Review: GarageBand 2 for Mac OS X: VQG

Informative, entertaining, and useful book (June 28th, 2005)

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Product Manufacturer: Peachpit Press

Price: MSRP $19.99 US

The Good

  • It presents bite-sized pieces of information in a well-organized manner. The screen shots help you understand the text. It will help both a beginner and advanced musician make music that they can enjoy.

The Bad

  • Doesn't cover music theory. It won’t help you become a Mozart or an Andrew Lloyd Weber.

GarageBand 2 is a feature filled program that should include a manual in the iLife box. Unfortunately Apple no longer includes printed manuals, so Peachpit Press solves the problem. GarageBand 2 for Mac OS X: Visual QuickStart Guide by Victor Gavenda is an excellent tutorial on how to use GarageBand 2. It is well organized and easy to understand.

VQG - What are They?

The Visual Quickstart Guides are easy to use books. Each author explores a topic, followed by a step by step procedure. A number of screen shots illustrate and amplify the text. These books are easily read without a computer on hand.

Organized for Use

GarageBand 2 for Mac OS X is organized into two parts, "Getting Music into GarageBand" and "Polishing Your Song." The first part shows you how to use GarageBand and the second part fine-tunes your music. Each chapter is broken into digestible morsels to make this feature rich program easier to learn and understand. If you already use GarageBand, Gavenda points out new features added to GarageBand 2. He emphasizes the difference between real and software instruments and explains how to record both.

Do you need expensive microphones and a midi keyboard to put a trombone or flute into a GarageBand 2 song? No. A large section on using GB2's onscreen keyboard helps you compose your song without real instruments. You can create music in an airplane, hotel, or in the back yard.

Fine Tuning

In the book's second section, learn to fine tune your song using the edit, effects, and mixing tools. You also learn how to apply effects like echo, reverb, and others to an individual instrument, track, or to the entire song. The Exporting and Importing chapter covers moving your into iTunes or into your favorite iLife application, plus how to import audio and MIDI files into GarageBand. The appendices show you ways to improve the performance of GarageBand 2 and describe each of Apple Computer's GarageBand Jam Packs.

Recommended Reading

This book teaches you the many features of GarageBand 2, plus it is a great reference. GarageBand for Mac OS X also helps you make music that you can enjoy. Don't expect your first song to end up on the top of the music charts, because it doesn't teach you music theory. It does teach you how to use GarageBand 2 on your Macintosh and it does it well.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Richard Curran


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