How to use Logic Pro X on your mobile

How to record on your Mobile with Logic Pro X

Well the simplest answer is that you can't! There isn't a mobile app for Logic Pro X, but that's hardly surprising given the depth of functionality on tap in Logic Pro X, to try and distill that into something meaningful and usable on a mobile device just doesn't make sense.

There is however, a valid and free workaround for tracking on your mobile and then later simply exporting to Logic Pro.

Meet the Garage band iOS app, freely downloadable from the app store and like it's big brother, Garage band for OSX, projects can be seamlessly exported to Logic Pro.

The work flow is simple, once you've saved your project, attach your mobile device to your mac and open iTunes, click on the iPad/iPhone/iPod icon to access your device, then select APPs at the top, find GarageBand in the list, select it and all your Garage band projects will appear in right pane, drag the one you want to the Desktop, open logic and drag and drop the project into logic and there you have it! Job done.

Should you buy a Mac to use Garage band

Should you buy a Mac for Garage band or search for Garage band for Windows?

If there is one single reason that you might consider purchasing a Mac then it’s probably Garage band. Of course, there’s the cool factor, sleek lines, design nirvana, crystal clear screen etc. but if you are musician, pod caster or content producer then the ease of use and professional results of Garage band are a compelling reason to consider it. Let's have a deeper look at the Pros and Cons.


  • Beautiful design
  • Excellent Screen
  • Garage band
  • Synergy with other Apple devices
  • The graphic designers tool of choice


  • Expensive
  • Not upgrade-able
  • Deep functionality deliberately obfuscated by Apple
  • Not cost effective if you only purchase for Garage band
  • Built in obsolescence
  • Learning curve if moving from Windows
  • Accessories are expensive
  • Garage band limitations require the purchase of Logic Pro X to upgrade
On the surface with it's amazing marketing, beautiful looks and user friendly software the Mac seems like a creativity boosting dream.

Lets look in more detail at the downside


Macs are not cheap, especially when you consider what you actually get for the money, a Windows PC with similar specifications will cost you a lot less. Apple puts a premium on their brand name which also transfers to the cost of RAM, Processors and Hard Disk space.

Not upgrade-able

In line with being expensive, to prevent you from purchasing a cheaper model and upgrading it yourself by adding RAM or installing a larger hard disk, Apple have led the field in permanently attached surface components. This means that you have to buy the spec that you think you might need and will have to live with it. Not only can they not be upgraded, but should something break, this often means replacing the entire logic board which is silly expensive without apple cover or 3rd party insurance.

Deep functionality deliberately obfuscated by Apple

In line with making things easy to use, a lot of deeper settings and functionality have been deliberately dumbed down and buried deep in the OS. While it's not impossible to access, you need to learn command line commands run from the terminal to change things at the core Linux level. OSX is a highly customized version of Linux.

Not cost effective if you only purchase for Garage band

If you are only intending to use it to run Garage band it makes no sense to spend the kind of price tag a Mac commands these days.

Built in obsolescence

These days you'd be lucky if your Mac survives more than a single new version of OSX, because of breaking changes in the OS and Software the Hardware often outlives the current OS and you are prevented from upgrading and taking advantage of new functionality. This is entirely for profit reasons as the architecture of the Hardware is essentially the same and new OS versions could be easily backwards compatible, these improvements are used to force you to buy new hardware.

Learning curve if moving from Windows

Macs are relatively easy to use, but there is still a learning curve if you move from windows, be prepared to be frustrated for a while until you get used to it!

Accessories are expensive

As macs get sleeker, more streamlined and minimalist, conversely the available ports that you expect for connecting peripherals have decreased, this means you often need a dongle or hub to connect other devices, which Apple have priced including their brand premium, be prepared for a shock !

Garage band limitations require the purchase of Logic Pro X to upgrade

Once you reach the limitations of Garage band your only choice aside from jumping platforms is to upgrade to Logic Pro X. Unlike Garage band it is not free. Once you add a few plugins it is certainly not cheap.

So, as you can see, it is worthwhile spending some time in consideration before pulling the trigger on a Mac.

How to install Garage band for Windows 10

There is only one way that you can install Garage band for Windows 10 and that is by using a virtual machine. For the uninitiated, what this means is that during your current session in Windows you boot up a second operating system, which runs simultaneously, actually in a window, and shares the resources of your PC to run it.  Basically, the way this works is that you use a virtual machine application like VMWare or VirtualBox in which you use to create the virtual machine, then you install the desired OS onto it, in this case MAC OSX. Once completed it can boot up as described above and you can install other software in it, in this case Garage band.

Of course, there are various things to consider, notably running any virtual machine, because it shares your pc’s resources can slow everything down if you don’t have enough resources, RAM, Processor, Space etc. So, check carefully the minimum requirements before even considering it. Remember not only will you be running a non-native OS in a virtual machine, but you will also be running Garage band on it and trying to record, which is always a resource intensive process because of the analog to digital data conversion and the minimization of latency. To make it useable you will need a fast computer.
Next consider that the virtual machine will be using an audio interface attached to your pc and drivers running in windows to record. In the driver world universal drivers that work in both realms are few and far between so this is really make or break time. In most cases simple is your friend, try using a simple device with standards compliant drivers and you may have a shot at getting it to play nicely.

Finally, there is the issue of latency, as computers have become more powerful this has become generally less of an issue than before, with improved Asio drivers available for most interfaces and direct monitoring available on many devices, imperceptible lag between playing and hearing what you playing is now the norm. However, with a Virtual machine things of course are different and you will likely have to revisit the sampling dance to get the best results, too much and you’ll quickly max out your processor causing drop outs, too little and you’ll be listening to monitoring similar to echoes in the Grand Canyon.

Bottom line, this really is a method for relatively experienced tech people, and more akin to a science project to prove that it’s possible, rather than a working solution that you may use as a permanent work around. It is far more likely that you will end up with an anecdote about not what to do than be pleased you tried in the first place. I really don’t recommend that you waste your time on it, I think it is much better spent on the other solutions offered here, I include it simply for the sake of completeness and it is more of a warning than any sort of a recommendation.

And on that note, let me finish with a disclaimer: I do not accept any responsibility if you attempt this. No liability for lost data, lost time, damaged software, damaged hardware in short no responsibility whatsoever for any inconvenience, loss or frustration that you may incur as a result of not taking my advice, which is, to be clear, not to attempt this.

How to Successfully use Garageband on iOS

A little more on using Garage band on iOS, unlike a PC or MAC when your Audio interface is connected and selected as default it remains so, on iOS the default audio interface is always the built in speaker/ear phone jack for playback and the built in mic for input (or Bluetooth device if connected). There isn’t a global setting to set this and for the vast majority of people this works perfectly.

Apple assumes that if your intention is use alternate input and output then this is intentional and a special case, whereas the normal will be to always use the built-in offerings, this makes sense and so does the workaround as it avoids having to dig into and remember settings.
It’s as simple as opening the APP you intend to use, then, after it is open, connect the audio interface of your choice and the APP automatically defaults to the newly connected device for both input and output.

There are a few provisos here 

1. That your audio interface is standards compliant, here, simple is your friend, I’ve used both a Zoom H2n and a Focusrite Solo, both of which worked seamlessly, but, for example my recently purchased Audient Sono does not, hardly surprising given the complex routing options, onboard tube, re-am switching and built in two notes wall of sound support. By far the best thing here is to keep it simple, definitely check with the manual and or manufacturer to confirm that your device is compliant, especially if you intend to purchase one to meet the requirement.

2. I recommend using the Apple camera kit to connect your device. While there are MANY thunderbolt USB dongles on the market with extra inputs for say simultaneous charging and headset connections, they often don’t play nicely with audio interfaces. Given Apple’s penchant for proprietary, they are constantly changing the goalposts for compatibility to basically ensure you buy their expensive branded accessories. In this case, while annoying and expensive, it’s better to play it safe here as ultimately the user experience, quality of recording and peace of mind will be better, as to the genius that thought up chipping accessories and software blocking to ensure market monopoly and bloated pricing, there is a special place in hell for you!

Once connected it’s pretty much plain sailing, you should be able to select inputs from the available ones on your device and that’s it really. There are plenty of iOS garage band tutorials out there, but it really is easy, so I would recommend putting on your big boy pants and getting on with it!


Most issues can be solved by disconnecting/reconnecting the audio interface (I recommend disconnecting the dongle itself as that’s how iOS recognizes something has changed, it’s possible if you only disconnect/reconnect the USB cable that iOS will not register it) or closing the app completely from the iOS multi-tasking screen (push the home button twice, find the app, then swipe up to close it). Then disconnect the USB dongle. After you have re-started the app then reconnect the USB dongle.

Garage band for Windows PC

Why everyone loves Garageband for Windows users

When Garageband was released home-recording changed forever.  Gone was the need for expensive software, more expensive hardware or studio time charged by the hour. Basically, Garage band became the iPod of musical creativity, redefining how musicians work for professionals and hobbyists a like.

Some Apple software has been ported from OSX to windows, like iTunes and QuickTime, though typically only when there has been a targeted business case for doing it. In the case of iTunes, to persuade users to purchase Apple hardware (iPod, iPad, iPhone etc) without needing an Apple computer to use it.

Garageband for PC

Proprietary is very much the Apple business model and once you take a dip into the Apple ecosystem, it tries its level best to imprison you in it, with breaking updates to software requiring new hardware purchases, convoluted methods for transferring content to your i-device and built in obsolescence that would make a replicant wince.

Garage band is easy

While I’m obviously not a big fanboy for Apple, back in 2004 when Garage band was released, an uncle with similar musical tastes brought his newly purchased MacBook pro, with Garage band installed on it, to Christmas at my parents place and I found the user experience immediately compelling. Within minutes I was using samples, loops and musical keyboard to create music having never used a Mac before. I think that is the single biggest reason Garage band is so huge, it really does help you to create.

Garageband doesn’t get in your way

Some software just seems to want to give you a bad day, get in your way or just smirk and give you the finger, on more than one occasion a nice new laptop has very nearly ended up taking a free flying lesson when failing to cooperate (free as in without flying equipment like wings, an engine, control surfaces or any basic means to land safely) , sometimes disposing of my hard work while gleefully blaming me for bad input….. not so much with Garage band, while nothing is 100% fool proof, Garage band does a great job of not messing with your mojo when what you need is more cowbell.

Garageband for Windows

But what if you can’t or won’t buy a Mac, how do you get Garageband for Windows 10? Well, my understanding is that you basically cannot. Apple has never officially ported a version of Garageband for Windows PC nor has it indicated that it might do so in the future. The reality is, if you want Garageband they want you to invest in Apple hardware and while Garageband is free, once you add the cost of even the modest of MacBooks, it starts looking like a very expensive prospect.

So, what next?

Well, the easiest solution that may not have thought of, is that there is a version of Garage band for iOS, so if you have an iPod Touch, iPad or iPhone you can use Garage band. Obviously, it is a mobile version of the App but most of the most useful features are there. Just add a standards compliant USB Audio interface using the Camera Kit and you have a completely mobile professional recording set up. I know artists that have recorded albums that way, of course mixing can be tricky on a small screen, but for tracking it’s a perfectly legitimate solution. In my next post I will talk about the next option.

Is there a version of Garage band for Windows 10?

So, is there a version of Garage band for Windows 10? Short answer no, long answer you have 2 options.

Firstly, let’s take a quick look at why there isn’t a version of Garage band for Windows 10.

When Garage band was first released back in 2004 it was ground breaking, firstly, because it came free with OSX but also and more importantly because it revolutionized home recording. Up to that point, you really required a significantly powerful and equally expensive computer to build any kind of DAW (digital audio workstation). Garage band was significantly less complex but still retained the core tools required to get the job done, so while being powerful it consumed far less resources and could be run on less powerful machines.

As you can imagine this was a significant selling point for Macs at that time and many diehard PC and Avid Pro Tools fans invested in Macs to access the easily useable and undoubtedly cool Garage band, and much like Macs were standard for graphic designers, so too were they to compete for the DAW throne. Soon after Apple

Developing any software for multiple platforms is costly and complex and ultimately it’s vey often just the name and basic look that are cross-platform, much like with gaming consoles. Call it good business or just a practical choice, Apple have never released or announced an intention to develop a version of Garage band for PC and it seems unlikely that would ever happen. That’s not to say never, as Microsoft embraces open source and goes cross platform with their development platforms, it’s not outside the realms of possibility that Apple might bend their somewhat proprietary tendencies in order to compete.

So what are your options?

1. Install Garage band on a virtual machine running OSX
2. Find an alternative to Garage band for Windows 10

Is there an alternative to Garage band for Windows 10?

Aside from running OSX in a virtual machine on Windows, there is no way to run Garage band on Windows 10. Garage band is only available as Software for OSX and iOS and unlike iTunes, Safari or QuickTime there hasn’t been a version developed specifically for Windows. 

Apple changed the world with their Mac and mobile devices, and in the field of home recording, Garage band was groundbreaking, in fact, it’s hard to imagine the explosion in home recording that happened in the early 2000’s without it. So, in a sense, it’s understandable that Apple would rather have you contained in their own ecosystem, given the time, effort and money that’s gone into making it great.

That’s not to say I agree with that, and while I have owned and used several Apple devices over the years, given their cost, limitations on freedom of use, proprietary cables, transfer methods etc. these days I’m firmly in the Windows & Linux camp.

So is there a real alternative to Garage band? a Garage band for Windows 10 if you will. Thankfully the answer is a solid yes and in 2002 a small company called Acoustica, based in the foothills of Yosemite Valley, started work on a piece of software called Mixcraft. Their core philosophy was simple, software should be easy to use. And over several iterations of Mixcraft (version 9 now at the time of writing) that has remained true.

The interfaces are remarkably similar, as  is the workflow, so if, for example, you found yourself unable to afford a new Mac, as I was when mine died, and having to move to Windows. Then, being familiar with Garage band, you’d find it intuitive and remarkably easy to use Mixcraft, as I did. If you are new to recording altogether and you were to install Mixcraft on your PC you’d soon be up and running and again as it’s designed to be easy to use and very much like Garage band you’d be up and running in no time at all.

But that’s not all, where Garage band finishes and the expectation is that for more professional functionality that you would need to purchase Logic Pro, Mixcraft has a lot of that functionality under its belt. So, as you become more skilled the tools are available if you need them, if not, it still functions perfectly as a musical note pad.

I don’t have a MAC, how can I use Garage band?

Flip back to 2004 when home recording was really only for pro's, Apple launched Garage band and much like the iPod and iPhone, changed the world forever, flip back to now, and nearly everyone is making their own content in one way or another and the apps and tools to craft it have come along in leaps and bounds too.

Sometimes though, you need something simple which just works and that is why Garage band is the go to audio notepad, recording and mixing tool.

But what if you don't have a MAC?

Luckily, it turns out that if you have an apple device (iPod, iPhone or iPad) then you can use Garage band! The app has been around for several years but with constant feature upgrades and usability tweaks it is now a force to be reckoned with.

And......... it's free.

There’s more good news too…… wait for it, with recording, signal chain is everything and the weakest point often dictates the overall quality of the recording. So, even though using the built-in mic on your apple device can produce decent results, there is a limitation when you want to record different sound sources professionally.
But, if you own or purchase the camera kit dongle (personally, I prefer a third party one which allows me to keep the iPhone charged at the same time) you can connect  a standards compliant USB audio interface to your Apple device and reap the benefit of professional quality preamps and digital audio conversion.

Personally, I use a Focusrite solo, but there are many other companies out there producing great sounding standards compliant USB audio interfaces that will work, just check with the manufacturer or read the manual to make sure that it is compatible.

There are of course some minor limitations to what you can do in comparison to it’s MAC based parent, but I’ve a friend that recently recorded an entire album with it, with great results.

Bottom line, this gives you a totally mobile way to record and create without the big layout of a MAC and lets you use nearly all the functionality of the MAC based app for FREE, so in that respect, it’s a huge WIN.

Finally, here’s another top tip, putting aside Garage band for a second, you can also use this method in the Camera app, so if you plug in your audio interface in after you start the app, then the audio source automatically switches to your external interface and you can record video with professional audio, without having to mix, edit and sync it later (no more clapping into the camera to sync up your tracks YAY!).

How to install Garage band for Windows 10

Only try this if you are an advanced user. Please do make a backup of your system before you start.

Disclaimer: There are inherent dangers in the use of any software/virtual machine/method, and you are solely responsible for determining whether this software/method is compatible with your equipment and other software installed on your equipment. You are also solely responsible for the protection of your equipment and backup of your data, and I will not be liable for any damages you may suffer in connection with attempting, using, or distributing this method.

You will need :
  1. A legal copy of VM Ware
  2. A legal copy of OSX
  3. A legal copy of Garage band
Please note that virtual machines run on your local machine hosted by your operating system and sharing resources, so you would be running 2 operating systems at the same time, plus any software that is running on your and the virtual machine. With that in mind, you will need a fairly powerful computer to make this usable.

The process is simple:
  1. Install VM Ware
  2. Create a virtual machine and install OSX on it
  3. Install Garage band on the virtual machine
After that, if you are lucky, your audio interface might play nicely with the virtual machine and you will need to address any latency issues with the near inevitable lag you experience using a hosted OS on a virtual machine.

I do not recommend this method!