Music Memos is Apple’s newest attempt at streamlining a mobile workflow for musicians.
Apple’s GarageBand is a popular entry level DAW (digital audio workstation) that allows users with little or no experience to sketch down ideas or full tracks with relative ease. The program has already been ported to iOS – so you can throw down ideas or develop songs on the move – but Apple have no intention of stopping there.
New iOS app Music Memos bridges the gap between voice memos and proper DAW recording, allowing songwriters or beatmakers to sketch down recordings and ideas “whenever inspiration strikes,” without having to use a fiddly DAW architecture.
Apple are aware how many great songs started life as iPhone voice memos, so this new app simply adds more functionality to a proven product. You can now record high-quality, uncompressed audio from the iPhone’s built in mic or connect an external mic if you need to. The app has been optimized for recording acoustic guitar and piano, but if you fancy recording some kalimba and zither, we reckon it’d probably be fine.
Here’s where it gets interesting: you can not only catalogue your memos with a built in library and tagging function, but the app can analyze rhythm and chords and allow you to quickly add backing from built-in drum and bass presets. The app can even provide basic notation, if that’s your thing.
GarageBand’s iOS app has also been granted an update and version 2.1 adds Live Loops, a feature influenced by drum machines and DJ controllers. It’s basically a grid-based sampler for hits and loops, and comes with the expected selection of presets – unsurprisingly including EDM and dubstep.
The update also comes with Drummer which adds nine “virtual session drummers” (EDM or acoustic, apparently) who can accompany your tracks, and new amplification presets for bass.