Pros / Logic has the best virtual instrument library available.
Cons / It isn’t compatible with Windows.
Verdict / If you have a Mac, Logic Pro X is the best music production software you can buy. It is affordable and creates professional-quality results.
Logic Pro X may seem like expensive music production software, but it’s editing and production tools are comparable to those in programs that cost three times as much. Its virtual instrument library is stunningly authentic and includes all the instruments you need to create complex, well-rounded compositions. If you have a Mac and want to record, write and edit audio, this is the best program. However, it isn’t compatible with Windows.
The software’s instrument library is varied enough to cover every music genre, and the instruments sound remarkably accurate compared to their real-life counterparts. Its Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer emulations are the best we tested, and there are genre-specific synth patches. Ableton Live’s synthesizer plugins are more customizable, but Logic has a better variety. You’d spend thousands of dollars on hardware to match the versatility of Logic’s keyboard sounds, and the program’s instrument arsenal still might sound better.
Logic Pro X’s most remarkable virtual instrument is its Drummer Track plugin. Most producers prefer to start an arrangement with drums, but using this plugin, it’s easy to write a melody or bass part and let the AI-controlled virtual drummer play along. You can choose a virtual drummer based on genre, and it adapts to tempo and melodic changes on the fly.
Not only is the virtual drummer customizable, but you can also create a customized kit for it to play. The Drummer Track plugin has presets for acoustic and electronic kits, but you can mix and match your favorite parts to build a custom kit. You then play along with a pad controller or MIDI keyboard or let your virtual drummer play. No other drum plugin on the market, either included with a beat making program or made by a third-party developer, can match the intelligence and variety of Logic’s Drummer Track.
Logic has more than 7,000 loops to choose from, and they sound great because they use the virtual instruments from the program’s instrument catalog. The loop window lets you search and sort by time signature, beat length, name, tempo and key. You can audition the royalty-free loops in the window or drag and drop them into the arrangement window to see how they fit with the rest of your composition.
This software is compatible with third-party instrument and effect plugins that use the audio unit (AU) format, but Logic’s work so well you may not need any other tools. There are more than 60 effect plugins in this program to add depth and clarity to recorded audio and virtual instruments. The vintage EQ (equalizer) collection emulates sought-after hardware EQs from companies like Neve, API and Pultec. Logic’s ChromaVerb reverb plugin is also modelled after popular hardware and has 14 modules to help create texture and depth in your tracks.
The editing tools in Logic are comparable to those found on the desks of professional sound engineers – if they use Macs, as Logic Pro X isn’t compatible with PC operating systems. The smart tempo feature automatically quantizes audio and MIDI files to match the tempo of the session. You can also use the flex time and flex pitch features to manually move a missed beat or fix a wrong note. The software’s pitch correction algorithm is the best we tested and is much less robotic than those in other programs we reviewed.
Logic Pro X is the best splurge music production software available. The virtual instruments are easy to control and sound eerily similar to their hardware counterparts. The loop library is diverse and uses the same great-sounding instruments. If you are serious about producing professional-quality recordings, the investment is well worth it. The only drawback is you can only use Logic on a Mac.