The portable version of Apple’s GarageBand software allows you to play, record and mix music anywhere. Choose from its array of instruments and effects, plus add your own accompaniments, vocals and more. Numerous options and handy advice means it can appeal to everyone from casual dabblers to serious musicians. Add gorgeous graphics and you’ve an app that’s well worth the investment of your time and money.
GarageBand brings a recording studio – instruments included – to your iPad, so you can make and mix sweet music. Instruments on offer include keyboards (pianos, organs and synths), drums (kits and drum machines), guitars (various rock and acoustic), bass (guitars and double-bass), plus guitar amps, percussion and effects.
In a neat use of iPad functionality, the harder you pluck/play/hit an instrument, the louder it sounds. That’s just the start of how customisable this app is, providing everything up to and including Autoplay options for effortless backing. An enlightening help system is always at hand if you get stuck.
You can spend happy hours recreating your favourite tunes or crafting your own musical masterpieces, importing in vocals and other instruments. A world of GarageBand goodies has emerged: multiple microphone options exist, plus widgets such as the Apogee JAM input, which allows you to connect a guitar directly to your iPad.
Once you’ve mastered the musical instruments, you can record up to eight tracks to mix in the app’s studio; here you can easily add extra effects and merrily tinker with your tune. OK, there’s not the flexibility of some more sophisticated mixing software, but that’s because Apple has deliberately kept it simple.
When you’re finished composing, you can email your efforts on or export them to your iTunes library. If you’re an Apple Mac user, you can now hone your opus further in the full-fat version of GarageBand.
Play, record and mix music anywhere. Whether you’re after simple fun or a number one, GarageBand is on song.