Hardware, Info & Updates

Why The iPad Pro Is The Best Device For Garageband

Written By : Andrew Siemon

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The iPad Pro 12.9″ with 1TB of storage space is the best option for producing music with Garageband for a few reasons, including portability and convenience, its versatility, the touch screen, and the updated power and processing speed.

We’re going to explore some of the aforementioned reasons why this iPad Pro (from Amazon) is the best option for Garageband users.

Why The iPad Is Best for Garageband


1) Convenience

The iPad Pro 12.9″ is the best device for Garageband music production due to it being almost as easy to use on a computer, while at the same time, having more power than what’s available on an iPhone.

Let’s face it, this is where music production is headed at the moment. As mobile devices become increasingly powerful, the iPad seems like a better option all of the time.

For instance, the latest iPad Pro 11″ has a lot more RAM, memory, and processing speed than they used too, meaning, they’re no longer just for watching Netflix as they were in the past (although, they were always capable of more).

The convenience of using an iPad can’t be understated. Because they’re so sleek and portable, it’s easy to stick it in your backpack, satchel, briefcase, or your suitcase.

They’re incredibly lightweight, and it doesn’t hurt at all to carry one of them around with you, even more than the MacBook Pro, which is not a burden either, frankly.

Admittedly, it’s always going to be best to produce music on a more powerful and much larger computer, but it looks like smaller devices are becoming more capable than they were before.

2) The Interface is Versatile

The new iPads allow you to use Garageband in a number of ways, including turning it into a Drumpad or a MIDI keyboard by just selecting a new interface.

This is something that can’t be done with a MacBook Pro, at least to my knowledge.

Furthermore, iPad users know that you can turn the standard interface into a guitar, where you actually strum it like a guitar, can bend notes, and do all kinds of cool techniques that a guitar can also do.

3) Touch Screen

As I mentioned in passing above, the touch screen interface is great for making adjustments in your workspace, making the workflow extremely smooth. Because I’ve grown accustomed to doing everything through clicking with the trackpad or through a mouse, I find that this is the best way to go about it, but people who have gotten used to a touch screen interface often find it challenging to go back.

I can totally understand why this is the case after using Garageband on an iPad. It appears to be a lot smoother and faster when using one. Some users of iPad claim that the touch-screen interface, in some ways, actually mimics analog equipment, in the sense that you’re touching and adjusting knobs manually with your hands, in comparison to using a computer or a laptop, where all changes have to be made with a mouse, trackpad, or keyboard.

This may be a selling point for someone who prefers more of a tactile interface that mimics the hands-on action of using actual gear and equipment, in comparison to just clicking all of the time with a mouse or trackpad.

4) Updated Power, RAM, Storage, and Processing Speed

The new iPad Pro 11″ has a lot more power than the old iPads, which commonly had processing speed in the 1.5GHz range. The new iPad Pro has 2.4 GHz processing speed, which means that it’s quite fast and powerful. While it’s much better to have a processor speed above 3.0 GHz, the iPad’s processor speed is going to be enough to meet pretty much all of your needs.

If you’ve made the smart decision and gotten the iPad with the most amount of storage as well, around 1012 GB of storage, you’ll almost never run into an issue with storage. Ironically, the iPad Pro 11″ has more storage capacity than my MacBook Pro, making me wonder why I just didn’t get an iPad Pro instead of the MacBook Pro (although, this MacBook Pro from Amazon surpasses what the iPad is capable of).

However, I needed a computer for other functions, so the MacBook Pro was the best option for me at the time. With that said though, if you need a device for the sole purpose of music production and you don’t have to do much typing, then the iPad Pro is going to be a good move.

It’s worth mentioning that the most recent and most powerful iPad Pro 12.9″, is actually more powerful than any MacBook Pro that’s currently on the market, which is really saying something about the future of music production on computers.

5) Don’t Need To Purchase Additional Gear (Although, You Should)

If you use a laptop or a computer for Garageband music production, at some point, you’re going to need all kinds of additional gear, including a MIDI controller/keyboard like the Arturia KeyLab 88 from ZZounds (which is probably the most popular and respected one).

With the iPad, due to its multi-functional interface, you can just turn it into a MIDI keyboard, guitar, or a piano if needed. With that said, however, I’d argue that having an actual MIDI keyboard is a lot better than using the iPad interface, especially if you want to play more sophisticated melodies, or you’re an actual instrumentalist (get PianoForAll if you’re serious about learning how to really take advantage of what keyboards have to offer).

While I would like to sit here and market an iPad to you and tell you how great it is, I always think that having the real thing is going to be far superior to anything Apple can simulate or mimic. This brings me to my next point.

6) Ability to Use External Gear

In addition to having an easy-to-use interface, you can purchase any other gear that you want and also use that. One example would be a full MIDI keyboard with 49 keys. Also, you can plug in your actual guitar with an audio interface or you can hook up a condenser (using my guide), dynamic, or ribbon mic in addition to a drum pad if you need it.

Cons of Using iPad Pro

With all of the features mentioned above, it’s clear that the iPad Pro is a great device for creating music either through Garageband, Logic Pro, or some other DAW, but it would be silly to suggest there aren’t obvious cons.

For one, I would say that it’s adaptors.

1) Adaptors

The necessity for a variety of different adaptors, while it’s something that’s seen across the board now with computers and other devices, is kind of annoying. However, this looks like the way that the market is currently heading. Technology companies such as Apple want sleek, compact, and mobile devices for the future that are also lightweight and powerful.

But the trade-off is that you have to go out and buy the adaptors or additional storage if you actually need it. In other words, devices are designed nowadays in such a way where it’s great for a casual music producer who doesn’t use a lot of sophisticated plug-ins and software as well as for artists who want to use it for music creation and recording while on the go.


All-in-all, I think that the future will see a lot more music producers and creators using iPads and other extremely mobile devices for their art. With that said, however, there will always be people that want to use the full range and functionality of a more powerful computer.

Andrew Siemon is the principal creator of ProducerSociety.com, a website dedicated to all things music, including music production, music theory, recording, and how to use the most popular DAWs. Starting out as a metal guitarist, Andrew has since moved into other areas of music production including hip-hop and fusion

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