Garageband X Yosemite Update - Review

Thursday, Apple dropped an update for Garageband along with the long anticipated release of OS X Yosemite.

This latest update, version 10.0.3, features support for OS X Yosemite and Accessibility enhancements but there are a few prominent "improvements" that might rub already jaded Garageband users the wrong way.

Garageband Update 10.0.3

Note* This review is based on my initial experience with the latest Garageband update for OS X Yosemite. I am using a 13-inch MacBook Pro so my perception may be limited to my screen size. If anyone has different view on a larger screen, please let me know in the comments.

Finally some love for Bass players with the Bass Amp Designer.

Much like the Guitar amp designer, you'll have full control of everything from cab and speaker size to microphone models and placement. Choose from preset instrument patches for your Bass guitar and customize them to your hearts content. Bass players rejoice!

Bass Amp Designer

I can see clearly now, the tracks are Huge!

Now this is a feature I know we've all be waiting for! Although there's no manual controls to adjust the vertical track size, at least not that I could find, the latest Garageband update for OS X Yosemite features a vertical zoom that automatically adjust the height of your tracks. The look of Garageband version 10.0.3 mimics the look and feel of the iOS application. 

Vertical Zoom

Compared to the previous track height you can clearly see an improvement in the visibility of your track waveforms and midi instrument programming.

For everyone editing on a laptop, this should ease eye strain in regards to track editing but you might find the larger track sizes a bit cramped smaller screens.

See our track size comparison from Garageband version 10.0.2 and version 10.0.3

Vertical Zoom Comparison

And now the bad news...

The Inspector window got a make-over and the ever confusing "Audio Units" are now the more properly named "Plug-ins".

However, the jury is still out on how exactly we are supposed to "Access audio effect plug-ins for more detailed control over the sound of your tracks" but at first glance it appears I'm missing something. 

What I didn't find, at least immediately, were the visual knobs in the smart control window. Once I started to remove plug-ins from the track, the visual knobs with return to the screen. 

Audio Effect Plug-ins Error

Update: I shut down and re-opened Garageband and it appears the error has corrected itself. That was weird!

Audio Effect Plug-ins

Which each instrument Patch preset you'll find that most of them include 5 or more plug-ins and even added effects in the pedalboard feature.

In Addition to the Audio Units Present in the previous version of Garageband, you'll find some more familiar plug-ins like distortion, delay, reverb, etc. 

However, you might not be happy to know that this version no longer supports the option to open multiple plug-in windows at the same time. Bummer. 


Sorry Podcasters, don't hold your breath.

In what we can only imagine is a small attempt to pacify the cries of the podcasting community, Apple added a Voice Template for quick vocal projects. 

In my opinion, I don't foresee the return of the "missing" podcast features like chapters and images. I can't imagine many podcast apps support the option for chapters or images but if they do, then I suppose iMovie might be a better option for editing their podcasts. 

New Voice Templates

I'll be playing around with this new version of Garageband of the next week and hopefully have a full video review up for you as soon as possible.

Leave us a comment in the section below and tell us what features you like or what you didn't like in this latest version of Garageband.