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

Music Memos
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.

Apple's iTunes Radio Will No Longer Be Free As of Late January

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.)

Apple Music Reportedly Hits 10 Million Paid Users; Spotify Responds, Highlighting Momentum

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.


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.