Apple updates Logic Pro X & MainStage with external Sound Libraries, more

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Apple on Thursday issued rare updates to two of professional audio apps, Logic Pro X and MainStage, adding new features as well as smaller improvements.

Both apps now support relocating the Sound Library to an external storage device, useful for people who need to switch between workstations. Alchemy has picked up numerical editing for parameter values, and drag-and-drop hot zones for resynthesis and sampling options when importing audio.

Some additions unique to Logic Pro X include Smart Tempo detection for multi-track recordings in order to set project tempos, and similarly, the ability to import multi-track stems that either follow or define a project's tempo.

Dragging automation points over each other aligns them vertically, and a new mixer mode lets channel strip fader and pan controls set send level and pan. Automatic Slurs can be added to notes in the Score Editor, and finally, photos can be added to track or project notes in order to jog a user's memory.

MainStage's Channel Strip MIDI input inspector lets MIDI CC data be filed, transformed or passed through. Text notes can now be added to the bottom of channel strips, and the Metronome tool has gained more configuration options, split into Bar, Group, Beat, and Division categories.

Content additions include two vintage brush kits for Drum Kit Designer, over 800 new loops, and a Visions library for Alchemy with 150 "cinematic" presets. New plugins include ChromaVerb, Step FX, Phat FX, the Vintage EQ Collection, Studio Strings and Studio Horns, a standalone Mellotron, and a version of Retro Synth with 18 filter models. Musicians can adjust individual steps in Arpeggiator, and Loopback will insert a brief crossfade for each cycle in order to minimize artifacts. Space Designer has been redesigned with a scalable Retina interface.

Other Alchemy changes include 12 new synthesized formant filter shapes, side chain input usable as a source for envelope followers, an automatic time align feature, and more additive effects.

Logic Pro X is $199.99 for new owners, while MainStage — a companion app intended for live performances — is $29.99.