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GarageBand 3 Opens New Doors
Turn your laptop into a Podcast-ready recording studio
Date Created: 03/16/2006 Last Updated: 05/27/2006 Authors: Rich Tozzoli

GarageBand 3 has grown up, becoming a fully functional production tool that integrates recording, mixing, editing and distribution into one slick piece of software.

Offered as part of the $79 iLife 06 package (iMovie HD, iDVD, iPhoto, iWeb and GarageBand), GB3 features multitrack recording, new Apple Loops and Foley sounds, iChat interview recording, waveform editing, vocal tuning, iMovie Scoring, file compacting and a pretty decent guitar amp sound – among other things.



    • Macintosh computer with a PowerPC G4, G5 or Intel Core Duo processor; 733MHZ or faster required for iDVD
    • 256MB of RAM; 512MB recommended
    • Mac OS X v10.3.9 or Mac OS X v10.4.3 or later; Mac OS X v10.4.4 recommended
    • iTunes 6.0.2 and QuickTime 7.0.4 (included)
    • DVD drive for installation
    • 10GB of disk space to install iLife '06 applications

Previous versions of [an error occurred while processing this directive] were definitely light on the features, but were aimed at an audience who didn't need to dig deep into production. Now however, in classic Apple fashion, they've updated the program to the point where those who are just getting started can achieve professional results.

NERD NOTE: GarageBand was originally developed by the German company Emagic, developers of the professional musical program Logic Audio, which was acquired by Apple in July 2002. The first version of GarageBand was announced during Steve Jobs's keynote speech at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco on January 6, 2004. Musician John Mayer assisted with its demonstration.


Let's jump right into a few cool new features not offered in the last version:

iMovie scoring: Just navigate to the Media Browser, hit the Movies tab and drag your video file or import an iMovie into the project. GB3 will let you watch the movie in the Video Preview window while you create the soundtrack.

When finished, you can save it as a QuickTime video, export it to iDVD for burning, or publish it on the 'net using iWeb. Pretty damn cool.

One-click Web Publishing: If you've rocked out a tasty Podcast (with Video!) in GB3 and are ready for the world to see and hear it, just click Send Podcast to iWeb under the Share menu. The combination of GB3, iWeb and a .Mac account handle the technical mumbo-jumbo, so you can easily send it out on the net in a format that listeners can subscribe to. Within iWeb, you can even submit your GB3 Podcast from to the iTunes Music Store, complete with title, author and description tags. It's a great way to get your band heard or movie seen by the masses.

Amp Modeling: After purchasing Monster Cables' twenty-dollar 1/4" female to 1/8" mini adapter, I was able to plug an electric guitar directly into my PowerBook G4. Tuning up with the built in tuner, I clicked on the 'Open Track Info' button and dialed in Guitars > Arena Rock under the Real Instruments tab. Then I added some Gate (the Mac's input is a bit noisy), Echo and Delay (tempo mapped to your BPMs). It sounded rather good considering I was plugged directly into a laptop!

Make sure to set your System Preferences > Audio to Line Input, or your Internal Mic will squeal like a hog when going into record. Try the same thing with your bass and you're rocking. You can use many kinds of audio interfaces including FireWire, PCI, PC and USB formats, such as a Digidesign M-Box, etc.

Enhanced Tuning/Timing: If that singer you recorded is a bit out of key, don't sweat it. Just double-click on the Real Instrument track and open it up in the new editor window. Simply move the Enhanced Tuning slider right to increase or left to decrease the enhancement amount. It actually works!

If the drummer's Kick is out of tempo, double click it (like the vocal), and drag then Enhanced Timing slider unit it sounds correct.

A few more quick hits on what's new and cool with [an error occurred while processing this directive] :

You can create personal Apple Loops from your own performances, add metadata, and have them show up in the GarageBand Browser.

One of my favorite new toys is the Musical Typing feature, which lets you play Software Instruments by typing notes on your computer keyboard. You can even move the octave range up or down.

GB3 includes a new collection of more than 200 royalty-free sound effects, such as machines, noises and people. In addition, there are over 100 jingles in 7, 15, and 30-second version to help kick up your Podcast - unless you want to record your own.

Add your art with the Podcast art track. Just drag an image from the Media Browser to the timeline exactly where you want to add itů. simple!

To set the video and audio compression for a Podcast, just go to the Preferences window and select Export. The compression settings chosen are saved as part of your project.


Whether you're scoring an iMovie, composing a jingle or recording a local band, the integration of GB3 with Apple's iLife 06 program lets you get back to the art of actually having fun while creating.


Award winning producer/engineer/mixer Rich Tozzoli is also a columnist for such publications as Pro Sound News and Digidesigns' DigiZine. A specialist in 5.1 surround sound, he has worked on DVD's for such artists as Carly Simon, Blue Oyster Cult, Billy Squier and David Bowie.

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Apple Computer, Inc. is an American computer technology company. Its headquarters are located at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California, part of Silicon Valley. Apple was a major player in the personal computer revolution in the 1970s. Apple is known for its innovative, well-designed hardware and software, such as the iPod and the iMac, as well as the well-known iTunes application (part of the iLife suite) and Mac OS X, its current operating system.

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Please see Apple's web site for detailed hardware and software requirements

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