Houston Chronicle reviews GarageBand for iPad: ‘Astonishing; easily the best app so far this year’

“For years, I’ve had this recurring dream: I walk into a room to find a guitar, which I pick up and play with Eric Clapton-like prowess. I am always surprised at my newfound skill,” Dwight Silverman reports for The Houston Chronicle.

“I can only intermittently carry a tune and have no musical talent whatsoever. But a new program makes it so easy to play, record and even compose music that it almost feels as if my dream has become reality,” Silverman reports. “What makes this program even more remarkable is that, despite its power, it runs on a nontraditional mobile platform. It’s GarageBand for iPad, and if you’ve got an original iPad or the new iPad 2, you’ll want to grab this and install it posthaste.”

Silverman reports, “Even if you can’t play a note, GarageBand for iPad will have you playing and even composing music soon after you first fire it up. It’s an astonishing piece of software, easily the best application I’ve seen so far this year.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dow C.” for the heads up.]


  1. I’m a subscriber to the Houston Chronicle (I know, that makes me an old fart.) Silverman has a weird record with Apple – he was a peecee guy, but over the years has become more platform neutral. It’s like he has become a Mac guy, but can’t quite let himself give up on the other world completely. He’ll praise the Droid platform, but at the end of the column admit that IOS is better…for now. Kind of an odd duck.

    1. cognitive dissonance is like being crazy. once you admit you are then you’re kinda instantly not. but until you acknowledge your reality then your really just fooling yourself. sorta like being religious.

      we macs-heads may soon need to acknowledge that our platform’s security is largely due to it’s relative obscurity(read: not on a hacker’s radar).

      I’m extremely surprised there’s been no major exploit of iOS or os x yet.

      1. “we macs-heads may soon need to acknowledge that our platform’s security is largely due to it’s relative obscurity(read: not on a hacker’s radar).”

        True, but I get the feeling Apple’s already anticipating this and that it will be able to respond better than Microsoft and we won’t have to rely on third-party vendors for security.

  2. GarageBand for iPad is a great sketchbook for musical ideas. Amazing what one can put together in a matter of minutes. This app demonstrates huge content creation potential with iPad.

  3. I have heard many people voice their general disappointment with the arrival of tools such as this GarageBand for iPad. The general feeling there is that now, you no longer need talent and everyone can now be a musician.

    Clearly, that is NOT the case. In order to become a GREAT musician, you MUST posses talent, and more importantly, you MUST practice that musicianship relentlessly. None of the great musicians of our (or any other) time have become that without incessant effort.

    What GarageBand provides is great means for those with some talent and little to no skill to create music without having to first practice an instrument for years. It is an incredibly addictive and seductive application that will suck in those who may have musical talent and appreciation, but never had the time, persistence or desire to practice in order to play. The ability to easily make actually pleasing musical sounds may motivate many who needed such motivation to actually pick up a real instrument and begin practicing.

    This article is right on the mark: GarageBand for iPad is one of the most delightful, thoroughly fun applications that any musician, amateur, professional, aspiring or not, should get. You can’t help but get inspired!

    1. It’s been true for a while, that you don’t need talent to make a song that sounds good. Tools like autotuning, multi-track editing, and loop libraries have allowed talentless “artists” to turn out hit singles for at least over over a decade.

      Tools like Garageband just give the same power to everyone, democratizing the ability to make music that sounds good.

      Personally, that’s I why I have to listen to at least an entire album before judging musicians. Anyone can with the right tools and a bit of luck can make single or two that sound great. But it takes real artistic talent to make an whole album that sounds great.

      1. Sorry to be disagreeable but that is just a myth… there’s no way anybody could make a real hit song without musical knowledge or an amazing amount of natural talent. You literally can’t just toss together a few loops and auto-tune a vocal and produce a hit, it’s an ignorant fantasy.

  4. Connecting loops is editing-not composing & it certainly isn’t playing any more than making a scrapbook of other people’s photographs is photography.
    Wanna impress me? Pick up a guitar and sighted The Claw.
    I use DAW software, but I play guitar and am getting there on the piano. It’s all about the investment of time & effort or it ain’t about sh!t.

    1. And GarageBand is more than just connecting loops. You certain can use it that way, but you can also use the included software instruments to create entirely original songs without touching a loop. Although I am a fairly decent guitar player, I use GB this way all the time.

    2. Pointing, clicking, and typing aren’t exactly the same thing as digital programming and electrical engineering. So nothing regular people do with computers is worth sh!t either?

  5. No amount of technology makes one a great musician or creates a great song. Amazingly, there are a lot of people and their fns who don’t know the difference- but tools like Garageband are great in that they inspire- and inspiration is essential for the creative process. As Roger Ebert says- “Don’t wait for the inspiration. Start without it and it will come.”

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