Enlarge/ Music Memos is a lightweight new Apple app for recording quick song ideas. (credit: Apple)
Apple is announcing a couple of new tools for musicians recording on their iPhones and iPads—one is an update to GarageBand, and one is an entirely new tool called Music Memos.
Apple says that Music Memos was "inspired" by iOS' simple built-in Voice Memos tool, but with a few added features to make it more useful to musicians trying to capture quick song ideas. Like Voice Memos, Music Memos captures sound with your iPhone or iPad's built-in mic, but for guitar and piano music, the software can detect the chords you're playing and add a basic drum-and-bass backing track to give you an idea of how it will sound with fuller instrumentation. You can use tags and star ratings to organize your library of song snippets, add notes to each individual recording, and share them via iCloud to other iDevices and Macs where they can be opened up in GarageBand or Logic Pro.
The GarageBand 2.1 update does a few things. First, it optimizes the app for the iPad Pro and both iPhones 6S, adding support for the larger screen and 3D Touch (respectively). Second, it imports the Drummer feature from GarageBand for Mac, which lets you create and customize automated drum tracks for your songs using any one of nine "virtual session drummers." And finally, it adds a feature called Live Loops (shown above), which lets DJs create and arrange a grid of samples—these can then been played and rearranged live while GarageBand keeps everything matched up to the beat.