GarageBand for iOS review: The music creation app that continues to amaze

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6

CNET Editors' Rating

5 stars Spectacular
  • Overall: 9.5
  • Installation and Setup: 10.0
  • Features and Support: 10.0
  • Interface: 10.0
  • Performance: 10.0

Average User Rating

5 stars 1 user review
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Apple's GarageBand makes it easy to create music using smart instruments that even someone with no musical experience can use, while advanced musicians will find plenty to work with as well.

The Bad The only thing bad about GarageBand at this price is that it's a bit tricky at first, but with some practice, just about anyone can get the hang of it.

The Bottom Line GarageBand is the best app for music creation on a touch screen. With real-world instruments, true-to-life sounds, and tons of easy-to-use tools, there is simply no other app in its class for iOS.

CNET Editors' Choice Mar '13

Don't Miss

GarageBand already had a long history on the Mac, letting people use intuitive controls and a huge library of instruments and prerecorded loops to create songs. But with the iOS version, Apple needed to come up with creative ways to record music using only a touch-screen interface, and we think the company did an amazing job. In the latest version, GarageBand now supports Audiobus, letting you use sounds and effects from other music apps and then recording them to GarageBand tracks.

As a general overview, the GarageBand app offers several Touch Instruments, guitar amps and effects, eight-track recording and mixing, and more than 250 loops to play with. You can export AAC files of your projects through e-mail or add them to iTunes.

Immediately upon launch, GarageBand makes it easy to get started creating a song. Simply choose an instrument and start playing around with GarageBand's many options. GarageBand offers instruments you can play in real time like their real-world counterparts, but you also have the option to play Smart Instruments that do most of the heavy lifting for you. Every instrument has its own specific theme, giving all of them their own feel as you play. Some instruments even have added controls such as effects boxes you can turn on and off to fine-tune your sound.

Can't play piano? No problem. Use the smart version of instruments to get a clever layout of chords and bass notes. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Using the smart keyboard, for example, lays out all your chords in the chosen key. This means that just about whatever you press will probably go together in a song. You can change the key by touching the wrench in the upper-right corner of the screen. Using a combination of bass notes on the bottom and chords at the top, it's easy to create a nice-sounding song, even if you have very little experience playing the piano.

Don't Miss

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy

GarageBand (iOS)

Part Number: id408709785
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Regional specs shown for US. AU specs are unavailable.

  • Category Music and audio
  • Compatibility iOS