Apple launches new tools for musical iOS users

New app Music Memos and updates to GarageBand make creating music on the go easier

Tags: Apple Incorporated
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Apple launches new tools for musical iOS users GarageBand introduces a feature called Live Loops, which Apple said is inspired by DJ hardware controllers and drum machines
By  Tom Paye Published  January 21, 2016

Apple has made additions to its family of music-making apps for iOS, in the form of a new app called Music Memos and a "major" update to GarageBand for iOS.

In a statement, Apple said that Music Memos allows musicians and songwriters to quickly capture, organise and develop their musical ideas on their iPhones. The app is inspired by the Voice Memos app, but it adds "musician-friendly" features such as the ability to name, tag and rate recordings of any musical instrument. The app can also analyse the rhythm and chords of acoustic guitar and piano recordings, and instantly adds drums and a bass line to provide a virtual, customisable backing band.

Apple added that Music Memos can also provide basic notation that displays the chords being played. And with iCloud enabled, Music Memos are automatically available across the user's Apple devices, and can easily be opened in GarageBand or Logic Pro X.

"Sometimes ideas come faster than I can get them into my notebook so I've used Voice Memos and Notes to quickly capture songs before they're lost. Music Memos is like if those two apps came together to form some kind of superpower for songs," said Ryan Adams, critically acclaimed singer-songwriter and producer.

"It quite literally blew my mind how Music Memos could transform a single guitar idea into a whole composition with a virtual drummer loose enough that it felt like you were having your mind read by some AI musician and a choice of stand-up or electric bass accompaniments."

The updates to GarageBand, meanwhile, introduces a feature called Live Loops, which Apple said is inspired by DJ hardware controllers and drum machines. It allows users to create music by tapping cells and columns in a visual grid to trigger different looped instruments and samples. The loops can then be performed, arranged and remixed live, with the app keeping all beats in sync. Apple added that Live Loops comes with a library of Apple-designed loop templates from a variety of genres.

GarageBand 2.1 for iOS also includes a new Drummer feature with nine EDM and acoustic virtual session drummers that provide their own signature sound, as well as an expanded selection of amps for bass players. Advanced GarageBand users can now create even more dynamic and polished sounding songs using new automation features, controls recording and a new simple EQ.

"I recorded my first album using GarageBand and I continue to use it in my music today," said T-Pain, Grammy Award-winning artist and producer.

"I love how the new Live Loops in GarageBand lets me quickly build tracks and beats, and even perform effects like a musical instrument. It'll change the way an entire generation makes music."

Music Memos is available for free on the App Store and is compatible with iPhone 4S and later, and iPad 2 and later. GarageBand 2.1 for iOS is bundled free with new iOS devices 32GB and larger, and is available as a free upgrade on the App Store for existing users with compatible iOS 9 devices or later. 

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