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I have a love/hate relationship with iOS apps developed by Apple. Some of them just plain stink (although I think Maps has been wrongly smeared by the blogosphere ). Some of them are amazing. GarageBand is by far, the most amazing mobile app I have experienced on any platform. It is peerless and can produce professional results. It is truly a “desert island” app. If I had to choose one and only one app to use, while stranded on a desert island, it would be GarageBand.
The beauty of GarageBand is that it allows non-musicians to create competent music using the touch surface of an iOS device. It enables talented musicians to produce even better results. The virtual instruments, in particular, set GarageBand apart from the pack. Sure, there are other apps that work as sequencers or multitrack recorders. There are other apps that have virtual instruments. They don’t work as well or sound as good as GarageBand. I own other music creation apps, but I won’t name them. They’re good apps. I don’t want to defame them and hurt their developers’ bottom line. That said, I don’t know why anyone would bother developing a music creation app. For $5 GarageBand beats everything in terms of price and functionality.
GarageBand has its limits. There are only 8 stereo tracks. These capabilities are far beyond what I had when I was making music in the late 80s and early 90s. If you were lucky, you could afford an ADAT, which was an 8-track digital recorder. Most of us were stuck with 4-track cassette based systems. Some of us even used dual-cassette decks and overdubbed tracks. If you listen to most modern pop music, 8 stereo tracks is more than enough to produce professional results.