The Age: Apple’s GarageBand is ‘music synthesis for the rest of us’

“According to a playwright bloke named William Congreve who was known in the boozers of London about the end of the 17th century, ‘Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.’ My stumbling excursions so far with SoundTrack, the wonderfully capable music synthesiser that Apple released late last year, have led me to have some feeling for Congreve and his thoughts about the softening of rocks and the soothing of savage breasts,” Garry Barker reports for The Age.

“But at least I have had fun, not all of which has been shared by those asked to listen. However, things may be looking up. A new, easier to use SoundTrack sort of software called GarageBand has been included in iLife ’04, the latest version of Apple’s now well-tried suite of digital lifestyle software,” Barker reports.

“The range of audio effects is awesome. For instance, I am assured that there is a $A70,000 grand piano hidden in there somewhere (amazing what software engineers can do with compression these days), along with guitars, and also geetarrs (the country music twangy-things). There may even be a mouth-harp and the sound of Tim Bowden’s teeth (the former ABC-TV BackChat presenter used to wow them in Hobart with tunes tapped out with a pencil on his pearly whites), though it is not likely,” Barker reports.

“So far as choice of musical effect goes, GarageBand is pretty much what its name implies and there is thus a shortage of some effects, such as brass, woodwinds and classical strings. Apple sells a software add-on package called Jam Pack that, although it has more than 2000 loops, guitar and drum effects, also lacks the more mellifluous stuff. It would be nice if they extended the range a bit, even at the risk of taking the music out of the garage,” Barker reports. “GarageBand is music synthesis for the rest of us.”

Full article here.


  1. Mac Beth,
    I wouldn’t know. Never tried wearing wool, and I don’t own a bra…. well, that is, none that I bought anyway. Still tryingt o figure out the owners of the ones I found in my couch….

    I installed GB on my 466… runs ok, though its a bit slaggish in the speed arena. I think I need that G5 right about now.

  2. I installed iLife ’04 on my iBook 600, and the processor craps out on me if I get more than 64 beats or 5 instruments playing. Does anyone have some suggestions? (it’s running with 256Mb Ram, which should be enough, but I’m maxing out the ram with a 512Mb SO DIMM chip soon so I’ll have 640Mb.)

  3. Even a 12″ 1Ghz powerbook tops out at just several tracks. This is Apple’s secret weapon to drive new sales among existing Mac faithful – as well as attract new percentage points.

  4. Al: Buy a Dual G5 – You know you want it.�

    heh, unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of money on me. I wish I did, I’ve wanted to get an iMac G4 with SuperDrive for home, and I hope to eventually upgrade to a Powerbook with superdrive too. But when your big purchases are only achievable after you get your tax return money…I’ll just have to wait.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.