Experimenting with GarageBand: One Year Later

It’s been over a year since I started experimenting with Apple’s GarageBand, initially playing around with smart instruments using the auto-play control and eventually building up to creating, editing, arranging & producing full tracks in GarageBand using only smart instruments on auto-play and royalty-free Apple loops (both included with GarageBand).

While I don’t expect to win any awards for any of these tracks nor do I intend to be an award-winning composer by any degree, I will say that this has been a truly fun, rewarding & educational experience. I am extremely pleased with all the tracks that have been created & produced over the past year.

Jam Sessions Collection

The Jam Sessions collection is a “preview” of the kinds of tracks that can be created using GarageBand’s smart instruments on auto-play. When using the auto-play control in conjunction with smart instruments, you can access a series of preset chord progressions. The chord progressions will vary depending on your key/chord selections and the smart instruments you choose. How you edit, arrange, and utilize these smart instrument chord progressions in your own tracks is completely up to you and is only limited by your own creativity.

The Jam Sessions collection is not only a collection of “preview” tracks; it also serves as the building block for the forthcoming On The Road collection. Many of the chord progressions previewed in the Jam Sessions collection are incorporated into the On The Road collection.

Check out the Jam Sessions collection below:

Countdown, Discovery & Countdown Revisited

GarageBand also includes a library of royalty-free Apple loops which you can similarly use to create your own unique arrangement or get more sophisticated and throw in some smart instruments on auto-play.

Countdown & Discovery were the first two tracks I created, edited, arranged and produced in GarageBand using royalty-free Apple loops and smart instruments on auto-play. Countdown became one of my favorite tracks that I ended up revisiting the track and arranging a new version, Countdown Revisited.

Check out Countdown, Discovery & Countdown Revisited below:

Happy 20th to Elvis Duran & The Morning Show

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Nationally syndicated radio morning show, Elvis Duran & The Morning Show celebrates its 20th Anniversary on the air this year. Over the course of this week, the show takes a journey down memory lane looking back at some of the highlights from the show over the past twenty years.

Over the years, the show has only gotten bigger and better due to the positive energy and atmosphere of the show, the unique style of the show, the comradery between the members of the morning show (past & present, in front of the mic & behind the scenes, on & off-air), and in no small part, because of Elvis Duran. Elvis Duran will be getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017.

Elvis Duran & The Morning Show is a show that connects with its fans, listeners and audience treating them more like an extended family than simply as listeners. The show touches on topics that span across the spectrum and is not limited solely to music and entertainment. There is no other morning radio show like it.

Happy 20th Anniversary to Elvis Duran & The Morning Show and to the next 20 years!

Elvis Duran & The Morning Show can be heard on Z100 (WHTZ), an iHeartRadio station in New York weekdays from 6am to 10am ET, on iHeartRadio affiliated stations across the country, on iHeartRadio.com and on the iHeartRadio app. For more information about the show, visit www.elvisduran.com.

Rick Astley is back . . . and better than ever!

80’s pop sensation, Rick Astley, rocked the house at The Town Hall in NYC this past Thursday night. Astley is promoting the US release of his new album, “50”, which came out on Friday. “50” is his first US album release in 23 years, first new album in 10 years and “50” has already been certified gold in the UK.

While “50” may sound a bit different than Astley’s old hits, “50” certainly does not disappoint and Astley’s signature voice and sound has only gotten better. Some of the incredible new songs on “50” include “Keep Singing”, “Angels on My Side” and “Dance”.

At The Town Hall, Astley performed his classic hits including “Together Forever”, “She Wants to Dance with Me”, “Cry for Help” and “Never Gonna Give You Up”, songs from the new album and some covers while throwing in a few jokes now and then.

It was one fantastic and incredible night and an absolute joy to watch and listen to Rick Astley and his band perform live.

The Power of Music

It’s incredible how music can impact our daily lives. Whether you’re listening to music on the radio, playing music on your smartphone, streaming music on your computer or portable device or watching a live performance, music has become an important, integral part of our lives.

A single song can have a deep, profound impact and leave a unique impression or mark on each of us and that same song can produce a different result and leave a completely different impression or mark amongst different people.

The rhythm, beat, melody and lyrics to a song can affect us in a variety of ways. The rhythm, beat and melody can play into our mood & emotions and induce a physical response. The lyrics to a song can tell a story which we may relate to, connect with and understand and may penetrate deep into our core; taking us on an emotional journey of reflection, remembrance, and deep thought.

Our taste in music may change based on our mood and emotional state as well as the conditions that surround us. If we are feeling down, we may choose to listen to songs which complement those feelings (ex: we listen to sad songs) or we may take a completely opposite approach and choose to listen to songs that are upbeat to help boost our spirits. We may also listen to songs that complement the atmosphere we are in (ex: music that matches the occasion or music that complements the season).

Music is a companion that joins us on our daily journey through life. Music helps keep us grounded, it helps to inspire us, it helps to support us, it allows us to express ourselves, music unites us. Music serves as a platform for communication & expression, sharing of ideas, thoughts and feelings and much more. Music is truly an important part of our lives!

GarageBand for Mac & iOS

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GarageBand for Mac & iOS is a powerful all-in-one music creation studio. The app is included with the purchase of new Macs and iOS devices. It can also be purchased standalone through the Mac and iOS App stores.

For someone who’s not a musician or composer, GarageBand does have smart instruments and a collection of royalty-free Apple music loops that you can select, use, edit and arrange to create some really interesting and cool tracks.

With smart instruments, you can use the autoplay control knob to select a series of preset chord progressions for guitars, piano, string instruments, drums & percussions. Likewise, you can utilize GarageBand’s huge library of royalty-free Apple music loops to create really fantastic arrangements. With a little creativity, time and patience, you can put these all together to create some really great instrumental pieces.

While this won’t make you the next John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith or Murray Gold, it will spark your creativity and will certainly be a fun exercise and experience, so give it a try!