Apple Adds Chinese Instruments and Loops with 2.1.1 Garageband Update
Apple celebrates the rich history of Chinese music by added three new instruments to its Garageband software for iOS and Mac today. The instruments include a Chinese percussion kit, the pipa (which is a mandolin-like stringed instrument), and the erhu (which is a simple stringed instrument that is easily recognizable in Chinese music). All instruments are Multi-Touch enabled.
If you have a 3D Touch enabled device, you will be able to add additional expression on the erhu by varying pressure.
The instruments are not turned on by default in the iOS version, so here are the steps to enable them:
- Tap on the gear icon in the upper right
- Tap on the “Song” tab
- Tap on “Advanced”
- Slide the tab for Chinese instruments to green to turn it on
- Return back to the main instrument selector and the erhu and pipa are there
- The Chinese percussion is already available from the drum menu as an additional kit
In addition to the new instruments, Apple released over 300 new Chinese-music-inspired loops. If you want to make sure they are downloaded to your device, be sure to click on the “Restore Purchases” option from the aforementioned Song tab in Garageband settings (gear icon). Then you can filter by “Chinese Traditional” to see them.
Also worth noting is the fact that the loop browser now has an alphabet slider on the right hand side that may make managing large loop libraries a snap.
With these new instruments and the recent Live Loops and FX sections added to Garageband, there is really no product on any platform that competes with the ease-of-use and versatility of Garageband. If you are a musician, you absolutely need the largest capacity iOS device you can afford and you owe it to yourself to live inside the “garage” for awhile.