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50 Days of Logic Pro for iPad: Learning Out Loud
In my teens, I just wanted to play guitar and make music. Not that much has changed.
So, the launch of Logic Pro for iPad was an incredibly exciting announcement!
A professional Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) on iPad! And, it’s even compatible with my humble 8th Gen iPad daily driver. 🙌
As someone who has spent the last 9 years using GarageBand for iPad extensively in the classroom and for my own music making and recording projects, Logic Pro for iPad was an obvious next step for me personally as a musician and creator.
Learning out loud
I knew I wanted to dive right in, learn all I could, and start making music!
But, this would be different to my previous 90 Days of GarageBand journey.
Those 3 months with GarageBand were spent creating in-depth daily video tutorials for others to learn from.
Whereas, 50 Days of Logic Pro for iPad would be more about sharing my learning journey. I set out to try to show that process, and to show how and what I am learning, and the music I create along the way in an open and vulnerable way. To learn out loud.
So, I set about sharing my daily learning journey on Twitter, beginning with this tweet, starting on the day Logic Pro was released!
Check out my daily posts using the hashtag #50DaysofLogicProforiPad
Logic Pro for iPad’s in-app lessons are incredible! What an amazing way to get started. These are so carefully and thoughtfully written, designed and integrated into the interface of the app. I’d love to see other apps do something similar to Logic Pro (and, also, Swift Playgrounds).
I then used these lessons as a springboard to get started with creating my own short projects!
My experience with GarageBand made it so much easier to learn how to use Logic Pro for iPad. Everything felt natural and a development of the workflows I am so used to with GarageBand. This careful UI and UX design makes Logic Pro for iPad so approachable for a GarageBand user!
Some of my favourite features:
Similar to GarageBand, Logic Pro for iPad’s play surfaces make it such an immersive, engaging, and accessible music making device. Having a playable piano keyboard, guitar fretboard, violin or cello fingerboard, drum pads or chord strips at your fingertips with just a tap is just amazing! And, for non-piano players like myself, it makes Logic Pro for iPad so much more accessible compared to desktop counterparts — and, without the need for additional hardware!
Arpeggiator and Step Sequencer
Like so many features with Logic for iPad, Arpeggiator is a step up from its more simplified version on GarageBand for iPad. The default options and preset patterns make it possible to easily add interesting and complex arpeggiated lines to your music.
Coming from GarageBand, the Step Sequencer was a new feature for me, and that always gives new inspiration for music making! The ability to create your own melodic patterns with an interface familiar from GarageBand’s Beat Sequencer, and the incredible preset patterns provide endless ideas and ways to create music. For me, the Arpeggiator and Step Sequencer are the ‘Pro’ version of GarageBand’s Autoplay patterns.
Drum Machine Designer
As the name suggests, Drum Machine Designer allows you to create your own custom drum kit. This can be either a combination of drum kit pieces from various preset kits, or created using audio patches or your own sample sounds! There’s something really special about playing or programming your own drum patterns based on found sounds and making this part of your music!
Beat Breaker is a new plug-in with Logic Pro for iPad. It allows you to slice up and rearrange audio to use in your projects. This new feature is incredibly fun and so easy to start using! It works equally well on vocals, drums, melodies and even chord patterns! I find myself coming back to this plug-in again and again! It is such an amazing way to flip samples and create something new!
This is — again — one of the features that puts the ‘Pro’ in Logic Pro for iPad! Sample Alchemy allows you to create playable instruments from any audio. Like other features and plug-ins, the UI is so easy and approachable to get started with, is so rich with features and ways that synthesised sounds can be manipulated. And, so much of Logic Pro for iPad, I feel I have only begun to scratch the surface of what Sample Alchemy can do over the past 50 days!
Using an audio interface makes it so easy to record guitar with Logic Pro for iPad. I use an Apogee Jam+ to plug my guitar directly into my 8th Gen iPad. I often do this with GarageBand too, but there’a a big difference with Logic Pro for iPad: Amp and Stompbox plug-ins. The difference in quality of these with Logic Pro is a huge leap over GarageBand. Whether I need a clean amp sound for some funky rhythms, a distorted or overdriven sound for a guitar solo, or an ambient texture with delay and reverb, Logic Pro has pretty much everything a guitarist could need! And, there is a huge amount of granular control over the amps, effects and plug-ins, so you can dial-in the sound just as you like it!
Over the course of the 50 Days, I created some music that I am really proud of! You can listen to some of the highlights from my musical journey here:
So, where can you learn more and get started about Logic Pro for iPad?
— Start with the in-app lessons. As mentioned above, they are fantastic and so well designed!
— Apple’s Logic Pro for iPad User Guide has everything you could need!
— Chris Wood’s Apple Book Logic Pro X: Mixing and Mastering Guide is for Logic Pro on Mac, but is a treasure trove of expert information and knowledge about audio mixing and mastering in general! One of my next steps will be to go back to this amazing book again to improve and learn more about mixing with Logic Pro. Such a great resource and an opportunity to learn from the best!!
- Learning anything new helps you reflect on your own practice in other areas.
- Sharing your journey publicly and openly benefits everyone — both the creator and those following along.
- Does Logic Pro for iPad have a place in my classroom? Yes, but more indirectly at the moment. The subscription model is just not (currently) going to work with student managed Apple IDs. But, there are opportunities for me to create music with Logic Pro for iPad for use in the classroom and the wider school community. Or, sometimes we might transfer a student’s GarageBand to Logic Pro to my iPad to allow them to go further. Or, if they have a personal iPad at home and want to really take their music making to the next level, they could download and subscribe to Logic Pro for iPad and keep going!
- Seeing the power of Logic Pro for iPad reminds me of just how amazing GarageBand for iPad is. What an incredible music making tool that all students with iPad have access to — so approachable and easy to use, but with such impressive sounding results! GarageBand has been transformational in my classroom and will continue to be for years to come.
- I would love to see some of the features in Logic Pro for iPad make their way to GarageBand — but in a more simplified way: Step Sequencer, Beat Breaker, some virtual instruments such as Studio Strings or Horns, and much more. These could be transformative for music students!
- 50 Days is only the beginning of my learning journey with Logic Pro for iPad.