Apple surprises with GarageBand and Logic Pro X updates – but what’s new?

Apple has released major updates for its Garageband and Logic Pro X software, and there’s a host of new additions to get to grips with.

The company has refreshed the desktop music creation software Logic Pro X and the mobile version of its Garageband app, allowing the programs to work together more easily.

Most notable is the addition of Touch Bar functionality for Logic Pro X, which means it will now support the new OLED strip at the top of the new MacBook Pro‘s keyboard.

Here’s a more in-depth look at the new Garageband and Logic Pro X features:

Related: MWC 2017

Logic Pro X 10.3 update

Perhaps the most significant change is the new Touch Bar support which adds controls for skimming through and tuning specific tracks alongside the new drum pads and customizable key commands.

Here’s how Apple describes the new update: “Logic Pro X 10.3 becomes an even more powerful tool for pros with a modern interface, new features for professional audio production as well as support for the revolutionary Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro, putting intuitive, context-sensitive controls right at users’ fingertips.”

logic pro

A full list of the new features for Logic Pro X can be found over on Apple’s support site, but here’s a rundown of the most significant.

Support for the Touch Bar on MacBook Pro

  • View your entire project at a glance and navigate with touch in the timeline overview
  • Adjust Smart Controls on the selected track to fine-tune the sound of instruments and effects
  • Play and record software instruments using a musical keyboard with piano keys or scale mode
  • Trigger drum pads to create beats while controlling velocity and note repeat
  • Access your favorite shortcuts using a set of customizable key commands

Updated Interface

  • New modern design with improved legibility in a variety of lighting conditions
  • Expanded color palette offers 24 more colors to label your regions, tracks, and notes
  • Horizontal auto-zoom helps keep everything in view
  • New region editing design reveals waveform for entire audio file while trimming

Audio Production

  • Track Alternatives let you create and switch between different playlists of regions and edits on a track
  • Render any combination of effect plug-ins to a selection of audio using Selection-based Processing
  • True stereo panning provides more control and discrete manipulation of stereo signals
  • Apply fades across multiple regions at a time
  • 64-bit summing engine
  • Use 192 additional busses

Additional Features

  • Share to GarageBand option allows you to remotely add new tracks to your Logic project from your iPhone or iPad via iCloud
  • MIDI plug-ins can be used to creatively control plug-in parameters
  • Directly assign Software Instruments as sidechain sources
  • Import Music XML files

You can download Logic Pro X for Mac on the App Store now for £199.99.

GarageBand 2.2 update

Over on the mobile side, Apple has updated the Garageband for iOS app, adding new features such as a redesigned sound browser that makes it faster to explore Touch Instruments.

garageband iOS

The Alchemy synthesizer is now available in the app, too, and includes a collection of more than 150 Apple-designed patches from a wide variety of genres, including EDM, Hip Hop, Indie, Rock, Pop, and more.

There’s also Multi-Take Recording, giving users multiple passes to capture their best performance and the ability to audition and switch between their favourite takes.

Here’s some of the biggest additions to the Garageband app:

  • Play and record using the new Alchemy Touch Instrument with over 150 synth patches
  • Quickly find Touch Instruments and patches with a redesigned sound browser
  • Capture your voice or instrument and apply studio-class effects like pitch correction, distortion, and delay with the new Audio Recorder
  • Use new mixing effects, including Visual EQ, Bitcrusher, and Overdrive
  • Add third-party effects using Audio Unit Extensions
  • Record multiple times over any song section and choose your favorite using Multi-Take Recording
  • Perform with Chord Strips from any keyboard instrument
  • Add comments or lyric ideas to your song with an integrated notepad
  • Remotely add new tracks to your Logic Pro X project from your iPhone or iPad via iCloud
  • Stability improvements and bug fixes

You can download Garageband for iOS on the App Store now for £4.99.

WATCH: Macbook Pro 13 2016 Touch Bar Tips & Tricks

Lets us know what you think of the updates in the comments.