Innovation

A guide to Apple Pro Apps for professional audio and video production

Apple's Pro Apps offer audio and video production professionals powerful creative tools. Here's a quick review of each.

image: Erik Eckel/TechRepublic

Audio and video production professionals can leverage several Apple pro-level applications to aid in creating, editing, producing, and polishing first-rate audio and video programming. From video editing to audio recording, Apple's suite of pro apps offers powerful tools for producing compelling productions.

Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro X is Apple's mainstay video editing program. The app supports producing 3D and 4K content, while also offering media organization capabilities, lighting and color adjustments, animation, support for a wide range of media formats, and more. Version 10.2 includes motion graphics improvements, including three-dimensional titles, animated 3D templates, advanced post-production effects and RED RAW anamorphic format footage processing, including Mac Pro dual GPU operation support.

Apple considers Final Cut Pro, and all the other pro programs, officially Essentials apps. The $299.99 program requires OS X 10.10.4 or later, 4GB of RAM although 8GB or more are recommended especially for 4K and 3D editing and 256MB of video RAM, although 1GB is recommended for 4K and 3D editing. Some 4.15GB of disk space is required.

Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X, meanwhile, extends comprehensive MIDI recording and production studio capabilities to OS X. The software enables efficient and effective audio writing, recording, editing, and mixing. Version 10.2 adds Alchemy, which Apple touts as a next-generation synthesizer integrating Logic Pro audio-production features that improve specific beat-making and production features especially used creating electronic dance and hip hop music.

Logic Pro X costs $199.99. The program requires OS X 10.9.5 or newer, 4GB of RAM, and at least 6GB of disk space, while optional content requires an additional 49GB of disk space.

Motion 5

Final Cut Pro companion program Motion 5 adds detailed customization elements to video production efforts. The app enables customizing 2D and 3D animations, titles, transitions, effects and more. Motion 5 is priced at $49.99 and features an interface specifically designed for editors, as well as templates for making on-the-fly editing changes.

Motion 5 requires OS X 10.10.4 or later, 4GB RAM, although 8GB is recommended when editing 4K and 3D content, 256MB of VRAM is recommended, although 1GB is recommended when editing 4K and 3D content). The program requires 3.5GB of free disk space, while additional content consumes another 1.2GB of space, meaning 4.7GB total is required.

Compressor 4

Compressor 4, another Final Cut Pro companion app that also costs $49.99, assists video editors exporting projects. The app adds additional output configurations and enables a broad range of encoding options, including such industry standards as MPEG-2, H.264, QuickTime, MXF and ProRes. In addition to creating iTunes Store Packages, the software enables combining encode settings with post-encoding actions to automate emailing, copying and moving files or even executing scrips and Automator Workflows.

Compressor 4 requires OS X 10.10.4 or later, 4GB of RAM unless editing 4K and 3D, in which case 8GB is recommended, and 256MB of video RAM, although 1GB is called for when editing 4K and 3D titles. Some 1.25GB of disk space, too, is required.

MainStage 3

MainStage 3 helps power and customize live performances. The app collects a vast array of audio plug-ins and sounds, all compatible with Logic Pro X. The $29.99 app adds backing tracks, hardware controllers and Alchemy support and collects presets, analog synthesizers and instrument samples supporting a variety of musical styles. The app's integrated mixing controls, combined with an intuitive interface and MIDI compatibility, provide a reliable toolset for delivering live, professional-sounding performances, while also recording any and all pass-through audio.

The program requires OS X 10.9.5 or later and a 64-bit processor. The app download itself is 1.15GB within the Mac App Store.

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About Erik Eckel

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

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