Apple’s new insanely powerful Mac Pro isn’t even out yet, but that hasn’t stopped the company from releasing a new version of one of its flagship pro software apps specifically designed to take advantage of the beast-like horsepower of Apple’s newest Mac.
As the first among many software updates we’ll likely see in the next couple of months, Apple announced Logic Pro X 10.4.5, with a press release that reads like a promotion for the new Mac, but to be fair isn’t entirely undeserved for a professional mastering app where power is often the most important feature. After all, an insanely powerful Mac is going to need some software to take advantage of that insanity.
Today Apple released a new version of Logic Pro X, its professional music production software, with performance updates for all users and optimizations that take advantage of the groundbreaking power of the all-new Mac Pro.
Apple notes that the new version of Logic Pro X is designed to support up to 56 processing threads, which it promises will easily chew through “incredibly demanding music projects.” This is actually a huge upgrade for the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), taking it up to supporting 1,000 stereo audio tracks, 1,000 aux channels, 1,000 virtual instrument tracks, and even 1,000 MIDI tracks. Previously each of these were capped at 255, making for an increase in capabilities by a factor of almost four.
In fact, with this latest update, Logic Pro X now outpaces most of the competition, and while these are thresholds that most users won’t ever get close to, the Mac Pro is designed for ultra-high-end production teams with these kinds of demanding requirements. As The Verge points out, for example, the sound team for Game of Thrones told Insider that it maxed out the software it was using at 720 tracks by the time they layered sound effects, foley, background audio, and dialog.
Needless to say, Apple is trying to position its Mac Pro as the workstation of choice for these kinds of production needs; after several years of basically neglecting the needs of the pro market, the new Mac Pro heralds Apple’s return in a really big way, and the company is determined to make sure everyone knows it.
Mac Pro together with Logic Pro X 10.4.5 allows pro musicians to do things never before possible in the production process.
In its announcement, Apple touts the ability of the Mac Pro to power five times the number of real-time plug-ins that were previously possible in Logic Pro X, along with 12 sends per channel strip, and improved responsiveness when working with these kinds of monster sessions. As impressive as 1,000 channels sounds on paper, it’s actually these features that are more likely to matter with the new Mac Pro. Even audio engineers who only need a couple hundred tracks will appreciate the extra CPU headroom that the Mac Pro will offer for chaining up a bunch of plug-ins without suffering from stuttering audio and sluggish controls.
There’s a lot more to this newest update as well than the mere 10.4.5 version number implies. Apple has improved and tweaked almost everything in some way, offering optimizations that even users of older Macs will be able to take advantage of. A full list of enhancements can be found on Apple’s Logic Pro X 10.4 release notes page.
However, to get the kind of power that Logic Pro X is now advertising will ultimately require producers to invest in the new Mac Pro, which is kind of the point. Plus, with a wide variety of configurations available — the new Mac Pro will start at $6,000 and work its way up into the five-figure stratosphere — there’s going to be a lot to consider in terms of balancing price with raw power. It’s also not even clear when the new Mac Pro will be available for purchase; a September release date briefly appeared on Apple’s web site earlier this week, but the reference was quickly removed, making it unclear whether it was a leak or simply a mistake.