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Apple's GarageBand: Record Music Like a Pro, But Way, Way, WAY Easier!

Updated on October 21, 2012

Whether You Can Play an Instrument or Not, You Can Make Beautiful Music That Sounds Great!

Recording music using a digital audio workstation, or DAW, has never been easier or more versatile, especially when it comes to GarageBand by Apple. The best part is that you don’t even need to know how to play an instrument. On top of that, you don’t even need to own an instrument.

Many seasoned musicians and home studio recording artists will swear by DAWs such as Avid’s Pro Tools and Steinberg’s Cubase, and that’s fine. There’s actually no reason why you can’t use both. The possibilities are endless when it comes to GarageBand as far as recording tracks, editing and using mobile devices such as iPads for recording and even jamming with your band. But if you’re more comfortable with the interface on Cubase, you can use aspects of both to make your final product the best it can be.

Some of the advantages of using GarageBand over the other DAWs, however, could result in it making more sense to use just one. Features such as Flex Time, which allows you to edit notes that are out of time and even stretch them to make them longer, and Groove Matching, which tightens the rhythm of your tracks together so they are all in time with each other, really simplifies the editing process. On other DAWs, quantizing MIDI and fine-tuning audio files to be precise and in time can be a daunting task. Not to mention if you are a beginner, it could take quite some time to master those techniques. However, GarageBand really takes a lot of the math and tedious mouse-clicking out of the equation for newbie’s and seasoned pros, alike.

Pro Tools and other DAWs can borrow effects and VST plugins such as virtual instruments from other programs, which is good because you can expand your effects and sound library, but this is sometimes cumbersome and not so user-friendly if you are just starting out. GarageBand, on the other hand, offers plenty of high-end sounds already built-in and if you use Logic Pro, your library get’s even bigger. And even though you can use MIDI controllers to play the virtual instruments with the other DAWs, GarageBand offers something that the other DAWs can’t: You can use the touch screen on an iPad to play instruments and record on-the-go and then put it all together on your Mac later. In addition, you can have band practice using iPads over a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection with GarageBand.

Don’t rule out Pro Tools, FL Studio, Reason or other DAWs just yet, especially if you’re a PC user and don’t own a Mac. Using MIDI, a condenser mic and some live equipment is still a great way to record from home in or in a studio. And just like with GarageBand, you can use all virtual instruments, all live instruments, or a mixture of both. Once you’ve practice editing sound waves enough, it really doesn’t matter which program you use. It all comes down to comfort level and your ability as a musician.

Ultimately, if you are a beginner, GarageBand really does make it easy to learn recording and even how to play an instrument. There’s on-screen notation and even a feature called “How Did I Play?” which will actually critique you as you play along with a song. That, along with the iOS mobile platform version and iCloud sharing, makes GarageBand the total package. It even comes standard on all new Macs!

GarageBand By Apple For iPad
GarageBand By Apple For iPad
Steinberg Cubase on PC
Steinberg Cubase on PC

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