Ever since Apple completely redesigned iMovie back in 2007 to make it more approachable for novice home-movie editors, it’s received a lot of flak from all those who were using the previous version for more pro-level work. But iMovie was never meant for professionals, and that version (iMovie ’08) was ideal for anyone who didn’t know a thing about video editing. As iMovie ’09 came and went, the howling continued, but with the return of audio editing and more to iMovie ’11, the outcry should subside at last.
When Apple rolled out iLife ’11, it touted the fact that more than 5 million folks are using GarageBand to create music, podcasts, and other types of audio, making it one of the most successful DAW (digital audio workstation) programs of all time. With this newly updated revision, there are even more reasons to really dig this maestro of a music-making app.
Perhaps the single most important new editing addition, Flex Time, has been brought over from GarageBand’s older sibling, Logic. Simply grab a part of a sampled audio track—a guitar lick or a vocal—and instantly drag it to a new position in time, with extremely smooth—and musically useful—results. It’s a study in effortless, clear interface design, and once you drag a guitar lick into place with it, you’ll instantly be hooked. GarageBand is incredibly smart about automatically grabbing the desired audio segment, and adjusting either the head or tail of the waveform based on where you click the mouse.
The new GarageBand features are impressive. You can fix your guitarist's inability to keep a beat. You can extend that final note of your song. You can even keep track of your progress as you learn the guitar or keyboards.
But before you get the guitar, keyboards or mics out, it's actually helpful if you know how to use some of the big ticket items without fumbling around for hours. We even highlighted a few little known features to help round out your GarageBand knowledge.