One of the most interesting apps to appear on the iPad has been Apple's own GarageBand. The robust features include the ability to play several instruments or sit back while the app plays them for you, recording original music at any level of expertise.
Previously the app was available only for iPad, which made sense given its complexity and need for screen real estate. But, the software engineers at Apple have once again figured out how to port a great app to the smaller screen sizes of the iPhone and iPod Touch.
New in version 1.1 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch:
- Create custom chords for use in Smart Instruments.
- Support for 3/4 and 6/8 time signatures.
- Reset song key without transposing original recordings.
- Transpose songs in semitones or full octaves.
- Additional quantization options including straight, triplet, and swing.
- New export audio quality settings including AAC and AIFF (uncompressed).
- Arpeggiator available in Smart Keyboard.
- Adjustable velocity settings for Touch instruments.
- Other enhancements including automatic fade out and improved audio import options.
But if you aren't sure what half of that stuff is, GarageBand is a great tool to help non-musicians explore music in an easy and intuitive way for everything from background music for movies (exactly why I use it) to just messing around with the Smart Instruments with friends.
"GarageBand on iPad has been a big hit and we think customers will love using it on their iPhone or iPod Touch," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "The innovative Multi-Touch interface combined with Smart Instruments makes it easy to create great sounding music, even if you've never studied music or played an instrument before."
If you are a musician, the ability to plug in your electric guitar to any of your iOS devices that support GarageBand and record your tunes is a huge plus. You can mix and record up to eight tracks on the go and share them with anyone, instantly or work on them later in GarageBand for Mac or Logic Pro.
GarageBand (version 1.1) for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch is only $4.99 for new users and a free upgrade to users who had already purchased GarageBand for their iPad.