My thoughts on iPad GarageBand

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My thoughts on iPad GarageBand

Postby selfinflikted » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:39 pm

So I spent about 2 hours with the GarageBand app on my iPad mini today. I have only tinkered with it for mere minutes since I spent the $4.99 on it a few weeks back, so I decided to actually try to compose a song today, mostly out of boredom. My initial impressions:

If you've ever used a real piece of recording software, you'll feel right at home. It's easy to navigate, semi-intuitive, and getting tracks down is fast. All the bread and butter features are there, and I haven't yet come across a "have to have" function that isn't included. I haven't had to consult the manual yet. The built-in sounds are pretty craptastic, though. But for five bucks, it's pretty nice to be able to get some ideas that might be floating around in your head down for future use.

The song I started to compose could possibly turn into something, or not. I've included a snippet here so you can see how some of the on-board sounds sound. So far, I've used classical grand piano, cello, viola, and violin. I used the actual interface for recording the notes. That part isn't terribly fun, but I wanted to try it out. You can get the notes in, but not having the control of an actual instrument it a little frustrating - and not having a sustain pedal when trying to play a piano is nuts! It's only more slightly bearable because you can customize the size of the keyboard/keys, and the stringed instruments have a "smart chord" feature (which I haven't tried out yet). Anyways, here's a sample I put together.

Don't expect Mozart here, people.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/48199679/Misc%20Music/Mike%20Daugherty%20-%20UntitledDoodle.mp3

TLDR: For 5 bucks, this is pretty nice for on-the-go composing. 4.5/5 stars.
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Re: My thoughts on iPad GarageBand

Postby Plink Floyd » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:45 pm

Nice! That's the the most powerful inducement I've yet heard to gas for an iPad. Excellent song, too, quite worthy of further development.

:biglikethumb:
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Re: My thoughts on iPad GarageBand

Postby selfinflikted » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:02 pm

Thanks Plinky. I just wish there were a woodwind and brass section? Wtf. Unless I've somehow overlooked it? I dunno.

I need an orchestral rompler. I need one so bad. SO BAD. And one that sounds good, too - nay, one that sounds great!

:(
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Re: My thoughts on iPad GarageBand

Postby ElectricPuppy » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:08 am

Hey, a fresh treehouse track! Thanks, SI! I'm interested to hear what else you do with it.
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Re: My thoughts on iPad GarageBand

Postby ClavAnother » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:42 am

selfinflikted wrote:TLDR: For 5 bucks, this is pretty nice for on-the-go composing. 4.5/5 stars.




lol, the CA version, how thoughtful! :thu:


nice track.
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Re: My thoughts on iPad GarageBand

Postby selfinflikted » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:47 am

ClavAnother wrote:lol, the CA version, how thoughtful! :thu:


I try to accomodate :P
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Re: My thoughts on iPad GarageBand

Postby christianrock » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:09 pm

Those sounds aren't bad actually? Craptastic? I don't think so. Perfectly useful I think.

Good stuff.
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Re: My thoughts on iPad GarageBand

Postby christianrock » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:11 pm

selfinflikted wrote:Thanks Plinky. I just wish there were a woodwind and brass section? Wtf. Unless I've somehow overlooked it? I dunno.

I need an orchestral rompler. I need one so bad. SO BAD. And one that sounds good, too - nay, one that sounds great!

:(


How much are you willing to spend? And I hope you don't want it for the iPad... :)
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Re: My thoughts on iPad GarageBand

Postby selfinflikted » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:20 pm

christianrock wrote:How much are you willing to spend?


This is up for debate.

christianrock wrote:And I hope you don't want it for the iPad... :)


IT makes me sad that you even ask me this, fren.
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Re: My thoughts on iPad GarageBand

Postby selfinflikted » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:22 pm

christianrock wrote:Those sounds aren't bad actually? Craptastic? I don't think so. Perfectly useful I think.

Good stuff.


Well, I'm a slave to hyperbole. I just want better. :lol:
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Re: My thoughts on iPad GarageBand

Postby christianrock » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:55 pm

Well, then it makes me sad that you're even considering a ROMpler. Fren :grin:
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Re: My thoughts on iPad GarageBand

Postby selfinflikted » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:07 pm

christianrock wrote:Well, then it makes me sad that you're even considering a ROMpler. Fren :grin:


It's just cuz I am also a slave to hardware. A trend I am REALLY going to try to break. I don't want to be one of those guys who ends up falling sorely behind because he refuses to change. Dagnabit.
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Re: My thoughts on iPad GarageBand

Postby selfinflikted » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:30 pm

TRACK UPDATE:

I have added an additional piano part that begins at about 1:12 and ending at 1:36 (the rest of the piece beyond that is just redundant). I'm fond of the way this song is turning out, especially considering how cheap this app is.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/48199679/Misc%20Music/Michael%20Daugherty%20-%20NotYetTitled.mp3

Still, the strings sound uber fake to me. Yes, I said "uber."

EDIT: Let me rephrase that. The timbre of the strings is actually not bad, but the articulation and the way the samples (apparently) can't be strung together note-to-note without that annoying light-to-hard-to-light bowing is annoying. UBER annoying.
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Re: My thoughts on iPad GarageBand

Postby christianrock » Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:14 pm

The performance sounds a bit over-quantized at the beginning... it's good but doesn't sound like a person playing.

The strings are fine, but due to their attack they sound like they're not matching the piano notes. For fast parts you should pick a sound that has a sharper attack.

On my Fusion I have a few patches for strings where the attack of the note is determined by velocity, so if I play harder the attack's faster and if I play lighter, I get a slower attack. I also have a pizzicato sample added at the beginning of the note that gets louder with velocity, for added realism. I wonder if you can program that into your string patches in garageband.
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Re: My thoughts on iPad GarageBand

Postby selfinflikted » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:15 pm

christianrock wrote:The performance sounds a bit over-quantized at the beginning... it's good but doesn't sound like a person playing.


Yea, I know what you mean. It's just placeholder for now. I will go back and edit velocities and note on/off timings and such when I'm done with the writing and composition part.

christianrock wrote:The strings are fine, but due to their attack they sound like they're not matching the piano notes. For fast parts you should pick a sound that has a sharper attack.


That's the annoying part about it, and this is exactly what I am talking about with the strings. There are only three options for attack: the ones you hear in my song, s-l-o-w bowing, and plucking (legato, staccato, pizzicato). This is what I mean when I say there aren't very many "articulation" options, which is just bad phrasing on my part.

christianrock wrote:On my Fusion I have a few patches for strings where the attack of the note is determined by velocity, so if I play harder the attack's faster and if I play lighter, I get a slower attack. I also have a pizzicato sample added at the beginning of the note that gets louder with velocity, for added realism. I wonder if you can program that into your string patches in garageband.


I would imagine in the "real" version of garageband, you can. In this version, I haven't found options for that. You CAN edit velocity, but it seems to only affect the volume of the strings (and also slight damping on the piano), and not the attack. I'm still learning this app though, so it may just be something I'm missing.

But hey, for $4.99, this isn't bad to just play around with, methinks.

EDIT: Google search results say that editing the velocity of the stringed notes (only) also affects attack. I should look more into this over the weekend. If this is true, this will be great :)

EDIT AGAIN LULZ: I just rememebered I brought my iPAd with me to work. I can check right now!
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