Apple's GarageBand puts a music studio right on your Mac, giving both musicians and the musically challenged a broad range of powerful tools you can use to create and edit songs.
Quick to get started: To start creating a song, pick a project template. You can go with a blank template or choose one tailored to a style or instrument (such as hip hop or guitar). For finer control over the project, you can pick a tempo and set key and time signatures as well as input and output devices.
Lay down your tracks: After setting on a project type, plug in your instrument or mic, and start recording a track. GarageBand comes with an expansive library of sounds and effects to apply to your track to produce the sound you want. You can use Apple-created loops or add third-party drum beats and riffs.
Cue the drummer: Choose from more than two dozen drum loops from a variety of styles -- from EDM and hip hop to Latin and blues -- and then tweak the loop to get the exact sound you want. For example, you have control over the sound of the kick drum, snare, toms, and hi-hat.
Synthesizers: GarageBand also comes with 100 synth sounds designed for EDM and hip hop. As with the drum loops, you can tweak the sounds to match the feel of your tune.
Big files: On initial setup, GarageBand warns you it may take a while to download its starter collection of files. If you want the full collection of patches, drummers, and loops, the file is significantly larger (topping 10GB), so make sure you have the time and space if you want them.
A bit of a learning curve: While GarageBand is not a professional-level tool (Apple's Logic Pro X fills that spot), it is a deep music-creation program that takes some time to get comfortable with.
GarageBand for Mac offers a wealth of tools for creating, editing, and fine-tuning your music. While it's not a professional tool like Logic Pro X, its abilities must not be underestimated.
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