Yesterday was a great example of how you can sidetracked, happily, into another direction.
I started messing around with GarageBand ’08 … Something I guess I had been dismissing as a toy for a number of years. Now, I’m thinkin’, not so much.
I’ve got a Kork XDR5 that, although about 10 years old, is a pretty powerful box, as well as a Fatar and Oxygen8 keyboard. The Fatar and the Korg have been sitting in my office (along with my Fender Strat), unplayed, for years now as I just never seem to have the time to sit down and really learn the piano. While I was a percussionist for years, music theory is not my thing, and I don’t have any really heavy performance skills. So I was surprised when I was able to sit down and really start laying out some tracks that sounded pretty good.
The next think I know it’s three in the afternoon and I’m heading for the Apple Store to pick up a couple of Jam Packs and a Blue Snowball USB mic. Fast forward a couple of hours and I’ve a multi-track score ready for mix-down and then fine tuning in Soundtrack Pro … Not to mention I can quickly pull out little bits and pieces for quick re-arrangement of the pieces.
I like GarageBand … a lot. It may very well be a toy, but that’s only in the sense that it’s fun to play with. It’s a very sophisticated too. Who knows, maybe some day I’ll even move up to LogicPro.
I’m using the M-Audio Oxygen8 keyboard to drive this … I’m not really playing any extended passages, so the two-octave USB keyboard works fine for the purpose. M-Audio makes a GarageBand Controller and a Drum controller that also look pretty cool.
As far as performance goes, I’m running about 10 tracks right now, and will probably have 18-20 by the time I’m finished … My 24″ iMac (2.4 Ghz Intel Core2 Duo) is handling it without any stress. We’ll have to see what happens when I get it all into SoundTrack Pro for the final mix.
So, I’m sold … GarageBand is definitely a tool worthy of consideration for any filmmaker’s toolkit, especially on a budget.