Photo: Courtesy of Apple
GarageBand's Latest Update Opens New Doors For Mobile Music-Making
In the early days of mobile music-making, Apple's GarageBand mobile app immediately set itself apart from the competition by offering an excellent distillation of the complete feature set of its desktop counterpart, which itself is the younger sibling of Apple's flagship digital audio workstation, Logic Pro.
Apple's latest update to the mobile app takes into account the growing acceptance of GarageBand and other leading music-making apps by the industry as legitimate production tools — case in point: producer Steve Lacey (of The Internet) produced "PRIDE.," from Kendrick Lamar's chart-topping album, DAMN., using the app on his iPhone.
GarageBand 2.3's newly-expanded feature set addresses two shortcomings: the relatively small selection of stock sounds and instrument kits, and lack of a traditional drum sequencer like one might find in Ableton Live or FL Studio.
As of this newest update, users can now access Apple's new Sound Library, which includes a host of free downloadable instruments and sound packs to expand the apps sonic palette. As in the past, third-party plugins will continue to be standalone offerings separately available from the App Store, but the new Sound Library rekindles hopes that we may someday see a similar "Plugin Library" or similar expansion allowing even wider opportunities to find new sounds.
Along with the Sound Library, Apple has also added the Beat Sequencer, a solution for drum programming that offers more precise control that finger tapping the 4x4 drum pad grid without the tedium of typing MIDI notes into a piano roll one at a time.
Lastly, a less-trumpeted feature addition brought in with the new update is that the app now fully supports 24-bit audio, meaning producers and hobbyists alike can rest assured that any beats they develop in GarageBand mobile will be exported at a standard high enough standard of audio quality to stand alongside professional recordings made using the apps desktop cousin and big brother DAWs.