The days of analogue audio workstations and expensive sound studios are on a decline, and musicians everywhere are instead opting for Digital audio workstations these days. Like many of its competitors, Apple too has got this department covered and is clearly LEADING with its two audio editing software: GarageBand and Logic Pro.
Initially, GarageBand was released as a beginners version for the more advanced Logic Pro, but over the years it has gained enough professional popularity too. In this article we will be analyzing the two DAWs to compare their different aspects. Also go through – Our Ultimate Guide on Garageband for PC
One of the best things about GarageBand is that it is free to use for all Mac and iOS users, while a standard version of Logic Pro X costs about $199.99. Since Logic Pro is an upgraded version of GarageBand, it also comes packed with features that are much more advanced, therefore, we would advise all users to first try out GarageBand learn to start out; and once you are comfortable and satisfied with it and need to unlock more advanced features, they can move on to the paid Logic Pro X.
Verdict- PRICE COMPARISON: GarageBand: 1, Logic Pro: 0
Logic has a one-up over GarageBand with its interface as it offers options like the inspector, which opens a Channel Strip for the selected track where you can add effects, EQ units, decide how to route the signal, etc. This is not possible on GarageBand. Logic also sports a full mixer panel that can display all of the Channel strips in a project.
While both have easy to use interfaces and control settings, but GarageBand is slightly more rudimentary and thus is able to hide the complexity of its advanced features better.
Despite the subtle differences, the first thing that any user of both the software will notice, is that their interface is almost the same. That is because Apple wanted to make sure of a smooth transition from GarageBand to Logic Pro X for its users, so anyone upgrading from GarageBand to Logic Pro X will not have to start over again.
Both sport a similar design and even share a common code base, which means that any project you create in one of them can easily be opened in the other too. The layout is clean and minimalistic – all tracks are color coded and bear icons of their instrument types, while each instrument further has smart controls that look like analogue knobs, dials and sliders.
Verdict : GarageBand: 1, Logic Pro: 1
In general, both editors share a lot of features, and almost all that you can do in GarageBand, you can also do in Logic Pro X. Both allow you to record tracks with actual instruments, or use the Virtual plugins, or edit any pre-recorded audio. However, Logic Pro X comes with a more expanded set of options, that also gives you more control over your track –
Pros of Logic Pro X over GarageBand
— On GarageBand, you can access about fifty different keyboards, drums, and guitar models for free, which you can upgrade to about two hundred options with a purchase of $2.99, along with an expansion of the loop library and virtual drummers. Whereas, since Logic Pro X is already paid, you get an impressive twenty thousand of these, most of which come through an optional 35GB download, which is free. Therefore, all sets in Logic pro are complete, while in GarageBand they are not. For example, the 70s Electric piano set has 29 loops in Logic and only 2 in GarageBand.
— Logic also comes with a number of advanced and impressive sound creation tools that you do not find in GarageBand, including the Space Designer, the EXS24 Sampler, and the Sculpture tool.
— There are certain tools that both software share, but these also have certain advanced features in Logic Pro X that GarageBand doesn’t have, like the Drummer tool that automatically fills in drum beats to your track where it sees fit, which has an additional ability to build custom kits, due to its Drum Kit Designer in Logic Pro X. Similarly, the flex time feature on GarageBand is also present in logic pro, where it has the additional options of multiple time signatures in a single song, more detailed timeline controls, etc.
Pros of GarageBand over Logic Pro X
One feature that GarageBand has, and that is missing from Logic Pro is also what we would consider GarageBand’s best feature – the artist lessons. These lessons include free tutorials on the basics of how to play different instruments. For more advanced learners, there are videos from popular artists too, which would require you to make a purchase.
In the preferences menu, if you click on the ‘Show Advanced Tools’ option, you’ll find a number of options that give you increased control over your audio like MIDI control, Control surfaces, and Advanced editing.
In GarageBand, you can adjust the track volume, pan the signal left or right, and manually alter the fade ins and outs on the timeline. You can also correct timing issues and perform pitch correction. However, all this is nothing compared to what Logic Pro offers, which includes the ability to group related track together and apply different effects on them simultaneously. You can also play the MIDI orchestra with this technique and create new instrumental combinations.
Verdict : GarageBand : 0, Logic Pro : 1
First and foremost, let’s pay attention to the monetary aspect. Logic Pro X obviously offers more advanced options and tools than GarageBand, but it also doesn’t come for free like GarageBand; also I feel for the features. And that is because both the editors are aimed at different users and that is how you must choose between the two.
GarageBand is the best option for users who don’t have much prior experience in audio editing and want to learn. It has all the necessary features and doesn’t require you to invest money, starting out. For more professional editors, who know what they are doing Logic Pro is the ideal choice, as it has some of the most powerful tools for audio manipulation.
The best way to make use of both the editors, which are designed to go hand in hand is to start out with GarageBand, get used to the interface and learn the basics of audio editing. Once you have mastered GarageBand, you can easily upgrade to Logic Pro X.