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Garage Band on Mac?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Robert TPB, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. Robert TPB

    Robert TPB ThePerfectBass.com

    Dec 13, 2005
    Baton Rouge, LA
    My singer just bought a Mac with the Garage Band program.

    I've never worked with this program but if there is anyone with expereience using it I would appreciate your opinion.

  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    It's a great program. The default sounds are kind of limited, but with the expansion kits, it really offers a lot of quality production tools. I've been using it pretty much exclusively for the past year. Yes, there are some more advanced things it cannot do, but as far as making tracks, it's great, very powerful.
  3. Robert TPB

    Robert TPB ThePerfectBass.com

    Dec 13, 2005
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Thanks for the feedback.
  4. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I think it's a fun program, and you can do a lot with it right out of the box. My major beef is that the MIDI piano roll editor is a pain in the butt to work with. I'm sure that given time someone can fly with it, but after using Cubase I'll take that setup over GB's any day.
  5. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Garageband is great. You can't do lots of live multi-tracking, but it's perfect for small demo stuff.

    One of the coolest bass things I've heard done on GB is this tune my Memphis bassist Neil Bowen. Terrific stuff:

  6. Robert TPB

    Robert TPB ThePerfectBass.com

    Dec 13, 2005
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Thanks for the replies!

    My experience with DAWs has only really been in Cubase SX and Nuendo. Cubase makes me feel like an idiot. I'm really hoping that Garage Band is more user friendly.

    My singer emailed me and said that he has had success getting some tracks down and felt that this will be a good direction to go in.
  7. squarewave

    squarewave Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Iowa City, Iowa USA
    I have been looking for an easy way to get into recording. It looks like Garageband is a good choice. Can anyone tell me how easy it is to create simple drum parts. Do the expansion packs contain a lot of loops, in different playing styles, that can be easily strung together? Funk? Rock?


  8. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    If you want to use drum loops, there are thousands, in a variety of styles, that blend seamlessly together. If you want to program your own, you can do it with a keyboard, which is easy, or with the step-based midi editor which, tricky and kinda lame.

    The expansion kits have thousands more loops and more drum samples to play with. Also, there is a simple drum machine program for $50 called iDrum that works in garageband and adds a more conventional way for sequencing drums, as well as thousands more sounds.
  9. Robert TPB

    Robert TPB ThePerfectBass.com

    Dec 13, 2005
    Baton Rouge, LA
    I have a VST plugin for Cubase SX called Groove Agent. I love the way it sounds but to edit the pattern in the MIDI Mapper is like herding cats.
  10. Ugh... I hate to do this... but I agree with Robot...

    It's all I've been using for the past year as well.
  11. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti

    Jun 7, 2005
    For a free program, it's amazing. It isn't something that I use very often, if ever. That being said, I have Soundtrack Pro and Logic, so why would I use garage band? It's fun to use when you are first starting out though.
  12. Garageband is not a 'free' program. It's part of iLife which costs around $79. Sure, iLife is included with every new mac. But when new versions come out, you have to buy them.
  13. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    GB is great. i use it as a scratch pad for getting ideas down quickly and painlessly.

    the learning curve is about 5 minutes long...seriously.
  14. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    No, you don't. Just stick with the version you have. That's like saying Photoshop costs 1000$, because you have to buy a new version every time one comes out.
  15. I like garageband but my exsperience with it was that it was more a fun program than a professional program. Well that was a while ago. I have to check it out again.
  16. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    GB2 has the ability to record up to 8 simultaneous tracks, so that is not a bad place to start. The way it handles plugind is kinda odd, but it works, and it does allow drawing automation right in the track. Pretty sweet at that price. And yeah, the loops make it a very fast platform for prototyping or even doing finished work.

    The upgrade thing is subjective. Mine came with GB1 and I paid for the upgrade to GB2. But I don't think that the GB3 upgrade is worth it for me because I have other programs. So yes, you could stay pat if the version that came bundled on you machine is OK for your needs, But Apple doesn't offer a break on the upgrade price so you shell out shelf price for every upgrade... making Logic Express look more affordable all the time :eyebrow:
  17. andrewd


    Sep 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    if you like garage band, check out logic express, or even logic pro. think the power of protools + the ease of garage band.

    unfortunately, these programs are very expensive unless you can get the student discount. garageband is actually the same program as logic pro, but with only the most basic and essential features available. garageband projects will open in logic, but not the other way around.
  18. Robert TPB

    Robert TPB ThePerfectBass.com

    Dec 13, 2005
    Baton Rouge, LA
    We did some test tracking using 6 simultaneous inputs and it came out well. Still dealing with the learning curve but so far so good.
  19. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    I have logic pro and find it extremely annoying to use--counter-intuitive and needlessly cumbersome. I'm sure it'd great opnce your figure it out, but the learning curve is steep. Garageband,IMHO, is a marvelous piece of intellectual work that makes recording about as easy as can be
  20. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    Logic definitely takes some getting use to.

    Robert, i'd be interested in hearing how a full recording in GB turns out.