Posted Monday, May 17, 2004

GarageBand 1.1: Practice Makes Perfect (and yes, it's in the book!)

The newest member of the iLife family just got better. Apple delivered GarageBand 1.1 today, a free update that adds a few welcome new features.

I'm on the road and busy busy busy at the moment, but I did want to share some tips regarding a remarkable capability that GarageBand has always had, but that version 1.1 brings to the fore: the ability to use a software instrument loop in a real instrument track.

Rather than describe it all here, I thought I'd post a PDF excerpt from The Macintosh iLife '04. (Yes, the new edition does cover GarageBand 1.1.)

This excerpt contains two spreads from different parts of my book's GarageBand chapter. One spread provides some essential background on how GarageBand's tracks and Apple Loops work; the other spread describes some of the very slick things you can do with software instrument loops. For example, did you know that a software instrument loop is actually an AIFF audio file that contains an audio rendition of the loop? Check out the excerpt for all the details.

Download the excerpt now (430K PDF file). Then pre-order the The Macintosh iLife '04 -- 288 full-color pages plus a two-hour instructional DVD (that also contains a great library of free loops) for the so-cheap-it's-silly price of $20.99.

Oh, and what else is new in GarageBand 1.1? There's a new Track Echo effect that lets you apply echo independently of the master track. Dance and electronica composers will love it.

You can drag tracks up and down to organize them the way you like -- group all your rhythm section tracks together, for example.

A new Duplicate Track command makes a dupe of a track, keeping its instrument and effect settings.

You can rename a track by clicking its name in the track header -- no need to journey into the track editor. (If only iPhoto offered this in-place editing for roll names!)

You can save a tune as an archive in order to move it to another Mac. When you save as an archive, GarageBand embeds the loops in the file to ensure that they'll be present after you copy the song.

There's more, but as I said, I'm on the road and a bit distracted at the moment. Download the excerpt! You'll learn a bit about GarageBand and get a preview of the latest edition of the book/DVD hybrid that one reviewer called "the best computer book ever, bar none."