What You Can Do with GarageBand in iLife ’11 - dummies

What You Can Do with GarageBand in iLife ’11

By Tony Bove

GarageBand ’11 an get you started as a musician, if you’re not one already. This musical component of iLife offers extensive Learn to Play lessons that walk you through the basic techniques of playing guitar and piano. You can also purchase and download guitar and piano lessons from famous artists.

GarageBand also turns your Mac into a home recording studio. You can use the program’s royalty-free loops for your songs, perform with software instruments that are built into GarageBand, and add recordings of real instruments to the mix, if you want — you can even plug in a guitar and use the built-in GarageBand amplifier simulators. You can record studio-quality music, as its name implies, in your garage or home or wherever else you use your Mac — even at your favorite coffeehouse.

Performing and recording have come a long way since the Beatles played live acoustic instruments in a Liverpool back yard and the Kingsmen practiced “Louie, Louie” in their garages in Oregon. GarageBand is ready for the do-it-yourself-in-a-garage attitude — it brings some basic functions of a Pro Tools setup down to the level of the rank amateur who’s rocking out for the fun of it or the professional musician eager to make a demo without having to pay for a recording studio. GarageBand is for those who prefer working in garages, at least in spirit.

You can even compose on the fly with nothing more than a laptop, or add a keyboard, hook up an electric guitar, or connect a microphone and record anything (such as vocals). Record a podcast episode quickly and then add the episode to your Web site with iWeb. In fact, everything you create in GarageBand can be used with other iLife applications, such as iPhoto, for slideshows, iMovie for soundtracks, iDVD for menu music, and iWeb to add music to your Web site. Your songs and ringtones can also be transferred directly to iTunes and used in your iPod or iPhone.