Latency question

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Charos, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. Charos macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2005
    I am trying to decide if Garage Band is for me.

    My previous experience with PCs and sequencing software is that I can create backing tracks in MIDI, then using a MIDI keyboard (my keyboard at the moment is a Yamaha PSR1100 but could easily be a "dumb" keyboard) I play along putting the melody in in real-time against the backing.

    As a dumb keyboard uses the virtual instruments there is a latency problem.

    Doesn't this problem still arise in Garage band, and if not, how do Apple get around this?

    Or is the only solution to use a keyboard synth and turn it's volume up and the track recording's volume down?

    It seems unusually difficult to get in-depth information from Apple on Garage Band.

    These "Apple loops" - are they individual instrument loops or packaged units which cannot be broken down into separate instruments and individualised? We have never heard them and this is all very new to us. (sorry I have digressed a little, but it is more or less related to the subject) :eek:
  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    I can't answer all you questions, but here's some answers for you...

    In GarageBand, loops are "prerecorded" music. There are also seperate midi instruments in Garage Band. If you look at the descriptions of the Jam Pack series, they talk about both additional loops and additional instruments.

    I am not aware of what delay you're talking about in playing "virtual instruments" but with what I have seen in GarageBand, there appers to be no delay from hitting a key to a sound coming out of the computers' speakers.

    Most of the Apple Stores seem to have at least one system set up with a midi keyboard. You can go in and try it out yourself. That is if you live close enough to one.
  3. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    There seems to be very little latency on the native GB instruments, mainly cos their all Logic synth or sample based systems and the platform is written to accomodate them, it's not so rosy with 3rd part plug-ins, but remember that GB isn't supposed to be as capable as Logic or Nuendo, it's a freebie (albeit a bloody powerful one).

    Apple can get around the issue because OSX, Logic (GB) and the plug-ins are all written to play nicely, they don't need to worry about the common coding of the VST wrapper etc.

    The loops are a mixture of individual instruments (loads of them) and backing tracks in various styles, but even the backing tracks are well chosen, being that percussion loops and melody stuff are still separate.

    Other loops and instruments are avaliable, and you can make your own loops by downloading the Soundtrack Loop Utility from the Apple developers section of the website.

    For a freebie, GB is a great little app, sure it's not perfect, but it's better than all other freeware music apps, and a lot better than some apps that cost hundreds.
  4. Charos thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2005
    Thank you all once again for helping a complete "Mac-novice-to-be".

    I take a lot of time to study all details of something before I lay down my limited bucks, and I really appreciate the trouble and patience that forum folks take in helping me come to a better informed decision. :)
  5. hikeNM macrumors 6502a

    Sep 29, 2004
    Somewhere close to a dairy in East Texas
    The only time I have problems with latency is if I unplug an instrument and plug in a new one. With an acoustic guitar, this seems to be around half a second. Closing and restarting Garageband with the instrument plugged in fixes the problem.

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