Watch Tim Cook jam with one of China’s biggest pop stars

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Tim Cook is ready to rock you.
Tim Cook is ready to rock you.
Photo: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook will probably never win a Grammy for his erhu skills but he can say that he got to have an erhu jam battle with one of Asia’s biggest popstars.

During his star-studded tour of China, Tim Cook met up with JJ Lin to play a new song on the new Garageband app that’s been updated to celebrate China’s musical history with over 300 musical samples, and new instruments like Chinese percussions, pipa and erhu.

Checkout Cook playing JJ Lin’s new song “The Key” on his iPad:

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GarageBand celebrates Chinese music with big content update

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GarageBand just got an update with China in mind.
Photo: Apple

Tim Cook’s in China right now, and what better way to showcase Apple’s dedication to growing its Chinese customer base than by updating GarageBand for Mac and iOS with new instruments intended to, “celebrate the rich history of Chinese music?”

The update adds 300 new Chinese musical loops including guzheng, dizi, yangqin and Peking Opera samples, as well as a plethora of Chinese musical instruments such as the pipa, erhu, and Chinese percussion.

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Disqus, GarageBand, and other awesome apps of the week

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Awesome-Apps-of-the-Week1
What are the week's top apps?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac
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How to set up a quality Mac podcasting rig for under $300

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Podcasting doesn't have to break the bank. Here  are some high quality rigs and Mac apps to get you started.
Podcasting doesn't have to break the bank. Here are some high quality rigs and Mac apps to get you started.
Photo: Ally Kazmucha/The App Factor
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How to record guitar with an iPhone or iPad

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You don't need expensive equipment to record your guitar, an iPhone or iPad will do just fine.
You don't need expensive equipment to record your guitar, an iPhone or iPad will do just fine.
Photo: Lee Peterson/The App Factor
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Extreme hoverboardin’ and making tunes with Music Memos on The CultCast

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You're looking at the future... well, kind of.
You're looking at the future... well, kind of.
Photo: Back To The Future, Universal Pictures

This week on The CultCast: our legs are blown off by hover boards; our favorite ways to manage iOS photos; the new Music Memos and Garageband apps get our enthusiastic thumbs up; Bob Mansfeld is back to massage us; and we remember the hard, cruel, miserable realities of life before iPhone.

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to build a website that looks beautiful on any device that visits at Squarespace.com. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off.

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Apple’s new Music Memos app makes songwriting chimp-simple

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Easy to use music creation app means the end of complex demos.
Easy-to-use music creation app Music Memos does away with complex demos.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new app, Music Memos, is hands-down the best free music-creation app I’ve ever used on my iPhone. The amount of tech packed into this tiny little iOS app is nothing short of amazing, and it shows Apple’s continuing commitment to the creative community.

Music Memos lets you sit down with your iPhone, tap the screen, and record music. Then it will totally figure out what you played, and supply fairly decent drum and bass tracks to complement your chords. Wow.

I’ve played in live bands that can’t even do that.

Take my word on this: If you can play even rudimentary guitar, piano or even ukulele, you owe it to yourself to give Music Memos a try.

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Smart keyboard will teach you how to play piano

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Learning piano was never this much fun.
Learning piano was never this much fun.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Lust List: The ONE Light smart keyboard

Who doesn’t want to play piano? Learning to tickle the ivories must be right up there with writing the great American novel: Many of us have a hankering to become more musical.

The fantastic $299 ONE Light smart keyboard is the way to go if you want a piano that will show you how to play without hiring a teacher.

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Make your technology a force for musical expression with this digital guitar [Deals]

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The Jamstik is a versatile and super portable MIDI controller that plays just like a normal guitar.
The Jamstik is a versatile and super portable MIDI controller that plays just like a normal guitar.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Computers, tablets, even iPhones have grown into powerful tools for music making, but for many who play guitar the bridge from analog instrument to digital devices can be an intimidating one. The Jamstik Wireless Smart Guitar is a great way to cross the digital divide, a MIDI controlling guitar with frets and strings that feel familiar to any guitarist’s fingers. It’s also cheaper than most keyboard controllers (and certainly guitars), available right now for just $149.99.

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