Happy 15th birthday, GarageBand

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Apple’s intuitive, easy-to-use music making app for Mac and iOS, GarageBand, turns 15 today! It’s come a long way since it was first introduced to the world by Steve Jobs and John Mayer onstage at Macworld ’04. The app is now on over 1 billion iPhones, iPad and Macs globally.

Being creative and having the tools to make music should be accessible to everyone – whether you’re a professional or a novice. Apple created GarageBand to democratise music making for all.

But as it goes, both novices and professionals have embraced GarageBand all over the world, including educators who use the app in classrooms to inspire and empower young people to create music.

On the personal front, I created a sound loop for a short animated product intro using GarageBand on my iPad 2 a little while ago. And it was pretty much my first time using the app at the time. Goes to show how easy it is to pick it up and for you to start creating right away.

So, GarageBand is great for creating your own sounds and loops, and even full blown albums – like T-Pain in 2005 with his first album “Rappa Ternt Sanga” and the most recent being Kendrick Lamar’s song “PRIDE” produced by Steve Lacey.

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Over the years, music artistes and producers have used GarageBand in myriad ways, not just for making commercial music but also as an engagement tool with fans. Some have released project files so that fans can then remix them on their Mac, iPad or iPhone.

Speaking of which, GarageBand initially released for the Mac, made a debut on the iPad in March 2011, followed by GarageBand for iPhone in November in the same year.

Here are some GarageBand milestones:

  • January 2004:  GarageBand debuted at Macworld by Steve Jobs with John Mayer
  • April 2005:  NIN release “The Hand That Feeds” as GarageBand project file that fans can remix
  • December 2005:  T-Pain creates his first album, “Rappa Ternt Sanga” in GarageBand for Mac
  • March 2007:  Rihanna “Umbrella” built with GarageBand bundled drum loop “Vintage Funk Kit 03”
  • March 2007:  Fall Out Boy records “Thnks fr th Mmrs” in GarageBand for Mac
  • November 2007:  Duran Duran releases GarageBand version of “Nite-Runner” that fans can remix
  • February 2008:  Usher “Love in This Club” built with GarageBand bundled synth loop “Euro Hero Synth 02”
  • February 2008:  Ting Tings record “Great DJ” on GarageBand for Mac
  • April 2008:  Radiohead release “Nude” as GarageBand project file that fans can remix
  • 2008:  It Might Get Loud documentary shows Edge from U2 using GarageBand on his laptop
  • 2009: Learn to Play and Artist Lessons announced on GarageBand for Mac
  • May 2009:  St. Vincent creates “Actor” album in GarageBand
  • March 2011:  GarageBand for iPad announced
  • November 2011:  GarageBand for iPhone announced
  • October 2013”. GarageBand 10 for Mac with new design announced
  • August 2014:  Haim records“My Song 5” in GarageBand
  • June 2015:  Marc Maron interviews President Obama in a podcast recorded in his garage using GarageBand for Mac
  • January 2016:  Live Loops feature added to GarageBand for iOS
  • May 2016:  GarageBand for Greater China announced with traditional Chinese instruments
  • April 2017:  Steve Lacey produces the Kendrick Lamar song “PRIDE” using GarageBand for iOS
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Do you use GarageBand?

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