Following the tweaks announced for both iPhoto and iMovie, we knew Garage Band couldn't be too far behind. Today, at Apple's "Back to Mac" event, Steve Jobs introduced Garage Band '11. "It has some great new features," said Jobs, who yielded the floor to Apple's Xander Soren who outlined the following improvements in Garage Band:
- Flex time
- Groove Matching
- More guitar amps and effects
- new piano and guitar lessons
- "How did I play?"
Beinning with an explanation of "Flex Time" (which allows auto dragging of lengths of waveforms) and "Groove Matching," Soren made it clear that the updated Garage Band 11 is all about making your music better, easier to play, and less "flawed."
"We're going to open an existing song," Soren said as he began the demo. "Now imagine a group of kids have gotten together to jam in their garage, and every recorded to a drum loop. Now I think it's going to be clear that these guys are going to need a little help."
Serving as "an automatic spell checker for bad rhythm," the updates are heavily rooted in technology doing some of the leg work for you as a musician and providing surprisingly thorough music lessons, as illustrated by the software demo. In particular, the new piano lessons give you real-time feedback and analysis of how well you're playing. Sort of like Apple's version of Guitar Hero (sorry, my analogy, not theirs) you can see at the corner of your screen just how accurately you're performing. In addition to the ivories, the feature also works with guitar.
GarageBand ‘11 includes two new ways to fix or change the timing of your recordings. Flex Time lets you move, stretch or shorten individual notes by clicking on just the part of the audio waveform you want to change, without affecting the rest of the recording. With Groove Matching, you can select any track as the “Groove Track” and all other tracks will instantly match its rhythmic feel. GarageBand ’11 adds seven authentic-sounding new guitar amps, five fun new stompbox effects, and 22 new Basic Lessons for piano and guitar. The new “How did I Play?” feature listens while you play along with any lesson, highlights mistakes and tracks your progress to help you become a better musician.