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Garage Band 2.0 for iOS

2/8/2014 8:14:12 PM
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A new look is pleasing to the eye, but it’s the changes you can’t see that are most attractive.

The latest version of GarageBand has received a mixed response from dedicated users of the app, and we can see why.

 

The latest version of GarageBand

Apple’s claim that anyone can pick up the app and make music may accurately describe the iOS version, but the Mac upgrade is a rather different beast. Some teething problems, as well as features that have been dropped, have angered veteran users.

First off, the app looks great, with the darker styling of Logic Pro X, and the fl atter, design of iOS 7. Unfortunately, the desktop version isn’t nearly as intuitive to use, in spite of its extra functionality.

During testing, we wanted to see if anything has changed when it comes to adding a soundtrack onto a movie.

We selected a video from our library and started to lay down a few Cuban beats, but at this point the app crashed, and did so repeatedly. This issue has been widely reported, and although others have reported the crash on varied commands, in our case it was Play.

A further search on the web revealed that the problem seems to be most common on 2007 iMacs, which is one of the machines we used during testing. We hope that Apple will address this issue as GarageBand has some handy new options.

One of these is the Drummer track. This feature first made an appearance in Logic Pro X and allows you to add a virtual session drummer to your track. You can customise how complex you want the drum track to be and the type of drums and cymbals used.

The free version of GarageBand has just one rock drummer. To access 14 more, you’ll need to pay an extra $5.49 for the in-app purchase.

The free version of GarageBand has just one rock drummer.

Also from Logic are Smart Controls. These instrument controls will be familiar to musicians. For example, when you choose a vintage B3 organ you’ll see the instrument’s drawbars and switches rather than generic sliders and text fields. Select an electric guitar and you find gain, tone, delay, boost and reverb knobs.

Guitar amps and stompboxes were included in the previous version of GarageBand. Bass players now get amps of their own, and the application’s tuner is also more accurate. One significant addition to GarageBand is that it will now save your compositions to iCloud, which can then be accessed from any iOS device. Unfortunately, while you can import songs started on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch to your Mac (as long as you’re using a later version than, 6.0.2) and continue to work on them there, that option isn’t available the other way round.Some dedicated GarageBand users are also disgruntled by the removal of some options. While you can record audio tracks that might be included in a podcast, the dedicated Podcast track, podcast vocal effects, and chapter and embedded links features used in enhanced podcasts are gone.

 

One significant addition to GarageBand is that it will now save your compositions to iCloud

Bottom line. The choice to upgrade from an older version of GarageBand is easy – especially considering it’s free. When you upgrade, the old version stays on your Mac and is renamed GarageBand 6.0.5. Should you be unhappy that you can’t create podcasts in the newest version, you can always use the older version.

Price: FREE; $5.49 (complete collection in-app purchase)

 
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