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GarageBand Rules

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GarageBand track view

Editing the song is very easy. You can cut, paste, and trim selections. You can move parts around. If you have a repetitive part, like a drum beat or guitar riff, you can easily copy and paste it or just use the convenient loop feature. It has a pretty decent mixer, allowing you to adjust volumes, pan, and apply effects. There are even master effects. It’s difficult to explain how slick this user interface is. It is so intuitive and life-like, you really have to use it to appreciate it. If you tap on one of the virtual instrument tracks, you can get into the powerful note editor. GarageBand is surprisingly flexible.

GarageBand note editor

GarageBand is an exceptional value. It costs less than $5. With that purchase price, you are entitled to free upgrades as well as the iPhone version. I was nothing but delighted to upgrade GarageBand and experience the virtual string section. Jam Session was also added when iOS 5 was released. Jam Session allows 4 GarageBand users to have a virtual jam session and record it. There is nothing else like it in the tablet computing world. For $4.99, you’d be an idiot not to buy it.

The newest version of GarageBand, just released last month, provides a new multi-tasking twist. You can start recording in GarageBand, and open another app to provide the audio source for recording. This opens up GarageBand to a whole new world of virtual instruments, beyond what GarageBand offers. Unfortunately, it also enables dishonest people to pirate music. (Please don’t do that!)

I think tools like GarageBand for iOS are the (dystopic) future of music. Let’s face it, today’s music is mainly about image and not substance. If you want to be a musician, don’t waste your time learning music. Spend that effort on dance lessons, hair, tattoos and piercings. Maybe bling-out your Honda Civic too. For most of my life, I have been confounded, even flummoxed, as to why talented musicians remain penniless and hipster hacks live in mansions. The reason is simple. Most people don’t know enough about music to recognize talent. Video killed the radio star. Image is far more important than substance. If you can master GarageBand and have the right image, you can go further in the music industry than a Berklee graduate.

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