Logic Pro, Why Must You Be So Illogical?

As much as I want to love it unconditionally, there are things about Logic Pro 9 that drive me nuts. Every time I fire up a session, I find another little corner of the software that makes a tiny burst of steam escape from my ears. Let me make a brief(ish) list:

1. Why can’t I re-order tracks in the mix window? Why can’t I move more than one at a time in the arrange window? Man, does that get old fast.

2. Pitch shifting regions is a total PITA. And as far as I can tell, destructive by default. Nothing should be destructive by default these days.

3. Why, Logic, do you on have fourteen different tools to choose from? Ableton Live seems to do just fine with thirteen fewer than that.

4. Most of the built-in virtual instruments are fugly, illegible, futuristic-looking-for-no-reason, hot UI messes. Just because it’s audio software doesn’t mean you’re allowed to burn my eyeballs.

5. Speaking of virtual instruments, why do you insist on still using names like EXS24, ES2, and EVOC 20 PS? (I swear I did not make that last one up.) With an instrument like Boom, at least we know by looking at the name that it probably, you know, goes boom.

6. I don’t have a personal beef with AudioUnits per se, but developing for the format drives Chris Randall (and presumably many other plug-in makers) completely bonkers. Result: Bonkers by proxy.

7. The number of menus and menu items borders on comical. I appreciate the housecleaning in version 8—more of that, please.

8. The lack of a one-to-one correspondence between tracks in the arrange and mix windows always struck me as an approach that, while possibly offering limited advantages to Logic pros (get it?), I would guess only confuses the vast majority of users. Can’t a track just be a track? Also, no one needs to be able to have seven different mix windows open at the same time.

9. Editing is simply more of a struggle than it needs to be. By contrast, regions in Live feel intuitively malleable; once you’ve grasped the basic concepts of non-linear editing, there’s essentially no learning curve. And nothing can touch Pro Tools’ Keyboard Focus in terms of speed and efficiency.

10. One word: Klopfgeist.

I could go on. That said, I could also make a very long list of features I wish certain other programs would borrow from Logic (starting with multiple-format, simultaneous, non-realtime bouncing). Point being, nothing is perfect. I just wish it was.1

  1. Speaking of wishes: Last year, when everyone was busy freaking out about the newly overhauled version of Final Cut Pro, I predicted (to all three people within earshot of me at that moment) that in five years all those very same editors would look back at version 7 and think, “Did we really use that hunk of junk on a daily basis?” As someone who doesn’t use Logic every day, but would be open to doing so if it changed the game in terms of UI and workflow, I wish Apple would reinvent Logic Pro X from the ground up, too (in fact, it’s rumored to be the case). Now that would pique my interest.