Apple has long been the ecosystem of choice for creatives. Apps such as Final Cut have become industry standards across the years.
If you’re looking to get creative with your musical skills, Apple has you covered there too. GarageBand is a free music production app that comes preinstalled with most Apple devices. It’s pretty powerful too.
Apple also offers its own paid music production tool called Logic Pro X. The two apps look very similar on first viewing, but Logic Pro X has a lot more under the hood.
Read on as we compare GarageBand vs Logic Pro X to see which comes out on top.
Features in Both Products
Both apps are very similar in many ways. This is great because it makes moving up from GarageBand to Logic Pro X a much shallower learning curve.
Before we look at the different GarageBand vs Logic features, let’s take a look at the features found in both products.
Loops are a great way to start making music, even if you don’t have the first clue about how to play an instrument.
Loops are prerecorded snippets of music that you can combine to create your masterpiece. You can speed them up, slow them down, and change the pitch to make them fit whatever you’re working on.
GarageBand comes with a reasonable amount of loops, but there are far more available with Logic Pro X.
These are software recreations of real instruments. It means you don’t need to own a grand piano; you can just load the virtual instrument and play it directly from your computer keyboard.
When comparing GarageBand vs Logic instruments, you should find more than enough in GarageBand to get you started.
You don’t need a drum kit either. Drummer is a virtual instrument that will automatically create drum tracks for your music, based on the kits you choose and the style of drumming your require.
Drummer has more kits in Logic Pro X, and there are more features included too.
You’ve recorded the perfect vocal, but it’s slightly out of time with the rest of the song.
Not a problem. Flex Time allows you to move individual parts of your vocal back and forth in time until they’re exactly where you want them, all without affecting the sound of the performance.
Ease of Use
Since GarageBand has fewer features than Logic Pro X, it is slightly easier to use. That said, the advanced features of Logic are turned off by default, so at first glance, Logic Pro X may not seem that much more complex at all.
If you’ve invested in Logic Pro X, however, then it’s probably because you wanted to use those advanced features. The good news is that learning how to use GarageBand is the first step on the road to mastering Logic Pro X.
What Logic Pro X Can Do That Garageband Can’t
As we have seen, GarageBand has many of the powerful features found in Logic Pro X. There are some things that Logic can do that GarageBand can’t, however.
One of the big differences in Logic Pro X vs GarageBand is the ability to make edits to your tracks.
Garageband’s cursor has two options. It’s either a pointer, for selecting, or a pencil, for making edits.
In comparison, in Logic Pro X, the cursor can become one of more than 40 different tools, each of which does a slightly different job. It means you have far more control in Logic.
Once you’ve recorded all your parts, you’ll need to mix them. This involves setting the volume of each track, its stereo position, and so on.
One big flaw in GarageBand is that you can’t select multiple tracks. If you want to change the volume of your 12 backing vocal tracks, you’ll have to change each of them one at a time. In Logic, you can select multiple tracks at once with a few clicks.
Logic also has its own dedicated mixing screen, which makes the mixing process infinitely better.
In a similar manner, GarageBand doesn’t have the option to send tracks to buses.
What this means is that if you want to add some reverb to your 12 backing vocal tracks, in Logic, you can send all 12 tracks to a bus (essentially a single track that outputs whatever you send into it). You can then add a single reverb effect to this bus, instead of adding 12 reverbs to 12 separate tracks.
Having too many effects running at once can slow your computer down, so being able to use buses allows you to add far more effects before everything grinds to a halt.
This feature is a godsend if you’re recording physical instruments or vocals.
In GarageBand, if you record another take on the same track as the first, it will overwrite the first take. That means that performance is lost.
In Logic Pro X, each take is stored in a track folder so that you can pick and choose the best parts of each take to create the perfect vocal. You can loop a particular section, and have the performer repeat their part over and over, and then edit together the best sections.
This makes a huge difference in speeding up your workflow when recording vocals or live instruments.
This is one of the biggest differences between the two products. GarageBand is completely free. Logic Pro X costs $199.99.
The good news is that you can open GarageBand projects in Logic Pro X. So if you do decide to upgrade, you can apply all the additional features of Logic to your GarageBand projects to make them sound even better.
GarageBand vs Logic Pro X: The Verdict
If you’re trying to choose between GarageBand vs Logic Pro X, then your decision will come down to two main things: are you willing to spend money and what level of features do you require?
If you’re new to home recording, then GarageBand is a powerful piece of software that comes completely free and will most likely more than meet your needs.
If you’re looking to create finely-honed pieces of music, then Logic Pro X includes all the features you need for professional recording, editing, mixing, and mastering. Our advice: give GarageBand a try and if you need more grunt, then upgrade.
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