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Thoughts and complaints on GarageBand 10

I just recently started using GarageBand 10 for the first time since its October 2013 release. Up until now I had been doing occasional work in GarageBand 6.0.5, from the iLife ‘11 suite (also known as GarageBand 11, which isn’t confusing at all).

I decided it was time to get on the “newer is better” bandwagon and start a new project in GarageBand 10. Historically GarageBand has been one of my favorite Apple apps because I’ve used it a lot for some really fun tasks (read: making songs with my high school and college bands). Because of this, I was eager to try GarageBand 10 for superficial reasons (cleaner look, retina assets FTW), but thinking that it’s previously been a relatively strong app that they’ve probably only made it better.

Boy, was I wrong.


I acknowledge that there can be subconscious mental resistence to change that’s surfacing as my frustration. I’ve long hated on several recent versions of iMovie, harping on how it tries to be too smart in solving the wrong problem by not giving me a linear video editor. Yet I see kids approaching the app and making some really cool stuff, so I could be attached to an outdated and unsuitable paradigm for the task at hand.

I don’t think I’m unfairly judging GarageBand 10.


  • Importing multiple external audio files seems to glob them all into a single track
    • This seemed to be an issue of trying to import mov files. When I extracted the audio track the import worked fine
  • The undo-stack seems to go back maybe 5 or 6 actions and then just give up
  • Seemingly the file will be in an unsaved dirty state and I have no idea why, and the undo/redo stack will have nothing on it

Missing functionality

  • Can I not move selected track regions with my arrow keys?
    • Keyboard navigation in general seems terrible
  • You can only have a single Garageband document open at a time
    • Is this a Mac app?


  • Why is tweaking a tracks audio exposed via control/mode called Show Automation?
    • I may understand Automation, now
  • Once you do find the control to tweak and clip a track’s volume, the click target and contrast of the volume line is insanely hard to see

tags: runx podcastx

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