Comparison between Logic Pro X and GarageBand

Logic Pro X, the biggest music production software available in the Apple Store and developed by Apple, is an extremely powerful Digital Audio workstation. A perfect companion for music producers, Logic Pro X brings to the table some special effects that are unparalleled by its counterparts. Starting from the Live Loops feature to the Step Sequencer, this application lets you create ‘pure beat poetry’. Even though Logic Pro X has several sophisticated features that require good knowledge in music, it has kept its usability simple to facilitate novice and intermediate users alongside professionals.

logic-pro-x-feature-comparision

On the other hand, GarageBand is also another powerful Digital Audio Workstation that allows users to create mind-boggling music and impressive beats. Smaller in size as compared to Logic Pro X, the main idea behind developing GarageBand was to provide users with a smaller yet comprehensive music production software. Unlike Logic Pro X, most effects are not so detailed and the reason behind this is that intermediate users normally do not make use of such detailing. Known to have one of the best virtual pianos, GarageBand has upped the standard with its Musical Typing feature. MIDI users also get provided with perfect MIDI support in both applications and connectivity issues for the same has been fixed thoroughly throughout the new updates. A comparison between the two is not justified as one is an extraction of the other. However, some of the features of both applications are compared below in this article. 

garageband-feature-comparision

FEATURES: GarageBand V/S LogicPro X

DISK SPACE: To start the discussion, it is worth mentioning that GarageBand is a much smaller music production software in terms of memory occupied. This is symbolic to the fact that Logic Pro X will have a few other added utilities. This is not always an advantage as a lot of users want a compact application that will be able to provide supreme music support while taking up as little space as possible. In reality, Apple has developed GarageBand by extracting the best bits and pieces of Logic Pro X leading to such great interconnectivity between both the applications. In terms of opening up an existing music project, the same project can be opened up in both applications. Due to a similar user interface, the track display is also identical. On running the same track in both applications, you will hear the same depth in sound as the effects used also complement both the applications. A major advantage such similarities provide to users is that a project started in GarageBand can be completed in Logic Pro X and vice versa.

BUTTONS: Starting with the buttons on the top left-hand corner of both applications, GarageBand has four buttons while Logic Pro X has seven. Other than the two similar buttons that are the ‘Library’ (to pick and choose the instrument sound) and the ‘Help’ button, Logic Pro X has an added button called the ‘Inspector’. This button opens up a small column to the left of the page that allows users to mix individual tracks with greater precision and caters to finer sound detailing like the Region Parameter box and the Track Parameter box. Another button that Logic Pro X has and GarageBand does not is the Toolbar. This opens up a set of powerful editing options namely Articulation, Track Zoom, Note Repeat, Spot Erase, Repeat Section, and Cut section among several others.

SMART CONTROL: The Smart Control options in both applications are AT PAR. In GarageBand, this entails track mixing options like the Bell, Treble, Threshold, Reverb, and Volume. Rotating the knobs clockwise increases each effect and the reverse movement decreases it. The EQ tab on top of the knobs also allows manipulation of the effects added to the soundtrack by dragging the graph on the track mapper display. Logic Pro X also has the same effects listed under Smart Controls along with knobs for Bass, Chorus, and Ambience. As Musical Typing is an integral part of both applications, smart control is the place where you can change keyboard sensitivity to adjust the note velocity.

PIANO/SCOLL EDITOR: Moving on to the last button that is the Editor’s button, it is present in the interface of both applications. On clicking on the button, the Piano Roll editor opens up. The Piano Editor in GarageBand has a very simple working method. Each track is broken down into individual notes that are aligned as per the scale on a piano roll. Several effects can be carried out with each note namely changing the pitch (pulling or pushing the note onto another scale), shortening or lengthening the duration that is noted is being played, and changing the timing.  With Logic Pro X, the piano editor looks the same but some of the functions that can be performed differ from GarageBand. Selecting all the notes of the piano roll and clicking on Play starts playing the entire track. Just beside the piano graphic is a function called the scale quantization. This effect mainly deals with pentatonic and harmony notes of the scale you are playing on. If you choose a certain pentatonic, the whole track will adjust to that particular scale automatically. Other than the Piano Roll Editor, another cool editor that both applications possess is the Scroll Editor. The Scroll editor displays in staff notation each note that is being played. All of the functions mentioned can also be carried out in the Scroll Editor, the only prerequisite being one will be required to have good knowledge of staff notation before note adjustments are attempted. All edits made in both the Piano Roll and Scroll Editors can be reversed with the Undo Command (Keyboard Shortcut: command + Z). The keyboard shortcut is the same for both Logic Pro X and GarageBand.

MIXING: When it comes to mixing soundtracks, Logic Pro X has had the edge over GarageBand but more often than not, the much-detailed mixing panel of Logic Pro X is left unused. You can access the mini mixer of each track right below the name of the instrument that is being used in each track. This is the same for both applications. The options available here are the Volume slider and the Pan button. For a more detailed mixer in Logic Pro X, you will have to access the Mixer button on the top left corner on your window. The mixer looks just like the one that is seen is recording studios as far as appearance is considered. The sliders for each effect are present in the last row while the knobs and audio inputs are placed on top. Starting from Gain reduction to EQ, MIDI FX, and Audio FX up until Output settings and Automation, the Logic Pro X mixer provides great sound detailing and precision. However, the fact that users prefer the simple mini-mixer of GarageBand with limited yet powerful effects more than Logic Pro X mixer (according to user reviews) brings us to the question that is even such detailing required to record basic tracks and simple songs. Users mostly work with the mini mixer while producing music. Also, some of the features like panning and volume manipulation are an overlap between the mini and the full mixer. This in no way is indicative of the fact that GarageBand does not have the option of good audio mixing. One can always fall back on the Smart Controls discussed above to adjust finer audio settings of tracks along with special effects that have been added.

LIBRARY COMPARISON: Looking at creating a new track starting from scratch, the steps involved in the process are quite similar. To make a new track, you will have to click on the button that reads ‘+’ on the top left corner of the window right below the library button. The button position is the same for both applications. The instrument library will pop-up instantly. By default, a major difference that you will notice in the library is the sheer number of added instruments Logic Pro X has to offer as compared to GarageBand although GarageBand has made sure to include the most used instruments like a different version of pianos, guitars, bass, percussions, and layer pads. In the smaller number of instruments that GarageBand has to offer, it has taken greater care to include more effects and detailing as compared to Logic Pro X. This difference is starkly available in the Transform Pad. This pad offers more variations in the instrument sound. Some of the effects include thin sequencing, noise sequencing, orchestral swell, rich pad, detuned gate, high sequence, low sequence, and lead sequence. Two knobs are also present on the Transform Pad interface. The knobs are for controlling the Delay and reverb in the tones. The Logic Pro X has at a maximum only three to four of such effects in its Transform Pad for each selected tone.

MIXING TUNING MANIPULATING: Manipulating audio recordings in GarageBand is simpler as compared to Logic Pro X but Logic offers quite a lot of detailing that though difficult to master, goes a long way in making your track stand out. One of the most used features of recorded audio tracks is the Flexing option. Flexing a particular track is what is commonly calling stretching or squeezing along the time frame. This messes up the tempo and time signature of your track or if used right, gives a completely fresh electronic effect. After you have imported an audio track on GarageBand, double-clicking on the track will open up the audio editor. On the left-hand side of the editor, you will find the flex option. After selecting it, you can click anywhere on the track and drag or squish it according to your requirement. This is the basic flexing technique that GarageBand offers. The same function can also be carried out in Logic Pro but with several variations. After you have imported an audio track and opened the audio editor, on clicking on the ‘Flex Time’ option, you will see several flexing modes. Some of the modes included are Automatic, Monophonic, Slicing, Rhythmic, Polymorphic, Speed (FX), and Tempo-phone. To a basic user, none of these variations will be quite noticeable but it adds up to the nuances of a track. With Flexing, not only can you play with the duration of the entire track but also drag individual notes to introduce delay or squeeze a certain section for a build-up like effect. The GarageBand flexing tool is just a simplified version of the Logic counterpart but aids in providing the same effect when applied to tracks.

Coming to the Logic Pro Remote, it is supported by both applications alike. The remote feature makes wireless connections with synced Apple devices like the iPad, iPhone, and iPod. Thereafter, when you download any of the two applications on the mentioned devices, you will be able to open up the same project and edit. Any changes made will be relayed to the project on the main Mac device. The remotes can also be used as MIDI devices.

Feature Comparison Conclusion:

Having closely observed the comparison of features between GarageBand and Logic Pro X, one can come to a subtle conclusion that GarageBand provides almost all of Logic Pro X’s functionality but in a much more compact manner with the help of an easier interface. This leads to a clear demarcation in the type of users using both applications. Owing to GarageBand’s limited yet powerful and necessary features, it is mostly used by basic or intermediate users while Logic Pro X is mostly downloaded and used by professionals in the music industry. As some of the features of Logic Pro X require good knowledge of sound engineering, it comes difficult for laymen to understand the nitty-gritty of the application.  While some of the advanced settings are missing from the GarageBand arsenal, it is loaded with all of the raw power to give rise to a great music piece. This gives us a sense of the sheer amount of power that developers have borrowed from Logic Pro X to create GarageBand but in a streamlined and simplified interface. 

Logic Pro X, the biggest music production software available in the Apple Store and developed by Apple, is an extremely powerful Digital Audio workstation. A perfect companion for music producers, Logic Pro X brings to the table some special effects that are unparalleled by its counterparts. Starting from the Live Loops feature to the Step Sequencer, this application lets you create ‘pure beat poetry’. Even though Logic Pro X has several sophisticated features that require good knowledge in music, it has kept its usability simple to facilitate novice and intermediate users alongside professionals.

On the other hand, GarageBand is also another powerful Digital Audio Workstation that allows users to create mind-boggling music and impressive beats. Smaller in size as compared to Logic Pro X, the main idea behind developing GarageBand was to provide users with a smaller yet comprehensive music production software. Unlike Logic Pro X, most effects are not so detailed and the reason behind this is that intermediate users normally do not make use of such detailing. Known to have one of the best virtual pianos, GarageBand has upped the standard with its Musical Typing feature. MIDI users also get provided with perfect MIDI support in both applications and connectivity issues for the same has been fixed thoroughly throughout the new updates. A comparison between the two is not justified as one is an extraction of the other. However, some of the features of both applications are compared below in this article. 

LAYMAN-Comparison of GarageBand & LogicPro X

  • To start the discussion, it is worth mentioning that GarageBand is a much smaller music production software in terms of memory occupied. This is symbolic to the fact that Logic Pro X will have a few other added utilities. This is not always an advantage as a lot of users want a compact application that will be able to provide supreme music support while taking up as little space as possible. In reality, Apple has developed GarageBand by extracting the best bits and pieces of Logic Pro X leading to such great interconnectivity between both the applications. In terms of opening up an existing music project, the same project can be opened up in both applications. Due to a similar user interface, the track display is also identical. On running the same track in both applications, you will hear the same depth in sound as the effects used also complement both the applications. A major advantage such similarities provide to users is that a project started in GarageBand can be completed in Logic Pro X and vice versa.
  • Starting with the buttons on the top left-hand corner of both applications, GarageBand has four buttons while Logic Pro X has seven. Other than the two similar buttons that are the ‘Library’ (to pick and choose the instrument sound) and the ‘Help’ button, Logic Pro X has an added button called the ‘Inspector’. This button opens up a small column to the left of the page that allows users to mix individual tracks with greater precision and caters to finer sound detailing like the Region Parameter box and the Track Parameter box. Another button that Logic Pro X has and GarageBand does not is the Toolbar. This opens up a set of powerful editing options namely Articulation, Track Zoom, Note Repeat, Spot Erase, Repeat Section, and Cut section among several others.
  • The Smart Control options in both applications are at par. In GarageBand, this entails track mixing options like the Bell, Treble, Threshold, Reverb, and Volume. Rotating the knobs clockwise increases each effect and the reverse movement decreases it. The EQ tab on top of the knobs also allows manipulation of the effects added to the soundtrack by dragging the graph on the track mapper display. Logic Pro X also has the same effects listed under Smart Controls along with knobs for Bass, Chorus, and Ambience. As Musical Typing is an integral part of both applications, smart control is the place where you can change keyboard sensitivity to adjust the note velocity.
  • Moving on to the last button that is the Editor’s button, it is present in the interface of both applications. On clicking on the button, the Piano Roll editor opens up. The Piano Editor in GarageBand has a very simple working method. Each track is broken down into individual notes that are aligned as per the scale on a piano roll. Several effects can be carried out with each note namely changing the pitch (pulling or pushing the note onto another scale), shortening or lengthening the duration that is noted is being played, and changing the timing.  With Logic Pro X, the piano editor looks the same but some of the functions that can be performed differ from GarageBand. Selecting all the notes of the piano roll and clicking on Play starts playing the entire track. Just beside the piano graphic is a function called the scale quantization. This effect mainly deals with pentatonic and harmony notes of the scale you are playing on. If you choose a certain pentatonic, the whole track will adjust to that particular scale automatically. Other than the Piano Roll Editor, another cool editor that both applications possess is the Scroll Editor. The Scroll editor displays in staff notation each note that is being played. All of the functions mentioned can also be carried out in the Scroll Editor, the only prerequisite being one will be required to have good knowledge of staff notation before note adjustments are attempted. All edits made in both the Piano Roll and Scroll Editors can be reversed with the Undo Command (Keyboard Shortcut: Cmd + Z). The keyboard shortcut is the same for both Logic Pro X and GarageBand.
  • When it comes to mixing soundtracks, Logic Pro X has had the edge over GarageBand but more often than not, the much-detailed mixing panel of Logic Pro X is left unused. You can access the mini mixer of each track right below the name of the instrument that is being used in each track. This is the same for both applications. The options available here are the Volume slider and the Pan button. For a more detailed mixer in Logic Pro X, you will have to access the Mixer button on the top left corner on your window. The mixer looks just like the one that is seen is recording studios as far as appearance is considered. The sliders for each effect are present in the last row while the knobs and audio inputs are placed on top. Starting from Gain reduction to EQ, MIDI FX, and Audio FX up until Output settings and Automation, the Logic Pro X mixer provides great sound detailing and precision. However, the fact that users prefer the simple mini-mixer of GarageBand with limited yet powerful effects more than Logic Pro X mixer (according to user reviews) brings us to the question that is even such detailing required to record basic tracks and simple songs. Users mostly work with the mini mixer while producing music. Also, some of the features like panning and volume manipulation are an overlap between the mini and the full mixer. This in no way is indicative of the fact that GarageBand does not have the option of good audio mixing. One can always fall back on the Smart Controls discussed above to adjust finer audio settings of tracks along with special effects that have been added.
  • Looking at creating a new track starting from scratch, the steps involved in the process are quite similar. To make a new track, you will have to click on the button that reads ‘+’ on the top left corner of the window right below the library button. The button position is the same for both applications. The instrument library will pop-up instantly. By default, a major difference that you will notice in the library is the sheer number of added instruments Logic Pro X has to offer as compared to GarageBand although GarageBand has made sure to include the most used instruments like a different version of pianos, guitars, bass, percussions, and layer pads. In the smaller number of instruments that GarageBand has to offer, it has taken greater care to include more effects and detailing as compared to Logic Pro X. This difference is starkly available in the Transform Pad. This pad offers more variations in the instrument sound. Some of the effects include thin sequencing, noise sequencing, orchestral swell, rich pad, detuned gate, high sequence, low sequence, and lead sequence. Two knobs are also present on the Transform Pad interface. The knobs are for controlling the Delay and reverb in the tones. The Logic Pro X has at a maximum only three to four of such effects in its Transform Pad for each selected tone.
  • Manipulating audio recordings in GarageBand is simpler as compared to Logic Pro X but Logic offers quite a lot of detailing that though difficult to master, goes a long way in making your track stand out. One of the most used features of recorded audio tracks is the Flexing option. Flexing a particular track is what is commonly calling stretching or squeezing along the time frame. This messes up the tempo and time signature of your track or if used right, gives a completely fresh electronic effect. After you have imported an audio track on GarageBand, double-clicking on the track will open up the audio editor. On the left-hand side of the editor, you will find the flex option. After selecting it, you can click anywhere on the track and drag or squish it according to your requirement. This is the basic flexing technique that GarageBand offers. The same function can also be carried out in Logic Pro but with several variations. After you have imported an audio track and opened the audio editor, on clicking on the ‘Flex Time’ option, you will see several flexing modes. Some of the modes included are Automatic, Monophonic, Slicing, Rhythmic, Polymorphic, Speed (FX), and Tempophone. To a basic user, none of these variations will be quite noticeable but it adds up to the nuances of a track. With Flexing, not only can you play with the duration of the entire track but also drag individual notes to introduce delay or squeeze a certain section for a build-up like effect. The GarageBand flexing tool is just a simplified version of the Logic counterpart but aids in providing the same effect when applied to tracks.
  • Coming to the Logic Pro Remote, it is supported by both applications alike. The remote feature makes wireless connections with synced Apple devices like the iPad, iPhone, and iPod. Thereafter, when you download any of the two applications on the mentioned devices, you will be able to open up the same project and edit. Any changes made will be relayed to the project on the main Mac device. The remotes can also be used as MIDI devices.

Having closely observed the comparison of features between GarageBand and Logic Pro X, one can come to a subtle conclusion that GarageBand provides almost all of Logic Pro X’s functionality but in a much more compact manner with the help of an easier interface. This leads to a clear demarcation in the type of users using both applications. Owing to GarageBand’s limited yet powerful and necessary features, it is mostly used by basic or intermediate users while Logic Pro X is mostly downloaded and used by professionals in the music industry. As some of the features of Logic Pro X require good knowledge of sound engineering, it comes difficult for laymen to understand the nitty-gritty of the application.  While some of the advanced settings are missing from the GarageBand arsenal, it is loaded with all of the raw power to give rise to a great music piece. This gives us a sense of the sheer amount of power that developers have borrowed from Logic Pro X to create GarageBand but in a streamlined and simplified interface.