Garageband and MIDI – 4 things you should know

Garageband is an absurdly capable program for the price (free). It’s virtue as a basic recording and notation tool is intact. However, when it comes to working with MIDI files – it comes up short – and you’ll need to consider Apple’s Logic series is the natural upgrade to Garageband and makes sense if you want to make use of MIDI and your Garageband files.

Logic Express:

Logic Studio:

Thanks to George Litterst from  Timewarp Tech for initial source of these facts/notes.

1. MIDI Input to GB

GB records ALL of the MIDI input. Interestingly, there is no MIDI Setup window. It just looks at the available MIDI Input devices and if MIDI data comes in while you are recording, it records it.

2. MIDI Output from GB

GB plays back all MIDI data using internal voices and there is NO built in MIDI out option/choice.

However, a 3rd party company has a plugin called midiO that is supposed to provide true MIDI Output:

3. MIDI File Export from GB

You cannot natively save or export MIDI files from GB. And, there appears to be no true 3rd party solution.

You can purchase Apple’s Logic program and import GB files or use midiO (see below) to output and then rerecord to a sequencer in real time.

This site gives a pathway that sounds “do-able” but not simple approach – you be the judge…

4. MIDI Import to GB

As of Garageband 2 –  you can simply drag a MIDI file into the main Garageband window to import it!

Still hungry for more info?

While putting the finishing touches on this post – I found another – more in-depth post along the same lines at:

Leave a Reply