GarageBand For The iPad Is Out & It’s $5. What Do You Think Of It?

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Apple today released GarageBand for the iPad, a multi-touch version of its popular entry-level DAW. In doing so, it’s popularizing the idea of a multi-touch DAW, and delivering a tool that’s also useful for podcasters and mobile music-making.

Features:

  • Musical instruments designed for Multi-Touch.
  • 70 synth presets
  • Arpeggiator
  • “Smart instrument” features
  • 8-track recording
  • Guitar amp simulator
  • Stomp box effects
  • Track sharing via email or iTunes
  • Tracks can be opened in GarageBand on the Mac

Now that it’s out, what do you think of it? What do you like? And What’s missing?

Here’s a gallery of screen shots for GarageBand for the iPad:

 


28 thoughts on “GarageBand For The iPad Is Out & It’s $5. What Do You Think Of It?

  1. very good app for the price. i wish you could select the chords you wanted in auto guitar as that would be fantastic

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  2. It is a big letdown after all that hype. Sorry, but it is a really toy. They copied from many existing apps, put everything together in one app and engaged expensive graphic designers. They forgot about make good sound quality. The look is more important than the sound. Also the 'smart' instruments make you 'stupid' If Apple thinks that is the future of music making on iPads: Good night Apple. What have you done to all the clever engineers you bought from Emagic? Is the only thing Apple is interested in to make 'smart' instruments for 'stupid' people?

    Steve is claiming to combine technology with humanities. GB is combining technology with stupidity.

    On the other hand it is good, since Apple is not making real competition to the true and good music apps.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10
  3. I'm interested on this, as I'm looking for cheap, but not too expendable synth for rehearsals, and now it seems, that instead of cheap synth I could get a TON of synths, sampler, organ model and even portable multitracker on the go in the form of iPad. With iPad 2's price I don't get decent all rounder synth, that offers me decent organ, synths and other keyboard stuff.

    But the iPads sound quality, midi stuff and latency is still mystery to me. Where you found any evidence on sound quality, as everything I have heard sounds AT LEAST good enough. Could you afford a link or are you just afraid of something strange…or did you buy an Android? (because copying from existing apps and using "expensive" graphic designers doesn't worry me as a customer) Or are you assuming, that such a slim device couldn't ever sound good?

    I say Good morning Apple.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  4. If you want something bad & cheap, get it.
    If you want something real on iPad, get iMS20, NanoStudio, NLog, Argon/Xenon, Morphwiz etc.

    The synths in GB are just samples without any decent controls except for a few simple ones. The master effects are less than basic.

    Well, there is some need for a site which compares sonic qualities from different synths, not just iPads, but also plug-ins, digital & analogue hardware. It could provide recordings and measurements as well as comparisons. But this is decent work and needs funding to do.

    You would care about spectral richness of ocs, characteristics of filters, steepness of ADSRs etc.

    But sure, for 95% of the iPad users, GB is enough and they will flood YouTube with their creations. And be prepared people never been cared to be musicians and never been cared about learning, but now claiming to be great artists, because now they can mix and match mainstream 'smart' instruments to produce mainstream music to feel well in their mainstream word. It is a big random generator, but not a source of uncertainty, it is a source of certainty, of monoculture, of getting everybody in line. It is too autistic for my taste. Look at Apple's GB marketing videos. Is it that world you like to be in? So feel home.

    A synth, regardless of classical hardware stuff or digital ones on what ever platform, a synth was always a way for expressing individuality. In that sense GB delivers fake music, fake synth in a fake world. And they even charge for that. Isn't that ironic?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4
  5. OMG, how can anyone expect anything more for $5?! What follows is a very good comment posted on NS forums:
    "Aren't we all forgetting something?
    GB is a $5 app and secondly, Apple, with their team of devs is more than capable of creating GB with all the bells and whistles that will rival and exceed the capabilities of all music apps on the market today, but at this price point it would definitely killed off and discouraged most of third party devs (including Bleep) and therefore killed off Apple store market – something Apple will never do – business is business after all ;)
    Anyway, GB is the only second app that I have managed to create anything useful in under 15 minutes – NS was the first one (and I've got them all)…
    BTW; did I mentioned that GB is fun to use..?"
    Music = Fun
    Fun = Creating music

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  6. My only complaint is not being able to edit individual notes on a pianoroll. Seems you can only use your recordings as you play it, until you import it to the Mac's GB.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  7. Not sure why some are griping about the sound quality. It's digital information, the virtual instruments are based on Logic's and they sound great if you run the output through some decent speakers instead of your earbuds.

    I was surprised, though, that the interface is so different than GarageBand on the Mac. GarageBand on the iPad puts the idea of being a playable virtual instrument ahead of the idea of having an 8-track linear sequencer. This seems a little confusing at first.

    I'd like to see a grid view for editing loops – but overall they seem to have made smart decisions about what to cut from the app. I'd also like to see support for bidirectional sharing with GarageBand for the Mac. They'd have to have a way to mixdown the Mac version to be able to run on the iPad, though.

    Performance on an iPad 1 is great – very fast.

    Overall, it's a great value for $5, but there is more of a learning curve than I expected, and it's not as flexible as the desktop version.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  8. The samples sound fantastic. The Hammond? As good as any plugin I've heard. Easily.

    The guitar samples? Excellent.

    Playability? Out of this world.

    Leet? Clearly doesn't even own an iPad and is giving good trolling a bad name.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  9. THATS IT THEN!!!

    I have been losing some hair, while looking for replacement for my current synth for our rehearsal room, but I cannot find anything worthwhile for 500€. iPad on other hand gives organ model, 10 synths that I cannot wait to tweak, sampler, multitrack recoder etc. Cant do that on 500€ synth.

    And books to read in bus.

    I have no problem buying expensive hardware synths for my home studio, and I don't like soft synths in general, but I'm dreaming of touchscreen tweaking of my hardware and being able to take lots of synths with me everywhere and even record stuff. Organ was last missing link in iPad, since the organ app didn't sound right to my ears. This Garage Bands organ does sound really good.

    This might be the ultimate sound module for budget players. In that price range in my country, the best I can find used almost two decades old Roland stuff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  10. http://soundcloud.com/ghmetcalfe/gb4ipad

    First Impressions:

    Pros: Decent sound quality (Rhodes is very nice, acoustic guitar, piano), nicely designed intuitive interface, velocity response actually works. Better than expected performance on my 1st gen iPad. Fun… a lot of fun. Haven't had a chance to hook up mic or guitar so can't vouch for audio input or the guitar amps. Bounce and email files works transparently.

    Cons: Cant do piano roll editing(!). Limited editing of synths (although the Hammond simulator is very nice) – Hard to get these synths where I want them to be sonically. Moving around interface can be a little odd at times – needs a little better workflow. Not integrated yet with GB/Logic on the Mac yet.

    Verdict: $5 – ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It's a steal! I think this will be a great sketchpad for singer/songwriter types (given the proper hardware for getting guitars/vocals in). For major synth heads…Nanostudio is still king.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  11. http://soundcloud.com/ghmetcalfe/gb4ipad

    First Impressions:

    Pros: Decent sound quality (Rhodes is very nice, acoustic guitar, piano), nicely designed intuitive interface, velocity response actually works. Better than expected performance on my 1st gen iPad. Fun… a lot of fun. Haven't had a chance to hook up mic or guitar so can't vouch for audio input or the guitar amps. Bounce and email files works transparently.

    Cons: Cant do piano roll editing(!). Limited editing of synths (although the Hammond simulator is very nice) – Hard to get these synths where I want them to be sonically. Moving around interface can be a little odd at times – needs a little better workflow. Not integrated yet with GB/Logic on the Mac yet.

    Verdict: $5 – ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It's a steal! I think this will be a great sketchpad for singer/songwriter types (given the proper hardware for getting guitars/vocals in). For major synth heads…Nanostudio is still king.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  12. http://soundcloud.com/ghmetcalfe/gb4ipad

    First Impressions:

    Pros: Decent sound quality (Rhodes is very nice, acoustic guitar, piano), nicely designed intuitive interface, velocity response actually works. Better than expected performance on my 1st gen iPad. Fun… a lot of fun. Haven't had a chance to hook up mic or guitar so can't vouch for audio input or the guitar amps. Bounce and email files works transparently.

    Cons: Cant do piano roll editing(!). Limited editing of synths (although the Hammond simulator is very nice) – Hard to get these synths where I want them to be sonically. Moving around interface can be a little odd at times – needs a little better workflow. Not integrated yet with GB/Logic on the Mac yet.

    Verdict: $5 – ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It's a steal! I think this will be a great sketchpad for singer/songwriter types (given the proper hardware for getting guitars/vocals in). For major synth heads…Nanostudio is still king.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  13. http://soundcloud.com/ghmetcalfe/gb4ipad

    First Impressions:

    Pros: Decent sound quality (Rhodes is very nice, acoustic guitar, piano), nicely designed intuitive interface, velocity response actually works. Better than expected performance on my 1st gen iPad. Fun… a lot of fun. Haven't had a chance to hook up mic or guitar so can't vouch for audio input or the guitar amps. Bounce and email files works transparently.

    Cons: Cant do piano roll editing(!). Limited editing of synths (although the Hammond simulator is very nice) – Hard to get these synths where I want them to be sonically. Moving around interface can be a little odd at times – needs a little better workflow. Not integrated yet with GB/Logic on the Mac yet.

    Verdict: $5 – ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It's a steal! I think this will be a great sketchpad for singer/songwriter types (given the proper hardware for getting guitars/vocals in). For major synth heads…Nanostudio is still king.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  14. http://soundcloud.com/ghmetcalfe/gb4ipad

    First Impressions:

    Pros: Decent sound quality (Rhodes is very nice, acoustic guitar, piano), nicely designed intuitive interface, velocity response actually works. Better than expected performance on my 1st gen iPad. Fun… a lot of fun. Haven't had a chance to hook up mic or guitar so can't vouch for audio input or the guitar amps. Bounce and email files works transparently.

    Cons: Cant do piano roll editing(!). Limited editing of synths (although the Hammond simulator is very nice) – Hard to get these synths where I want them to be sonically. Moving around interface can be a little odd at times – needs a little better workflow. Not integrated yet with GB/Logic on the Mac yet.

    Verdict: $5 – ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It's a steal! I think this will be a great sketchpad for singer/songwriter types (given the proper hardware for getting guitars/vocals in). For major synth heads…Nanostudio is still king.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  15. http://soundcloud.com/ghmetcalfe/gb4ipad

    First Impressions:

    Pros: Decent sound quality (Rhodes is very nice, acoustic guitar, piano), nicely designed intuitive interface, velocity response actually works. Better than expected performance on my 1st gen iPad. Fun… a lot of fun. Haven't had a chance to hook up mic or guitar so can't vouch for audio input or the guitar amps. Bounce and email files works transparently.

    Cons: Cant do piano roll editing(!). Limited editing of synths (although the Hammond simulator is very nice) – Hard to get these synths where I want them to be sonically. Moving around interface can be a little odd at times – needs a little better workflow. Not integrated yet with GB/Logic on the Mac yet.

    Verdict: $5 – ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It's a steal! I think this will be a great sketchpad for singer/songwriter types (given the proper hardware for getting guitars/vocals in). For major synth heads…Nanostudio is still king.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  16. LOL, if they were just samples you couldn't affect Frequency Modulation Depth available on some of the synth patches. From what I can tell, the only things that use samples are the obvious: piano, drums, guitar. synths are still synths. you are crazy.

    You have just exposed to the world you have no idea what you are talking about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  17. Ted, GB for iPad has a built in function to freeze the tracks. I made a small composition yesterday, with drums, electronic drums, rhodes, hammond, bass synth, guitar synth. I believe when adding the hammond it started to process the project every time I wanted to record a new part. It didn't say, but I'm guessing it made an audio file of the software instruments, so that everything would run smoother.

    I also had some problems getting it to read velocity properly when playing drums. Might just be my technique, I don't know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  18. Thanks for both responses – both helpful to my own "which iPad should I get for music" dilemma ;-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  19. You can. The chords are changed based on the Key you have chosen for the current song you are composing. Look at the menu in the upper right corner of the app. Same place you choose the "beats per second"

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  20. It is what it is – and what it is, for me, is a cool, fun, extremely inexpensive way to make decent sounding music on my iPad. To "Leet"- get real! It's a freaking tablet and a $5 app, not a studio full of hardware synths and a DAW! To me, making music has always been about having fun, not synth quality and pitch parameters and other sonic vodoo. And one doesn't have to have a degree in musicology to make a decent tune – Lennon and McCarthy didn't know how to read music when they started out. BTW, I have a first gen iPad, and the app works just fine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  21. For the money, what are you all complaining about. It is a great portable musical note machine when you get ideas on the go you do not want to forget, and has the cool-to-play-with factor. I think it is a great musical notepad at least.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  22. Leet is a 9 yr old tech philosopher. SHe downloaded a Native instruments package off a torrent and loaded them in her cracked logic 9.1.3 (uberleet up 2 date) and now she knows she'll never use a an iOS app for music creation since she's pretty sure that she thinks if maybe an expert were to look into it they would find that maybe …just maybe the headphone jack of an iPad couldn't be as high quality as the duet her dad bought her for christmas so she could rap about not buying apple products…(other than a 17" mbp running bootcamp and a cracked version of sequoia). Shut the f up . Buy an iPad .. Pay your $4.99 for GB mobile.. Get on a plane to somewhere without an Internet connection … And never post on this site again. Please, and thanks in advance .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  23. I have to agree with those who think that for the price point, GB is a winner. I am using GB on an iPhone5 w/ iOS 7 and I am pleased with the functionality and design – skeuomorphism at it’s near-pinnacle. I see no one here mention the fact that GB uses Inter-App Audio and – in particular – Audiobus, which allows one to incorporate audio from other apps into a GB project. Doesn’t THAT capability lift GB above some of the unfair and short-sighted comments above? Have you seen the ever-growing list of apps that are Audiobus-compatible? Surely this elevates GB to a much higher useability level than some of the folks give it credit for. The only complaint I have – and it’s with Audiobus, not GB – is the current lack of syncing RECORD starts and playback starts between two apps… but then, being able to trim audio tracks in GB kind of makes up for that shortcoming, doesn’t it?
    I am a musician (perhaps not as much of one as some of the other commenters here), but I have no business accumulating a mess of hardware and software capabilities somewhere in my house when I DO have use of a smartphone and SURPRISE! all the great music-making apps that are compatible with each other (with more to come, I’m sure) – right in the palm of my hand. It’s a no-brainer. For way less than the price of a hardware studio or even full-fledged software suite on my PC.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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