Despite it's highly capable tool set, GarageBand is widely thought of as Apple's beginner audio recording software. Logic Pro X is the company's option for more advanced users. While the latter app has been around since 2013, Apple regularly adds new features and it's doing just that today. With version 10.3, Logic Pro X gains a host of new tool to lend a hand with recording and music production. First, the app has a refreshed UI to make it easier to see in well-lit environments. After all, not everyone likes to work in the dark or a dimly lit room.
As promised, Logic Pro X can now take advantage of the Touch Bar on Apple's new MacBook Pro. With the Touch Bar, you can navigate the timeline of a project (pictured above), get access to Smart Controls and use the compact screen to play instruments. We're talking things like synthesizers, drums and hundreds more. You can also customize command buttons to keep the items you use most a tap away.
There are a number of other new additions to Logic Pro X, but perhaps the most interesting is the ability to send a project to iCloud for adding sounds on the go with GarageBand on iOS. You can export Logic files in a GarageBand-compatible version to iCloud and load it on an iPad or iPhone. From there, add whatever tracks you like before saving it back to iCloud. When you return to your desktop machine, those mobile recordings will appear in the Logic Pro X project and full fidelity tracks. It's a feature that could come in handy when inspiration strikes during a commute or road trip.
In terms of the more pro-level tools, a new feature called Track Alternatives lets you experiment with different ideas on the same track. Whether it's a few different effect options, multiple takes or edits, Track Alternatives make it easier to weigh your options during the recording process. There's also a new Selection-based Processing tool that allows you to apply any Logic or third-party plug-ins to a specific part of one or more audio regions. In other words, if you wanted to put an effect on the last note of a vocal track, you could do so with ease.
Logic Pro X also gains more powerful pro mixing abilities thanks to a 64-bit summing engine and 192 additional busses, bringing the total to 256. The software now features true stereo panning controls as well. If you already own the app, you will get all of these new features as part of a free update. If you're looking to nab it for the first time, expect to pay $200.