swelling Steam Pad
- Unstable Machine Pad
10. Software instrument MIDI output (undocumented)
Logic Pro 10.8 users have discovered an undocumented new feature, the capability for 3rd party software instrument channel strips to output MIDI events and make these MIDI events available at Logic's input in order to be able to record them.
The unfortunate downside of this "not ready for prime time" new feature is that when using these instruments, Logic ends up recording double MIDI notes. This is the case for example for Komplete Kontrol, as reported by Native Instruments there: Official known issues with (and features of) Komplete Kontrol 3.0.2 and Logic Pro 10.8. This is also being discussed right here on our forum in the following topics:
- Double notes with Software Instruments
- [bug]?? 10.8 Recording MIDI doubles up the notes.
- Logic 10.8 records double MIDI notes
A workaround to the double MIDI note issue (suggested here by @dmuckala) is to open the Click & Ports layer of the MIDI Environment, remove the Sum cable from the Physical Input object and instead cable your MIDI controller directly into the Sequencer Input.
Finally, there are many smaller improvements and bug fixes in that release. Logic Pro 10.8 is currently a hot topic on our forum, so do not hesitate to join the discussion:
For the official release notes, go to https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203718