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Jack and Rai at GarageBand ’09 demo, Wheelock Place Apple Centre

May 30, 2009

[4 June 09 UPDATE: The event organisers requested I highlight that Jack and Rai will be performing again at Wheelock Place, Sunday 7 June 2009, from 2.30pm onwards. Email your name and HP no. at garageband09event@gmail.com to indicate your interest.

Now what the event organisers, nor Jack and Rai, didn’t tell me to say, which I’ll say it willingly and sincerely, is this: Go for Jack and Rai’s session if you wish to speak to a couple of easy-going and approachable guys. Who’ll gladly answer your questions about GarageBand and/ or recording and producing music.  :)]


[From this earlier post]

At first I wasn’t sure what I’d learn from the demo session. Not that I already know everything there is about GarageBand. Just that the demo is bound to cover only GB basics. Still, best to keep an open mind when it comes to learning. So I made my way to the 4.30pm session at the Wheelock Place Apple Store, to catch Jack and Rai.

And I’m glad I went.

I was right about the demo session covering only the basics of recording and mixing with GB. Nothing new for me in that sense.
GarageBand 09 demo 31/05/2009

But the demonstrators, Jack and Rai (pronounced “Ray”) were a blast to watch! Very natural and engaging.

Rai’s on the left and Jack’s on the right.
Jack and Rai, 31/05/2009

Jack and Rai , GarageBand '09 demo- 31/05/2009Line 6 pod farm interface. 31/05/2009

Those two seasoned Singapore musicians were clearly in their element, doing a “live” public performance/ demo. They showed the basics of:

  • Choosing a tempo/ beat
  • Creating/ modifying a drum track, bass
  • Recording a “live” guitar track
  • Recording “live” voice

Rai created impromptu lyrics to Jack’s simple and melodic guitar rhythm track. That Rai can sing sia (check this out!) They fashioned a decent sounding rock-pop song in minutes (hey guys, how about uploading the track to ccMixter?)
Jack and Rai. GarageBand '09 demo. 31/05/2009

What was new to me was the Line 6 KB37 Toneport and the Pod Farm plug-in (the latter would be a boon if you plan to record “live” guitars and bass with GarageBand). Something I’ll seriously look into. Wonder if I can just get the Pod Farm plug-in for my GarageBand ’08.
Jack and Rai. GarageBand '09 demo. 31/05/2009

Here’s a closer look at the Line 6 KB37. Rai’s playing the Korg nanoPAD, which was also something new to me. The nanoPAD serves as a portable MIDI keypad. Pretty nifty as an alternative to a full-sized MIDI keyboard.
GarageBand '09 demo. Wheelock Place. 31/05/2009

After the session, I went to thank the guys (actually I managed to speak to Jack only). Nice chap.

I pointed to Jack that he’d mentioned the MIDI interface was needed to record the guitar (and that you couldn’t record a “live” guitar otherwise). After the session, I spoke to Jack and said actually one could jack the guitar direct to the Mac. That’s how I record my guitar tracks, via a Griffen iMic:
Griffen iMic

To Jack’s credit, he wasn’t offended when I told him that. He said he’ll check it out. Strangely, the Wheelock Place Apple Store didn’t seem to carry the iMic (or maybe I missed it).

Nice session overall.

Here’s two specific suggestions for Apple Singapore (the organiser) to consider:

  • If the aim was to show the ease of creating music with GarageBand by non-musicians, maybe the demonstrators shouldn’t have used something like the Line 6 KB37. Cos to non-musicians, the Line 6 KB37 would look really intimidating or inaccessible. Like, “That looks way too complicated for my needs”. However, I’ve to qualify that this is purely my opinion. The best judge might be the casual customer.
  • Alternatively, Apple Store might want to organise a more targeted workshop for musicians — amateurs and semi-pros alike. I can imagine a session where bands (especially teens) could learn more about recording, mixing and engineering their sounds. GarageBand would be perfect in producing their albums with a relatively modest budget. Or how about tying up with the public library huh? (disclosure: I work for the public library, but that’s just a personal idea)

Anyway, I’ve certainly no complaints about Jack and Rai as demonstrators. They were able to explain the GB basics in simple terms (non-musicians won’t feel intimidated but neither would musicians feel dumbed-down). And they did it in a lively and engaging manner.

Good job, guys.

Check them out at www.jackandrai.com. Here’s their Facebook Fanpage (I just added myself there!) and their YouTube channel. Their recent addition is a Twitter at twitter.com/jackandrai.

BTW, I realised I’ve “conversed” with Rai before. Via the NLB’s teens blog — check out the comments!

Hmm… I wonder if I can interest Jack and Rai for a GarageBand Meetup SG/ demo thingy. Pro-bono though.

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