Apple’s GarageBand 2 Is In The Spotlight

Garageband_1 There’s a new star in the house and with the 4-track sitting in the corner, dusty and unused, GarageBand has come along and moved straight into the spotlight.

After never getting into using the old 4-track, hoping that there was another way around studio costs and trying to find engineers that ‘shared the same vision’, GarageBand has made the whole recording process more efficient and has allowed me to be more creative than any time before. One of the best things about using GarageBand is that infamous ‘C’ word: Control. I’m doing things now that I would never have imagined a few months ago. The thought of using GarageBand was at first intimidating considering I had never ‘engineered’, however once the software was downloaded, the ease of use was amazing. Everything is right there in front of you. Basic enough for the beginner and yet challenging enough for the experienced engineer to keep their interest.

Mobilepre_1 The freedom to use what seems like limitless tracks is refreshing and with a simple interface like the M-Audio MobilePre USB, plugging in a mic, guitars or midi keyboard is pretty straightforward.

The effects were okay in the beginning with version one, but as someone who likes to play with effects on vocals as well as bass and guitars, after awhile, I was wanting more. And what happened next?

GarageBand 2 was released.

It didn’t take long before the software was installed, and after opening up version two, on the surface things didn’t look too much different form version one. For those who might be concerned about losing any previous mixes from the first version, no need to worry. Everything was still intact after the installation.

The first thing I had to check out were the new effects. There are some mouth watering additions for the vocals like Epic Diva and Vocal Reflection. The guitar and bass also have some new effects like English Channel, Glam and New Nashville for guitar and Deep Reggae, Seventies and Studio Direct Box for Bass. The loop additions are also a welcome site as is the built in tuner.

GarageBand 1 lacked the ability to record more than one real instrument at a time. With the new version, you can record up to eight real instruments simultaneously! You can also change the tempo and key of recorded instruments, as well as lock tracks to avoid accidental changes.

As great as GarageBand 2 is, there have been some frustrating moments and glitches along the way, such as some distorting of tracks and even with 1 GB of memory, functioning has slowed down while adding more tracks to a song. But just as in version one, there are ways to optimize the system to prevent sluggishness, that you can find in GarageBand ‘help’. Also, there’s a friendly community over at the GarageBand discussion group: Usually if there are problems, you’re not the only one having them. Whenever I’ve gone there for support, I’ve been able to resolve any issues by searching through the recent discussions, and the one time I did post a question, someone was quick to respond.

At this early stage, I am still getting to know GarageBand 2 and am looking forward to using the other new features like timing and pitch enhancement and the displaying of musical notation.

If you want to hear what we’ve done using GarageBand 2, go to The Babylon Cowboys website and listen to ‘Reflection’. For the direct song link go to:

Babylon_cowboys_2 Jenny May is one half of The Babylon Cowboys. Together with Dave Tommo they are holed up in Oxford, England recording their new album on Garageband 2. Check out their website and blog for regular updates of their progress.


  1. You mentioned locking tracks to avoid accidental changes, but locking the track also results in rendering the track as a complete audio file, freeing up any CPU cycles that may have been eaten by that track and its effects.

    Just a little added note



  2. Virtual Music Press Release 2005


    Virtual Music (
    Announces the arrival of the MDP™ (Musician Digital Portfolio)

    Dallas, TX, March 12th 2005 – Virtual Music, a leading provider of digital services for professional musicians, today announced their new service called MDP (Musician Digital Portfolio).

    “We are very pleased to announce the MDP. After 15 months of R&D, and negotiations with several “Sponsors”, we have put together the most powerful tool for the musician, seeking to launch or promote their career”.

    The MDP (Musician Digital Portfolio) consists of an interactive DVD with dynamic elements of high resolution photography, audio and video; where musicians will be able to showcase their work, their talent and their image; as well as to provide the necessary information for their promotion, booking or contact.

    The menus, and all text information, are in English and Spanish. All the elements are created with dynamic buttons and sound. There are 12 themes to choose from, to personalize the MDP (“my MDP”); and if the artist wishes, Virtual Music also offers a professional duplication service, with suitable packaging to be sent by mail or courier; as well as additional related services.

    The process is very simple and it does not matter where the musician lives, since he or she will perform the entire process, via the Internet from a computer. From the Web site:, the musician will choose a theme that best suits their musical image and style; the television format for their market NTSC or PAL, and then order my MDP with a credit, debit or ATM card (Visa or Mastercard).

    The service is available immediately for the following markets:

    • USA • Canada • EU • Latin America • Australia • New Zealand

    To support sustained expansion in new markets, Virtual Music is implementing an aggressive marketing campaign to expand the service into the Pacific Rim, beginning with the Philippines, Japan, South Korea by the 4th quarter of 2005.

    One of Virtual Music goals is advertising exchange, with high value specialized magazines in all markets, through our sponsorship programs. At the present time, our web site offers attractive home page banner space on the Spanish or English sites, particularly to industry magazines, musical instrument manufactures or distributors and other music related services, interested in expanding their market position in the USA and entering new markets around the world.

    The uniqueness of the MDP goes far beyond the ability to portrait the artist’s talents in a professional way. It takes no more than 10 to 15 minutes for a record label scout, an agent or a promoter, to judge the musician’s potential; and usually that’s what makes the difference to get an audition. The MDP, not only will become a must for an artist, but in a short period of time, it will become the standard of the music industry.

    A high quality DVD production requires weeks of work and thousands of Dollars; instead the MDP can be produced in few hours, and can be delivered anywhere in the world for less than $200.00 Dollars, whether you are a solo artist, a band or an orchestra, the price remains the same; and all of this, thanks to Virtual Music’s unique partnership with key sponsors.


    To obtain additional information about our MDP service, please contact:

    To request information on advertising space and our advertising press kit, please contact:

    For inquiries on sponsorship programs, please contact:
    Josep M. Segura

    MDP™ (Musician Digital Portfolio), myMDP™ and miMDP™, are trade marks property of Virtual Music – a division of Virtual Solutions.

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