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GarageBand 2.1 for iOS brings Live Loops, Drummer, EDM, and more!

The latest version of GarageBand — 2.1 for those of you keeping track at home — brings a bevy of new features to iPhone and iPad, including Live Loops, Drummer, and more.

Live Loops was inspired by DJ setups and lets you create music by tapping cells and columns in a grid, each of which triggers a loop or instrument sample. Each loop or sample can be played, arranged, and remixed live, and GarageBand will automagically keep everything in sync, from beat to time to pitch. There are several templates and a library of 1200 Apple-provided loops to get you started, including EDM, Hip Hop, Dubstep, and Rock, and you can also create your own.

Grammy Award-winner T-Pain tried out the new version of GarageBand and had this to say:

I recorded my first album using GarageBand and I continue to use it in my music today. I love how the new Live Loops in GarageBand lets me quickly build tracks and beats, and even perform effects like a musical instrument. It'll change the way an entire generation makes music."

The Drummer feature that first launched on GarageBand for OS X in June 2015 is now present in the iOS version of GarageBand. It brings an automatic drum machine to your music, featuring nine EDM and acoustic drummers, each with its own unique sound, along with additional choices of amps and bass players. There are new automation features, new controls, and a new, simplified EQ.

On the iPad Pro, GarageBand takes advantage of the extra space by surfacing more controls and giving you even more room to play. On the iPhones 6s, GarageBand has picked up 3D Touch support to bring even more life to your finger strikes.

GarageBand is available now on the App Store. It's a free upgrade for anyone who already owns it and anyone who recently bought and iOS device. It's $4.99 for everyone else. iOS 9 required.

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

5 Comments
  • Holy mackerel! It's a 1 GB download.
  • I already had garage band on the iPhone, and iPad. It does not look like it took hardly any memory. Sent from the iMore App
  • **** yes. I use Drummer extensively to get drum ideas down for my songs before I go in and tweak them to my personal preference. This will make sketching out ideas a lot easier for when I can't get to my computer. It's a sizable download but luckily I've got about 100gb free on my phone.
  • Wow! Between this and the new Music Memos app, Apple is really doubling down on Music! It's only January and I've already got a bunch of new capabilities that have rolled out into my iDevices. I really like this!
  • Whilst this is all quite cool try pulling that iOS GarageBand project into the Mac version, or even Logic Pro and all the live loops are lost - can't be found even though you have downloaded all additional content. Pretty useless for anything more than fun if you can't get it across all in tact to the computer.