GarageBand for Mac update adds Touch Bar support, more virtual drummers

Posted:
in Mac Software
Apple on Monday released an update for GarageBand on Mac, adding Touch Bar support to the music creation software, with other additions including a design refresh to make the audio tool easier to use, three new drummers, and more drum loops to be added to a user's composition.




Version 10.2 of GarageBand for Mac makes the MacBook Pro Touch Bar more useful for song creation, allowing users to navigate through a project's timeline, and also play instruments, such as the drums or keyboard. The Touch Bar support arrives just under five months after the same feature was introduced to Logic Pro X in the 10.3 update.

Three more drummers have been added to the collection of virtual session musicians users can tap to add percussion to their tracks, with the new additions providing beats in the styles of Pop, Songwriter, and Latin. A new set of "Drummer" loops have also been added, which can be quickly incorporated into projects with further customization possible with performance controls.

A "new modern design" has also been introduced in the update, promising "improved ease of use," according to Apple's release notes.



Owners of iPhones and iPads will also benefit from increased cross-platform creation, with the ability to add new tracks to an existing Mac-based GarageBand session from iOS. The iOS app also received an update at the same time as GarageBand for Mac, but version 2.2.2 contains stability improvements and bug fixes, not any major changes.

The free update to version 10.2 of GarageBand is available to download from the Mac App Store.

In April, Apple altered the pricing for its iWork suite and remaining iLife apps, including GarageBand, making them free for all iOS and macOS users. Previously, the apps were only free as part of a hardware purchase, with the policy change removing this requirement.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,412member
    Some very solid improvements to GarageBand with this latest update. I'm impressed with what's happening here.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Some very solid improvements to GarageBand with this latest update. I'm impressed with what's happening here.
    I've been thinking....

    Apple could discontinue GarageBand and iMovie and replace both with free licenses for Logic and Final Cut. Apple is a huge company now so they won't lose much money and this move will do 3 important things.

    1. They'll have more focus on these pro products instead of splitting focus on the weaker offerings, creating stronger software. 

    2. This will boost Mac sales like crazy. What they lose in licensing fees they'll gain in hardware sales and brand loyalty.

    3. Further solidify Macs as pro hardware. 
  • Reply 3 of 10
    tzm41tzm41 Posts: 85member
    cali said:
    Some very solid improvements to GarageBand with this latest update. I'm impressed with what's happening here.
    I've been thinking....

    Apple could discontinue GarageBand and iMovie and replace both with free licenses for Logic and Final Cut. Apple is a huge company now so they won't lose much money and this move will do 3 important things.

    1. They'll have more focus on these pro products instead of splitting focus on the weaker offerings, creating stronger software. 

    2. This will boost Mac sales like crazy. What they lose in licensing fees they'll gain in hardware sales and brand loyalty.

    3. Further solidify Macs as pro hardware. 
    I think the drawback here is not everyone needs to learn to use the pro softwares to create simple creations.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,184member
    I wish Apple would bring back Magic GarageBand. That was fun to play around with. 
  • Reply 5 of 10
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,412member
    I wish Apple would bring back Magic GarageBand. That was fun to play around with. 
    It did result in some fun songs, but the limitations during the creation process were heavy.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,792member
    cali said:
    Some very solid improvements to GarageBand with this latest update. I'm impressed with what's happening here.
    I've been thinking....

    Apple could discontinue GarageBand and iMovie and replace both with free licenses for Logic and Final Cut. Apple is a huge company now so they won't lose much money and this move will do 3 important things.

    1. They'll have more focus on these pro products instead of splitting focus on the weaker offerings, creating stronger software. 

    2. This will boost Mac sales like crazy. What they lose in licensing fees they'll gain in hardware sales and brand loyalty.

    3. Further solidify Macs as pro hardware. 
    They could have done this from the start, but they realised that FCP and Logic are far too complex and overwhelming for somebody just playing around. 

    They created GarageBand and iMovie specifically to sell computers to novices. 

    Anybody not daunted by FCP and Logic and interested in using them will buy a Mac realising what a steal those two applications are, anyway. People not using Logic are not concerned about its price, but because the other platforms offer specific advantages and workflows that they find preferable. 
  • Reply 7 of 10
    I completely disagree with the popular notion that garageband is only for children or novices or beginners - either as computer users or as musicians. As a musician and NOT as a sound engineer, I've been playing music for many years and first started using Proppellerhead's Reason shortly after it came out many years ago. I stopped music to concentrate on work some years back but recently have started up again. I bought logicpro a few years ago but found the learning curve way too frustrating. I wanted to record songs using my guitar, bass, voice and drum sounds (since I'm also a drummer I would have just plugged an electronic drum into the macbook if I had one) NOW and didn't want to have to dick around with a completely non-intuitive user-unfriendly device like logicpro.

    Garageband, while still not anywhere near as user friendly as it could be (which is my feeling for about 99.9% of all software anyway since it is never designed by people who do not know how to use it - think about it...) is way easier to use. I'm having a great time with it despite its drawbacks, but those have nothing to do with being too simple. Eventually perhaps I will feel the need to turn to logicpro but i don't know. Pro-tools (ha) like logicpro and others are designed for sound engineers, not musicians, and most musicians want to get a great sounding song produced but aren't concerned with it being absolutely perfect or in doing things that an engineer might want to do, is paid to do, has time for, etc. If apple EVER gets rid of garageband they will be doing a huge disservice to the world of musicians and wannabes.

    By the way, since I have no idea what a Touch Bar is (unfortunately not what it sounds like) I spent a few minutes googling for an answer and I still don't know. Is it a piece of hardware? Software? No idea. I have read reports and even apple items on the introduction of a thing called a Touch Bar yet with NO EXPLANATION for what it is. This is exactly one of the types of problems plaguing the software industry. "I know what it means so everyone else knows it too" seems hardwired into the brains of techies. 
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 8 of 10
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,412member
    mark1964 said:
    I completely disagree with the popular notion that garageband is only for children or novices or beginners - either as computer users or as musicians. As a musician and NOT as a sound engineer, I've been playing music for many years and first started using Proppellerhead's Reason shortly after it came out many years ago. I stopped music to concentrate on work some years back but recently have started up again. I bought logicpro a few years ago but found the learning curve way too frustrating. I wanted to record songs using my guitar, bass, voice and drum sounds (since I'm also a drummer I would have just plugged an electronic drum into the macbook if I had one) NOW and didn't want to have to dick around with a completely non-intuitive user-unfriendly device like logicpro.

    Garageband, while still not anywhere near as user friendly as it could be (which is my feeling for about 99.9% of all software anyway since it is never designed by people who do not know how to use it - think about it...) is way easier to use. I'm having a great time with it despite its drawbacks, but those have nothing to do with being too simple. Eventually perhaps I will feel the need to turn to logicpro but i don't know. Pro-tools (ha) like logicpro and others are designed for sound engineers, not musicians, and most musicians want to get a great sounding song produced but aren't concerned with it being absolutely perfect or in doing things that an engineer might want to do, is paid to do, has time for, etc. If apple EVER gets rid of garageband they will be doing a huge disservice to the world of musicians and wannabes.

    By the way, since I have no idea what a Touch Bar is (unfortunately not what it sounds like) I spent a few minutes googling for an answer and I still don't know. Is it a piece of hardware? Software? No idea. I have read reports and even apple items on the introduction of a thing called a Touch Bar yet with NO EXPLANATION for what it is. This is exactly one of the types of problems plaguing the software industry. "I know what it means so everyone else knows it too" seems hardwired into the brains of techies. 
    The Touch Bar was introduced with a new line of MacBook Pro computers recently. It's just a narrow strip of a touchable display that is squeezed in below the screen and above the top of the typing area, and it's Apple's attempt to create an area for an iPad or iPhone-like experience for users, without going all the way and making the entire screen touchable.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,792member
    mark1964 said:
    I completely disagree with the popular notion that garageband is only for children or novices or beginners - either as computer users or as musicians. As a musician and NOT as a sound engineer, I've been playing music for many years and first started using Proppellerhead's Reason shortly after it came out many years ago. I stopped music to concentrate on work some years back but recently have started up again. I bought logicpro a few years ago but found the learning curve way too frustrating. I wanted to record songs using my guitar, bass, voice and drum sounds (since I'm also a drummer I would have just plugged an electronic drum into the macbook if I had one) NOW and didn't want to have to dick around with a completely non-intuitive user-unfriendly device like logicpro.

    Garageband, while still not anywhere near as user friendly as it could be (which is my feeling for about 99.9% of all software anyway since it is never designed by people who do not know how to use it - think about it...) is way easier to use. I'm having a great time with it despite its drawbacks, but those have nothing to do with being too simple. Eventually perhaps I will feel the need to turn to logicpro but i don't know. Pro-tools (ha) like logicpro and others are designed for sound engineers, not musicians, and most musicians want to get a great sounding song produced but aren't concerned with it being absolutely perfect or in doing things that an engineer might want to do, is paid to do, has time for, etc. If apple EVER gets rid of garageband they will be doing a huge disservice to the world of musicians and wannabes.
    With the utmost respect: I said that GarageBand was for "novices", not for "novice MUSICIANS". And no matter how much you "completely disagree", you ARE a novice and a beginner when it comes to what Logic Pro, at its heart, actually is, and your entire post completely lays that out.

    As you correctly write, Logic Pro is a SOUND ENGINEERING tool in addition to sound creation. You've completely supported my point about learning curves and the software being daunting. 
    Logic was initially never intended to be used by MUSICIANS — it was a tool for recording engineers (as were all DAWs). 

    Logic is EXTREMELY intuitive when it comes to engineering. What Apple have done with it since they bought Emagic in 2002 has been nothing short of a total revolution compared to Logic 4.8 and 5.5 (when I started working with it).

    GarageBand is built as the shortest path between an idea and getting something recorded, and was the first thing the engineering team in Rellingen built once under the Apple flag, even before they started revamping Logic. Logic is (finally) structured the same way, so it has become eminently usable for musicians, but it retains nearly all of the advanced features required for professional studio engineering. 

    There are many professional musicians who do their demo work and rough recordings in GarageBand, passing that on to a professional for serious finishing. GarageBand may be "great-sounding", but it certainly isn't "done" in a professional sense by the time GarageBand's limits have been reached. 
    mark1964 said:
    By the way, since I have no idea what a Touch Bar is (unfortunately not what it sounds like) I spent a few minutes googling for an answer and I still don't know. Is it a piece of hardware? Software? No idea. I have read reports and even apple items on the introduction of a thing called a Touch Bar yet with NO EXPLANATION for what it is. This is exactly one of the types of problems plaguing the software industry. "I know what it means so everyone else knows it too" seems hardwired into the brains of techies. 
    https://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/

    Second paragraph ff.
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 10 of 10
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,792member

    The Touch Bar was introduced with a new line of MacBook Pro computers recently. It's just a narrow strip of a touchable display that is squeezed in below the screen and above the top of the typing area, and it's Apple's attempt to create an area for an iPad or iPhone-like experience for users, without going all the way and making the entire screen touchable.
    To me, that completely misses the mark. 

    In daily use, the Touch Bar does not feel in the slightest like using an iPad or an iPhone. 

    It's more like having a freely configurable function key row that actually shows me the functions as they change from application to application (or even within applications), albeit expanded well beyond the functionality of simple buttons. 

    For example, in Mainstage's performance mode, I have tap-tempo, Panic, master mute, patch advance, and main volume buttons on the Touch Bar, as well as one-button access to the tuner.

    In Logic, I have transport and recording controls, while holding down Option will show buttons for cursor modes. I can also switch it to a project overview with scrolling and a musical keyboard (pretty useless IMO — musical typing on the regular QWERTZ keyboard is much more effective for me). 
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