GarageBand turns 15

Fifteen years ago, John Mayer joined Steve Jobs on stage to introduce a new app called GarageBand. For those of us who loved to create music, GarageBand was a revolution that would change the world.

The release of GarageBand brought the recording and production ability of more complicated apps to the average user. Of course, there were apps available to record digitally, but they were not focused on the average musician.

Typical of Apple apps, GarageBand was easy-to-use and approachable, even if you didn’t play an instrument. Using loops, GarageBand allowed users to create full songs without playing an instrument.

Showing the power of GarageBand, some professional artists released songs recorded in GarageBand. While that was impressive, it was always the way that GarageBand focused on making recording music easier the inspired me.

Even today, I have a GarageBand project set up with a simple drum beat that is ready to record. I plug in my guitar, press record and play. I have the drumbeat looped so I can play for quite a while and just get ideas recorded. So many of my songs were written using this simple method.

If there is something I like, I can start a new project with that riff, and then begin to work on the other instruments. Because GarageBand is built on the same engine as Apple’s professional audio workstation, you can import that project into Logic for more professional features if you want.

It’s impossible to say how much GarageBand has changed the world of music over the last 15 years. I have spoken to so many musicians over the years that use GarageBand to write new material because it is so easy to get new ideas recorded. These are people that used to hum ideas into a recorder and let the band listen to them. Now they can record full song ideas.

I still use GarageBand all the time. With all of the professional gear and apps that I have on hand, GarageBand is one of my go-to applications. I can’t see a time when that will change.