Garage band a good program to use?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by AustinH17, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. AustinH17 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    #1
    I'm getting a new mac and I'm getting into music and editing and creating songs just for fun and I was wondering if Garageband would be good to create,edit,and sing over different beats and melodies. I was also wondering if you could add on different instramentals from the mac app store.

    If Garageband wont do this, then what would be a good program to use that will be able to do those things? I'm not looking to spend to much but with garageband I could add different things onto it.
     
  2. spoon man macrumors 6502a

    spoon man

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #2
    Hey Austin

    I use Garageband often to record Ideas and Guitar parts etc, what kind of music are you using it for ?
     
  3. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #3
    I'm a hobbyist electronic musician, and I use GarageBand as a music "sketch pad", of sorts. The built-in software instruments are good enough for laying down basic musical ideas, and can be altered using synthesizer-style parameters (ADSR/envelope, filter cutoff/resonance, basic effects). Some basic drum loops are included.

    Audio recording is a snap to use for basic vocals or acoustic instrument tracks. Effects such as reverb, tempo-synced delays and distortion/overdrive are available, as well as Autotune-style simple pitch correction. (Don't expect any outlandish Kanye/T-Pain/Ke$ha effects; the pitch correction is rather subtle.)

    GarageBand projects will open up in Logic Pro, which gives you an upgrade path. That seems to be the only sound program GarageBand plays nice with; GB cannot save MIDI files, and does not MIDI sync to external sequencers, software nor hardware.

    Two major drawbacks keep me from using this as my main music production studio, though. One is the severe MIDI limitations. Only one track at a time can receive MIDI input, and GarageBand does not send MIDI Out at all, so if you have an external synth or sound module, forget about using it as a sound source; you're stuck with GarageBand's internal sounds. The other is lack of ability to add more sounds beyond the Jam Packs, which unfortunately were taken off the market more than a year ago and can be hard to find. There's an esoteric method of adding "drum" sounds by altering a Sound Effect instrument, but it's limited in usefulness.

    When I've got an idea in my head and don't want to switch over to Windows via Boot Camp to fire up my Cakewalk Sonar, I'll pull up GarageBand and noodle around with a few tracks. Once I get the basic chord and melody progression, I then flip over to Cakewalk for more in-depth production and sound design.
     
  4. AustinH17 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    #4
    Just for like hip hop, beats and such. Just wanting to foll around on it. These kids on you tube post themselves doing freestyles and they suck so I'm going to have to step up.
     
  5. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #5
    GarageBand's structure works for hip hop, but the beats that are included are a bit dated, and the included drum machine sounds are not exactly inspiring either. You're going to have to find your own loops elsewhere. However, once your backing tracks are in, GB can indeed do the trick for freestyle demos.

    Make sure you use EQ on your vocals to remove unwanted bass; you don't want anything muddying up your beats. Doing this can help your vocals mix well, rather than "sit on top" of the instrumental and sound like karaoke.
     
  6. AustinH17 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    #6
    What do you mean by EQ on the vocals?
     
  7. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #7
    EQualisation.

    Run your vocals through a graphic equaliser (there's one built in that you can drop into the signal path).

    It's a fancy tone control that lets you adjust the frequency response of a channel. In this case, you'd turn down the bass on your voice so that it sits better in the mix.
     
  8. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #8
    As posted here, it's a good "Sketch pad" for song ideas. It probably does cope better with electronic beat music too. I would say that if you are just starting out it will meet your needs for now.

    You might want to consider Logic or a third party software package down the line as your skills develop.
     

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