As you probably heard by now, Logic 10.5 is out! But before we dive in and take a deeper look at some of the new features in Logic Pro that will benefit us VoiceOver Warriors, if you haven’t yet updated, consider backing up your current Logic Pro application first. With that out of the way, let’s see what’s new.
First up, the list of accessibility improvements from the release notes:
- VoiceOver now properly announces the first column in the Loop Browser.
- VoiceOver now announces the state of the Direct Monitoring button in the Mixer.
- VoiceOver no longer announces disclosure triangles in Inspectors as button.
- VoiceOver now positions plug-ins in the correct slots when inserting more than three plug-ins consecutively.
- The Part box in the Score is now accessible with VoiceOver.
- VoiceOver now announces the note position and pitch in linear view in the Score.
- The pop-up menu for creating a Software instrument no longer requires a mouse click interaction with VoiceOver.
- Filter by Type in the Loop Browser now supports VoiceOver.
- Fixes an issue where channel strips sometimes remain unexpectedly selected when navigating the Mixer using VoiceOver.
- VoiceOver now speaks the track name when using the up and down arrows to navigate the track list.
- Favoriting an Apple Loop no longer causes the focus to unexpectedly jump to a different loop when using VoiceOver.
The other massive change in Logic 10.5 where it relates to VoiceOver is how Plug-Ins are now displayed in controls view. As a result loading a plug-in with loads of parameters like Alchemy or Komplete Kontrol, now won’t bring your system to a screeching halt. In fact, you can now navigate through the parameters of these plug-ins with the same ease you navigate through most other plug-ins in controls view. As a guitar player myself, I am looking forward to checking out something like Two Notes’ Wall of Sound, a Cab IR plug-in that also suffered from the aforementioned screeching halt phenomenon. However, this does seem to change the behavior of item chooser in some plug-ins with a large number of parameters and as such item chooser only tends to show a limited list of parameters at a time as you scroll further through the plug in. I am assuming it’s only showing the parameters currently in the section that VoiceOver is focused on or something like that. However it appears you can jump from section to section with VO Shift Home and End, (VO Shift FN Left and Right Arrow on a laptop keyboard).
Another welcomed change regarding this update is when in the Event List and adjusting parameters like velocity, VoiceOver no longer looses focus after you change the value. This means you don’t have to re-interact with the slider after each changed. You can still double click and type in a value though if you know the exact value you are looking for.
Also noteworthy in this release are some of the new key command possibilities. We now can assign a key command to bypass all plug-ins on selected channel strips, as well as to remove all plug-ins, all bypassed plug-ins, all empty insert slots or all sends from selected channel strips. Other noteworthy key commands included in this update are:
• There is a new command “Hide all but selected tracks.”
• There is now a menu item and a Key Command to select frozen tracks.
• There are now Key Commands to create MIDI, Drummer and Audio regions.
* There are now separate key commands available to apply each possible quantization value.
* There are now key commands to double and halve the current cycle length.
* There are now key commands for Forward by Nudge Value and Rewind by Nudge Value.
* There are now separate key commands to show Track Based Automation and Region Based Automation.
* There is now a key command “Select Tracks of Selected Regions.”
* It is now possible to assign Undo to a MIDI command.
* There are now Key Commands for “Open Keyswitches” and “Open Keyswitches as float.”
* The key commands to increment/decrement the last used plug-in parameter are now configurable in the Key Commands window.
And that’s not even touching on some of the improvements to workflow we can find in this update such as:
• It is now possible to capture MIDI performances played while Logic is stopped.
• Capture as Recording now works when Cycle is on.
• It is no longer necessary to press Enter twice in the Go To Position window to return to a previously entered position after playback.
• It is now possible to dismiss the Go To Position dialog using the Escape key.
• The key command to mute tracks now works when other tracks are soloed.
* The “Stop or Play and Go to Last Locate Position” key command now continues to work after the playhead has reached the end of the project.
This can be useful since the Logic KN Key Commands has the Stop or Play and Go to Last Locate Position mapped to SpaceBar in place of the logic default Playback behavior.
* It is now possible to use the key command to toggle the Metronome on/off during recording.
The Mixer no longer shows device controls when using audio devices that do not support direct control from within the Logic Mixer.
In fact audio Device Controls now seem to be only visible if you have an input active on that track. More on Audio Device Controls and how it works here.
• MP3 files can now be dragged directly into Alchemy.
Curious to see how this one works from the Keyboard, Can we copy and paste into Alchemy now?
Of course the LogicKN Key Commands file will be updated, so be sure to grab a copy of the latest version.
This is just a summary of new Logic Pro features and improvements, for the full list, see the release notes.
However, that’s not all. This version of Logic Pro X also comes with a new demo project, and this time its “Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish. In some ways it’s not too surprising as it’s been said in numerous interviews that they not just used Logic to produce the album in their bedroom studio, but used a lot of stock logic sounds and patches. Probably the most surprising of all though besides all the new features and the accessibility improvements, is thethis post on AppleVist from the head of the Logic team highlighting the accessibility section of the release noes. This is definitely unusual for apple, and I hope to see this trend of both reaching out to the community, and the VoiceOver improvements continue.