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Thread: Opinions on GarageBand?

  1. #1

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    Default Opinions on GarageBand?

    It has come time, yet again, for me to replace my aged and ailing computer. I've always been a Windows guy. Starting back around the time of Windows 98 (I think), up to Windows 7. I've never had any real qualms with Windows, but I continue to hear nothing but great reviews about Apple and Mac. Well, several Windows desktops and laptops later, I've decided to jump the fence and go to the Mac world. I ordered a brand new 21.5" iMac from the apple site. It should be here on Tuesday.

    I've been using my Dell laptop for recording drums for quite a while. I'm recording a 5 piece kit, using 8 mics total. I have a Tascam US-1800 USB interface, and I use Reaper for a DAW. I'm no expert, but I've been able to figure out the basics, and a couple of little tricks along the way.

    Now it's my understanding that GarageBand comes pre-installed in my new computer, so I figure I might as well give it a try. So I'm wondering, from the guys who have used and/or still use GarageBand, how do you like it? Is it easy to learn and use? Does anyone have any first hand comparisons to Reaper?
    Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam
    "I shall either find a way or make one"

  2. #2

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    Unfortunately can not commit on Garageband as I have never used it but I have used Reaper on my Macs and that is a great platform. Have you considered continuing with Reaper?

  3. #3

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    Welcome to the MAC world! I'll never go back to a PC ever... only PC I own is literally just to run my racecar.

    Garageband is a nice factory program. It's nothing overly fancy but I've had plenty of fun with it here and there.
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  4. #4

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    What's the point of switching platforms when you have a lot of experience using PC? You'll waste time and money learning a new os plus the software that goes with it, to do the task you're trying to do. Stick with what you know, but upgrade it to make your usage more efficient. Meaning, upgrade your pc specs to current generation. 8-16gb 1600mhz ram, 3-4ghz quadcore i7 cpu, maybe a solid state to mount windows 7 on(I didn't like 8) and a 1tb 7200rpm hd for data/backup, a good sound card, etc..

    It'll make what you already know how to do, perform that much better.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    Welcome to the MAC world! I'll never go back to a PC ever... only PC I own is literally just to run my racecar.

    Garageband is a nice factory program. It's nothing overly fancy but I've had plenty of fun with it here and there.
    Thanks Spaz! I've heard that from so many people, that they'll never go back to PC. I'm really looking forward to it. As far as Garageband, that sound like what I'm looking for. Nothing overly fancy, but gets the job done well. My bass player has Pro Tools 11 on his computer, and that's where we do our recording for our band. I just record at home for fun, and to record ideas I have for new songs.
    Last edited by Powertrip240; 04-19-2015 at 09:25 PM.
    Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam
    "I shall either find a way or make one"

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by nucjd View Post
    Unfortunately can not commit on Garageband as I have never used it but I have used Reaper on my Macs and that is a great platform. Have you considered continuing with Reaper?
    I figure I'll try GarageBand, since it comes with the computer, and I've heard a lot of good things about it. If it's not my cup of tea, I can always install Reaper on the new computer and continue to use it.
    Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam
    "I shall either find a way or make one"

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    What's the point of switching platforms when you have a lot of experience using PC? You'll waste time and money learning a new os plus the software that goes with it, to do the task you're trying to do. Stick with what you know, but upgrade it to make your usage more efficient. Meaning, upgrade your pc specs to current generation. 8-16gb 1600mhz ram, 3-4ghz quadcore i7 cpu, maybe a solid state to mount windows 7 on(I didn't like 8) and a 1tb 7200rpm hd for data/backup, a good sound card, etc..

    It'll make what you already know how to do, perform that much better.
    I appreciate your input, but I've already decided to go Mac. I understand your point about upgrading my current PC, but there's gotta be a reason why so many people rave about Mac computers. Everyone I've talked to who owns a Mac says they love it, and will never go back to PC. I can't say the same thing about PC. Plus, my PC is an 8 year old laptop. There's only so much upgrading that can be done. And as far as the learning curve, I know it's going to take a bit, but I have time. I'm not recording anything serious, I just record for fun.
    Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam
    "I shall either find a way or make one"

  8. #8

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    I love Mac. I think you'll like it. The learning curve really isn't as steep as people like to think it is. Garageband is ok. It's a great free program. I use it to record bass guitar tracks and back them with the built in drummer. Works well for that.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Powertrip240 View Post
    I appreciate your input, but I've already decided to go Mac. I understand your point about upgrading my current PC, but there's gotta be a reason why so many people rave about Mac computers. Everyone I've talked to who owns a Mac says they love it, and will never go back to PC. I can't say the same thing about PC. Plus, my PC is an 8 year old laptop. There's only so much upgrading that can be done. And as far as the learning curve, I know it's going to take a bit, but I have time. I'm not recording anything serious, I just record for fun.
    To each his own...why people need to pick sides for a computer is ridiculous. I love my Mac and since I have an ipad, iphone, ipod, iMac, Macbook (yeah, I know) they all work together nicely. Garageband is a fun tool to have (especially since it comes free) and has had some really cool updates as of late. I think you'll like it

  10. #10

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    Here's my 2 cents worth...I plugged in my midi keyboard on my pc, Cubase installed, messed around for 1/2 hour, still no keys playing...went upstairs to IMac, plugged in, fired up Garageband, clicked on something that said "piano", started playing sounds.....within 1 minute...I'm a pc guy, but man that was just awesome...minimal learning curve!

  11. #11

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    garage band is great, it does what you need it to. I used to use it for demos and when I didnt have my ilok for pro tools. Then upgraded to logic and now I don't even look at pro tools
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  12. #12

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    Older thread, I know, but for your info, if you're going Mac, you can still use your PC DAW. Just use a PC Operating System, along with a program called Parallels, and you can continue to run Windows, and any/all Windows programs, on your Mac. The best of both worlds. I've done this for years (though not DAW related).
    Now, just a tiny bit less than an absolute drum newbie
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  13. #13

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    I'm actually going to get a pc as my imac is 6 years old and while still running fine, i need something portable and with more than 1 usb port...but i digress.

    Garageband is pretty useless for drums (at least the version i use). The reason is that you cannot simply plug in the drums as you like (say by writing in the music or clicking on a cell as you do in many programs). Instead, you have to hit the keyboard buttons, which makes the drums highly inaccurate and for each drum you have to go back and quantitize them (and make sure that's been done properly). To do a simple 2 bar pattern, it took me nearly an hour to do this.

    When I first got my ekit, I hooked it up to my ex's macbook and played around with it. I'm a much better drummer now, but still, I think you end up spending more time on the comp than behind the kit, which kinda defeats the purpose.

    I've heard reaper is good, I've been using an app called walkband which works quite well for making basic to mid-level patterns if you want to get ideas down on your mobile...
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  14. #14

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    The new version of GB has a fairly decent drummer. There are several "drummers", each with their own style. You can also swap out various kits. Then you can alter how they play, how many fills they use, etc. It's pretty cool, but not for us drummers. It's more for a guitar player or song writer who wants to put drums to a track but doesn't have a drummer to record the parts.

  15. #15

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    Garageband is a good basic DAW. If you're an absolute beginner when it comes to producing/recording then it's a decent program to start off with. It's easy to learn and use. It's probably not as powerful as Reaper, though.

    If you end up liking Garageband then I would suggest investing in Logic Pro. It's similar to Garageband, cheap as chips and it's as powerful as any other DAW on the market.
    - Zack

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by funkyruss View Post
    Here's my 2 cents worth...I plugged in my midi keyboard on my pc, Cubase installed, messed around for 1/2 hour, still no keys playing...went upstairs to IMac, plugged in, fired up Garageband, clicked on something that said "piano", started playing sounds.....within 1 minute...I'm a pc guy, but man that was just awesome...minimal learning curve!

    Same here. Very user friendly. I fought with a couple of PC based platforms with very little success. I picked up GB with just a bit of help from my guitarist and then I bought a Mac, specifically for GB.

  17. #17

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    sorry old thread revival

    I personally think you will be wasting time on Garageband IMHO

    better to spend time learning a pro DAW like Pro tools, Abelton Live , Logic, Cuebase, Studio One .etc

    you can always crack or get a demo of most DAW's ..also there are lite versions of pritty much all DAW's ..so you cant go wrong .

  18. #18

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    I use GB to EQ and mix drum tracks that I record on my Zoom R16 for YouTube drum videos and demo drum tracks for some songs I've been working on and for me it's great, it's extremely easy to use and figure out and the sound quality is decent.
    I wouldn't use it to record an album or anything but seeing as it's free it's hard to complain too much about it!

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