Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Oh Crap... GarageBand for iPad...

It sorta sounds like this looks.
A week ago, I was really excited about this. Like really excited. Now I am so bummed out I can barely write this. GarageBand for iPad is out... and it sucks. Don't get me wrong, there are some really cool things going on here, but the lack of a piano roll or any way of editing programmed tracks pretty much renders it useless. This seems to be a very common complaint, but I am sorry, it must be said again. How apple could let this thing go without this very critical functionality I am not sure, but it takes a potential game changing app and makes it a toy.

Like this only worse.
The smart instruments are a great idea. The training wheels that they have built in to GB are really useful for songwriting. However, none of that matters because no matter what you do with these things, the recordings are set in stone and cannot be manipulated post recording. On the flipside, these smart instruments are going to introduce us to a whole generation of Owl City wannabees with synth guitars that sound like banjos.

You may as well just get one of
these and play the demo tracks.
Another major flaw is that for some reason everything sort of ends up sounding the same. Like a demo track on a Yamaha keyboard with built in speakers that was purchased at Service Merchandise in the 80s. Or the theme song to "My So Called Life". Or like a band of dudes that all work at Guitar Center. The inability to edit anything locks this horrible aftertaste in and doesn't allow its manipulation to remove the funk.

I wish I could like this thing. I really do, but I don't. It has nothing on Nanostudio or even iSequence or Xenon. I will just have to sit back and wait for FL Studio Mobile. Maybe that will surprise me in the other direction... Until then, here is the best this thing could hope to sound like.


Update: I decided to give GB another try. I have a remix to do for La Chansons and I thought I would give it the wonky flavor only GB could provide. I hadn't even tried to import audio into this pOS but naively assumed it would be possible. As most of you probably know, it isn't. Well, it is, if you want to spend an hour renaming files and tricking iTunes into letting you import aiff files, but I didn't want to. Strike 18 GB... I think you are totally out...


  1. I'm with you on this one. At $5 I don't regret the purchase but I had higher hopes than what it is. The instruments are pretty amazing but no editing and at this point, no way to get files imported easily make it a toy. I assume with a GB 11 upgrade some of that will improve but I think it may be a one-way trip up to the DAW rather than back and forth.

    I am much more an amateur but I love creating electronica and am trying to do that more an more on just the iPad itself. Loving NanoStudio, the Korg apps, Xenon and to some degree ReBirth despite its lack of support (and technobox2 despite its lack of panning).

    I enjoy the blog!


  2. I agree Mike. It's not a bad entry app and maybe it will get some creative kids interested in music. I was just hoping to finally have an all-in-one production app on the iPad and this is not it.

  3. GarageBand has a lot of inbuilt features like it has a great variety of instruments like synthesizer, drums, piano and harmonica
    garageband for pc