name = GarageBand

developer = Apple Inc.
latest_release_version = 4.1.2
latest_release_date = 2007
operating_system = Mac OS X
genre = Music editing software
website = []
this|the software application|Garage band (disambiguation)
caption = GarageBand 4 running on Mac OS X v10.5
developer = Apple Inc.
released = 2004-01-06
latest_release_version = 4.1.2
latest_release_date = March 3, 2008
operating_system = Mac OS X
genre = Digital audio workstation
license = Proprietary
website = []

GarageBand is a software application that allows users to create music or podcasts. It is developed by Apple Inc. and is included in all shipments of iLife.


Audio Recording

GarageBand is a streamlined digital audio workstation (DAW) which can record and play back multiple tracks of audio. Built in audio filters allow the audio track to be enhanced for recording guitar instruments, etc.

Virtual software instruments

GarageBand can play virtual software instruments for creating songs or playing music live using 50 sampled or synthesized instruments which can be played using a MIDI keyboard connected to the computer, or using an on-screen virtual keyboard. Additional instruments are available in the five "GarageBand Jam Packs", separate products offered by Apple Inc.; each expansion pack costs approximately $100 USD and adds dozens of virtual instruments.

MIDI editing

GarageBand can import MIDI files and offers piano roll or notation-style editing and playback.


GarageBand is only available as a part of iLife, a suite of applications (also including iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, and iWeb) intended to simplify the creation and organization of digital content. iLife is included on new Macintosh computers; upgrades can be purchased separately. Minor updates can be downloaded from Apple’s website or from Software Update. Several third-party companies offer Apple GarageBand loops, on CD or by download. Users can also record their own loops through a microphone, via a MIDI instrument or by using an audio cable to connect a guitar to their Mac.


GarageBand was developed by Apple under the direction of Dr. Gerhard Lengeling, formerly of the German company Emagic, makers of Logic Audio. (Emagic was acquired by Apple in July 2002.)

The application was announced during Steve Jobs’ keynote speech at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco on 6 January, 2004; musician John Mayer assisted with its demonstration.

GarageBand 2 was announced at the (2005) Macworld Conference & Expo on January 11, 2005. It shipped, as announced, around 22 January, 2005. Major new features included the abilities to view and edit music in Musical Notation form, to record up to 8 tracks at once, to fix timing and pitch of recordings, to automate track pan position, master volume, and master pitch, to transpose both audio and MIDI, and to import MIDI files.

GarageBand 3, announced at 2006’s Macworld Conference & Expo, includes a 'podcast studio', including the ability to use more than 200 effects and jingles, and integration with iChat for remote interviews.

GarageBand 4, aka GarageBand '08 the latest version, is part of iLife '08. It incorporates the ability to separately record sections of a song such as bridges and chorus lines, support for automation of tempos and instruments, and a "Magic GarageBand" feature that includes a virtual jam session with a complete 3D view of the instruments.


GarageBand features a standard multi-track drag-and-drop interface where different (pre-) recorded sections, or loops, are strung together on separate tracks. The program comes with pre-made loops to speed up song creation. GarageBand uses two types of media: software instruments (either recorded from GarageBand or imported from MIDI files), and real instruments (either recorded or imported audio files).

Software instruments are instruments built into the application similar to a synthesizer, and appear green in GarageBand. The software instruments included in the retail version of GarageBand range from a Grand Piano, to synth-based effects. More instruments may be purchased in Jam Packs or third-party software. There are several ways of recording a software instrument section, but the preferable method is to connect a MIDI keyboard using a USB cable or a MIDI interface, and have the session recorded in GarageBand. GarageBand also includes both an on-screen Grand Piano, and a "Musical Typing" window, but both suffer from laggy performance.The versatility of software instruments extends to the pre-made loops provided by Apple. For instance, a loop designed for an electric piano could be placed on a church organ track to create a more religious feel. In addition to a standard piano-roll editing system (with musical notes presented on the vertical axis, and time or beats presented on the horizontal axis), GarageBand can compile real musical notation based on the (pre-) recorded track. Starting with GarageBand 4 ('08), this notation can be printed. Notes can be added; modified in length, position or pitch; or deleted.

The other type of track is called a "Real Instrument" track presented in purple. This is where the recording process of GarageBand comes in. Using a microphone or plugging the instrument directly in (or through an audio interface/mixer), you can record an instrument being played or vocals. You can apply several effects to the waveform such as "Glam" if you wanted an electrical guitar sound or "Deeper Vocals" to pitch down a particular track. GarageBand can even convert software instrument loops into real instrument loops.

Both tracks can be used together in the final production. A software instrument drum line could loop continuously, while a real instrument track plays a melody recorded on the trombone, while a third track plays separately recorded vocals.

In GarageBand 3, a movie track was added to allow for accurate film scoring, and a Podcast track was added to provide a photo stream for iPods.


While GarageBand can be used to produce professional-quality recordings, native MIDI-out capability limits the use of external MIDI instruments. There is also only limited support for messages sent from knobs on MIDI keyboards, initially supporting only pitch and modulation wheels. However, since version '08, other parameters affected by MIDI knobs can be automated later per track. Garageband has no functions for creating multiple time signatures, and is also unable to create tempo changes.

Jam Packs

Jam Pack is the brand name for Apple’s official add-ons to GarageBand. Each Jam Pack contains loops and software instruments.

All current Jam Packs to date are:
* GarageBand Jam Pack: Remix Tools
* GarageBand Jam Pack: Rhythm Section
* GarageBand Jam Pack: Symphony Orchestra
* GarageBand Jam Pack: World Music
* GarageBand Jam Pack: VoicesAll the Jam Packs have a [ single homepage] .

There was also another GarageBand Jam Pack, initially known just as "Garage Band Jam Pack," later "Garage Band Jam Pack 1" that was discontinued in January of 2006. Beginning with the release of GarageBand Jam Pack: Remix Tools and GarageBand Jam Pack: Rhythm Section, ending with the release of GarageBand Jam Pack: World Music in the January of 2006, each Jam Pack was designated with a number. The release of GarageBand Jam Pack: World Music also saw a redesign in packaging.

Third-party instrument and AppleLoop packages

In addition to Apple, many other companies today offer commercial or shareware virtual software instruments designed specially for GarageBand, and collections of AppleLoops intended for GarageBand users.

GarageBand can also use any third-party softsynth that adheres to the Core Audio (Audio Units) standard. However, there are limitations. Audio Unit instruments which can respond on multiple MIDI channels or ports can be triggered only on the first channel of the first port. This means that instruments which can contain many parts and respond to many MIDI channels, such as Native Instruments Kontakt and MOTU MachFive, are not ideally suited for use in GarageBand.


External links

* [ Official home page]
* [ GarageBand Jam Packs]
* [ List of the contents of all five GarageBand Jam Packs]
* [ GarageBand Tutorial: Built-in Audio Unit Effects] , a detailed explanation of GarageBand’s Audio Units filters

hareware software instruments and loops

* [ Shareware instruments by Ben Bolt of the the University of Iowa Electronic Music Studios]

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