When Apple sent out invitations to a special event with an iPad peaking out of the corner of the image, it was pretty obvious what they were planning. There has been so much speculation regarding the iPad 2, that Apple has had a difficult time keeping things under wraps. They did manage one or two surprises at today’s event, however.
Apple will be releasing GarageBand for iPad on March 11, the same day that the iPad 2 will be out. There are countless music creation apps available in the App Store already, however, this is the first time that Apple has ported a desktop music app to iOS. Apple has a long history of innovation when it comes to creating technology for musicians. Apple currently has several programs available for creating music including Logic Studio, Logic Express, and iLife’s GarageBand.
GarageBand for iPad isn’t just a simple port of the desktop version. It has been fully reworked to take advantage of the iPad’s multi-touch interface. A few of the features include the ability to play over 70 modern and vintage synths including strings, leads and basses. You can also use arpeggiators to creating interesting soundscapes. Smart Guitars let you strum acoustic and electric guitars, using fingerpicking and complex strumming patters to create realistic sounding guitar parts. Or you can use Smart Keyboards, Smart Basses and Smart Drums to help you create music no matter what your skill level may be.
GarageBand also includes an audio recorder so you can record your band practice or just a riff you don’t want to forget along the way. Xander Soren, director of music marketing said at today’s event, "This can record up to 8 tracks. Let's put that in perspective -- back when the Beatles did Sgt. Peppers, you could only do four tracks, and the machine was the size of a washing machine." Editing multiple tracks has been designed to be very intuitive as well.
If you want include a piano part in your song, you can do so and produce some pretty realistic results, "Another thing about a piano is that you can play with dynamics... the sound is different when you tap softly or with force. How do we do that? With the accelerometer."
When you’ve finished you masterpiece, GarageBand makes it easy for you to share your music. You can email your song from the iPad or you can sync it to iTunes and work on it later. One nice feature is the ability to start a project on the iPad and pick it up again on your computer at home. The files are compatible with each other, unlike Apple’s other iLife app on the iPad, iMovie.
To rap up the GarageBand section at today event, Steve Jobs said, "I'm blown away with this stuff. Playing your own instruments, or using smart instruments, anyone can make music now. So, GarageBand for iPad. This is no toy. You can use this for real work. I cannot tell you how many hours teenagers are going to spend making music with this." GarageBand for iPad will be available on Friday, March 11, for $4.99. I can’t wait to try it out myself.