Apple has just updated both its consumer-friendly and pro-level music editing software to include more advanced file-sharing capabilities between the two apps, as well as support for the touch-sensitive Touch Bar on new MacBook Pro laptops.
GarageBand 2.2. on iOS has a redesigned sound browser, includes “multi-take recording” (giving users the option of recording and switching between different takes), and has more advanced studio effects, like vocal effects, pitch correction, and distortion effects. It also now includes the Alchemy software synthesizer, which was previously in Logic Pro X, Apple’s pro music software.
On the Logic front, Logic Pro X 10.3 has Touch Bar support, which is a very Apple-y way of saying that you can do stuff in the app via the new touch-sensitive strip on the keyboard of the 2016 MacBook Pro. In this case, MacBook Pro owners and Logic users can view Logic projects in a timeline on the Touch Bar and access things like volume, controls, and software instruments for music tracks.
There’s also the ability to now record stuff in both apps and share it between the two via iCloud. Before, you could import a GarageBand file into Logic Pro, but you couldn’t get a Logic project into GarageBand. The updated software lets you work on tracks and add things on your iOS device (if you’re in transit, or offline) and then import it back to Logic Pro on Mac later on.
The new software updates are free for existing users, but Logic Pro for new users will run you $200. GarageBand now ships free on newer Mac and iOS devices, part of a larger push that Apple has made around free utility software in recent years; on older devices, it costs $5.
Logic Pro has gotten annual updates around the January timeframe for the past few years, often timed to the National Association of Music Merchants show in Los Angeles, while the GarageBand app was last updated in May 2016 to include Chinese music features.