Apple’s GarageBand and Logic Pro X get big updates including Touch Bar support

Alchemy synth comes to GarageBand

Apple has today announced several impressive updates for GarageBand on iOS and Logic Pro X on Mac. If you happen to use both of these music-creation tools, the biggest news will likely be the ability to add new tracks to your Logic sessions via a cloud-based, GarageBand-compatible version of your project – making it easier than ever to create tracks on the go.

The updated GarageBand for iOS (now at version 2.2) has been blessed with the acclaimed software synthesizer Alchemy, which was acquired by Apple from Camel Audio early in 2015 and has since become a staple of Logic Pro X. On top of this, it’s now much easier to rifle through your sample libraries and Touch instruments to find the right tool for the job thanks to a powerful redesigned sound browser.

Multi-Take Recording allows you to pick your best moments without having to fiddle for hours, and GarageBand’s redesigned audio recorder can utilise simple one-touch effects, along with more detailed studio treatments like delay and pitch correction. A new array of included effects is joined by the ability to use third-party plugins (in the AU format) to help you get the most out of your mixes.

  • Is it time to shell out for the Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro?

Some Logical additions

The improvements that come with Logic Pro X’s new version 10.3 range from an interface overhaul that promises better "legibility in a variety of working environments", alongside a professional grade 64-bit summing engine.

Support for the new MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar means that you can have quick access to timeline navigation as well as volume and Smart Controls for each track. It also can be used as a piano roll with selectable scales, or a set of drum pads when in performance mode, reducing the need for external controllers.

Similar to GarageBand’s multi-take recording but on a grander scale, Logic’s new Track Alternatives feature allows you to listen to, and directly compare, different versions of your creation. For example, create a ‘playlist’ in a certain region of your track and you can see how it works with the rest of the arrangement, eliminating the need to have a nightmare list of past versions of your project.

Both updates are available for free for all existing users, but if you think it’s time you jumped on board, you can grab Logic Pro X for $199.99 (£149.99, AU$319.99) from the Mac App Store, and while GarageBand for iOS is included with newer iOS products, non-qualifying devices can have it for a mere $4.99 (£3.99, AU$7.99).