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Q. What's new in GarageBand '08?

iLife '08


Full effect automation. You can alter any parameter of any effect over time

• Automation points (e.g. Volume curves, Pan curves, etc) can now be "locked" to their region so that they move along with it when dragged or duplicated

• Each track now offers 4 AU effect slots per track instead of only 2

• Multi-Take: You now have the ability to loop and record your performance on a "Real" (Audio) track over and over, later selecting which ones to keep, combine, and/or delete without having to stop your recording session.

• "Software" (MIDI) tracks also offer Multi-Take, if you wish, or you can choose to have them work as they have in previous versions, combining each pass into a single take

• Software Quantization is no longer "All or Nothing" there's a slider for the amount of Quantization.

• Effect slots in Track info can be rearranged to effect a track in different orders

• Exports to disk can now be AIFF, AAC, or the often asked for Mp3

• Uncompressed AIFFs can also be exported as 24-bit files for further Mastering

• Loop Families: A quick and easy way to swap loops between similar ones of the same name (Family)

• GB can now show you the name of the chord you are playing on a "Software" (MIDI) track

• In notation view, along with the proper note being displayed (1/4, 1/8, etc), a small bar visually shows the note's duration when the note is selected.

• You can delete a region and have all the regions to its right move to the left, the duration of the deleted region

• There is an "Arrange" track that let's you create and name sections, like Verse, Chorus, Bridge, etc. These sections can be dragged, duplicated, or deleted as a chunk

• Software tracks offer an Enhance Timing feature now that can even be used while recording

• There is now a Fade Out option to fade out songs in a curve

• The Master Fader and Master Volume Curve now operate independently

• There's the new Visual EQ, a hybrid of a Graphic EQ and a parametric EQ, with a built-in spectrum analyzer

• The somewhat useless "Simple" compressor has been replaced by a real one with parameters that can be set

• The length restrictions have been vastly increased, in theory, over 16 1/2 hours without any hacks needed to get there.

• The Digital display under the timeline offers some new, and some improved options.

• GarageBand can now burn CDs

• You can now print out your notation easily, directly from GarageBand

• There is a Tempo Curve so that you can vary the tempo of a song as it plays

• Auto Normalization to allow for maximum volume during export

• Magic GarageBand puts together an entire backing set of instruments, which you can select and change. A quick way for a new user to get to play around with GarageBand without needing to learn much before getting to play.


Those are probably the biggest changes, and all for the better. The new features in Version 4 of GarageBand simply dwarf previous upgrades. The GarageBand team has given us features and ease of use that can compare to many other pieces of software costing 10 and 20 times the price, with the same fantastic interface we've known and loved ... only better!

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GarageBand from Apple Computer uses audio loops and MIDI loops in Apple Loops format. It can work with Audio Units plug-ins. Apple Macintosh Compatible FireWire and USB interfaces can be used to connect Audio and MIDI instruments to your Mac, and be recorded into GarageBand.

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