GarageBand with EDM and Hip-Hop? Apple releases update with new major features!

On 20th January Apple released their latest version of their immensely popular GarageBand app. First released on Apple’s OS X operating system in 2004, and later on iOS in 2011; GarageBand has changed the way musicians have created music.

Since its iOS commercial release, many more apps have flooded the App Store. None however, have been as diverse and popular as GarageBand amongst newbies.

So what’s new?

Unlike some of the other apps on the App Store, GarageBand has never had the  ability to fully mix, scratch, edit and loop music. Apps like djay 2 and Novations Launchpad are major players in the music app world; allowing musicians to create electronic music.

With GarageBand’s latest update, users are welcomed by a new ‘Virtual Drummer’ mode; and are also given a new ‘live loops’ section. The virtual drummer mode allows users to setup custom drum beats, much like the smart drums mode, however more Depth and customisation has been given to make complex beats of different genres. Furthermore, a new FX panel has been added which is a mix between Djay2 and Launchpad’s FX control panel.



Apple has added several drummer personalities to offer users the ability to choose the different drumming styles they may want. The drummer mode enables users to not only choose which parts of the drum kit they want to hear, but also the complexity behind each component. On the right hand side of the screen there are options to choose from, enabling users to choose the intensity of each component.

The new drummer mode is a great improvement on the already sofisiticated smart drum mode. It allows users to enjoy the complexity drumming has, without causing you to scratch your head with confusion.

Live Loops 

The next most impressive part of the update is definitely the Live Loops mode. Apple has created a grid like platform which allows users to fully customise any sounds they like on loop. You can use your voice or any instruments available on the GarageBand app itself.

After having used the Launchpad app on the iPad myself, it didn’t take long for me to get the hang of Live Loops. The grid-like design allows users to quickly grasp the technique. With 10 columns to choose from, each individual square can be custom tuned to play loops of any kind.

  Image: Launchpad

The FX control panel works like a treat too, having user friendly controls at the use of a touch. From ‘reverb’ to ‘wobble’ mode, it’s easy to change the sound of the tracks. Much like djay 2 and Launchpad, users simply drag their fingers across a pad which changes the tune according the users input.After using the FX panel for 5 minutes, it’s pretty easy to get used to.

The verdict?

Apple has definitely learnt from other apps in the market. They have taken on user feedback and delivered a product which does what it says on the tin. The additional features like the Live Loops and Virtual Drummer have added another level of fun and complexity. Whether you be a beginner or a professional, GarageBand is fully capable to support your needs.

GarageBand is available on the App Store for £3.99 on both the iPad and iPhone.

Saad Bhatty

Blogger, journalist, geologist and Tech-enthusiast. There is always something to write about!

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