What actually can I do with Garageband?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ozimax, May 11, 2004.

  1. ozimax macrumors member

    ozimax

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    Nth Coast NSW
    #1
    I am a newcomer to Mac and GB in particular, only launched it for the 1st time yesterday. I am an amateur composer, pianist (35 years), accordionist, and songwriter here in Australia.

    I had ordered Finale for osX but cancelled after I read it was a dog. I have been using Notepad Plus for basic composing and also Cubasis VST, both for Win XP. I have numerous instruments but my current baby is a Korg SP200 coupled with nice big keyboard amp. I also have a Roland USB-midi cable which I hope will work with my G4 iBook (640mb ram)

    My question(s) as a newcomer is this:

    What can I actually do with GB? eg can I notate, print notation, export midi files, is there a GB showcase site on the web? Short of searching thru every post on macrumors, is there a beginners GB site to help me get started?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Max
     
  2. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #2
    garageband is a loop player, not a composing software. you can play software instruments via midi, but it all becomes audio as you record it.

    if you want a good notation software, take a look at www.sibelius.com
     
  3. ozimax thread starter macrumors member

    ozimax

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    Mar 21, 2004
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    #3
    Thanks

    Thanks, have you used Sibelius eg would you recomend it for osX? Max
     
  4. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    #4
    i have a registered copy of sibelius (v2.1) and i can tell you it is very simple yet full-featured app and runs very nicely on osx. it has even brought a piece of aqua interface from osx to windows world :)

    yep, sibelius is a finale-killer on osx - download a demo and try it out.
     
  5. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Alameda, CA
    #5
    It sounds like you've never actually used Garageband.

    Garageband is not just a loop player. Midi does not 'become audio' as you record it.

    That being said, Garageband does not do notation and does not import or export midi (yet).

    To the original poster, a pretty complete list of Garageband features can be found at:
    http://www.apple.com/ilife/garageband/

    You might also try a Garageband-specific site like Macjams.com.
     
  6. Snarf! macrumors member

    Snarf!

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    BG, Norway
    #6
    Here`s a tip

    Get Logic 6. It does everything. loops/auido/midi/notation/insert task here..
    http://www.apple.com/logic/

    I don`t know how i managed without it.
     
  7. powermac99 macrumors member

    powermac99

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    #7
    Check out iCompositions. We've got more than 2000 GarageBand songs uploaded and every user gets 150MB of free space to upload their compositions. Once you've uploaded your compositions, other users can leave comments and rate the song for each of four criteria (specific, not just overall).

    Take a look :D
     
  8. ChrisH3677 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 6, 2003
    Location:
    Victoria, Australia
    #8
    Pm, you did yourself a dis-service... iComp is also one of the best GB sites for GB tutorials.
     
  9. ozimax thread starter macrumors member

    ozimax

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    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    Nth Coast NSW
    #9
    Logic 6

    Seems like this is the software I need, but I'm not related to Billy Gates so don't have a spare $3000 AUD to buy it with. Solutions anyone??

    Max
     
  10. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    Jul 11, 2003
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    #10
    you got me - i have only "tried" it and made two test songs. it felt so good when i decided that the testing is done and it's time to get back to ableton live. for me it was just a nice toy, but the comparison goes to ableton live and that's hard app to beat.

    and you're right - for most people it's far more than a toy. but when we're talking about notation software, in that regard, it's "just a loop player".
     
  11. saxman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    #11
    Finale

    Makemusic has had considerable problems migrating Finale to OSX. However, they have finally (no pun intended) turned the corner. If you're serious about composition (notation only, Finale is not a sequencer, mixer, loop player...), then get Finale. Sibelius is a good program for "typical" music notation. But Finale can do anything you want with notation (ie. George Crumb scores). It has a steeper learning curve, but is by far the most powerful notation program.

    If you're doing lead sheets or traditional music notation, almost any notation program will work... no need to spend lots of cash if you're not going to use the high end features. If you want a music app that can do all things, it will compromise on one or several things.
     
  12. powermac99 macrumors member

    powermac99

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    Jul 28, 2003
    #12
    Haha, thanks Chris. When am I going to hear some of your songs over there? ;)
     
  13. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

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    #13
    Well, if we're talking about notation software, in that regard, Ableton Live is "just a loop player" too.
     
  14. ozimax thread starter macrumors member

    ozimax

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    Nth Coast NSW
    #14
    Songworks II

    Does anyone have any experience with Songworks II?

    http://www.ars-nova.com/songworks.html

    BTW, I have actually mucked around with GB - it's amazingly easy to combine loops, editing as you go - quite amazing stuff. Max
     
  15. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    #15
    yep.

    i think i had made myself clear in my previous posts - i use sibelius for notation, and prefer ableton live over garageband. for me, garageband is just a nice toy. decent, apple-quality soundtrack lite, but just a toy.

    if they implement rewire in it, i'd take it into more serious use.
     
  16. legion macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    #16
    I second sibelius as probably what you are looking for (more than Logic.) Any old-school pianist will find it much more comfortable and offer what you'd be looking for. Logic doesn't have the breadth of notation capabiliites of sibelius. If you are looking to mix or record sound, then Logic would be more useful, but your stats seem to indicate real piano playing and traditional composing and orchestrating.
     
  17. ChrisH3677 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Location:
    Victoria, Australia
    #17
    maybe when i do some new stuff... how much do you pay to have the most played GB artist on the 'net on iComp? :D :D :D ;)
     
  18. powermac99 macrumors member

    powermac99

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    Jul 28, 2003
    #18
    An account upgrade or an iCompositions Creations Disc? :p ;) :)
     
  19. James L macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 14, 2004
    #19
    Garageband is a multitrack, single channel input, 64 track recording studio.

    I have recorded vocals, bass through a D.I., several guitar amps (both mic'd and from a line out), keyboards, a sax, etc with it.

    It has built in midi software instruments, so if you have a midi keyboard you can lay out your track, then have it be a piano, keyboard, 12 string guitar, etc.

    It has built in amp emulation, which actually isn't 1/2 band (not quite Line 6 quality, but good). As long as you have a preamped guitar signal you can use the built in amp, digital effects, etc to record great guitar tones. Hell, I have even gotten decent tones out of GB with a guitar plugged straight into the powerbook with NO preamp, just a lot of noise gate!

    You have control over track by track EQ and volume.

    Furthermore, it has thousands of loops. So, construct a drum line with loops, lay down bass and guitar manually if you so desire, plug in some horn stabs with loops, record your vocals manually. EQ it all, adjust the volume, fade, etc. Then simply export it out to iTunes as an AIFF.

    The limitations of GB are that it is a single input (at a time) system, so you can't record 3 things in at once. The other one would be no notation system.

    "JUST a LOOP PLAYER".

    Garageband is sooo much more than a loop player. I spend maybe 10% of my garageband time with loops. The other 90% is spent recording live instruments and mixing.

    Cheers!

    James
     
  20. grneyedjay macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    #20
    You can drag it to the Trash....I'll be honest, I've thought about it.

    Hook it up to a synth keyboard, and you'll see how much time you spend in that wonderful piece of software! [Then the Apple Store Rep slowly lowers his Nintendo Zapper and places it back in its holster.]
     
  21. James L macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #21
    I just noticed the title of your post: "What actually can I do with Garageband?"

    I guess it is like any artist, non artist, and the tools provided. Some people can paint the Mona Lisa, some can't draw a stick figure.

    I have heard some amazing recordings using real instruments, mic'd instruments, midi instruments, loops, etc. In the right hands it is amazing for the price (free!).

    Cheers,

    James
     
  22. Amani macrumors member

    Amani

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    #22
    I just started working with GB today. I'm using tutorial book. But I have to be honest and say I have NO musical creation background. Wish I did. So is it possible to compose good songs on GB if you don't know how to play an instrument?

    Learning GB has made me more interested learning how to play a real instrument. I've always wanted to learn how to play the piano. With GB, I now just might make learning to play the piano a goal in my life.
     
  23. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #23
    let me explain... that 90% of the time you are using for recording and mixing in garageband, i prefer to spend using protools, which isn't limited to single input and has pro plugins for processing the sound. so in that perspective, about that 10% of the time, it's just a loop player.

    garageband would be however VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY good software instrument if apple implemented proper rewire into it. currently you can route other rewire apps into garageband, but cannot get garageband into other rewire apps. if i could, i'd very much like to sometimes record that bösendorfer piano into protools. but i can't. i have to set up two systems having pro audio interfaces routing garageband into one's digital output while recording it into protools via another system's digital input. that's too much of a hassle and i have to be really desperate to putting in such an effort.

    to summarize: for average joe garageband might be a killer. for a pro, it isn't. if one could rewire gb into protools, it would be instantly a pro app.
     
  24. fingers macrumors regular

    fingers

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #24
    I know that quite a few pro's that are using GB for what it excels - songwriting. GarageBand is no Pro Tools or Logic killer but it allows anyone from absolute beginner to seasoned audio pro's the ability to be creative. I love Pro Tools LE - but it is so refreshing to work in GarageBand. I work on a PowerBook and it's fantastic to work on my sofa, with just a pair of headphones. Ok i can't record to a pro standard - but for arranging and editing it's perfect. When I want to record audio - I can just plug in my mbox.

    I think Reason and GarageBand in ReWire mode is a fantastic combo too (as is PT LE and Reason). Apple have really done an amazing job with GB - sure it is not gonna replace Logic or Pro Tools for pro studio work - but it's GUI is superb and very intuitive.

    It is a great tool for any Pro audio mac user to utilize. Sure it has no built in traditional notation, midi export etc etc - but it is a very useful and creative tool. It doesn't replace my PT LE or Reason but augments them very well.

    Hey - Why not just export that Grand Piano as audio from GB and import it into Pro Tools? ;)

    Rich
     
  25. fingers macrumors regular

    fingers

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #25
    Yeah why not! GarageBand is one beauty of an instrument! There is only one pure musical instrument - the voice! So in my world - guitars, pianos, dustbin lids and everything else that can make a sound (including GarageBand) is a musical instrument. The hard part is coming up with something fresh and original....

    You can use the built in appleloops, and the built in keyboard to record software instrument parts and of course use your mic to record what ever you like! I expect your tutorial book to walk you through all this - (if not one book i like is Mary Plummer's GarageBand book.)

    Good Luck and have fun!

    Rich
     

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