At this week’s NAMM 2004 conference in Anaheim, Calif., Apple is showing off new technology that it says it will incorporate into future versions of Logic, the company’s pro audio production software. New technologies dubbed Sculpture and UltraBeat are being showcased, along with Guitar Amp. The company also noted that Logic Pro will gain connectivity to GarageBand in future versions. To find out more about this, MacCentral spoke with Apple’s vice president of Applications Marketing Rob Schoeben and senior director of pro applications, product marketing, Richard Kerris.
Sculpture is described as a new component-modeling based synthesizer that simulates the behavioral characteristics of a vibrating string or bar. Users can manipulate variables like the string’s material, its environment and how and where it vibrates. Apple said that Sculpture provides users with extensive modulation features, resonant body control, a control system called the Morph Pad and other parameters.
Schoeben described Sculpture’s use as akin to being a foley artist — the creator of sound effects for motion pictures. “[Sculpture] is just pure sound,” Schoeben explained. “You can tune it and tweak it and migrate it through different physical elements.”
In Schoeben’s example, Sculpture could be used to generate a string noise, which could then be modified to generate a glass instrument sound, wood percussion and more.
UltraBeat is a new percussion synthesizer that supports FM, subtractive, sample-based and component modeling synthesis. Users can modify up to 25 independent drum voices with UltraBeat, which also integrates a step sequencer. Apple is aiming UltraBeat at producers of electronic dance music especially, with analog 808 and 909 sounds and wired percussive sounds. Users have control over dynamic timbre changes, as well.
Apple said the new technologies will be integrated into Logic Pro alongside the other software instruments already available, such as the EVP88 Electric piano, EVB3 Organ, EVD6 Clavinet and EXS24mkII sampler.
Guitar Amp is a guitar amplifier simulator that recreates the sound of well-known guitar amps. Similar technology was demonstrated at last week’s Macworld Conference & Expo keynote when popular musician John Mayer took the keynote stage with Steve Jobs to demonstrate some of the live music recording capabilities of GarageBand, the new music composition software that’s been added to Apple’s iLife 04 software suite, which hits stores tomorrow.
Kerris is careful to differentiate what’s in GarageBand from what’s being demonstrated at NAMM this week, however. While GarageBand does offer guitar players some basic adjustments and settings for their virtual amps, and the Jam Pack provides GarageBand users with additional sounds, Guitar Amp provides a much higher level of flexibility and customizability for professional musicians.
“[Guitar Amp] works at the highest level that a producer or audio engineer or pro musician expects,” he told MacCentral. Guitar Amp enables users to configure details like the speaker cabinet selection, microphone type and placement and EQ type and settings.
Apple also indicated that future versions of Logic Pro will feature support for enhanced Apple Loops. Apple Loops are an open-standard file format for matching audio loops and sound effects in real-time; the technology is currently used in Apple’s music composition software Soundtrack. Apple noted that in future versions, Logic Pro will be able to import MIDI performance and channel strip configuration data contained in the new software instrument form of Apple Loops.
The new Apple Loops software instrument files can be used either as audio loops or software instrument MIDI loops, according to Apple. This also means that Logic Pro will be able to import projects from GarageBand.