Dream Jam – a Garageband for iOS, Iphone and iPad review Part V

As we come to an end to this series I can without a doubt say Garageband for iOS can be a serious tool for composers. The way you can create MIDI by touch is exactly like piano roll in the Pro Tools, Logic 9, Garageband, Cubase, Sonar etc. With the fantastic sounding on-board virtual instruments that are sound wise identical to Logic 9 and Garageband for OS X along with the deep editing capability, the only limitation I can see is how many tracks the memory will allow. I can do a CD on an 8 tracks that will sound great on any DAW. This is a VIABLE TOOL and not just a toy. For $5 it’s worth having for anyone who likes music to just goof off with as well :)

With Garageband’s on-board sequencing by genre algorithms you can sketch songs out then tweak them with ease on the computer or phone. I can clearly see how a fully loaded ipad and some of the Apogee gear for D to A conversion (what makes real world sounds like a car door slamming turn into binary numbers for a computer to sample and playback) which is top quality stuff in the pro recording world you could create, in at least part, instrumentation that could go on any finished CD or record with a pro sound.

Check out the four screen shots below, the piano rolls are all very similar on the high-end pro audio DAW’s:

The final tweaks came mostly with the arrangement of the strings and the mix. I didn’t have a chance to use Komplete 8 Ultimate on this project because it arrived in the beginning stages, I don’t install anything in the middle of a project. I’ve learned that it’s not only a very big mistake but also a good motivator to finish up what you have going in your work flow. Being limited to the strings samples that come with on the EXS24 compared to what NI has was difficult, but again I know better than to start walking down that road. I stuck with the EXS24 strings and changed the arrangement most noticeably some unison runs from every instrument on the track.

I added a 3 and 4 part harmony of guitars at the end in harmony with the violin counter melody and an additional rhythm guitar track in the first 2 verses and choruses care of my Egnater Tour Master and my Singleton Crossroads. I used a mic that is now my go to guitar mic, the audix i5 made right here in the pacific north-west. I haven’t used an Sure SM 57 on a snare or a guitar cabinet since I tried the Audix i5, they are amazing microphones USA made and built like a tank for under $100 bucks. I highly recommend them for guitar players and drummers.

EDIT: I also changed out the EXS24 sampler piano part for the luscious Alecia Keys Virtual instrument by Native Instruments that came with Komplete Ultimate 8, it sounds fantastic! It was right at the end and I had a decent mix so I thought WTH, I’ll install the new software. It worked out great on this end for sure. I’m impressed with how much NI has got their shite (that’s a technical term :) )together in the last few years with their service staff and the products they put out. IK multimedia, they’re a freaking toy company IMO and will never buy anything from them unless it’s really cheap on some kind of special buy out etc. It’s good to see NI move away from that and embrace real music crafting again.

This is it, the final track of the series. I did not have the time to Master this track so keep that in mind, it’s only a mix. Of course it’s not what I wish I was presenting here but I think everyone feels the same way about endlessly tweaking knobs to perfection. If you only had more time to mix it again it could have been better. In fact Trey Parker says that very quote in the documentary 6 days to south park. (http://www.thetalkingbox.com/2012/03/creating-south-park.html) or see the movie :p It’s so true, for myself anyway. I would like to revisit this someday with a vocal, anyone who want’s to give it a go hit me up.

Dream Jam for iOS Final Mix:

All the tracks from this article

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Dream Jam – a Garageband for iOS Review Part III

In part III of this review we will continue to build the track and instrumentation to our Garageband for iOS arrangement. In part II we imported the raw Garageband for iOS project:

Garageband for iOS

Garageband for iOS

Titled “Dream Jam” into Logic 9 and did some very minimalistic tweaks with EQ and Garageband compressor leaving the song in a very raw form. Notice at 1:19 from the Part II review how badly the artifacts in the clean guitar fall apart when the melody modulated ascending up the score. I completely changed that sections guitar arrangement which will reflect in the Part III Track below. 

Here’s a screen shot from Logic 9 at it’s first mix right after import from iOS 5 and Garageband for iOS:

Garageband for iOS import to Logic 9

Garageband for iOS import to Logic 9

This bring us up to date. The track has now been significantly EQ’d and had a real percussion arrangement added to it Via Superior 2.0 and a sound library I put together piece by piece and input to Logic 9 via my percussion pads and triggers. In addition Grand Piano, Violin I, II and III, Viola I and II, Cello I and Double Bass I were added to the arrangement. The Kick drum and Bass Guitar have been side chained which was very necessary since we used a 32” Kick drum YIKES! It sounds really good during the Modulation at least for now, who knows what might change down the road.

Here’s a Screen Shot of the new Mix in Logic:

Garageband for iOS Review Part III

Garageband for iOS Review Part III

My preliminary conclusions thus far are Garageband for iOS can be used as a real tool for composers and Singer-Songwriters.  This app is no Toy. The MIDI composing interface can be used to nail down specifically every note in all rhythm  possibilities like any MIDI interface in any DAW. It can be quantized in Garageband for iOS at the touch of a finger even on an iPhone, no iPad required. I can’t wait for my next train trip, I’m going crazy with this app!

Here’s part III’s mix from Soundcloud, make sure and select Part III (3) as I set all the tracks for this review in 1 player: