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Apple Mac's Garage Band Review and Garage Band Demo In Oxford, England

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Garage Band Review and Garage Band Demo In Oxford

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Dave and I have been asked to do a GarageBand demo for the Apple Mac group that meets through Oxford University. We're pretty excited to have been asked, and I'm looking forward to meeting 'like minded' people who have either been using GarageBand to record or are just starting out with it. I had written a review of GarageBand 2 a while back for The Rock and Roll Report, but I thought for those who either aren't familiar with the software or even for those who are - that I'd post it again here. The demo is in a couple weeks and there could be as few as fifteen people or as many as fifty there...so fingers crossed there's a good turnout.

Apple's GarageBand 2 Is In The Spotlight

Garage BandThere's a new star in the house and with the 4-track sitting in the corner, dusty and unused, GarageBand has come along and moved straight into the spotlight.

After never getting into using the old 4-track, hoping that there was another way around studio costs and trying to find engineers that 'shared the same vision', GarageBand has made the whole recording process more efficient and has allowed me to be more creative than any time before. One of the best things about using GarageBand is that infamous 'C' word: Control. I'm doing things now that I would never have imagined a few months ago. The thought of using GarageBand was at first intimidating considering I had never 'engineered', however once the software was downloaded, the ease of use was amazing. Everything is right there in front of you. Basic enough for the beginner and yet challenging enough for the experienced engineer to keep their interest.

The freedom to use what seems like limitless tracks is refreshing and with a simple interface like the M-Audio MobilePre USB, plugging in a mic, guitars or midi keyboard is pretty straightforward.

The effects were okay in the beginning with version one, but as someone who likes to play with effects on vocals as well as bass and guitars, after awhile, I was wanting more. And what happened next?

GarageBand 2 was released.

It didn't take long before the software was installed, and after opening up version two, on the surface things didn't look too much different form version one. For those who might be concerned about losing any previous mixes from the first version, no need to worry. Everything was still intact after the installation.

The first thing I had to check out were the new effects. There are some mouth watering additions for the vocals like Epic Diva and Vocal Reflection. The guitar and bass also have some new effects like English Channel, Glam and New Nashville for guitar and Deep Reggae, Seventies and Studio Direct Box for Bass. The loop additions are also a welcome site as is the built in tuner.

GarageBand 1 lacked the ability to record more than one real instrument at a time. With the new version, you can record up to eight real instruments simultaneously! You can also change the tempo and key of recorded instruments, as well as lock tracks to avoid accidental changes.

As great as GarageBand 2 is, there have been some frustrating moments and glitches along the way, such as some distorting of tracks and even with 1 GB of memory, functioning has slowed down while adding more tracks to a song. But just as in version one, there are ways to optimize the system to prevent sluggishness, that you can find in GarageBand 'help'. Also, there's a friendly community over at the GarageBand discussion group: http://discussions.info.apple.com/. Usually if there are problems, you're not the only one having them. Whenever I've gone there for support, I've been able to resolve any issues by searching through the recent discussions, and the one time I did post a question, someone was quick to respond.

At this early stage, I am still getting to know GarageBand 2 and am looking forward to using the other new features like timing and pitch enhancement and the displaying of musical notation.

If you want to hear what we've done using GarageBand 2, go to the Band Weblogs About Us page to listen to our songs!

All our music at this point is recorded using GarageBand!

Posted by Jenny May
October 3rd, 2005

Read About How the Demo went!

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