My latest audio recording apps came in a one-two punch, an unlikely Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde app set. One records any audio coming into your Mac with a single click. The other is sufficiently complex you’ll still be clicking on new tools, options, and configurations a month later.
Logic Pro And Piezo
Apple’s premier audio recording app has been Logic Studio, now reborn as Logic Pro 9. This newly updated app falls into the high end of Apple’s price stratosphere at $199.
At the other end of the scale is Rogue Amoeba’s Piezo, a simpler than simple audio recording app for Mac users.
For about 1/20th the price of Logic Pro, Piezo gives you high quality audio recording with a single click.
Open up Piezo, click the red Record button and it begins recording whatever audio source is plugged into your Mac and selected as the Source.
The interface could not be much easier. Dual VU meters give you a ride down memory lane to check audio levels.
Configuration is nominal. Choose the audio input source. Choose to grab audio from any Mac app that can play audio. Also choose where to save the audio files.
Piezo records web audio from Safari, SiriusXM Online Radio, DVD audio, streaming audio from Rdio or Spotify, audio from any movie playing on your Mac, and, of course, any audio input to the Mac.
That’s about it. Piezo is simple to use and records audio as high as 256kbps AAC (and lower quality). At the other end of the scale is the new Logic Pro 9, available on the Mac App Store.
Getting What You Pay For
20 times the money gets you 100 or 1,000 times the capability. Think Garageband on performance enhancing pharmaceuticals. Logic Pro 9 is a musicians recording tool when you’re serious about recording.
Logic Pro 9 has been around a few years. The latest incarnation is available as a download from the Mac App Store, features more recording and mixing capability, and comes with a much, much lower price.
I won’t go into everything that Logic can do, but suffice it to say that nearly unlimited recording, enhancing, sweetening, and editing is only the beginning. This is an audio package so sophisticated it could help you win a Grammy. I said could.
Flex Time is a group of tools that let you manipulate timing and tempo of your recording (it’s like a variable speed knob). Beat Mapping lets you record audio freestyle, without a click track, then make it work with the beat grid later. Can you say perfect drum tracks? That’s Drum Replacer.
Mixing audio is my meat and Logic comes with over 250 discrete audio, software instrument, and auxiliary channels and mix groups. Each track supports up to 15 plug-ins. If you like the instruments in Garageband, you’ll fell as if you died and gone to recording heaven with Logic.
Keyboards, pianos, drums, synths, all of which are infinitely editable with delays and reverbs, amps, dynamic effects, filters, and much more. There’s also 1,700 sampler instruments, 15,00 Apple loops (royalty free), 4,500 presets, and 1,000 acoustic spaces (makes your sound sound like it’s coming from anywhere you want).
At $199, the new Logic Pro 9 is a bargain of audio recording and mixing complexity. If you’re flummoxed by Garageband, don’t bother. If you’re limited by Garageband, Logic is the next step up (Garageband files are upward compatible).
I come from the era of audio tape, an aluminum editing block, and a razor blade, so Logic Pro is truly a gift from the heavens. Expect to spend some time learning what’s inside. This is a professional app with an attitude and taming it requires work.