The latest version of this music software for Apple is a great creative tool
If you're a musician it's tempting to dismiss the iPad version of Garageband, but it's a surprisingly capable app that any iPad owning musician should consider owning.
Although Garageband can be used on its own, you'll almost certainly need to record a live performance at some point. To do so, it can be used with be various extra accessories including MIDI keyboards and USB microphones if you have the (inappropriately named) iPad Camera Connection Kit. Whether a device will work or not is likely to depend on how much power they require. The only snag is that the iPad cannot record with one device and then play back on another. So if the recording device doesn't have its own output you will have to unplug it to hear what you have recorded using the iPad's speaker.
Songs are made up of several manageable sections to make them easier to navigate. It is easy to add sections and they can be set to different lengths. There are several different instrument tools that are split between traditional recording tools and newer ‘smart' tools.
The onscreen keyboard and drum kits both work well and have a variety of sounds to choose from. The keyboard instrument has 48 different sounds ranging from pianos, electric piano and soul organs to lead and bass synthesisers and pad sounds. There is also an arpeggiator that plays a run of notes when holding down the keys. This is great for creating more complicated keyboard parts if you're not a confident player, or don't know how some of the scales are constructed.
There are three traditional drum kits and three drum machines. Drum tracks can be built up by repeating a section while recording. All instruments can be tweaked to sound how you want. Recordings from the keyboard and drum kits can be edited to correct minor mistakes or correct timing problems.
There are two tools for recording audio. The Audio recording option will use an attached audio device or the iPad's microphone. The Guitar recorder has nine different amp simulators covering all the major brands. They are not named, but the styling means it is obvious for seasoned musicians what they will sound like.
The Smart tools are great for filling out a track when you lack skills with particular instruments. There are smart tools for various instruments including guitar, bass and keyboard. They can either be used to play notes from certain chords so you don't have to pick them out yourself or there are various autoplay options. Songs can be made in 4/4, 3/4 and 6/8 time.
Finished songs be uploaded to Facebook, Youtube and Soundcloud or copied to a computer via email or iTunes. If you use the latter, tracks can be edited using the Mac version of Garageband. At £3, Garageband is very cheap and a great way to be creative and work on musical ideas.
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An excellent music creation program whether you are on the move or at home
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