Almost all music creators can agree that; the battle of figuring out the right Digital Audio Workstation for your music production is quite challenging.
I’ve worked in so many DAWs and I still feel like each one differs from the other in a particular way that makes it unique.
Apple’s Garageband is an entry level DAW that is good enough to make entry-level music on. Professionally, a more comprehensive DAW like Logic Pro X is better suited.
Over the years, However I’ve come to learn that, it all comes down to the preferences of the person using the DAW, and not the DAW itself.
from a professional standpoint, i consider Garageband a starting point into music production,
That is, You can use it for however long it takes for you to master its basics, then you can switch to another DAW,
a transition to Logic Pro X will be smooth because of its similarity with Garageband.
The more you test the waters the better your chances are of finding the right DAW that suits you because preferences differ from person to person
With that said I’ll focus this post on the three crucial steps involved in making music, which are:
- Beat making
Beat Making in Garageband
in my research to figure out whether Garageband was a good enough DAW to make music in,
I considered each element that goes into music production and on this particular section,
I’ll get into my experience with using Garageband for beat making.
beat makers and music makers in general, usually rely on Plugins when making beats in any particular kind of DAW.
and lets face it, its pretty difficult to make beats without plugins.
the easiest and simplest definition of a plugin is; software elements that extend the functionality of a program.
plugins come in different types, I.e. Instrument Plugins which can be a synthesizers or guitar or piano,
EQ plugins which are generally used to equalizer etc.
garageband has stock plugins that come pre-installed and you can also install third party plugins pretty easily.
Producer society have an entire article HERE dedicated to why using Garageband for beat making is absolutely worth it,
and how you can install these plugins easily.
another cool thing I discovered with Garageband is that it allows you to sample,
what this means is that it you can upload any kind of recording or loop or audio that you intend to use in the particular project.
sampling is quite effective in music and has been popularized in genres like Hiphop,
with the rise of royalty free samples,
I have an entire article here covering all the basics of royalty free samples.
Garageband also comes pre-equipped with Apple Apple loops that you can use in your music,
I usually rely on samples that are created by me and my team at the Home Music Producer creative studio,
but the apple loops are definitely worth checking out too and to sweeten the deal,
they come with identifiable names, so you basically know what kind of loop you’re getting.
with the Enable Flex Function,
You can also apply time adjusting techniques like time and tempo stretching in order to make sure that your loops are in sync with the particular project.
furthermore Garageband comes pre equipped with a time quantizer tool that is similar to the enable Flex function
and can allow for snapping everything to grid in order to make sure the project is in harmony and accurately timed,
plus these functions are easy to use.
This is what makes a Garageband a worth it DAW to consider when you’re using Mac.
other functionality includes automation, panning and midi instruments,
all available with Garageband.
if you’re absolutely new or not a complete beginner you can go ahead and read this amazing book called Garageband for dummies ,
it is a great resource,
if you’re looking to get acquainted with garageband.
Recording in Garageband
as far as recording goes, I consider Garageband good for entry-level recordings,
it doesn’t have the flexibility that comes with DAWs like Logic Pro X but it can still get the job done.
Garageband enables you to either record with the built-in mac microphone or an external microphone.
in this case we’ll assume an external microphone because we are indeed making music after all,
you can easily connect an audio interface to plug your microphone into.
recording can be done easily by simply arming the track you intend to record in,
Garageband allows you to record up to 255 tracks,
which is great if you’re dealing with a lot of recording or a number of audio pieces that have to fit together in order to produce a complete body of work.
furthermore, you can record multiple takes
which makes it particularly effective for recording podcasts and voice overs.
with that said, the basics of editing can be easily done, but if you intend to dig deeper into advanced editing you definitely can.
one limitation that I’ve noticed with garage band is its of lack of a Mixer,
majority of producers rely on a mixer where they can route their various vocals and add effects to them,
Garageband only has an arrangement window that acts as a mixer with sliders on each track.
While this may be ideal for other producers, I certainly feel that a dedicated mixer is an absolute must in a DAW.
Mixing in Garageband
we can agree that mixing is one of the most important phases in music creation.
Garageband has been equipped with the necessary tools to help you achieve a good mix.
it comes equipped with a noise gate, compressors,
EQ and Reverb.
I’ve worked well enough with the stock plugins in Garageband ,
to record, mix and master.
each process in the recording, mixing and mastering phase is pretty much easy to learn and user friendly.
It’s also worth to note that,
having had used logic pro x I can firmly say that Garageband is almost like the beta version of logic pro x because of their similarities.
having acquired knowledge In Garageband makes logic pro easy to use.
mixing and mastering, is a matter of a preference,
what may sound like a great compressor to one producer will sound not-that-great to another producer.
therefore it’s important that you realise that what may seem usable to you maybe rocket science to others.
in a professional setting however, I’d recommend a DAW that can give a lot more you flexibility in the mixing and mmasterin processes.
there are a number of DAWs that you can try as an alternative,
I have a full complied list on the most useful DAWs I have personally used Here.
Mastering in Garageband
lastly, mastering is the last phase in music production, and it’s all about to tweaking and almost perfecting what’s already there.
I’ve worked around Garageband a number of times and it’s a pretty simple DAW to use.
one thing I appreciate about Garageband is its simplicity,
but then again I’d use a DAW like FL Studio for mastering simply because I can work in it almost flawlessly.
to verify whether this DAW is convenient for you, I recommend Producer Society’s article on How to master a song in garage band Here.
while I’d like to dive into the nitty gritty of mastering, this article is NOT about the nitty gritty,
but rather about whether or not you can fully produce a song professionally in Garageband.
Can you use GarageBand to produce music?
Yes you definitely can use Garageband to produce music, it’s an effective tool and a great place to start if you’re considering learning how to produce music.
What matters is how effectively you can use it because you’re ultimately the one behind the equipment.
Is logic better than Garageband?
Logic is definitely better because Garageband is the watered-down version of Logic.
While Logic may be complex, it is definitely worth the trouble because it is much more advanced.