Logical thinking

Today I have been looking at Logic Express, the music creation software by Apple that is a slimmed down version of Logic Pro. If you know me, you’ll know that music is a pretty important part of my life, and just recently I’ve really missed not having some useful tools to hand. Yes, I do have MusicTime Deluxe installed on my PC, but I rarely use that computer any more, and MusicTime is showing its age too. However, I shall need to be writing music at some point in the reasonably near future – Ellie has already asked me to write some music for the play she’s doing next year, and of course there’s my band too and all the songs I’ve been writing. But today I found a possible solution to all my problems, in Logic Express.

From what I’ve read, Logic Express is a effectively two programs in one. On the one hand it’s a music writing program, where you can write music either manually or record it in using a MIDI device. That music can then be tweaked, arranged, played back and printed to your heart’s content. In that respect it’s much like MusicTime Deluxe, just with far more control over what you’re doing. However, on the other hand it’s also an audio recording program, allowing you to take inputs from microphones or instruments and record them straight into the computer. Given the right hardware you can even do multi-track recording, allowing you to record from more than one source at a time (for instance, recording guitar, piano, bass and vocals all at the same time on separate tracks). There are even a load of effects and filters you can apply to your sounds, so that you can transform a fairly boring sounding guitar into a Van Halen style solo at the click of a button, or make your cello sound as if it was being played in a cathedral rather than a living room. Not only this, but you can combine audio recordings with MIDI tracks, making it a pretty awesome package. There are even a load of built-in software instruments, which recreates the sound of the instrument via software rather than using a hardware MIDI synth. Pretty powerful, by all accounts.

I have to say, I’ve been very impressed by what I’ve read and seen so far. Logic Express really does look like something I could make very good use of, something that would do me nicely for several years to come. I could use it to notate and arrange my songs so that other people could play them, I could write music for various other things, I could arrange pieces of music, I could record the Rooted album on my computer… the list is endless, and this is only taking into account what I do at the moment!

The only thing holding me back at the moment is the price. Although it’s certainly worth the money, I’m not sure I’m really in a position to be forking out another £160-200 at the moment. Unless I go for a bootlegged copy from eBay for £20, but I don’t think I’ll be going down that road! I was tempted for a moment, but I felt guilty just thinking about it! So it looks like I shall just have to continue saving up the pennies for now and see if I can hold off indulging myself for a few more months…

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