New keyboard shortcuts make GarageBand worthy of the 2018 iPad Pro

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Finally, GarageBand can be controlled from a keyboard.
Finally, GarageBand can be controlled from a keyboard.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

GarageBand for iPad just got a great new update, adding three new drummers, gimmicky face-controlled audio effects, and one huge game changer: Keyboard shortcuts.

Drummers

Three new Songwriter Drummers.
Three new Songwriter Drummers.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Drummers are one of GarageBand’s great features. They’re virtual drummers who just come up with a groove for you. They’re great for playing along to, and you can tweak them to fit your track, and even have them follow the tempo of live instruments. Drummers have names, and play in certain styles. The three new Songwriter drummers are named Levi, Parker, and Graham.

Keyboard shortcuts in GarageBand

This is the big one. While you’ve long been able to plug a MIDI keyboard into GarageBand, there has never been support for hooking up a regular Bluetooth keyboard, or a Smart Keyboard. Now, that’s changed, and there is a deluge of new shortcuts. There are so many that I had to take two screenshots to capture them all:

GarageBand’s new keyboard shortcuts, part one.
GarageBand’s keyboard shortcuts, part one.
Photo: Cult of Mac
And here are the rest.
And here are the rest.
Photo: Cult of Mac

As you can see, pretty much everything is covered. You can navigate the entire main screen, switching between tracks, skipping to sections of tracks, and selecting any number of them. You can play, record, undo and redo, toggle the metronome and the count-in, mute of solo a track, split and join sections, and a whole lot more.

I use GarageBand a ton, and I’m having trouble coming up with a shortcut I’d want that isn’t listed here.

That’s not to say that I can’t think of more connectivity options that I do want. Support for MIDI controllers would be great, so you could control the volume slider for each channel with real physical fader controls. But to be honest, I’m pretty pleased with these keyboard shortcuts. They’re going to make a huge difference to how I work.

Price: Free

Download: GarageBand from the App Store (iOS)