Music creation software tends to be either incredibly complex, which limits the user base to existing musicians, or very basic, opening up the software to less able musicians, but ultimately being limited. GarageBand is a an iPad app that falls neatly between the two camps, making it possible to create some truly stunning music, even if you do not play an instrument, while remaining pleasingly easy to use.
The Mac version of the app was something of a game-changer, and the iPad version frees you even further by making it possible to make music wherever you go. There are a large number of instruments built into the app ranging from guitars and basses to drum kits and pianos. Unsurprisingly, each instrument is touch powered, so you can play the drums by tapping on-screen drum, or strum a virtual guitar.
You can record up to eight separate tracks which can then be arranged and mixed. Instruments such as an electric guitar can be plugged into your iPad to record live playing, and the same goes for vocal tracks. Track arrangement is quick and easy, and there are a number of handy options, such as readymade loops, that can be used to create something that sounds genuinely professional.
Individual tracks can be fine-tuned independently of each other, adjusting volume and applying special effects. Completed tracks can be saved in AAC formats and emailed to others from within the app, or there is the option of importing it into your iTunes library. Any project created in the iPad version of GarageBand can be opened in the Mac version if you would like to continue editing at a later time.
New in v1.0.1:
- Support for audio output over AirPlay, Bluetooth devices and HDMI with the Apple Digital AV Adapter.
- Import of AIFF, WAV, CAF audio files and Apple Loops (16 bit, 44.1 kHz).
- Allows copy and paste of audio from supported apps into GarageBand.
- Addresses occurrences of GarageBand freezing while playing Smart Instruments.
- Improves overall stability and addresses a number of minor issues.