Logic Pro X and GarageBand get big updates: Touch Bar, iCloud, more

Apple's Logic Pro X has gained Touch Bar support on the latest MacBook Pro, with the music software – and its GarageBand for iOS cousin – getting a big update today. Logic Pro X 10.3 not only embraces the slender touchscreen strip on Apple's latest notebook, but revamps the UI throughout; as for GarageBand for iOS 2.2, that gets a brand new synthesizer and a new interface. Meanwhile, music-makers using both products will be better able to create on the move thanks to new remote access options.

On the Mac front, Logic Pro X 10.3 now has a 64-bit summing engine, 192 additional busses, and true stereo panning support. A new Track Alternatives feature allows for different playlists of regions and edits to be created on the same track, which should make it easier to test different versions of tracks and effects. There's also support for selection-based Processing, which allows for different combinations of Logic and third-party effects to be applied to one or more audio regions.

The biggest UI change, though, will be seen by those using the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. The OLED touchscreen strip there will be used for a timeline overview, in addition to volume and Smart Controls for selected tracks. For actually playing music, the strip can also be switched between a piano keyboard or drumpads.

Over on GarageBand for iOS 2.2, meanwhile, iPhone and iPad users now get a new sound browser that Apple says will make finding the right Touch Instrument and sounds more straightforward. Logic Pro favorite Alchemy is also coming to the iOS app, with over 150 patches across a variety of genres. It keeps the Transform Pad, too, which allows for eight different "sonic snapshots" to be morphed between during performances.

Other improvements include multi-take recording, with the ability to capture several takes of live performance and then later audition them to find the best. The audio recorder has been reworked too, with new vocal effects along with pitch correction, distortion, and delay. Visual EQ and third-party Audio Unit plug-ins are also supported.

NOW READ: MacBook Pro with Touch Bar Review

For those using both products, Apple has better integrated GarageBand and Logic Pro X. Thanks to a new "share" option in the latter, a GarageBand-compatible version of a Logic project can be uploaded to iCloud, and tracks added from the iOS device. They're automatically imported back into the original project when Logic is next opened.

If you're an existing Logic Pro X user, you'll get the latest upgrade free of charge today. Otherwise, the app is priced at $199.99. As for GarageBand for iOS, that's free for existing users and on new iOS devices; those without it, meanwhile, can find it for $4.99 on the App Store today.