Is Logic too “Pro”?

OK, at the risk of being labelled a luddite, I am purposefully ignoring Logic Pro on iPad (it isn’t available on iPhone). I’m not in a position to spend $5 a month this year, but the money isn’t the real issue. Here’s a quote from AB forum by a new Logic Pro user (re: how to create an AUv3 track):

“Thanks - nothing happens when I do that though. God, this is frustrating already...”

Most AB posters are much more positive about the use of Logic Pro on iPad, but from my coursory review of some of the posts, most iPad users seem to be experienced users of Logic Pro on Macs. I don’t have the time for the learning curve, especially when the features I read people talking about don’t sound like things I would use. Perhaps I am too simple in my workflow. Maybe I will eventually take advatage of the free month trial, but I have so many projects in development in NS2 (and even NS1) that I need to stay focused on using the tools I have that provide me the smooth workflow that doesn’t get in my way. I don’t want to spend more time figuring out the DAW than making music. For me that is NS2.

For simple sequence-based music making, I don’t see what advantage Logic Pro would offer. Audio tracks? I’ve been getting along fine without them. Alchemy? I can sample that from my iPad Air. All the time stretching and effects that Pros expect to use? Maybe I could learn a thing or two about music production, but I don’t use simple things like sidechain effects, so those things don’t excite me. I don’t often use automation, and then usually just fade out.

I’m not looking to debate which app is the more Pro app. That isn’t a fair comparison as only one app has “Pro” in the name. So. For NS2 veterans who are now caught up in the Logic Pro wave (you know who you are), what features are so worth the learning curve?


  • I think it helps to know which parts of your workflow are most important to you and then jump in to the free trial at some point to find out of there is a way of doing those things in the new app.

    An example for NS2 users is linked clips. Although they are there on the desktop version of Logic, they have not (yet) made their way to the mobile version. You can do linked repeat, e.g. repeat bar 1, 16 times, but you can’t stick that bar 1 into bar 24 and expect that changing one clip changes both.

    You would want to test the piano roll to see if it matches what you are used to in NS2, if you spend a lot of time in there. Basically, think of all the things you like about what you do today and see if they are done as well/better/not at all in the new software. If you can do this quickly enough then you won’t have wasted time learning a new DAW because you know that it is not for you in its current state. The worst thing to do is spend a couple of months learning it inside out (when you could be making music!) only to realise that you really are not going to get on with it because missing feature X is going to slow you down.

    When you have your list of must-haves then you can wait a few months and either resubscribe for a month and re-evaluate, or ask the AB folk whether any/all of your list items are there yet.

    It could be that even if you don’t see Logic as the main replacement as your DAW of choice, then treating it as a bag of tools might still make it worth keeping around. Personally, it is not for me in its current form as it did not get the score editing function and there is no MIDI export (!?), but I expect eventually it will get there.

  • Thanks for your evaluation @MisplacedDevelopment That’s in line with what I have been thinking. I am so used to the UI/UX of NS2 that something like Logic seems too much learning curve until I have a few months of free time set aside. I use the Piano Roll in NS2 a lot to adjust what I play or create variations. How does the piano roll in Logic compare to NS2’s piano roll? Logic Pro (on Mac) has a lot of features and I am concerned that menu diving and searching for features would stiffle my creativity. I’m not a power user of complex features. I got involved with hardware synths in the mid 90’s, but reading the AB forum threads on Logic Pro leaves me wondering about how the discussed features are even used. Score editing could be nice in the future, but I have become comfortable in the piano roll editor (wish I has NS2 in college). Getting some feedback from people who have used NS2 will be valuable insight. So thanks for your feedback!

  • I can't see myself using Logic Pro. There's far too much going on. I've used CB3 occasionally, and had a brief fling with BM3, but nothing comes anywhere near the ease of use of NS2. I firmly believe that with a few features added, it'll be used by a lot of people that find LP too overwhelming. I'm not bothered about audio tracks, but would like to see a few enhancements that people have asked for. This app is far too good to fade away. It could become the main alternative to the complexities of LP, for those just want to get on and make music rather than spend time with too much learning.

  • @MisplacedDevelopment offers excellent advice. I have been plugging away at LP for almost 2 weeks and comparing it to NS2 (And not making music.). Here is a partial list of things that impact me personally. I should begin by saying everything I do is MIDI centric. And I’m very picky about getting exactly what I want to hear. I don’t record live audio at all.

    • The piano roll in LP is not nearly as elegant as NS2. The ease and accuracy of using the arrows to move data around is superior to dragging.
    • there are much better selection abilities in NS2. E.g. you can select data both horizontally and vertically. So you can quickly grab a band of velocities or cc data to limit actions. You can’t do that in LP (or CB3 or AE). In fact you can’t even see velocities separate from notes in LP. A major drawback for me.
    • The synths. There are a whole slew of synths in LP and they truly sound great, but only in a couple of them can you fine tune patches at all. In Obsidian, every little aspect of sound design is easily accessible and available to get exactly what you want. In obsidian you have very fine control of the time curves of each stage of the EGs. Not many synths offer that. None in LP. To be fair, there are some really great plugins in LP to distract from the deficiencies.

    In short, LP is losing at this point for me. It is still interfering with creative flow too much . And it’s not the learning curve, it’s that you have to take too many actions to get simple tasks done. And then sometimes finding out you can’t and try to find a workaround. I think I will end up taking @MisplacedDevelopment advice and cancel my subscription for awhile. See if things get better. I need to get back to making music.

  • Main problem of Logic stock plugins is that they have absolutely horrible UI. It's just endless list of buttons and knobs which you need to scroll up and down.. try do some meaningful sound design let's say in Sculpture, which is huge wall of 127 parameters .. Absolutely unusable. And not speaking even about the fat that whole workflow is about endless resizing, sliding up and sliding down and sliding left and sliding right of all kind of messy windows - just eternal pain.

    UI is by far biggest fail of Logic on iPad.

  • When a DAW has so many features in cumbersome UI that it stiffles workflow and gets in the way of creating music… that’s a deal breaker for me. Nanostudio 1 was first conceived as a “scratch pad” and people would “finish” projects in other software. I wonder if some will use NS2 to create the music and then finish projects in LP with all it’s bells and whistles?

  • edited June 2023

    It's pretty simple for me. iOS is for creating and desktop is for final arranging, mixing, and mastering. Since sometime around 2003 I go completely blank creatively the moment I sit down at a desktop computer. Probably because I used to spend 10-12 hours a day trying to make the damn things do what they're supposed to do for a living.

    Then came the iPad and revived my creativity. But trying to go much beyond basic arrangements and modest projects is just annoying on the small screen.

    I have zero interest in Logic Pro for iOS. If a project gets to the size where it becomes a chore to manage on the iPad then it's time to go to the desktop. I might be interested in Logic Pro on the desktop if I didn't already have a DAW I'm happy with there, but on the iPad? Never.

    NS2 is a joy. Doesn't get as much use as other apps because (sorry) I just don't have a lot of use for a DAW that doesn't have audio tracks. But I still love it. It's a thing of beauty.

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