Did Apple just leak a new version of Logic with Ableton-style clip launching?
Apple appears to have accidentally leaked an upcoming version of Logic Pro with the signature feature of Ableton Live – nonlinear pattern launching.
While spotted on Reddit, the source of this leak at the famously secretive company appears to be … Apple itself. As I write this, the screenshot is still live on a public education site:
Credit where it’s due (“am I missing something” is right!):
If this is real – and not a mock-up that accidentally wound up on the page – it represents a landmark. That landmark might best be described as “what took you so long,” arguably, given that Apple Loops have been a feature of Logic Pro and GarageBand back to the reveal of GarageBand in January 2004. (Time flies!)
We can pretty easily analyze the screenshot. At the top, new icons appear to let you view a nonlinear Session View-style layout, the normal track arrangement, or both. (In this screen shot, the two are side-by-side.)
As with other copies of Live’s signature Session View, the horizontal and vertical axes are flipped. So whereas Live shows you tracks the way channel strips appear on a hardware mixer, vertically, Apple opt for a view more like a software DAW. Tracks are laid out horizontally, so that they match up with the arrangement.
Really, my issue with this is that you wind up with kind of a jumble of interface elements. That’s been the challenge in other DAWs trying to do the same. (An ill-fated effort in Cakewalk nee SONAR springs to mind; MOTU has tried the same in DP, but it’s a bit too soon to know yet how DP users are responding.)
Part of the appeal of Ableton Live is that the entire engine and software operation are structured around the idea, and the UI is clean and compact as a result. Here, part of the reason people may have responded that the image was fake was that it gives the user a lot to digest.
You’ll also see X/Y-pad effects at the bottom, including a filter and repeater – aping something that was in Ableton Live way back at the start.
I’m not sure how users will receive this. It could represent a blow to Ableton in the crucial education market, however, regardless – because it might allow education buyers to standardize on just Logic seats. But it represents a challenge independent software developers face, up against a company the size of Apple, when it comes to value.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t assume anything until there’s official word from Apple. Given this absolutely represents some kind of screw-up, it’s possible the screenshot itself is not representative of something Apple will actually ship.
And I wouldn’t worry too much about Ableton – the company has proven time and again that users are loyal to its workflow and simplicity, whatever the competition. Those of us sometimes swapping between Logic and Live might meanwhile just find this a welcome convenience. Time will tell.
Mainly I’m just sorry for whoever is working at home who may have, erm, just let this out.
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