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Blog . Garage Band

Blog

Garage Band

04/24/12  |  Posted by Keri Svoboda  |  Posted in Digital Canvas - Apps & Accessories

  It's time to let loose, but this isn't footloose! Garage band is a digital sound studio with instruments available to you on the go so you can play anywhere.  For guitar players out there who have their own band and like feeling the guitar strings under their fingers, Garage Band also allows people to plug their instruments in for recording.  Although Garage Band has been used by professionals to demonstrate the iPad's versatility, it's not necessarily a real, working musical instrument.  As with any computer program, Garage Band has limitations, but also does things that a single musician would struggle to achieve on their own. One thing that Garage Band for the iPad does exceptionally well is give the user a wide variety of options to choose from in terms of instruments to play.  Instruments are broken down into broad categories; Keyboard, drums, Audio Recorder (for your voice), Sampler (to record odd sounds and play them on a piano), Smart Drums, Smart Strings, Smart Bass, Smart Keyboard, Smart Guitar, and Guitar Amp (where you plug in your guitar and play).  From there, the options are broken down further into sub-categories. Smart Drums Drums For example, Smart Drums gives the user the ability to make complex repetitive percussion beats while Drums is a virtual drum kit. Smart Bass is the broad category and it has multiple sub-category instruments such as the Upright Bass, Picked Bass, Muted Bass, and the Liverpool. But we're not even coming close to the possibilities, we're still discussing interface here!  Inside these subcategories holds a world of possibilities.  Let's take the Picked Guitar instrument from the Smart Bass section.  I could toil my way through learning a new instrument on a tool to create a new unique beat.  By messing with the timing and flipping between recording sessions to get the bending notes just right (do this by flipping the mode between Chords and Notes) I might just get a solid Bass part done in a week or two. But I don't have a lot of time and bass is generally not heard as well or deemed as important as parts that are higher pitched anyway.  Instead, I could simply adjust the Autoplay option to play a pre-recorded piece for me as I record it and use it later in my final composition.  Sound familiar?  Garage Band for Macs work in a similar way, except their sound bank is found in one large, mass folder called loops.  This, in my opinion, was the best way that the makers of Garage Band could have replaced their, originally confusing, interface for the Mac. Once you feel that you have created enough pieces of a whole song, you can combine them into a single musical masterpiece.  The way to do this is easy to find simply by selecting the button that looks like it's just a bunch of straight lines on the screen.  It's the button directly left of the play panel and directly right of the cartoon drawing of a guitar and some sort of cog. So let's briefly talk about the possibilities of this application.  Imagine a world where you didn't have to haul hundreds of pounds of equipment up to musically say something to an audience.  Instead, open up to your inner musician and make some music with the tools that you have. I have no complaints about Garage Band.  It has never crashed on me and it's an excellent way to create unique tracks for animations and installations.  I love this app and give it a 5 out of 5.  It's creative, intuitive, exciting to explore, helpful, and easy to understand.  Garage Band is the tool that you want if you're making digital music on the iPad.  Famous artists such as Rihanna, Nine Inch Nails,Limp Bizkut, and more musicians already use Garage Band to create their music. A personal favorite of mine, Fall Out Boy, has received special recognition for their Garage Band beats, even if they aren't a synthetic band. Learn from the masters and jump onto this bandwagon. Garage Band in iTunes - $4.99

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"The great picnic," the latest installation by CIA grad Mark Reigelman '06, is featured in @designboom!

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