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Looking for general info on Garageband
Old 7th June 2018
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Looking for general info on Garageband

I've been a pro tools user for nearly 20 years. my host system recently died and my software and interface are totally outdated. i don't record a lot any more so i really can't justify dropping nearly 3 grand on a rig comparable to what i had so i'm considering moving to Garageband. I know i'm going to be giving up a lot, but such is life. here are a few of my questions hopefully some of you can answer:

1) i'm still on the fence as to whether i'll be using Garageband on an iPad or a desktop. how much, feature-wise, will i be giving up if i go w/IOS?

2) is it necessary/preferred to have a dedicated external audio drive (like w/pro tools) or can it all be done on the system drive?

3) how good/bad is latency? ios vs deskop latency?

4) I'm considering the Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 G2 as it has midi and spidf. are there any alternatives in the same price range that i should be aware of?

5) I think i may have read somewhere that Garageband doesn't have a dedicated mixing window. if this is true, how do you mix?

6) Regarding plugins- i'm guessing/hoping that garageband has comps, 'verbs, eq'sbut does it have one for time compression/expansion? a gain tool?

7) can you import audio files that weren't created in garageband, like mp3's and the like?

8) does it support time signatures within a song?

9) how lacking, or not, is its drum machine? is it presets or can you program your own patterns?

thanks to anyone who can answer any of these questions and feel free to chime in with anything noteworthy that i might want to know about this app. in an effort to keep costs down, i'd like to run it on IOS unless the features/performance truly pale to the desktop version.
Old 7th June 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
Long answer - few bucks - try a $350 rig ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeldaddy View Post
I've been a pro tools user for nearly 20 years. my host system recently died and my software and interface are totally outdated. i don't record a lot any more so i really can't justify dropping nearly 3 grand on a rig comparable to what i had so i'm considering moving to Garageband. I know i'm going to be giving up a lot, but such is life. here are a few of my questions hopefully some of you can answer:
Quote:
1) i'm still on the fence as to whether i'll be using Garageband on an iPad or a desktop. how much, feature-wise, will i be giving up if i go w/IOS?
A lot. At least the price is not prohibitive. $5 on an iOS device for the full set. If I recall correctly the Mac price is still basically free. I have used GarageBand on my Mac to record 18 channels of audio just fine. See the end of the response.

Quote:
2) is it necessary/preferred to have a dedicated external audio drive (like w/pro tools) or can it all be done on the system drive?
It can all be done on the system drive. I assume modern Mac with an SSD for a system device. You can certainly use an external drive (USB3 is best for transfer speed)

Quote:
3) how good/bad is latency? ios vs deskop latency?
If you try to monitor your recording channel with "processing" on the iOS device, probably a problem.

Quote:
4) I'm considering the Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 G2 as it has midi and spidf. are there any alternatives in the same price range that i should be aware of?
Do you really need the S/PDIF? For a lot of flexibility (with extra software) on both laptop and iOS device you might look at a PreSonus AudioBox iTwo. Bus powered from a laptop, easily powered for an iOS device. Extra goodie software included (Studio One Artist)

Quote:
5) I think i may have read somewhere that Garageband doesn't have a dedicated mixing window. if this is true, how do you mix?
See the end of the post.

Quote:
6) Regarding plugins- i'm guessing/hoping that garageband has comps, 'verbs, eq'sbut does it have one for time compression/expansion? a gain tool?
It does. See the end of the post.

Quote:
7) can you import audio files that weren't created in garageband, like mp3's and the like?
Absolutely. See the end of the post.

Quote:
8) does it support time signatures within a song?
I don't know. Depends on what you mean. Changes from 4/4 to 6/8 to 19/4 all in the same project?

Quote:
9) how lacking, or not, is its drum machine? is it presets or can you program your own patterns?
Drums are a MIDI capable thing. Should be simple using an iOS device and "pads" to do this. See the end of the post.

Quote:
thanks to anyone who can answer any of these questions and feel free to chime in with anything noteworthy that i might want to know about this app. in an effort to keep costs down, i'd like to run it on IOS unless the features/performance truly pale to the desktop version.
This is the end of the post. Get $199 out of your wallet and buy a copy of Logic Pro X for your Mac, and spend the $5 to max-out GarageBand on your iOS device. All the things you want are possible. Big learning curve to be an expert, but you can always start small.

You get a huge amount of instruments, plugins, tools, including the ability to use the iOS device as a controller for Logic.

You can spend all sorts of fun time working on things on the iOS device, transfer/share with the Mac, and have the best of both worlds.

$150 for a useful interface, $199 for software on Mac. $5 for software on iOS. Add headphones. Done. Get busy doing music.
Old 8th June 2018
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by facej View Post
A lot. At least the price is not prohibitive. $5 on an iOS device for the full set. If I recall correctly the Mac price is still basically free. I have used GarageBand on my Mac to record 18 channels of audio just fine. See the end of the response.


It can all be done on the system drive. I assume modern Mac with an SSD for a system device. You can certainly use an external drive (USB3 is best for transfer speed)


If you try to monitor your recording channel with "processing" on the iOS device, probably a problem.


Do you really need the S/PDIF? For a lot of flexibility (with extra software) on both laptop and iOS device you might look at a PreSonus AudioBox iTwo. Bus powered from a laptop, easily powered for an iOS device. Extra goodie software included (Studio One Artist)


See the end of the post.


It does. See the end of the post.


Absolutely. See the end of the post.


I don't know. Depends on what you mean. Changes from 4/4 to 6/8 to 19/4 all in the same project?


Drums are a MIDI capable thing. Should be simple using an iOS device and "pads" to do this. See the end of the post.



This is the end of the post. Get $199 out of your wallet and buy a copy of Logic Pro X for your Mac, and spend the $5 to max-out GarageBand on your iOS device. All the things you want are possible. Big learning curve to be an expert, but you can always start small.

You get a huge amount of instruments, plugins, tools, including the ability to use the iOS device as a controller for Logic.

You can spend all sorts of fun time working on things on the iOS device, transfer/share with the Mac, and have the best of both worlds.

$150 for a useful interface, $199 for software on Mac. $5 for software on iOS. Add headphones. Done. Get busy doing music.
thanks for your response. regarding the time signature question- yes, i was asking if you could go from, say, 4/4 to 3/4 within one song.

spdif is important to me because it allows me to bypass the (assumed) crappy preamps and converters in the "budget" interface by using my own preamp that has spdif out.

yes, $199 is cheap enough for software but don't forget- my macbook pro is toast. so in order to run logic i'm going to need to shell out roughly $1500 or more for a new host computer vs $400-ish for a new iPad...if there aren't too many compromises which i'm sensing there may well be.
Old 8th June 2018
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeldaddy View Post
thanks for your response. regarding the time signature question- yes, i was asking if you could go from, say, 4/4 to 3/4 within one song.

spdif is important to me because it allows me to bypass the (assumed) crappy preamps and converters in the "budget" interface by using my own preamp that has spdif out.

$1500 or more for a new host computer vs $400-ish for a new iPad...if there aren't too many compromises which i'm sensing there may well be.
Cubasis on the iPad is a worthy alternative.

Also, preamps on the Focusrite and competitors like Steinberg are really very, very good nowadays.
If you go for the Steinberg UR-RT2 you even get Rupert Neve transformers.

I have the UR22, which is not supported on IOS, and I’m considering the UR-242, UR-RT2 and Clarett 6i6. I want the Neve transformers, but I’m pretty sure my ears can’t tell the difference.
Old 8th June 2018
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wossname View Post
Cubasis on the iPad is a worthy alternative.

Also, preamps on the Focusrite and competitors like Steinberg are really very, very good nowadays.
If you go for the Steinberg UR-RT2 you even get Rupert Neve transformers.

I have the UR22, which is not supported on IOS, and I’m considering the UR-242, UR-RT2 and Clarett 6i6. I want the Neve transformers, but I’m pretty sure my ears can’t tell the difference.
I’m currently leaning to one of the Steinberg interfaces, as they are natively supported on IOS, and I can even use DSP effects live if need be (as an effect box for my mixer)
The Clarett setup on IOS isn’t that easy - one needs to shut down all app on the iPad, and then select, say, 44.1/24 in the recording app, and THEN connect the Clarett. The «first» app to get hold of the interface sets the rate.

Unless I can get a Clarett for a REALLY good price, I’ll settle on the newer Steinberg interface.
Old 8th June 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 
spaceman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeldaddy View Post
I've been a pro tools user for nearly 20 years. my host system recently died and my software and interface are totally outdated. i don't record a lot any more so i really can't justify dropping nearly 3 grand on a rig comparable to what i had so i'm considering moving to Garageband. I know i'm going to be giving up a lot, but such is life. here are a few of my questions hopefully some of you can answer:
.
Am I correct in assuming that you work mostly with audio, not midi ? If that's the case, I wouldn't recommend iOS GarageBand. It's pretty awesome for composition, but not for handling/editing audio. You should rather look into Auria or Cubasis. They are far more powerful for working with audio.
Old 8th June 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
Cool Auria, oh, yeah

Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman View Post
Am I correct in assuming that you work mostly with audio, not midi ? If that's the case, I wouldn't recommend iOS GarageBand. It's pretty awesome for composition, but not for handling/editing audio. You should rather look into Auria or Cubasis. They are far more powerful for working with audio.
Auria is a fine tool. I use it on my iPad to record live. I guess I would be OK with using if for my DAW except for my fat fingers - I take my Auria tracks and put them into Logic projects for mixing.

A fine tool with some nice plugins.
Old 14th July 2020
  #8
Gear Head
 

Garageband

Wait a few months. Everything might change at Apple. New ipad pros, better garageband/logic coming to ipad? New macs coming with ARM chips etc. Wait if you can.

To sum it up: mac/pc has better options at recording/editing

Ipads are better for creativity (for me). Later you can transfer projects to Mac. Or just get the idea out of your head. Extreme fun!!!!
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