GarageBand for Mac gets big upgrade for Apple Music launch

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GarageBand update for Apple Music
GarageBand is getting a tuneup -- just in time for the Apple Music launch
Photo: Apple

GarageBand for Mac is getting a sonic upgrade with 10 new drum settings and 100 new synth sounds designed for electronic dance music and hip-hop tracks.

The new features are coming June 30 — just in time for the launch of Apple Music.

The new sounds, plus new ways to tweak audio, add even more depth to Apple’s simplified music-making app for Mac. (The GarageBand for iOS website doesn’t say whether the mobile version will be get any upgrades.)

GarageBand for Mac, which costs $5, currently comes with 18 different virtual drummers genres like rock, alternative and R&B genres. The update will include 10 more for preset EDM, dubstep, hip-hop, and retro ’80s styles. The aforementioned new synth sounds will work with a new Transform Pad Smart Control for morphing and fine-tuning them to your heart’s desire.

One of the captions on the GarageBand page describes the currently available Smart Controls, as noted by MacRumors, but adds that “you can also fine‑tune your music later in the Piano Roll Editor.” A footnote reveals this feature will also arrive June 30 for U.S. users, though it’s not clear yet what the Piano Roll Editor feature entails.

Macworld writer Kirk McElhearn speculates on his personal blog that the GarageBand update will integrate new features tied to the Apple Music debut. He thinks GarageBand will include a way for users to upload their music to Apple Music Connect, the built-in social tool for sharing music and following artists.

GarageBand currently includes SoundCloud integration for artists to share their work. It seems unlikely Apple would want to give the competition an edge within one of its own apps. SoundCloud is already a successful platform for independent artists (or really anyone with a creative mind) to share original content. Apple could easily change that with GarageBand and Apple Music Connect.