Private Lessons
Workshops • Performances

Apple GarageBand Demonstration

with host John Blasquez

— at —

DVMUG's Max Mac Workshop

January 29, 2005


Max Mac GarageBand Projects

The MP3s on this page are recordings
by John Blasquez using just GarageBand.

John has taught music for nearly three decades. He will be the host at the GarageBand portion of DVMUG's Max Mac workshop
on January 29, 2005.

Join us and find out how to create
your own music and make GarageBand recordings!

John created the following examples with only two to eight weeks experience with GarageBand. And as you'll see, there's quite a range of variety!



The sounds of Latin Strings (strings, bass, percussion, applause) are drag-and-drop components built into Apple's GarageBand 1.0. The strings are digital audio loops, which unfortunately are slightly out of tune. The rest of the sounds are MIDI. The bass was a GarageBand MIDI loop, however the line need edited to match the chord structure of the string part. The low string pad was improvised and recorded via an M-Audio Evolution MK-449C keyboard.


MaxMac Blues.mp3

This project is entirely MIDI — the MIDI sounds are generated by QuickTime Musical Instruments. No digital audio was used.

The entire accompaniment of MaxMac Blues (bass, rums and organ) was made with drag-and-drop components built into Apple's GarageBand 1.0. The bodacious "guitar" solo was recorded via an M-Audio Evolution MK-449C keyboard which connects directly through USB (no MIDI interface required) and it requires no batteries or AC power Clearly lots of pitch bend was used.


Max Mac-Eastern Dance.mp3

This piece too was built entirely using GarageBand loops--even the audience sounds and applause. There's a little drum solo in the middle ... which, you may have noticed, drives the "audience" into a frenzy. The solo's drum rhythms came directly from GarageBand's bongo loops. The most frenetic loops were cut into small pieces and stitched back together to simulate an solo.

Worth mentioning: It sounds like the audience recording was made at a soccer match. You can hear a referee's whistle!.


Opening Scene.mp3

This is a "sound track" clip that shows off the types of orchestral audio that comes with Jam Pack 4. I am especially impressed with the quality of the synthesized sounds. Only MIDI was used. To prevent this from sounding like all other Jam Pack 4 projects, I positioned the loops, so they're offset, starting one or two measures off from they're logical beginning. Naturally this creates unwanted dissonance. To fix that I tweaked the MIDI, and shortened some loops.


Dawn.mp3  •  Suspence.mp3

"Dawn" and "Suspense" were created with GarageBand 2 and Apple's Jam Pack 4. I used similar techniques as mentioned for "Opening Scene." I didn't write any of the lines, but only made small alterations to the pitch and position of the MIDI notes.


Max Mac Funk.mp3

What can I say, with good loops it's pretty easy to create funk with GarageBand! This was project No. 1.

GarageBand supplies you with lots of loops, but no ending phrases, so it's tricky to construct a piece with an honest ending. A studio fade is easy way out, but sometimes you just want a real ending. With a combination of MIDI and some musical creativity, you can create and fashion your own endings any way you want. However, creating endings for GarageBand's digital audio loops is a regular undertaking, with uncertain outcome. How you gonna get that long, sustained last chord? This is the main area where GarageBand falls short. Ideally Apple would include alternate endings for each type of "real instrument" loop provided. Let's hope they do.

If you ever give feedback to Apple on its forum, please suggest this, and emphasize the importance of exporting MIDI. This feature is long overdue.


I've written more about GarageBand at:

Come join us at Max Mac and see what you can do
with the free iLife software that came with your Macintosh!

Not only will there be demonstration of GarageBand,
but also the other iLife applications: iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD & iTunes

GarageBand is part of Apple's iLife suite of applications which includes:
iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, and GarageBand.

—  iLife is free with any new Macintosh computer  —
or you may purchase it separately

Max Mac is a yearly presentation by DVMUG

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All recordings and compositions Copyright John J. Blasquez 2005

You are welcome to use these MP3 files, but strictly for experimental purposes in personal, home video productions. However, before showing or distributing any production in which you have included these compositions, please contact me for permission, licensing and credit information.

Thank you and enjoy, John Blasquez