September 29, 2004: Apple debuts Logic Pro 7, its professional music creation and audio production software. The update brings new tools and a streamlined interface in line with other Apple software.
Coming off the success of the iPod and iTunes Music Store, the Logic Pro 7 launch — alongside its stripped-down sibling, Logic Express 7 — serves as a reminder of Apple’s dominance in music tech, for consumers and professionals alike.
Logic Pro 7 launch: An audio tool for creatives
“From beginners to pros, Apple is broadening the market with a complete line of music creation and production tools,” said Rob Schoeben, Apple’s VP of applications marketing, in a press release. “With Logic Pro 7, we’re taking professional music creation to the next level with the industry’s most advanced feature set for pro audio.”
The software came with various tools for writing new music and for mixing existing tracks. It featured Apple Loops (prerecorded musical patterns for quickly fleshing out a track), Sculpture (a modeling-based synthesizer) and UltraBeat (a powerful drum machine). It also packed plugins for guitar amplifier simulator Guitar Amp Pro.
For this upgrade, Cupertino’s designers modified the Logic Pro 7 interface to make it more obviously resemble an Apple product. There was a good reason for this. The company behind Logic Pro, Emagic, had been developing its MIDI sequencer software since the early 1990s. Apple acquired the business in 2002 and set about bringing Emagic’s software into line with its other products.
Today, Logic Pro offers an even wider range of music production tools. Apple bills it as “the ultimate way to record” on the Logic Pro website. The company released an iPadOS version of Logic Pro in 2023 for iPad users.
Mac software for music creation
Logic Pro 7 was the first music creation tool I used on a Mac. I was an Apple fan already. But around this time, a number of my musician friends (hey, I was at a liberal arts college — don’t hold it against me!) first considered jumping over to the Apple platform. Successful products like the iBook and iMac G3 helped lure them to Apple.
And, just as with the gentrification of a neighborhood, products that attracted artists made Macs seem cool for the rest of us, too.
Keeping sight of Apple power users
Logic Pro 7 also proved significant because it showed that Apple still cared about pro-level customers. A lot of Steve Jobs’ early innovations as Apple CEO involved making devices that were accessible to the average user. At times, this meant upsetting the big-spending pros who helped keep Apple afloat during the dark days of the 1990s.
Tools like Logic Pro 7, Final Cut Pro HD, Motion, DVD Studio Pro and Shake showed that the company hadn’t lost sight of these users.
What Apple software drives your creative efforts these days (or in the past)? Do you think Apple still cares about creatives? Leave your comments below.