When Steve Jobs revealed GarageBand for iPad, it was one of those moments that redefined mobile software for me. iPhone showed us you could touch your music. GarageBand showed us you could touch your music. Since then there's been an incredible string of pro apps for iPad and iPhone, but GarageBand, for me, remains real magic. It's one of the few things that makes me regret not having an ounce of musical talent.
There are bands, bands even I've heard of, that produce vast swaths of their songs and albums on iPad now, and while that shouldn't surprise me, it absolutely delights me.
GarageBand for iOS 2.2 doesn't just offer new features but it brings over features from Logic Pro X, Apple's pro audio editing software for the Mac. That includes Alchemy, which as the name implies, is transformative. There's also a new way to round-trip projects from Mac to iOS and back that's clever enough it feels like sorcery.
But enough with the wizardly hyperbole, here are the highlights:
There's a new sound browser so you can get at and explore the Touch Instruments more quickly and easily than before. (Where' my snare at?)
Apple's ported over Alchemy, their cool new synthesizer from Logic Pro X. It's got over 150 Apple-designed patches from across multiple genres like Pop, Rock, Indie, Hip Hop, and yes, EDM for the unce, unce, unce.
Multi-take recording gives you the ability to do try several takes, audition them all, and then choose the best one for the final mix. (The LINE must be drawn... here. No. The line MUST be... No. The line must be drawn HERE! Yes!)
The audio recorder has been redesigned and now includes vocal effects you can add with a single tap. They can just be for fun, but they also include pro-level pitch correction, distortion, and delay.
There's a new collection of advanced audio processing tools, including an interactive, graphical EQ so you can more easily see and adjust what you're equalizing.
Third-party plug-in effects are in full effect, with support for Audio Unit Extensions for expandable, creative sound design. So, you're not bound by just GarageBand. Now the App Store is your only limit.
You can share flattened versions of your Logic Pro X 10.3 projects via iCloud, record extra tracks, and have those additions shared back to the multi-track version in Logic Pro X. The round trip is real!
GarageBand 2.2 for iPhone and iPad remains a free update for all existing customers and for anyone who has bought an iPhone or iPad in the last few years. If that's not you, you can still buy it in the App Store for $4.99 and that makes it one of the best deals on any platform.
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