written by: Nicholas•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 3/30/2010
Trying to decide whether to use GarageBand or go with a more expensive Apple Logic product? For musicians, the right music editing software can save you a lot of time in the studio, and make things go a lot smoother when recording. Check out this comparison of GarageBand vs. Logic.
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GarageBand is a free Apple software application that you get when you purchase a Mac. However, a new version of GarageBand comes out each year when Apple releases a new version of iLife. For the most part, new versions of GarageBand don't add many significant features; but over a long enough time period, you may want to consider purchasing a new version of iLife, which will give you new versions of iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb, and iDVD in addition to the latest version of GarageBand.
GarageBand is software designed for light projects, amateur musicians, and low to mid audio editing. As far as GarageBand vs. Logic and Logic Express vs. GarageBand, GarageBand is by far the most limited of the three recording programs. However, GarageBand is very underrated when it comes to actual capabilities. If you take the time to learn how GarageBand works, and master every feature, you can compose a great sounding track. Even so, GarageBand is what it is, a free application that comes bundled with Macs, designed to be basic music recording software.
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Logic Express is a premium recording software that retails for $199.99 from Apple.com. Apple markets Logic Express to amateur musicians as an easy to use recording software. This is reasonably true. The majority of recording software out there does have somewhat of a learning curve to it. But for Mac software, Logic Express is about as easy as it gets for paid music editors.
Is Logic Express better than GarageBand? Definitely. For the most part, Logic Express is like a souped up version of GarageBand, but with several additional features, more software instruments, studio effects, better timing tools, etc. Logic Express has a different user interface than GarageBand. However, using the two applications is similar at times, as they are both Apple products. For a complete list of Logic Express features, check out this page from Apple.
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Logic Studio is the top of the line, most expensive recording software that Apple offers. It retails for a cold $499.99. What is the difference between Logic Studio and Logic Express? Mainly more editing, customization, and mix controls.
With Logic Studio, you can tweak just about every element of a song; change pitch, reverb, and more. Logic Studio also has a built-in DJ mixing module, allowing you to connect your Mac to a turntable setup. Logic Studio is a fully capable, professional quality music editor/recording software.
The differences between Logic Studio and GarageBand are significant. Someone who is accustomed to using GarageBand would have to learn several additional components before they could master Logic Studio and all the features that it offers.
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If you have not yet tried GarageBand, give it a shot before deciding to purchase the more expensive Logic Express or Logic Studio. If you are doing anything basic, GarageBand will be more than enough. If you are on a budget, but serious about learning how to edit music, you may want to go with Logic Express. Logic Studio should be purchased by actual artists, DJs, and other musicians. You may also want to consider going with a different music editing software. However Apple does offer easy to use, efficient products.
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