Welcome to Tap that App, I�m Jason Parker and this is
the show where we cover the hottest apps in the mobile
Along with the release of the iPad 2 on March 11th,
Apple released an iPad version for popular Mac app,
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
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
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.