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Finally Got to Check Out GarageBand in Detail


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...so now I have an opinion! Basically, I think the name says it all -- a more descriptive moniker would be hard to find. The program IS the equivalent of a garage band: Not quite pro-level, but capable of producing music that ranges from putrid to "hey, that's cool"! It will never replace sophisticated host programs, but it's fast and fun.

 

I saw some reviews in Mac magazines, and as expected GarageBand got raves. But it seems a lot of Mac computer (as opposed to Mac music) people are unaware that this type of thing has been in existence on Windows for years, and that on the Mac, Live has done the whole easy looping thing for a long time as well.

 

Another interesting thing about GarageBand is that the "look" seems thematically consistent with Logic. It's not the *same* look, but a compatible one.

 

I think the way that Apple is targeting everything from budding consumer fan with an iPod to pro musicians is really pretty cool and may have some very far-reaching effects. To make the hardware, the OS, and the software needed to blanket a complete market is pretty ambitious.

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Of note is an Apple tech article that suggests the GUI is using a fair amount of the CPU cycles (over 40%) to the extent that some mixes could only proceed with the main window minimized. See the Apple technical library for more.

 

It is funny how the hype, packaging and marketing make it seem like this technology for this market (remember Acid PH and Acid Style) was just invented (refering to press coverage as Craig noted). Certainly the price (free with new Mac's!) will be a "ripple" to watch in the industry. Mr. Jobs has once again concentrated on selling "lifestyle", not technology.

Chris R. Gibson

aka Loopy C

Micworks

Ken Tamplin Mastering

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This technology was just invented!

 

There has not been an app with the same UI and features as GarageBand. People who are comparing GB to Acid aren't looking closely enough IMO. GarageBand has taken this type of app to a whole new level, with the only caveat being that it is intentionally 'crippled' so as not to cannibalize the 'pro' market.

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I think the way that Apple is targeting everything from budding consumer fan with an iPod to pro musicians is really pretty cool and may have some very far-reaching effects. To make the hardware, the OS, and the software needed to blanket a complete market is pretty ambitious.

 

You left off "Distribution", which I think was one of Apple's better moves in the past few years.

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Originally posted by Anderton:

But it seems a lot of Mac computer (as opposed to Mac music) people are unaware that this type of thing has been in existence on Windows for years, and that on the Mac, Live has done the whole easy looping thing for a long time as well.

Last time I checked, neither Acid nor Live were shipping free with every PC system.

 

Just sayin'.

 

Paul

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Originally posted by Loopy C:

Of note is an Apple tech article that suggests the GUI is using a fair amount of the CPU cycles (over 40%) to the extent that some mixes could only proceed with the main window minimized. See the Apple technical library for more.

This, IMO, is GB's weak spot...it's an incredible resource hog. 4 tracks, 8 bars each, brings my G4/800 to a standstill.

 

Perhaps if they just got rid of those stupid woodpaneled "end caps" they'd save 1/2 of those CPU cycles. :rolleyes:

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Originally posted by Alndln FX-51:

Originally posted by SaloSicle:

This technology was just invented!

 

There has not been an app with the same UI and features as GarageBand.

Sonar and the lesser expensive Cakewalk Homestudio,for years now.
Not really. If you decide you don't like the amount of reverb on a pre-recorded loop in Acid, what are you gonna do?
"That's what the internet is for. Slandering others anonymously." - Banky Edwards.
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Does anyone know how the guitar amps are set up in GB?

 

Audio units or built in? I'd love to use them to record into Nuendo but I can't find a way to do this.

"That's what the internet is for. Slandering others anonymously." - Banky Edwards.
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Originally posted by gmstudio99:

Originally posted by Loopy C:

Of note is an Apple tech article that suggests the GUI is using a fair amount of the CPU cycles (over 40%) to the extent that some mixes could only proceed with the main window minimized. See the Apple technical library for more.

This, IMO, is GB's weak spot...it's an incredible resource hog. 4 tracks, 8 bars each, brings my G4/800 to a standstill.

 

Perhaps if they just got rid of those stupid woodpaneled "end caps" they'd save 1/2 of those CPU cycles. :rolleyes:

I know I may just be a cat, but it seems to me that these were the same complaints against Apple's graphic interface when it first came out. What a waste of cycles to throw them at user experience! MS was manly enough to avoid pretty screens and girly mice for a while, until it too went to pot with a GUI (called Windows or something). I understand that while Windows is a similarly pointless resource hog, it has achieved a modicum of success in the marketplace. Still, nothing to challenge the majority of users in terminal emulation.
Dooby Dooby Doo
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Originally posted by gmstudio99:

Originally posted by Anderton:

But it seems a lot of Mac computer (as opposed to Mac music) people are unaware that this type of thing has been in existence on Windows for years, and that on the Mac, Live has done the whole easy looping thing for a long time as well.

Last time I checked, neither Acid nor Live were shipping free with every PC system.

 

Just sayin'.

 

Paul

This is an important aspect of Job's strategy. You don't buy a computer, you buy a "lifestyle". But what will all the audio app developers do now that Apple is their competitor? Better hope that Apple gets it right in the pro arena as I think we will see willing developers go elsewhere (remember Adobe Premiere? now PC only as far as development).

Chris R. Gibson

aka Loopy C

Micworks

Ken Tamplin Mastering

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I really think a lot of people are missing what makes GB so special. I guess nobody really bothered to read the link I posted above? (Alndln obviously didn't ;) )

 

One of the interesting things about GB is that it lets you use MIDI as well as Audio loops, almost interchangeably (they are color coded to distinguish them). The MIDI loops include the softsynth patches and settings, as well as effects settings. You can drag a MIDI loop to the timeline and it will create a track with the softsynth settings and effects combinations to make that sound, which you can then edit the MIDI of, or delete the MIDI altogether and record your own part, or change settings etc. You can even drag another loop there and it will use that loop's data with the previous loops settings.

 

Very cool and powerful stuff! And it's great how the UI presents these potentially very confusing elements in a consistent and easy to use way. Although I suspect some people who are used to 'pro' apps are missing some of the deeper features due to there not being a correspondingly 'deep' (complicated) user interface for them.

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Certainly a good point. I imagine Emagic's ESX24 engine is hiding somewhere deep inside, this combination of soft sampler, loops and plug-in chains is certainly unique in its *presentation* of existing technology.

 

The Roland D50's success was it's combo of synth, sampler (sampled attack transients) and effects within a single patch, very impressive on a music store showroom floor and inspiring in its "all in one" approach as opposed to using outboard discreet fx. All of this was known to the gurus of synth sound programming but the one button access and storage of elements was innovative at the time.

 

To be clear, I think Garageband is genius in its presentation and creative possibilities, I simply could never finish the kind of work I do in it. This is a well known design axiom, the flexibility-usability tradeoff.

Chris R. Gibson

aka Loopy C

Micworks

Ken Tamplin Mastering

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I guess none of you have ever known about CakeWalk\'s PLASMA .

 

No, it does not come included with any PC but it has been around for a while.

 

The whole thing is called MARKETING.

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mars, check out the Apple Loop Utility , you import your audio files and set the transient points and also descriptor tags for the keyword search. You can also convert Acid loops using this tool.

 

Gus, haven't tried Plasma. Looks kinda interesting, but pretty different from GB. UI and feature integration are a lot more than just 'marketing' IMO ;)

 

I think the biggest shame is that they've had to 'intentionally cripple' the app, because it could do a lot more and still retain the simplicity of the interface, I believe. Maybe there will be a 'Pro' version that integrates GB features with Soundtrack or maybe they will incorporate into Logic somehow. (along with a ground-up redesign of the Logic UI one would hope ;) )

 

Anyway, I just think it has a nice fresh UI and some interesting and genuinely useful features, and makes a great 'sketchpad' type app for serious musicians. When you are inspired and just want to get some ideas down and not think about the app at all, GB is just the ticket. For serious work, no, of course it doesn't have enough flexibility.

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Originally posted by Loopy C:

Certainly a good point. I imagine Emagic's ESX24 engine is hiding somewhere deep inside, this combination of soft sampler, loops and plug-in chains is certainly unique in its *presentation* of existing technology.

I think you are right. I just found this article which shows how to add ESX software instruments to GB.
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Thanks for the info/links. The former singer/writer in my band (Jesus Wore Dickies) is using GB exclusively. He was basically saving for some version of Logic when GB came out and it has been a lifesaver for his muse and great for our now remote collaboration. I passed the info, my EXS library and the tutorial links, I am sure all this will be very helpful to him, thanks for sharing.

Chris R. Gibson

aka Loopy C

Micworks

Ken Tamplin Mastering

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