Features: Logic is Apple’s premiere music creation tool, and for good reason. It offers a huge number of pro features that you won’t find in GarageBand, including components like Live Loops and a Step Sequencer.
It can hold one thousand tracks per project, too, meaning if your Mac has the memory, the sky really is the limit. For those with cinematic aspirations, the move to Apple Silicon has meant that users can create dynamic Spatial Audio mixes within Logic, even on a laptop like the new MacBook Pros.
Whichever Mac you’re using, you’ll gain access to Flex Pitch for tweaking pitch, Smart Tempo for keeping your software instruments in lock step with each other, and Sampler can turn your MIDI keyboard into, well, a fully-fledged sampler.
The Step Sequencer is likely the most ‘fun’ way to create music in Logic, though, letting users turn pre-programmed beats and sounds on and off with a click, and the “old school” Piano Roll functionality is rolled into it, too. It’s a breath of fresh air for long-time users
Ease of use: GarageBand and Logic share a very similar, elegant layout, so if you like the way the free version works then you’ll be right at home with its bigger brother. Some of the advanced features are initially hidden, but it only takes a couple of clicks to get them up and running.
Owners of the
MacBook Pro with Touch Bar will find Touch Bar support welcome, bringing the ability to control various aspects of editing as well as using it to play certain virtual instruments, but now that the Touch Bar has effectively been discontinued by Apple it’s going to be a feature only users of older Mac laptops can enjoy.
The real draw now is Apple Silicon support. If you’re using a Mac with an M1 chip, you’ll find performance is slicker than ever before, plus you’ll have access to the Spatial Audio mixing we mentioned earlier. You’ll also find you can edit more before needing to reach a charging point, too.
Logic is one of the friendliest powerhouses around, and you can also use an iPad as an additional control surface via the Logic Remote app. Plus, Apple offers the option for iPad and iPhone users to upload Logic files to iCloud and then add to them when they’re out and about via the iOS version of GarageBand.
Supported formats: AAF, OMF, Open TL, and XML (Final Cut Pro) projects. Plus AIFF, WAV (BMF), CAF, SDII, ReWire, MP3, MP4 and MIDI output options.
Supported third-party plugins: Yes, although they need to be 64-bit.
Supported third-party hardware: Core-Audio devices are compatible, as are MIDI controllers and various control surfaces.
Notation feature: Yes.
Logic Pro vs GarageBand.