GarageBand FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

GarageBand is an app that has enabled every Apple device user sitting on a couch or anywhere in the world to create professional-quality music that can be released online on streaming platforms such as SoundCloud, Spotify, or even Apple Music. The capabilities of the app are absolutely stellar from a feature standpoint.

Providing instruments that include Acoustic Guitar, Grand Piano, to even bongos. The fun part is these instruments and some effects like Metronome are available without any additional plugins or purchases. With in-app purchases, the abilities of the app can be enhanced by a quantum leap. The ecosystem created by the Apple ID connectivity allows the artist to edit the same track on an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and also Mac. 

With an application of this extent, there is a lot of ground to cover hence, a new or even an experienced user can have questions about nuances of the app. Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions about the free Apple DAW GarageBand.

FAQS about GarageBand

Q. Is GarageBand free to use?

A. GarageBand is a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) that comes pre-installed in any Apple device which includes iPhone, iPad, Mac desktops and laptops. Thus, GarageBand is free to use but more plugins and effects are not free and need to be bought separately. This condition is also applicable for more virtual instruments.

Q. How many tracks are available on GarageBand in a single music production set?

A. Track in a music production software or Digital Audio Workstation is a placeholder for storing sounds. This storing not only puts the sound in the song but also sets place, pitch, sensitivity, etc other features and attributes can be set using the track. There is a limit of 256 tracks set in GarageBand which is way more than what most songs would need. Most songs have 15-30 tracks at best. Hence although there is a limit it is mostly to curtail system performance hampering and not hinder productivity.

Q. What are some essential tips for beginners to GarageBand and music production.

A. Beginners who start out music production need to keep one thought in their mind while using any DAW “Music Production can be more complicated than needed if not done correctly, the simplest solution is the easiest”.

Do not clip tracks. This is regularly done by beginners. The issue with clipping tracks is that the resulting audio sounds jarring, weird, and doesn’t sound professional at all. 

Test tracks using good and bad quality headphones and speakers. This seems self-explanatory but even then here is an explanation. Not every listener will be using an audio setup with Sennheiser headphones, JBL flips or even Bose audio headsets. Hence it becomes imperative to test the audio for consistency on good and bad quality sound devices.

Q. Is GarageBand good for beginners?

A. GarageBand is one of the best options for beginners for the ease of use that is available in the app. GarageBand enables the user to focus more on the music production aspect without having to face a lot of technical hassle that is usually present in other professional tools such as Pro Tools by Avid, Ableton Live, Cubase Pro 6. This lack of technical finesse in GarageBand does compromise power and quality. However, GarageBand is a tool made for beginners and not for professionals. In case a professional tool is needed to be optimized for Mac Logic Pro X is a better and much more capable alternative in every right.

Q. Can an artist sell music created in GarageBand?

A. This is an often asked question and rightfully so since people do want to make money with music production if that is something an artist wants to do as a full-time career. The simple answer is yes a producer can sell songs and make 100% of the whole income without any money going to Apple. The reason for this is that all the music used in GarageBand is royalty-free. Therefore since there is no royalty involved there is no restriction on money whatsoever.

Q. What is the maximum recording capacity of GarageBand? If there indeed does exist.

A. There does exist a recording limit although not advertised which is 998 hours or a limit of hard disk storage (whichever comes first). This limit has been put in place to avoid firstly a programming concept (more suitable to be called a logical fallacy) called infinity loops. What this means is if the recording goes on forever the system will overload and crash. Hence avoiding this is crucial. Secondly, the limit has been put in place for security reasons since an unlimited amount of recording length would lead to hard disk space deterioration.

Q. What are some alternatives for GarageBand on Android?

A. This is a pretty valid question since GarageBand isn’t available on the Android platform. Some great alternatives to GarageBand out for are:

  1. Caustic 3: Caustic 3 is a capable DAW with most of the features that are available in a professional DAW. Available for free from the Google Play Store

2. FL Studio Mobile: Considered the best DAW by a huge margin in the Android app marketplace. Available for $3.97 on the Google Play Store. FL (stands for Fruity Loops) Studio Mobile provides all the features available on the Mac and PC versions.

3. Beats Metronome: A somewhat DAW that is a perfect fit for practice and solo sessions. The Interface is fit for a no-nonsense design layout. The app is free to download from Google Play Store.

Q. I have uninstalled GarageBand on my system. Where can I reinstall it on my device from?

A. A fairly common question people ask so it’s nothing to be worried about. All the apps that are pre-installed on devices be it Apple Home, Apple Health or for that matter GarageBand can be reinstalled by going to the App Store (for iPhone and iPad) and Mac App Store (for Mac devices) and downloading GarageBand like any other application. That should get the app back on your device.

Q. What are the minimum system requirements to run GarageBand on my Mac?

A. GarageBand can support any macOS that is being provided security updates by Apple itself. However, it does require 8 GB RAM for barebones operation, and for smooth working anything over 16GB is just fine. 

A processor with at least 1.8GHz is considered suitable. Also, a minimum of 20 GB of disk space is necessary but adding more plugins and features would increase the amount accordingly.

Q. How can one run GarageBand on a Windows PC?

A. Running GarageBand on Windows does need a few more steps than normally needed. These include going into the system BIOS and setting the virtualization setting to enabled once this is done the user can install virtualization software such as VMWare Workstation or Oracle Virtual Box.

Once that is done creating a Mac OS virtual machine is needed. After that, the user can go to Finder and find GarageBand. 

With this, all essential questions related to GarageBand have been answered. However, as the name rightfully makes clear the software is not professional for a lasting career. An alternative professional software such as Logic Pro X is better suited. The software is also used by professional artists such as Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.

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