Do Famous Musicians use Garageband?

There’s no doubt that Garageband is the musical notepad for musicians worldwide, but do famous musicians and producers use it too? Yes, they do and for good reason, it’s actually really amazing how good first takes are, so wouldn’t it be great to record it simply so that it could quite easily end up in the final mix of a hit record? Once you’ve over thought a part or done it over and over again, quite often the spark that made it great is gone. Also, when you are surrounded by the best gear that money can buy, option paralysis and what I like to call super shine can take the edge off what should be raw and edgy.

Take Oasis for example, Noel Gallagher can afford the best equipment that money can buy, but remember a lot of what he wrote that went on to become mega hits were written in a shed on a building site or in his bedroom. Fast forward to their last album ‘Dig out your soul’ and Noel says “I had my own fully functioning recording studio with an EMI II desk and a really cool Neve desk. But I kind of got sick of it because the demos were starting to sound better than the records. We actually do our demos now in Gem’s bedroom on his little GarageBand computer”. 

Back in 2005 Trent Reznor released Nine Inch Nails single ‘The Hands That Feed’ as a Garageband project, essentially as a creative experiment, encouraging fans to ‘experiment, embellish or destroy’ the track. Ever since, you can download stems for nearly any NIN track, starting a trend which has changed the music business. 

Radiohead, following NIN’s example, acknowledged Garageband as the default musical notepad by releasing two of their tracks from their album ‘In Rainbows’ to be remixed by fans. If you downloaded all of the stems for Nude or Reckoner, you were given access to complete Garageband projects for the songs. The ground breaking move where fans chose what they paid for the album coupled with access to Garageband files to remix tracks cemented Radiohead as not only sonic innovators but also as mavericks of the music industry.

Snow Patrol are also well known for their reliance on Garageband. Singer Gary Lightbody, had put together around 220 demos in Garageband for their album ‘A Hundred Million Suns’ while on tour, “I’m on Garageband everyday just making noise”. 

As a tool for getting ideas down in a useable format Garageband is the choice of many bands and producers. Producer Oak Felder levers Garageband to facilitate the creative process by using it as a communication tool with artists like Ariana Grande and Alicia Keys to express their musical ideas without having to explain them in words. 

Joe Trohman, guitarist for ‘Fallout Boy’, relies heavily on Garageband to bounce back ideas with singer Patrick Stump, the great thing is that because the demos sound good it’s easier for other band members to write parts knowing what the end result will likely sound like.

So as you can see, it’s not just hobbyists that use Garageband, the intuitive workflow is also invaluable to multi-million selling artists too.