GarageBand

App review by
Kim Alessi, Common Sense Media
GarageBand App Poster Image
Powerful sequencer lets kids create pro-quality recordings.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 7+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn essential audio engineering and composition skills with GarageBand. The visual interface helps teach multitrack recording and song structure, and the virtual instruments reinforce music theory and aural skills. Kids can arrange and mix loops, instruments, and vocals for endless musical creation. They can record voice-only events like poetry readings. Sharing is easy: Kids can post songs to social media or send via email or text. They can even connect with other users via Bluetooth and play together as a virtual band. GarageBand is designed to give everyone an amazing musical experience -- and it delivers.

Ease of Play

GarageBand is designed to give everyone an amazing musical experience, regardless of their musical ability. The interface is appealing and well designed -- it gives shape and sight to sound so kids can see how instruments are layered, or multitracked, to make songs. With further exploration, kids will find many powerful production and editing tools to enhance their creations.

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The app is free; a $4.99 in-app purchase unlocks the complete collection of instruments and sounds.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that GarageBand is powerful digital music workstation and multitrack recorder for iOS devices that's similar to GarageBand for Mac OS X. Kids can create songs and soundscapes in a number of ways -- by sequencing high quality pre-recorded loops, by playing virtual instruments (guitars, basses, strings, keyboards, and drums), or by recording live instruments and vocals -- all in an intuitive and engaging interface. Added bonus: the great editing tools that tighten up any musical performance. Kids can share their GarageBand songs via social media, email, or text, even export them to iMovie and iTunes (where they can be used as one-of-a-kind ring or text tone). The deeper kids dig into this robust app, the more professional audio production tools they'll discover to help express themselves.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 17 years old Written bymoviewannabe September 14, 2013

THIS IS MY FAVORITE APP OF ALL TIME!!!!!!

Some cool features you get to do on this app is compose your own music and add vocals to it. If you want to add vocals, you can add them with any of the seven m... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old July 25, 2013

Fun and User-Friendly

It's a wonderfully crafted app that lets anybody make music. It's easy to use, and fully functional. There are the smart instruments that are easy for... Continue reading

What's it about?

With GarageBand, kids can record and layer up to eight tracks of loops, instruments, and vocals to create original songs and soundscapes. The app has several standout features: pre-recorded loops and drum grooves; a collection of virtual Smart Instruments with pre-programmed chord progressions, scales, and rhythmic riffs; music editing and production tools; and sharing features that can post songs, pair devices for a virtual jam session, and customize ring and text tones. Players can record vocals, live instruments, or ambient sounds using the in-app microphone. They can also connect an external microphone and plug a guitar into their iOS devices using specialized adapters for pro-quality live recording in GarageBand.

Is it any good?

There's really no app like GarageBand -- imagine being able to write, record, and share your own professional quality music wherever you are with a few taps of a screen. GarageBand is a powerful mobile digital audio workstation for multitrack recording with impressive, on-board loops and production and editing tools. The app's multitouch controls and visual interface help kids see their music so it demystifies how songs are put together and recorded. There are some pretty sophisticated features here, but the app is intuitive enough so that anyone can jump in and start creating music, regardless of music training. (Plus the in-app support is fantastic and is available in 34 different languages!)

GarageBand is huge (588 MB) -- but that's because it's a fully-functional mobile recording studio complete with high quality sounds, interactive virtual instruments, and helpful tools for endless music creation. Two minor downsides: kids can't download additional loops, and woodwind and brass instruments aren't plentiful in the sound bank. Still, everything else is here for unthought of music creation -- all in a portable, intuitive, touch-screen design that puts amazing music making at your fingertips.

Editor's note: Reviewer Kim Alessi worked with Apple as curriculum writer and consultant from 2004 to 2008.

 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Watch live music together as a family and talk about how the instruments and singers interact with each other. Ask how sound layers on sound.

  • Talk about different musical genres. Ask your kid what styles they like best and why. Record an original song together in their favorite style.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Mac
  • Subjects: Science: engineering, physics
    Arts: improvising and music analysis, music, rhythm, singing
  • Skills: Tech Skills: digital creation
    Communication: multiple forms of expression
    Creativity: making new creations
  • Price: Free on newer devices; $4.99 otherwise
  • Pricing structure: Free (32 GB or larger iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 10 or later, or recently purchased Mac laptops/desktops, already have installed installed.)
  • Release date: January 21, 2017
  • Category: Music
  • Size: 1700.00 MB
  • Publisher: Apple
  • Version: 2.2.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.2 or later

For kids who love music and creating

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