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Apple polishes musical offerings

The company releases upgrades targeted at professionals and students for its Logic music production software.

Apple Computer on Thursday released upgrades targeted at professionals and students for its music production software.

The company bundled about a dozen existing software products into one package, called Logic Pro 6, for professionals. It is designed to perform all the basic functions of music production--from composing and recording to mixing and inserting sound effects. It also offers surround sound and supports up to 128 audio tracks, Apple said. Logic Express 6, based on the professional software, is a set of basic tools for students and teachers.

Apple acquired the Logic software when it purchased Germany's Emagic two years ago. Some 200,000 musicians, audio engineers, producers and film composers worldwide use the the audio production software, the Mac maker said.

"Logic has set the standard for professional music production with its comprehensive set of tools," Rob Schoeben, Apple's vice president of applications marketing, said in a statement. "Until today, a lot of the power and flexibility of the Logic product line came from additional plug-ins and add-ons. Now, these are all included in Logic Pro 6 at one affordable price."

Both packages can be purchased from Apple or its resellers. Logic Pro 6 is priced at $999, while the product for music students and teachers will be available for $299. Another entry-level product, GarageBand, announced last week, is designed for people who want to record music at home. Apple said it will be available for $49 starting Friday, bundled with the iLife media creation package.

Apple on Thursday also described audio technology that will be incorporated into future versions of Logic. New software instruments include Sculpture, a component-modeling based synthesizer; UltraBeat, a percussion synthesizer; and Guitar Amp, a guitar amplifier simulator.