Thirteen years ago, when I had the chance to interview a then 22-year-old Lady Gaga on the verge of mainstream success, she described her collaborative writing style as a process that allowed her to “synthesize other people’s ideas and edit them and make them better. I would like to think that she would be proud of the way I remixed “Free Woman” using only my iPad and GarageBand.
GarageBand’s latest update for iOS and iPadOS includes two remix sessions that let you create new versions of songs from pop stars Lady Gaga and Dua Lipa. Using GarageBand’s Live Loops feature, you can manipulate and record sounds from their tracks as well as hundreds of others to find in the app. Sound loops are visually represented as circular waveforms that you can touch or click to start and stop. You can also change sound levels, effects such as echo and reverb, tempo and pitch, as well as connect external instruments or add our voice to play.
I’m a professional music writer and DJ (under the name Teemoney) who lives and breathes music 24/7. I hear remixes in my head all the time and sometimes I try to create them live on my decks and my mixer, which has a looping function, but I haven’t spent a lot of time fiddling around with them. GarageBand. But when I heard about the collaboration with Lady Gaga, I wanted to give it a go.
Even with little experience, it didn’t take long to master the intuitive controls. The fun is in the experimentation, so head over to the Settings menu and play along with the track’s tempo (i.e. beats per minute), until you find what hits you the best. more. Try the same for the key of the song – you can change the notes and pitch, which can completely change the final recording.
GarageBand has so many sounds and loops that you can listen to your remix and drag out the parts you like. When I decided to change “Free Woman” from what looks like a stadium festival EDM track to an after-hours dub, the added exterior components were a snare sound mimicking an 808 drum machine and a Groove-laden disco string instruments from Mark Ronson, who released a number of sound tools on GarageBand as a companion to his new Apple TV + “Watch the Sound” docuseries.
Another vast frontier of sound cores to experiment with and add to your remix can be found in the Instruments section. For example, you can bring up a virtual keyboard to add your own riffs or even sing along to your device to create your own duet that Bradley Cooper would envy. I thought it might be fun to do some improvised vocals to add to my recording, but then I remembered that I couldn’t sing. But your mileage may vary.
You can also go to your iTunes and add other songs to your canvas. At one point I introduced elements from Gaga’s debut single “Just Dance”, but ultimately left them out of the final master. An FX button is designed to mimic some old-fashioned DJ sounds, including a synthesized “scratch” effect, but you can really get the experience of a DJ if you bring in samples of other songs.
One caveat about Remix Sessions is that you can’t share your version of Lady Gaga and Dua Lipa songs outside of GarageBand, so unfortunately I can’t play it for you. But my GarageBand Remix session was very much in Lady Gaga’s mind: synthesizing her ideas, editing them, and maybe even improving them. It’s a lot of fun, and even if you’re not into music, I encourage anyone with an iPhone or iPad to update your GarageBand app and play around with a remix session for at least a few minutes. .