With the new version of GarageBand comes all the Electronic Dance Music (EDM), Hop Hip, Indie, Disco, Funk, and Blues you can handle. That includes 10 new EDM and Hip Hop drummers, and electronic drum kits; 100 new EDM and Hip Hop synthesizer patches; new Transform Pad Smart Control; and 1,000 new loops to support all those new genres.
GarageBand is built on the same technology that powers Apple's professional-level Logic Pro X. As such, it lets those who are new to music creation start simply, with Apple doing as much or as little of the "heavy lifting" for them as they need. Instead of hitting a wall early on, quitting, and never looking back, they can play and experiment and get rewarded with small, early successes that get them on the right track and encourage them to continue.
With these new popular genres, everyone can start making the music they like listening to, further engaging them and creating a music experience that becomes increasingly less passive.
Drummer, which is GarageBand's virtual session player, now includes 20 new electronic drum kits. It's the same easy-to-use interface, but almost makes you feel like a producer or DJ laying down beats.
The Transform Pad Smart Control, rather than abstracts, creates something very close to a relationship where, even if you're not a pro, you can expriement with volume and complexity, almost as if you're collaborating with another producer or musician.
You can also fuse acoustic and electronic sounds to create a unique mix. House, Techno, and Dub Step creations are now just a step away, as is the opportunity to create something fresh and new.
As someone with absolutely no musical talent whatsoever, Apple's sound designers have done a lot to provide an amazing foundation and tools to help everyone not only do the best with what they have, but to learn and improve at the same time.
Apple has also brought a form of automation to GarageBand 10.1, so now you can record the movement of Software Instrument Smart Controls. You move the knobs on a Synth Smart Control, move a drawbar on the B3 Organ Smart Control, or move the puck on the Transform Pad Smart Control, and all of that gets captured, in real-time. That can make those incredibly rare moments of accidental genius—at least for me—something you can go back to whenever you want or need to.
And yes—Force Touch is now supported for owners of 2015 MacBooks and MacBook Pros. With it, you can set shortcuts that are triggered by Force Clicks, and receive tactile haptic feedback for the controls.
Apple is also updating GarageBand for iOS today to include new Apple Music Connect features for artists with accounts and access, so they can share mixes and working content right for their iPhones and iPads. That's something that'll almost certainly come to OS X as well in a future update.
GarageBand 10.1 may be a point release, but for anyone into EDM, Hop Hip, Indie, Disco, Funk, and Blues, it'll be a major improvement.
Best of all, it's available from the Mac App Store now. As usual, it's free for existing owners and anyone with a recent Mac, and just $4.99 for everyone else.
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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.