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Posted March 8, 2012
I am fairly unfamiliar with the art and science of music composing, arranging, and recording, but I do every once in a while have a need for some light audio “hacking.” When I need to add a music track or two to my videos, or create a neat ringtone, I reach for the audio editing software that has the right combination of the intuitive use and the variety of features. Apple’s GarageBand is probably my software of choice these days. It is fairly intuitive and easy to use, but for the more ambitious projects you’d want to learn from an in-depth guide or a book. “GarageBand ’11 Power!” is just the kind of book that will help you get the most out of this software.
This is a very comprehensive and detailed book that covers almost everything that GarageBand was designed to do. The topics that are covered include “Working with Tracks,” “Recording with Software Instruments,” “Working with Apple Loops,” “Podcasting,” “Mixing and Automation,” and several others. The writing is for the most part informative and clear, and various explanations and projects are fairly easy to follow. Still, the book suffers from some sloppy editing, including repeated or missing topics, material taken from Wikipedia entries, etc. For the most part, though, you can follow the material and it has a decent overall pedagogical value.
The single biggest issue that I have with this textbook is its design. It’s printed on a very low quality paper, and all the pictures and illustrations are black and white and not very clear. This gives the entire book a very cheap and unprofessional feel. The only nice thing about the book’s formatting and design is its size – it’s as big as an average college textbook, which makes it a more appropriate study tool.
If you are serious about learning most of the features of GarageBand, then this book will be an adequate resource for you. It is probably the most comprehensive book on GarageBand available. However, if you are just an occasional GarageBand user, or need to learn just a few tricks for your multimedia projects, then there are a few smaller and more to-the-point books out there. I’d recommend that you check out [[ASIN:047064348X iLife '11 Portable Genius]]. As its title suggests, that book covers more than GarageBand, but in my experience books in that series are very suitable for casual users.
Posted October 2, 2011
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