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Adobe Audacity vs Logic Express
April 9, 2009 10:04 PM   Subscribe

Switched to Mac, looking for Adobe Audacity replacement. Should I go for Logic Express?

I used Audacity primarily for two things (in order priority):

1) Splicing existing recordings together as seamlessly as possible. Here I used the "Echo Chamber" effects quite extensively. These helped create the sense that the musicians stopped playing and then started playing something else -- the ambient echo of the previous section carried on into the next.

2) Severely warping recorded sounds via a variety of filters/effects, combining them together via the multitrack interface, mixing the multiple tracks down to single tracks then continuing the process.

Can I do these kinds of things with Logic Express? Or would I be better off using Audacity via Windows vmware? Learning a new piece of software isn't a problem, I just want to make sure that the software will enable the kinds of things I want to do. Also, any other similarly-priced Mac recommendations for this sort of thing besides Logic Express would be appreciated.
posted by treepour to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Adobe Audacity? Audacity is free software available for Mac or PC. Do you mean Adobe Audition? I'm confused.
posted by smorange at 10:33 PM on April 9, 2009


Oh geez, yes, I meant Adobe Audition. Sorry.
posted by treepour at 10:48 PM on April 9, 2009


As far as I know, the big three to look at are Protools, Logic, and Ableton Live.

I know this is not much help-- I have some protools experience and it is a big workhorse. I have heard a lot of griping over the external hardware it requires, though. I would be surprised if you couldn't do what you describe with logic, or any music software, to be exact. Also, you could bootcamp windows if you just wanted to continue using Audacity.
posted by stresstwig at 11:18 PM on April 9, 2009


Adobe CS4 has Soundbooth which is a mixer application that has worked reasonably well for me.

Not recommending it, but if you get a CS4 bundle with it you could try and see.
posted by mrt at 11:37 PM on April 9, 2009


The free and open source Audacity might be up to the task, though not as polished as Adobe Audition.
One of the most popular pro audio editors for Mac was always Bias Peak Pro but that was always 2 track stereo only... the new version might do multitrack, otherwise the same company produce Deck which has multitrack capability. These are more like the equivalent of Audition on the Mac.
Logic (Express or Studio) would do all you want (and more) ... in fact Garage Band might achieve most of what you want to do, so have a play.
Ableton Live (also cross platform) is great for making music but has a different approach - download the demo if you like. It seems unlikely that you have the necessary hardware for ProTools so lets just label that overkill for now.
There's Soundtrack Pro but that only comes as part of Final Cut Studio now, which just leaves WavePad as the last thing I can think of, squarely back in the land of Audio Editors and not also a midi sequencer and complete sound generation package like Logic or Live.
Lots of possibilities - try not to get too distracted whilst checking them out and playing. Have fun.
posted by dirm at 11:49 PM on April 9, 2009


1) Splicing existing recordings together as seamlessly as possible. Here I used the "Echo Chamber" effects quite extensively.

You can definitely do this with Logic Express. Unfortunately, Space Designer and Delay Designer aren't included with Express, they are Studio only. This may or may not be a big deal depending on what you are ultimately doing with these tracks. Space Designer is really good for making realistic sounding reverbs. I hated the sound of all the old reverb plugs on Logic 7 Express, but now that I have Space Designer, I actually use it once in a while. I think that the Apple MatrixReverb AudioUnit that comes with OS X is better-sounding than the old Logic reverb plugs _if you want realistic-sounding reverb_. If you just want some smeariness to meld things together a bit, then the included verbs are fine. The echos that come with Express are pretty decent. I actually like the Tape Echo plug sometimes.

Now, beyond that, now that Logic 8 has sample-accurate editing in the Arrange window, I find that using the crossfade tool along with the other tools makes it really fast and easy to smoothly edit together audio quickly. Because you are in the arrange window, you can use all your existing shortcuts to jump around, zoom in/out, switch tools, set and toggle regions, etc.

2) Severely warping recorded sounds via a variety of filters/effects, combining them together via the multitrack interface, mixing the multiple tracks down to single tracks then continuing the process.

Logic Express can certainly do this. The plugin quality you get with Logic for the money is insane, IMHO. Like w/ Logic Studio, some of the plugins/SIs would be worth the $500 Logic Studio costs alone. Also, Logic has very flexible bussing and routing of both audio and midi data. Some would say too flexible. But for what you want to do this is a boon.

One downside to Logic for what you want to do is that it doesn't natively host VST, RTAS, etc plugings, and a lot of free/cheap plugins are only available in these formats. I wouldn't worry about this, but if there are particular effects you are hooked on, you should check for AU versions before buying Logic.

A side bonus of going with Logic Studio is that it comes with Soundtrack Pro which has an edit mode that lets you work on the full audio spectrum vs. time with graphical tools, basically its a big interactive filter designer, so if you want to do a bunch of crazy filtering, Soundtrack Pro is worth checking out.
posted by jeb at 10:49 AM on April 10, 2009


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