So the iPad 2 is something I bought last week, solely for the purpose of GarageBand. It’s powerful enough to be a sketchpad where you can create musical ideas, and because the instruments are touch-sensitive, it’s really fun to doodle and experiment. I don’t actually have a bass or piano or drums, so the extra instrumentation is pretty handy too.
Over the weekend I made this sketch of Shaded By Your Shadow as I was figuring my way around the software. It’s always been one of my favourite songs by Shane; the title alone evokes this image of lying in the grass on a warm day, with someone’s hair drifting in the haze of their outline above you.
I haven’t lost myself this much in a project (small as it was) in a long time. I had to figure out the roles of instruments I’ve never played before, percussion being a particularly weak point of mine cause I rarely pay attention to it when I’m listening to music. There are a lot of synth instruments included with GarageBand, so I tried to give it an 80s synth-pop sound. Everything was done right on the iPad, including vocals which were recorded using the built-in microphone.
I still have to learn about mixing and production and whatnot (and since I don’t have any monitors, I’m completely blind when setting the various levels), but I was happy as punch just to be able to figure out the software and process. It really is it’s own creative process when making a full band arrangement for a song, a puzzle in it’s own right, because you can start with an idea or motif on any instrument and there are so many directions you can go from there.