Apple updates Logic Pro X music program with a powerful new synth and an Apple Music tie-in

The second major update to Logic Pro X in 2015 adds the well-known Alchemy synth and the ability to publish directly to Apple Music Connect.

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Apple has updated its professional-level music creation and editing suite, Logic Pro X , for the second time this year. The new 10.2 version comes just eight months after version 10.1, and like the previous update, Logic Pro X 10.2 is available for free to current owners of Logic Pro X (the entire software package costs $199).

The highlight of the new Logic Pro X 10.2 is the addition of Alchemy, an advanced software synthesizer built into the program. Alchemy is based on a popular software synth of the same name previously made by UK music software company Camel Audio, which Apple acquired in early 2015. The last pre-Apple build of Alchemy made available as a standalone app was Alchemy 1.5, but the new version is now bundled in with Logic Pro X, and no longer available separately.

Alchemy is a sample manipulation synth, which means its sounds are based on actual music and audio samples, which the synth can then alter in all kinds of interesting ways. If you have the hard drive space, an optional 14GB sound library can be downloaded to give Alchemy a lot more raw material to play with.


Apple says the synth has 3,200 presets, 100 modulation sources and 40 filters, which can all be overwhelming to musicians who just want to dial in cool sounds. You'll be able to skip most of that and simply call up presets quickly using a new keyword browser that can search for sounds based on genre, name, or description.

If you want to get more advanced, up to eight sounds can be loaded up into an onscreen control called the Transform Pad, and an onscreen pointer (or your finger on the Logic Remote app for iPads), can move between them in real time, altering your music in new and interesting ways.

Logic Pro X in action. Sarah Tew/CNET

While Alchemy is the biggest new feature in Logic Pro X 10.2, Apple says there are around 200 bug fixes and enhancements as well, including the ability to upload songs directly from Logic Pro X to Apple Music Connect, the Apple Music feature that allows musicians to post songs and other materials for fans.

Logic Pro X 10.2 is available to download now as a free upgrade for Logic Pro X owners, or as a new purchase for $199. For more on what's included in Logic Pro X, see our full review of version 10.1 .