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Apple's Garageband - any good?

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I'm hoping to get a new imac soon and I know it comes with the latest version of Garageband, which I have never used before. I own Cubasis which is a beginner's programme but still offers incredible flexibility. What I need to know about Garageband is this:

1) does it have automated mixdown (ie being able to assign panning and volume control to each individual track)

2) Can you import MP3s an edit them. I have a digital 8-track and was thinking of importing each track as an MP3 and messing with them in Garageband

3) are there any options for compression in the mixdown so everything sounds tight and more polished (not in a Coldplay sense though)

If Garageband really isn't that great are there any other fairly cheap programs (sub-

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I'm on DP3...and, I'm gonna make the jump over to ProTools. I also record on a Mac, and was talking to one of the local 'know it alls' at the GC...He actually suggested Garageband to me...if anything, to have as just another tool.

Other than that, I just don't know anyone who uses it...

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Our singer just got a Mac and has been using Garagaband to try out ideas. We did a bit of recording on it for a laugh and I was surprised how good it is. It's got all the basic effects and EQ and it's all fine for demos, especially considering it was free.

Gear used is


A Jaguar

A pod

A bass guitar

A Roland SH101 mono synth

Keith Moon

We didn't have a mic with us so we used the Mac's built in one - that's not an effect on the vocal it's just how he sounded with his head under the desk singing into the casing.

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  • 2 years later...

i use garage band. it has individual track levels and pan. i use a a alesis USB mixer with it so i can use more mics. i get pretty good recordings out of it. and it mizes it down on its own just go to share-send to itunes or whatever and it mixes it. im not sure about adding compression to it though. That kind of got me wondering, that could make them better.

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  • 5 months later...

My mate was flogging this program to me for ages, but I found it a little simplistic and I prefer to use sequencer-type setups for recording now. You can check out the results on my myspace site. I use a program called Renoise - its an old tracker-style sequencer but you can apply unlimited effects on each track, assign the pan and width, volume slide, pan slide, automate any effect or filter and most importantly it has automatic compression on mixdown. Quality program for super cheap.

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