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!).