GarageBand Singapore group

[Ivan](’s just started one. Sign up at the [new blog](
I am actually more of a Logic Pro user but I did use GarageBand initially when I got my first Mac. Thanks to integration by Apple, which bought over Logic, the latest version of Logic feels very much like GarageBand.
What I hope to get out of joining this group:
1. Meet other Singaporeans, or people currently living in Singapore, who are interested in making music on their Macs
2. Share ideas and tips with fellow musicians, discuss the latest add-ons and hardware, and troubleshoot problems
3. Help GarageBand users who may have more advanced needs and would like to know more about Logic
(Aside: Ivan and I seem to be involved in various GBMs… GahmenBloggers meetup, GarageBand meetup… what’s next? 🙂


  1. Jason

    Since you’ve used both Logic and GarageBand, what is advantage that Logic has that made you a Logic user?
    I’m currently deciding between Logic Express 8 or GarageBand 4 + 1 of the Jam Packs, and am leaning towards the latter because I think I will get more loops and software instruments at a cheaper price? Do you have any advice that might tip the scale to Logic’s side?
    BTW, I’ve also posted this question to the GarageBand Singapore group, so you might feel more inclined to reply there instead.

  2. Ivan Chew

    Thanks, Vanessa, for the plug.
    Jason, I consider you as the first REAL group member! (Vanessa doesn’t count, lol). Thanks for posting the question — ooh, tough one, which I’m hoping more members would join and maybe give you a good answer. I’ve not used Logic Pro so can’t tell you the difference. I only know Vanessa who’s used both. Maybe she can reply in the group direct.

  3. vantan

    I’ve just replied to the GarageBand Singapore group thread but can give more details in this reply, since your question here is a bit more specific. As I’ve never used Logic Express, some of my points may be more related to Logic Pro but as far as possible I’ll make it applicable to both.
    1. MIDI and audio portability
    While GarageBand is the easiest to use, I disliked how it tried to ‘lock’ me in by not being able to export MIDI files. This meant that I wouldn’t be able to switch to a different sequencer program later on, but would have to recreate my tracks from scratch. However, GarageBand’s files can now be imported into Logic and vice versa.
    Logic enables you to export to more audio formats, good enough for CD quality. It also supports surround sound (at least for Pro).
    2. All-rounded capabilities
    I like how Logic is both a MIDI sequencer and audio editor, meaning it is an all-in-one package. Logic lets me splice my audio recordings precisely, add effects and clean up noise. But purists and professionals will still use Pro Tools for audio editing, since it’s still the industry standard.
    Logic also allows you to customise your scoresheets, add lyrics and other comments, change the clef and signature. Again, there is even better notation software such as Sibelius but Logic does the job decently. To me, it is a competent all-in-one program.
    3. Sounds, loops and effects
    From what I’ve read, Logic Express has more sounds and effects than GarageBand, while Logic Pro has the full package of sounds, loops and effects. Both sets should be interoperable with GarageBand. The earlier version that I used (Logic Pro 6) had yet to be integrated as Apple was in the process of buying Logic over from German company EMagic. However, Logic 7 and now Logic Studio are well-integrated – I’ve been able to import GarageBand loops as a test.
    You can also have tempo changes in Logic. I’ve done this a number of times. It’s good for songs like musicals, or traditional music which may slow down at the end.
    As I started out by recording music into my Korg keyboards, which already have great sounds inside them, my own objective was not to build up a huge sound bank (since I already had one) but to better sequence my music. That’s why I got a Mac and installed Logic. Previously I would amend my wrong notes on a tiny keyboard screen; now I can play on my keyboard and my notes get instantly recorded into MIDI format, edited, then played back to my keyboard and recorded as audio files, where I enhance them with effects, then ‘bounce’/export for the final product.
    4. Finer MIDI editing
    I find the Logic MIDI editor more sophisticated. Not only can I control each note’s timing and length, I can also adjust the velocity at which the notes are struck, which sometimes creates a different sound for certain instruments. I notice that the latest version of GarageBand has slide controls, whereas for Logic you can enter a specific value as well, for more precision. I can also control exactly where my foot pedal lifts off.
    Ultrabeat is pretty neat at creating your own loops; it’s now a feature of Logic Express. Personally I don’t like using other people’s loops; I always create my own beats for each song.
    5. Sound effects
    Logic has many more sound effects, and for each one you can fine tune them to a great extent. For instance, one effect I use a lot is Space Designer, which is an award-winning plugin that creates very realistic reverb. But for most users, simple reverb is enough, so again you may not feel that you need this. Another plugin I had fun with was making my voice sound like a Chipmunk or Darth Vader. There are plenty of such effects and I believe you can buy even more of those as add-ons.
    Another well-known plugin is GuitarAmp Pro which can make stale electric guitars come back to life. I’ve played with another plugin that listens to your audio file (e.g. an instrument or singing) and tells you, in real time, what notes are being played or sung. Not that I’ve seriously used it – again, it’s very specialised and nice to have but you won’t die without it.
    6. Create your own sounds
    You can also synthesize your own sounds or modify them in Logic (Pro, at least). Again, this will bring up more modules with plenty of tweakable knobs and sliders, some of which I still have no idea what they do. It’s much more complicated but you can get a lot more out of it if you know how.
    7. Templates
    Serious hobbyists and professionals may have a preference, e.g. to view everything in mixer mode or notation mode, or a combination of MIDI sequencing and audio. Logic comes with various templates and you can also save your own – down to even the size of each module’s window. Again, you may not need this feature but it is nice to have.
    In the end I usually stick to a favourite template with a certain number of MIDI and audio tracks and a trusted group of effects.
    8. Display videos alongside music
    Both Logic Express and Pro allow you to import videos alongside your music so you can produce music for film soundtracks, music videos, video podcasts etc.
    There are probably lots more points I’ve left out but these are the features I recall because I use them more.
    Generally, Logic can be interesting to figure out when you have time, but if you are happy with GarageBand then stick to it and spend your money enhancing your sound bank instead. There are other Mac programs like Reason and Ableton but that’s another story.

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