Apple Announces Music Memos for Demos, 'DJ' Update to iOS GarageBand

Courtesy of Apple
A new app called Music Memos displayed on an iPhone.

Just ahead of the annual music products tradeshow NAMM, Apple has announced a new version of an oft-used iOS app, Voice Memos, made specifically for musicians as well as a significant update to its GarageBand software for iOS.

Voice Memos, as any journalist or musician can attest, is a handy little app, allowing no-nonsense audio recording. While the app is incredibly useful, it turnns out that many have been using it in a way that was unintended. Enter Music Memos, which keeps Voice Memos' simplicity while adding features, both visible and hidden, created specifically for musicians. When a short demo is recorded the app detects both chords and tempo, dividing the recording by measure and adding chord notation to the beginning of each.

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For a little wow factor, Apple has also built in bass and drum features, which augment Music Memo recordings with a simplistic rhythm section. The app also presents a tuner and enhanced naming features, allowing users to rank their recordings on a five-star scale and add helpful organizational details (like where the music was recorded) as well. Behind the scenes, Music Memos records audio in a higher-quality format than Voice Memos.

Music Memos also allows users to bounce their work into GarageBand or, for the truly professional, Logic Pro.

GarageBand's iOS iteration has also gotten a major tune-up today, into version 2.1, which may strike fear into the hearts of many MPC-like appmakers on the company's App Store. The new GarageBand gives users an extremely robust loop library and a grid to house them on, as well as granular editing features across the board.

(Pro tip: Tap the '?' button on the upper-right-hand corner of GarageBand for a dynamic tutorial of how to use the app.)

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The App Store has no shortage of music-creation tools for beginners and advanced creators alike -- which Apple considered in this new version with "Audio Units," a backend solution for developers of "app instruments" to make those apps, such as Arturia's iSEM Synthesizer, integrate smoothly with GarageBand.