Apple Buys Redmatica and Emagic – The rise of GarageBand and Logic Pro

If you’re an Apple Mac user, the chances are that you’ve already heard about two of the biggest audio production software packages in the entire industry; GarageBand and Logic Pro. However, these two production suites haven’t always been the pride and joy of the Apple’s music app family.
With a long history of development and experience-gaining events behind them, let’s delve into the ins and outs of what makes these two professional platforms sing, and as Paullina Simons once said in her Child of Liberty books, you should never forget where you came from.

The History of GarageBand

Back in July 2002, Apple made a huge acquisition of a German company known as Emagic. While the company produced software that was compatible with both Mac and Windows computers, the Windows versions of the software were disconnected as of September that same year.

Fast forward two years to January 6th, 2004 and our ears all heard the beautiful announcement of GarageBand when it was released to the general public. Since then, Apple has released 12 stable versions of the software, which typically comes pre-installed on all Mac computers with your purchase and has been the inspirational tool to set many artists to their own adventure of making and producing music.

Nowadays, GarageBand is full of features including state-of-the-art audio recording capabilities, virtual instrument displays, and production tools, high-quality virtual guitar software, MIDI editing and recording and there’s even integrated music lessons section where you can learn to play instruments in real-time.

While there are some features that feel quite restricted when using GarageBand, especially when compared to software platforms like Ableton and FL Studio, it’s a great piece of kit for artists who are starting their journeys into the world of music production, or to have a play with when you’re bored at home or work!

The History of Logic Pro

Okay, with GarageBand aside, let’s take a look at Logic Pro, easily one of the most renowned Mac music production software platforms in the world. Perhaps surprisingly to many of you, Logic was first developed back in 1993 under the same production company as GarageBand; Emagic.

Originally, Logic was available for both Windows and Mac computers, but when the company was brought out in 2002, the Windows version was discontinued with the rest of the products. However, while GarageBand was a new venture, Apple has caused a huge controversy with this decision since a whopping 70,000 users were signed up to the Windows version with no intention of completely reinvesting in a new Mac system.

As of today, Logic, now currently known as Logic Pro X, is on its 12th stable release and, as of 2014, was bringing Apple over $2 billion a year in revenue. It’s safe to say this is definitely one of the most popular software platforms in the world.

However, much like GarageBand, Logic Pro X contains an array of digital features including virtual instrument production, which includes drum kits, Ultrabeat, pianos, keyboards and basically any other instrument you care to name.

There’s also a ton of audio effects to choose from, among them the famed Space Designer reverb plugin, and leading distributed processing technology (available in the 32-bit mode) that allows you to link up multiple Mac computers and MIDI devices to work on the same project and allows for 3rd party plugins.

More Than Meets the Eye

With all this in mind, you wouldn’t be mistaken for thinking that Apple simply purchased the Emagic company, hijacked and shut down the Windows versions for exclusivity of their new products and they have been building them up over the last decade and a half to a point where the apps now collective bring in billions of dollars a year.

However, there is more here than meets the eye. Enter Redmatica.

Redmatica was a small Italy-based music production company that was brought out by Apple back in 2012, surprisingly right before both audio suites, in particular, GarageBand, really took off.

The tiny startup company, which averaged around $26,000 a year revenue at the time on just a $100,000 expenditure, was acquired on the sly, with the Apple CEO at the time, Tim Cook, claiming the Apple does not acknowledge every one of the acquisitions that it makes.

However, documents were discovered back in 2012 from a blog titled Fanpage.It in their tech section where their investigators had managed to find a document sourced from a local regulator AGCOM that stated that Apple had, in fact, bought the company out.

Although the purchase was never officially recognized, it’s become common knowledge that the process took place and it’s even listed on Wikipedia’s list of Apple acquisitions. While Apple at the time outright denied the claims, perhaps because it’s bad for branding if a huge global corporation is seen buying out small independent companies, the acquisition would have made sense.

Redmatica was renowned for its production in music software, and it goes without saying that some of the tools that were implemented into the Redmatica product are now being used to power both GarageBand and Logic Pro X features, although Redmatica no longer technically exists so there’s no way to find out currently.

However, what we do know is that one of Redmatica’s key designs and products was the Keymap Pro, a leading and very powerful piece of software that enabled editing for sampled instruments. This was a piece of kit that was able to do extremely powerful audio functions, such as automatic sampler mapping, now one of the biggest key features in the Logic Pro X platform.

Summary

While many people may be angry that Apple continues to buy up small companies to boost its own products, for many of us, Logic Pro X and GarageBand have both been essential tools in our digital music production conquests.
However, it pays to be aware of where these awesome, market-leading platforms have come from, whether in terms of its features, ethical reasons or just because you want to know out of curiosity!

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