It seems the field of digital home recording products gets more crowded on a daily basis. While that is not really true one can certainly expect to be hit with major product changes at least twice a year during the musical trade shows and new plug ins, samples and loops pop up every month or so. Still, like so many other magical computer help mates the majority of these programs are built along the lines of a professional recording studio with Apple's Garage Band being the exception of having a decent amount of studio feel while being easy enough for a beginner to use. Of course with this ease of use you pay a price; two prices actually. The old good news and not so good news. One, the low cost is the good news, while the other not so good news is, about the time you start to understand the potential power of this sort of program you realize that garage band does not have the capability to record and mix a large number of tracks, so while you may get a decent demo or maybe a passable vocal and guitar recording you will have to pull off some tricks to get any sort of master worthy of a real CD. Now comes Logic. Formally ProLogic by Avid, the company was purchased by apple and run through several versions as an application to go up against the mighty ProTools which is pretty much what major studios use these days. Pro-Tools is a fine program but it is very expensive and has a steep learning curve requiring one to have some knowledge of recording engineering as well as the confusing world of MIDI-Musical Instrument Digital Interface. Think synthesizers but not so fast because samples are also MIDI and samples are recordings of actual instruments that can be recorded by an trigger mechanism which might be a keyboard looking thing which you can assign to play very realistic music from bagpipes to violins.
Of course you may plug guitars and mics into your computer and record them as well. This can get very complex. Now all of a sudden Apple brings out Logic 8. In it's express version you may upgrade any previous logic for $99. And not only does this version come with lots of built in instruments including drum machines which Pro-tolls does not, but it will grab any garage band loops or instrument packs you have and add them to it's library. Now here is something well worth the price right here. Launch Logic Express select "new" and ask it to look for garage band projects. It will find them and allow you in import all your tracks and then build a mixing board that enables you to do a complete mix on the channels that you couldn't do before. Plus the ability to move and splice and punch is just night and day. So before you record a note, you can do wonders with garage band projects you thought were toast. There are some major names making records with a fast apple MacBook and Logic Pro. If you are a composer, song writer or player with a band and use a mac. You definitely need to look at this before going to the M-powered Pr-tools or Pro-tools LE. I have Pro tools M-powered and unless I spring from a copy of "Reason Adapted" the program is severely limited. I'm here to tell you that you can look at this logic interface and actually get some sort of idea what is going on. With the old logic and the current Pro-tools
you need two monitors just to keep track of the tool bars. Remember these are serious progress that emulate 24 track studios and those boards have lots of knobs and compressors and limiters and these programs have all the same stuff too. So far logic 8.0 is the only one that seems to give a damn about what might be logical to the player who wants to learn real time production and recording. This thing is all over the net. give it a look and see if it doesn't talk to you. OK? Fine.