Apple intros Logic Pro 7, Logic Express 7, Jam Packs

Apple on Wednesday announced Logic Pro 7 and Logic Express 7, the newest major releases of the company's pro music creation and audio production software. What's more, Apple announced two new Jam Pack expansions for its GarageBand software.

The US$999 Logic Pro 7 adds new software instruments including Sculpture, a component-modeling based synthesizer, UltraBeat, a drum machine, and Guitar Amp Pro, a guitar amplifier simulator -- technologies Apple first demonstrated to attendees of the NAMM tradeshow held in Anaheim, Calif. this past January. The company has made more than 100 different workflow enhancements to Logic Pro 7, added new mastering plug-ins and support for Apple Loops -- the format used for GarageBand and Soundtrack -- and distributed audio processing, which allows users to share the load of processing audio effects among multiple networked Macs. Logic Express 7 is a streamlined version of the application that provides a basic set of tools for students, educators and hobbyists, for $299.

Sculpture simulates the behavior of a vibrating string or bar, according to Apple, while UltraBeat uses several different forms of sound synthesis -- FM, subtractive, sample-based and component modeling -- while providing up to 25 independent drum voices and an integrated step sequencer. Guitar Amp Pro recreates the sounds of 11 popular guitar amplifiers, and users can configure their own, defining speaker cabinets from up to 14 selections, mic type and placement, EQ type and settings.

System requirements for Logic Pro 7 and Logic Express 7 call for a G4 or faster, Mac OS X 10.3 or later, 512MB RAM, DVD for installation and more -- visit the Web site for details. Upgrades are available from previous Logic versions.

Jam Packs

Apple also introduced Jam Pack 2: Remix Tools and Jam Pack 3: Rhythm Section, two new add-ons for its popular hobbyist music creation software GarageBand. Jam Pack 2 is designed to offer GarageBand users more options for creating dance, hip-hop and electronica tracks, while Jam Pack 3 provides "a complete backing band" for aspiring musicians looking to make rock, alternative and country music.

Jam Pack 2 includes more than 2,000 additional loops, 20 new beat kits, new synth and sound effect instruments and classic drum machines from Roland. Jam Pack 3 adds more than another 2,000 loops and more than 50 new instruments, including new drums, basses and guitars. Each new Jam Pack costs $99. GarageBand and Jam Packs require Mac OS X v10.2.6 or later, QuickTime 6.4 or later, G3/600MHz or faster, 256MB RAM or more and a 1024x768 or larger display. G4 or higher required for GarageBand software instruments.

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