Compose taiko on Mac - how?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by ongchinkai, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. ongchinkai macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2011
    Hi everyone, I want to try out taiko drum composition on my MacBook Pro. However, I have some questions...well, many questions, actually.

    1. This might be a stupid question, but does GarageBand allow me to compose music "from scratch"?

    2. What's the difference between GarageBand and Logic Pro?

    3. Do I need a keyboard or whatever in order to start composing on Mac?

    4. Currently I only have GarageBand (which comes bundled within iLife). I did a search on Google and apparently GarageBand Jam Pack 4 comes with percussion which includes taiko drums. I haven't been able to find any reviews or videos on this, so could anyone tell me how good it is?

    (Many things to consider before I decide to commit to getting Jam Pack 4/Logic Pro or whatever...)
  2. ChrisA, Apr 20, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Kind of like asking "Does a piano allow you to compose music from scratch?" You can play anything you like in GB and record the notes and later look at them on a staff.

    Apple has three products, GB, Logic Express, and Logic Pro.
    All three use the same engiine but Logic exposes a much more complex user interface and also comes with many more software instruments.

    Stay with garage band until you have some specific reason to upgrade to Logic. Logic will directly import your GB projects so you don't loose any work.

    You can used what Apple calls "musical typing" to play music on the computer "qwerty" keyboard. The asdf row acts like the white keys and the qwerty row like black keys. It is clumsy and slow but some people get good at it. Buy a "real" music keyboard and it will be much better. I think also you can mouse click on a picture of a music keyboard but that is just awful.

    But you want to play drums. Why not get a MIDI Drum controller and play on a simulated rubber drum head. I know you can play drums on a keyboard but I'd bet it feels un-natural if you are a drummer

    Most of the instruments on jam pack are just "ok". Good enough for your own composing but not good enogh for profesional recording. But there are third party speccialized software instruments that work. Jam Packs are the best bang per buck because you get so many on the disc. but always there is something better.

    This is one example of a 3rd party "plug-in" I think there are a few others.

    Put use the jam pack first
    EDIT: The link about says you need "Kontakt" (full version) to use it. That is getting expensive but if you need that quality then you need it.
  3. ongchinkai thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2011
    @ChrisA Thanks for the reply. It was very informative! Actually there's a lot of things I need to know because I'm actually migrating to Mac from PC and there are some things which I'm not clear.

    Am I right to say that the Jam Packs "extend" the range of instruments that I have at my disposal?
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Yes. Each "jam pack" has dozens or hundreds of instruments and many, many "loops". Loops are performance fragments a few bars long.

    These are cost effective but don't compete with the quality of a good specialized single instrument from a third party. Start with one of these

    Another way to get a large number of instruments is to buy NI's "Kontakt" or even to download the free version. But Kontakt adds yet another layer of user interface and has a learning curve. Apple's jam packs are transparent as all they do is make some of the menu selections in GB or Logic longer.

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