Tap That App
Garage Band for the iPadThis popular app lets you create music on your ipad with virtual instruments and pre-recorded loops. It's fun, creative, and for only $5, it is a steal.
Welcome to Tap that App, I�m Jason Parker and this is the show where we cover the hottest apps in the mobile space. Along with the release of the iPad 2 on March 11th, Apple released an iPad version for popular Mac app, GarageBand. GarageBand already has a long history on the Mac, letting people use intuitive controls and a huge library of instruments and pre-recorded loops to create songs. But with the iPad version, Apple needed to come up with creative ways to record music using only a touch-screen interface and we think they did an amazing job. Just as a general overview, GarageBand offers several Touch Instruments, guitar amps and effects, eight- track recording and mixing, more than 250 loops to play with, and you can export AAC files of your projects through e-mail or add them to iTunes. You start by creating a new song, then choose your first instrument. 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. One neat feature is that every instrument has its own specific theme, giving all of them their own feel as you play. 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 also can change the key by touching the wrench in the upper right corner. 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 musical experience. Similarly, the smart guitar offers a different layout that lets you play chords with a swipe of your finger. You have the ability to play individual notes and actually bend guitar strings for your big rock solos. All of the smart instruments also come with a few pre- recorded segments so you can just tap the key and let the app play for you. Drums can also be played manually and you can choose from both standard drum kits and drum machine type layouts. Or, Like the other instruments, you can choose smart drums to make things easier. Simply place drumset items on the grid to experiment, or hit the dice icon for a random layout. Once you've been inspired by some of the instruments, you can record a couple of tracks, then look at the track layout section to add or remove tracks, manage track volume and play with effects like reverb, track panning, and echo. As you become more advanced, you can also use quantization tools to match up complex tracks to cover up your less-than-perfect human rhythm. But maybe I'm just speaking for myself. The track screen is also where you'll find GarageBand's pre-recorded loops. Once you find something you like by instrument, genre, and other descriptors, just drag and drop the loop onto your track screen to add it to your song. I created this song on the way to work this morning in carpool. Frankly, with tons of uniquely designed instruments, a smart touch interface, and tools that make song creation easy, it's a miracle to me that this app is only $4.99�and there's plenty more we haven't shown in this video. So far, I can't get enough of GarageBand, so I definitely recommend you Tap this App. And tap it, and tap it again. But try to tap in rhythm guys�how are we ever going to make it as a band if you�Sorry, I got a little caught up in the moment� Like I said, GarageBand is only $4.99 in the iTunes App Store and definitely worth your money even if you have only a passing interest in creating music. That�s it for today's show, but if you have any suggestions, send them to Tap That App at cnet.com. I'm Jason Parker�thanks for watching.