GarageBand – Review – Create great music on a great app

On February 23, 2012

App Type: Uncategorized

GarageBand – Review – Create great music on a great app

Our rating:

By: Apple Inc.

Version #: 1.1

Date Released: 2011-11-01

Developer: Apple Inc.

Price: 4.99

User Rating:

GarageBand is part of Apple’s popular iLife suite of applications for Mac OS X. Launched in 2004, GarageBand enables users to make digital music and other forms of recording. In March 2011, GarageBand for iPad was released, to the delight of musically inclined iPad users, professionals and amateurs alike. Then, in November of the same year, the app was updated to make it a universal iOS app, adding compatibality with the iPhone and the iPod touch. And iOS device owners who have purchased the app for the very reasonable price of only $4.99 have been enjoying it ever since.

GarageBand for iOS is an elegant adaptation of the original Mac OS X program. It offers a variety of virtual instruments which the user can operate and manipulate as desired. The possibilities for the creative splicing of sounds are endless. To enumerate the available instruments is to present evidence of the effort and consideration that have been put into the development of the app.

That said, I give you this parade of instruments at your disposal in GarageBand for iOS: an onscreen keyboard with piano, organ, and synth sounds; a complete drum set; a guitar amp for when your guitar is plugged into your iOS device; an audio recorder for capturing your voice and other sounds; and a sampler that lets you record a sound and play it with the onscreen keyboard. Also included are a few “Smart” instruments, apparently intended for neophytes: Smart Drums, which lets you position different types of drums on a grid to create beats; Smart Bass, whose strings you can tap to play bass sounds; Smart Keyboard, where you tap chords to make grooves; and Smart Guitar, which lets you strum an onscreen guitar.

You can combine recordings from any of the instruments to create a song (possibly your first masterpiece) and relocate an individual recording in a song by simple drag-and-drop motion. You can also share your song via email or iTunes export. First-time users of GarageBand will doubtless get lost in the numerous buttons and switches that may accompany an instrument, but that’s all right. As in a real-world recording studio, practice makes perfect in GarageBand for iOS.

Quick Take

Value:Very high.

Would I Buy Again:Yes.

Learning Curve:Steep especially for newbies.

Who Is It For:iOS device users with a musical bent.

What I Like:The variety of sampled instruments, the affordable price.

What I Don't Like:No straightforward help section.

Final Statement:With GarageBand for iOS installed, your iOS device becomes a veritable portable recording studio.

Read the Developer's Notes:
GarageBand turns your iPad, iPhone and iPod touch into a collection of Touch Instruments and a full-featured recording studio — so you can make music anywhere you go. Use Multi-Touch gestures to play pianos, organs, guitars, drums, and basses. They sound and play like their counterparts, but let you do things you could never do on a real instrument. Enjoy a full range of Smart Instruments that make you sound like a pro — even if you’ve never played a note before. Plug an electric guitar into your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch and play through classic amps and stompbox effects. Use the built-in microphone or a guitar to record, or capture any performance. Then mix up to eight tracks to create a song you can share.

Play your iPad, iPhone and iPod touch like a musical instrument
• Perform on dozens of musical instruments on the innovative Multi-Touch keyboard
• Tap out beats from the seat of acoustic and electronic drum kits
• Recreate legendary guitar rigs with 9 amps and 10 stompbox effects
• Record your voice using the built-in microphone, and apply fun sound effects
• Use the Sampler to create an instrument from sounds you record, then play them on a keyboard

Sound like a virtuoso with Smart Instruments
• Tap chords to instantly create keyboard grooves with the Smart Keyboard
• Strum chords on acoustic and electric Smart Guitars, or trigger fingerpicking patterns for popular chords
• Groove with an onscreen electric or upright Smart Bass by tapping on chords
• Drag drum instruments onto a grid to create your own beats with the Smart Drums

Create a song anywhere you go
• Arrange and mix your song with up to eight tracks using Touch Instruments, audio recordings, and loops
• Trim and place musical regions exactly where you want them to play
• Use the Mixer to fine-tune each track’s volume – solo or mute any track, or adjust pan, reverb, and echo
• Use over 250 professionally prerecorded loops as a backing band to your song

Share your songs
• Email songs right from GarageBand (AAC)
• Export your song and add it to the iTunes library on your Mac or PC
• Send a project to your Mac and open it in GarageBand to continue refining your song

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aldrin has written 128 awesome app reviews.