Apple has unveiled a new addition to its range of music-making apps for iOS, as well as an update to a classic app.
The update and the new addition are both intended to make it easier for people to tap into their musical creativity while on-the-go, making it possible to create music no matter where the user finds themselves.
Music Memos is a new app that helps musicians and songwriters quickly capture, organise and develop new ideas directly to their iPhone. The Voice Memos app on the iPhone has already been used extensively by musicians to quickly record ideas, with several hit songs said to have originated as a quick recording on a Voice Memo.
Music Memos is inspired by this app, adding dedicated functionality with the inclusion of musician-friendly features that have been designed specifically with the recording process in mind. Any musical instrument can be recorded through Music Memos via the iPhone's inbuilt microphone. A file of the recording is then saved in a high-quality, uncompressed format, which can then be named, tagged and favourited by the user to start building a library of ideas.
There are more sophisticated features to help users develop these ideas into a full track if they see fit. For instance, the app is able to analyse rhythm and chords of acoustic guitar and piano recordings, instantly adding suitable drums and bass lines to offer a virtual, customisable backing band that matches and expands the feel of the song. Basic notation can be created based on the chords that were played – and this can instantly be distributed to all the user's devices via iCloud, thereby facilitating further development on Mac apps such as GarageBand or Logic Pro X.
GarageBand for iOS itself has benefitted from a major update, introducing new features like Live Loops, which makes it possible to create a DJ set using just an iPhone or iPad. By simply tapping cells and columns in a visual grid, different looped instruments and samples can be triggered. These loops can then be performed, arranged and remixed live, with all beats automatically kept in perfect synch, time and pitch.
Apple products have already been widely embraced by major musicians all over the world, with Damon Albarn famously recording the fourth Gorillaz album The Fall using only iPads. The new additions are likely to be met with further enthusiasm, with critically acclaimed singer-songwriter and producer Ryan Adams commenting: “Sometimes ideas come faster than I can get them into my notebook so I've used Voice Memos and Notes to quickly capture songs before they're lost. Music Memos is like if those two apps came together to form some kind of superpower for songs.”
Grammy Award-winning artist and producer T-Pain said: “I recorded my first album using GarageBand and I continue to use it in my music today.
“I love how the new Live Loops in GarageBand lets me quickly build tracks and beats, and even perform effects like a musical instrument. It'll change the way an entire generation makes music.”