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iPhone App - Garage Band - Review

On March 16th, 2012, I was simply browsing the app store on my iPhone and came across a music application called Garage Band.  While all Mac computers today with OS Lion come with this music app I was curious to see how accessible this app was on the iPhone and iPad.

Lets take some time to describe what Garage Band is.

Garage Band is a simple software which allows a musician to get their feet wet in composing and recording music.  This app is also capable of taking regions of audio, and looping them together to create a simple piece of music.  In the last couple of months an update patch to Lion made Garage Band on the Mac very accessible.

While Garage Band is a music recording software, it still does not boast professional tools needed to be able to work to produce a professional recording.  You will definitely need a piece of software such as Sonar on the PC or ProTools on the Mac.  (More on ProTools in a later post after I have had some time to evaluate its accessibility.)

I recently had the chance to test Garage Band on the Mac, and was very impressed as to how accessible it was using Voiceover. I definitely recommend it to someone who is visually impaired or totally blind.  While there aren't enough keyboard commands to do everything, the icons and menus are accessible, and should get the job done for you as a starting recording artist.

Ok, lets get back to the iPhone/iPad version...

Well, as expected, installation was simple, and VoiceOver was able to speak through the prompts while working through the setting menu.

I was amazed to see how accessible the various sections were.  For instance, I could select the track menu, and use the keyboard mode on the two devices.  The keyboard refers to a piano controller hooked up to the computer through USB, which allows the music composer to play musical notes.  While this is not possible on the iPhone, there is a touch keyboard which one can access using the touch screen on the IPhone and/or iPad.  While the notes you hit on the virtual keyboard aren’t accessible, in that VoiceOver doesn’t announce them, the user can definitely hear the notes being played.

The app comes with a multi track recording section which shows the tracks, and their controls. I was able to successfully raise, mute, solo, and add reverb, a special audio effect to my track.  I was able to successfully record using the built in mic on the iPhone, and play back, stop, and rewind the music as well.  In a nut shell, I was extremely impressed as how this little piece of software on such a small device performed.

It's going to be interesting to see how I might make use of this software while on the road.  This definitely opens up possibilities for me to create scratch pad tracks, and compose while I have a fresh idea in my head.

While Garage Band doesn’t allow for a composer to professionally hook up to a high end audio interface, it definitely provides you with the tools to put down a raw track.    I have heard of a docking device called iDoc which is supposed to fit your iPad, and allow to record professionally using high end Mic’s, and cabling for guitars, and keyboards.  I am supposed to get this device in the future, and would be more then glad to report in a later blog.

I encourage any one who has an iPhone or iPad to go on the app store, and in the search engine type in Garage Band, and download it for yourself to test it out.


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I just purchased this and will be doing a review shortly on it, just to clarify pro-tools in on the mac , not on the iphone.Garage Band is available on the iphone and the imac, pro-tools on the pc side is not accessible.

I am interested in reading how accessable Pro-tools is.... I am concidering getting an i-phone and it would be nice to try this out.

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