It looks like big updates are coming to Apple’s professional music software, Logic Pro X. Yesterday, a Reddit user noticed that Apple’s education products webpage showed a version of Logic with ported functions from Logic Pro X’s little software brother, GarageBand. The image has since been replaced on Apple’s website, but a cache of the page on Wayback Machine confirms it’s real.
Even though GarageBand and Logic Pro X are both music-making DAWs (digital audio workstations), there are a lot of fundamental differences. GarageBand is free, fairly easy to use, and works on both iOS and desktop. Meanwhile, Logic Pro X is a $199 desktop-only software designed for professionals.
The two programs already talk to each other to a degree, which is useful. You can use GarageBand on your phone to add layers to an existing Logic Pro X project or start a project in GarageBand and finish it in Logic Pro X. But it’s not a seamless experience, and each has unique features the other doesn’t support. For example, exporting a Logic Pro X file to GarageBand bounces the entire thing as a stereo audio file. And GarageBand iOS has a bunch of tools for making music with screen tapping — like Beat Sequencer and Live Loops — that don’t appear in the desktop version or in Logic Pro X.
The image that Apple mistakenly published shows GarageBand’s Live Loops function and XY effects pads operating in Logic Pro X. In GarageBand, Live Loops is used to build musical ideas by layering loops of audio or MIDI in a cell grid. It’s a pattern-based way of making music, similar to hardware like an MPC or Native Instruments’ Maschine, and even more similar to the clips view in Ableton Live (a software competitor to Logic Pro X).
This suggests that the next version of Logic will have GarageBand iOS tools, and there could be greater flexibility when transferring projects between the two programs. Making GarageBand’s mobile features compatible with Logic Pro X on desktop is a bigger deal than just “porting features.” GarageBand is a wholly different program than Logic even if they are both used for making music.
For someone who uses both, any updates that help to mirror workflows and preserve projects when moving between the two programs is massive. Plus, people just love writing beats by tapping around in Live Loops. It’s a fast and intuitive way to sketch out ideas and then further work on them in Logic Pro X. It’s worth pointing out that Apple’s big competitors in the pro music-making software space don’t have mobile counterparts, so greater compatibility between GarageBand’s mobile experience and Logic Pro X’s desktop experience would be a notable differentiator.
So, according to Apple’s mockup, it looks like the next version of Logic Pro X will bring over GarageBand’s Live Loops and XY effects pads. It’s a guess as to whether the rest of GarageBand’s iOS-specific tools will be included, along with the ability for these two programs to handshake on transferring audio in more sophisticated ways.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.