GarageBand: The best tips and tricks for the perfect song in the digital music studio

Compose your own music, assemble brisk rhythms from pre-made sound sequences or turn your favorite hit into a ringtone – with GarageBand, this works easily and intuitively. Getting started isn’t hard. See for yourself!

Recording studio and music school for five euros. This is how Apple’s Music Program GarageBand can be described in a nutshell. This allows even beginners to easily compose their own music – provided you have a little musical flair. This does not even require a real instrument. Virtual instruments are integrated into the program. You play this with the Mac keyboard. Of course, it would be easier and more intuitive with a real keyboard for getting started – but being able to play with the Apple keyboard is still handy. In this way, you play not only the keyboard of a piano but also the strings of a guitar or the fur of a drum. To record vocals or spoken texts for a podcast, the internal microphone is sufficient at the beginning, if available.

Connect instrument

If you want to play with real instruments and have their sounds recorded by GarageBand, connect them to your Mac. This works with a keyboard, for example, via a USB input. The easiest way to connect a guitar is to the line-in connector. To do this, you usually need an adapter from a large to a small blade plug. In addition, there is also a mediating device, a so-called audio interface. You can connect this to your Mac via line-in, USB, Firewire or Thunderbolt input. Connect the instruments to the audio interface.

Integrated Loops

To make it particularly easy, Apple has integrated a large number of loops. A loop is a fixed tone sequence of one or more instruments. You can use them in an accompanying way or put together a piece of music from them alone without having to play an instrument yourself. Also possible: You load a piece of music from a well-known artist from your hard drive and experiment with it a little. This option is especially useful if you want to create your own ringtone of a favorite hit for your iPhone.



Whether recorded by software or with a real instrument, GarageBand creates a separate track for everything you play. You can edit these in a targeted manner; shorten, change the sound with a filter or even vary the volume. The program plays on top of each other at the same time. This allows you to record an instrument by instrument one after the other and then combine it into a complete song. Just as easily add vocals.

GarageBand on iPad and Android

GarageBand is also available as an app for iPad, iPhone and Android (4.99 Euro). The app comes with so-called smart instruments. These can play fully automatic chords. You change them with just one tap. This makes it quick and easy to compose convincing melodies. As on your Mac, you can arrange individual recordings in different tracks on the iPad to create a complete work. Additional loops and filters are also available for alienation. Also possible: the connection of a guitar.

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