When you think of the tech industry, what names come to mind? What types of tech do you think about? Better yet, what products come to mind? Everyone's got favorites, right?
And I don't mean phone, computer, lightbulb, etc. I mean seriously when someone starts talking about tech, what brand comes to mind?
If you're old school, maybe Microsoft. But if you know what's up, you'd say Apple. Apple is constantly in the news -- releasing new products, upgrading old software and overcoming gossip.
And Apple is in the news again. This time, due to a recent update to one of its beloved software programs. And you guessed it, this new update further solidifies Apple as an industry leader.
One of its beloved apps, Logic Pro X, got itself a makeover with a variety of new features that inspire, amaze and revolutionize the world of audio editing.
What is Logic Pro X?
Have you ever heard of a digital audio workstation (DAW)? Because that's essentially what Logic Pro X is. It's an audio editing software created by Apple.
It wasn't always an Apple product, but after its creation in the 1990s and the software began to grow in popularity, Apple bought what was then known as Notator Logic in 2002.
The general backbone of this new sound editing software was first integrated into Apple's Garageband before becoming Logic Pro X like it is known today.
To give you a basic understanding of what Logic Pro X is if you're not a sound editor and don't know already, this DAW provides software instruments, effects, recording, mixing and audio looping capabilities.
It is one of the most popular DAW available today.
What's new in Logic Pro X 10.4.1?
Apple announced that their music production app, Logic Pro X, was getting a big update, with a number of new features being added to make user's lives easier and allow them more control over their projects. This announcement was also directly on the heels of their announcement about what new will be coming in iOS 11.3.
And we're not complaining! If we had to wait any longer I think our heads would have exploded.
The headlining perk of the Logic X update, Smart Tempo, considered to be a breakthrough in tempo detection technology, will allow users to automatically manage the tempo across all the aspects of a project. It also offers the ability to record naturally without a metronome or click track, and still have the recording remain synced-up with other tempo-based content in a project.
For those that like to create remixes and/or mashups, you’re in luck with the Logic Pro X update as well. Smart Tempo now makes it easier to combine recordings from different sources with varying tempos, making audio design a breeze. Now, when the idea strikes to combine Beethoven and Skrillex, you’ll be able to do so with ease.
Create seamless audio loops and jam out to original self-made tracks with the updated piano roll editor. The updates in Apple's audio editing app are really cementing it as a staple for designers and music creators everywhere.
The shiny new stuff doesn’t end there, though. The update also introduces ChromaVerb, a new algorithmic reverb plug-in that lets users add space and depth to tracks to simulate a number of different acoustic spaces including Rooms, Chambers, Theaters and Halls, and does so in a colorful, interactive way. Audio tracks never sounded so good.
There’s also Vintage EQ, which are three plug-ins that offer hardware EQs from the 1950s through the 1970s. These plug-ins are broken down into Vintage Graphic EQ, Vintage Tube EQ and Vintage Console EQ, revolutionizing the Logic Pro X experience.
Two new effects panels are also included in the Logic Pro X update: Phat FX and Step FX. Phat FX allows users to now add warmth, punch and presence to synths, guitar, bass and drums. Step FX will add rhythmic movement to any track by arranging filters, effects and independent step sequencers to control treatments over time.
Lastly, the update has increased the options when it comes to laying down that perfectly funky beat for whatever kind of project you’re working on. Two new Drummers with roots and jazz-influenced brush styles and two vintage brush kits for the Drum Kit Designer feature are now also incorporated into the app design — meaning that drum solo in your next audio track can last even longer and have even more depth.
As if that wasn’t enough, Logic Pro X also received some updates for Alchemy. Users now also have access to over 800 additional loops, and new Alchemy synths with 150 cinematic presets, accessible by easy-to-navigate smart controls.
Whether creating works of audio majesty on your Apple iPhone, iPad or MacBook Pro, the recent Logic Pro X update has something for you. Key commands, smart controls and touch bar shortcuts make the experience an immersive one on a desktop device or laptop, but the apps ease-of-use makes audio file creation on a smaller, portable device just as easy and stunning.
These updates are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the changes made in Logic Pro X 10.4.1. Other updates include increases in reliability, performance and functionality — basic good housekeeping updates to help the app run smoother and with fewer bugs.
In the world of tech, Apple is at the top of its game
The recent Logic Pro X update isn't the only new release Apple has unveiled in recent months. In addition to this and the new iOS update, Apple also released new products and upgrades.
Recently, Apple launched its own wireless home speaker -- known as the HomePod. This is a speaker that is expected or hoped to rival those like Amazon's Alexa and the Google Home.
Late last year, Apple also released its VR design-optimized iMac Pro. With updated graphic, power, integrations and security, the new iMac quickly found its place at the top of many a top-10 computer hardware list.
Rumors have swirled as well about Apple working on crumb-resistant keyboards and high-end headphones. The company really is trying to understand and monopolize its industry.
What does 2018 have in store?
Even more updates and innovations are expected for Apple in 2018.
In the coming months, Apple is expected to roll out operating system updates including iOS 11.3 watchOS 4.3, tvOS 11.3, macOS 10.13.4. These will be updates for products including the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch and MacBook.
These updates will introduce increased support and performance, bug fixes, AirPower charging, and VR integration.
And that's just the beginning.
Later this year, Apple is expected to release a whole new round of software updates. Information is limited as to what these new updates will entail, but it's likely that they will only continue to push Apple leagues ahead of its competition and further solidify its place at the top of the tech food chain.
Is Apple a monopoly, and if so, is that a bad thing?
Before we delve into whether or not Apple is a monopoly, we have to first understand what a monopoly is.
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a monopoly is the: "exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action; exclusive possession or control; a commodity controlled by one party."
Essentially, it's when one company owns most of the market share of a given industry or owns all of one aspect of an industry across all markets.
So, technically speaking, with Apple holding only 17.9 percent of smartphone market share, Apple is not a monopoly under government standards.
Last year, UBS analyst Steven Milunovich penned a note obtained by Business Insider. In it, he offered his own professional insights into whether or not Apple was an "anti-fragile monopoly."
"One characteristic of monopolies is pricing power. iPhone's ASP of almost $700 last quarter has rebounded to an all-time high despite currency pressure and could further rise with the iPhone 8," he wrote.
As of the end of 2017, the iPhone accounted for 79% of global smartphone profits, making it a clear competitor, and a clear leader in the global smartphone market.
He later continued:
[Deidu] argues that Apple's position is less fragile than it first appears, which investors are picking up on with increased emphasis on services and the installed base. Although Apple is viewed as less powerful than its large cap tech brethren, it exhibits superior pricing power.
Essentially, because Apple can so easily adapt and has such clear power and influence across the entire smartphone market, they are clearly in control and are the most equipt company to take charge and hold power in this industry. They may not technically be a monopoly, but they are certainly benefiting like they are.
But is that a bad thing?
It could be.
On the one hand, Apple is a clear industry leader which offers the world state-of-the-art technology, insightful innovations and incredible technology that has been copied and emulated by the competition.
On the other, it constantly leaves others companies in the dust and working to catch up, while also making products pricier and more difficult to access by regular people.
But who knows what the future will bring. Maybe Apple will destabilize, maybe competitors will overtake it or maybe we will see much of the same, with regular update rollouts and new products that spark both outrage and support.
The Apple Logic Pro X 10.4.1 update and beyond
Apple's Logic Pro X update helps to cement the media mega power's monopoly for all things creative. With its state-of-the-art Macbooks and VR design-optimized iMac Pro, which was released in December, people dabble in design — from augmented reality to audiovisuals — are even more likely to look towards Apple.
Apple took an already impressive product, with high-tech features and groundbreaking tools, and made it even better with a slew of new updates. Important updates to the app include:
The integration of Smart Tempo — a revolutionary tempo detection technology
The introduction of ChromaVerb — a new algorithmic reverb plug-in
Three new Vintage EQ plug-ins
Two new effects panels
Drum Kit Designer updates
improved reliability, functionality and performance
There are dozens of DAW available on the market today with tools to create music the likes of which belong on a blockbuster soundtrack, and Apple certainly didn't disappoint with its latest update. Exciting new features, top-of-the-line updates and carefully interface alterations, Apple's Logic Pro X isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
But this isn't the only new update Apple is waving around. With iOS 13.1, Apple HomePods, and the new iMac hitting the market in the last few months, Apple is just keeping up its momentum. And this momentum has been hot for years. It doesn't look like Apple is stopping anytime soon. Even if new features cause alarm or create waves, Apple is there to smooth things over.
Does that make Apple a monopoly, though? Some would argue yes. And some would say that bodes bad news for the smartphone market as a whole. But others are skeptical, considering technically, Apple isn't a monopoly when you look at the hard numbers. But just because on paper there is no correlation, there are some obvious signs. With its obvious name recognition and high brand awareness, Apple is an obvious frontrunner. And they are definitely setting the standard for tech product pricing.
Going forward, the precedent they create will be interesting to track.
The Apple Logic Pro X 10.4 is available now for free to existing users and can be found on the Mac App Store for $199.99 for new users.