GarageBand For iPad – Your Questions – Answered


GarageBand for iPad only released yesterday has shot straight to the Number 1 spot in the App Store. It is not surprising either, the music genre of the app store is one of the most creative, innovative and popular areas. GarageBand has just increased that popularity.
We thought we would run through some topics that you might not be aware of with GarageBand for iPad and hope this helps increase your enjoyment of this app. Take a look…we will be updating this page as more questions come in so keep checking back for more information.

GarageBand For iPad And Mac – Compatibility Issues


If you are expiring problems in GarageBand for iPad such as songs that you have created cannot be opened in GarageBand for Mac (version 6.0.1) and projects you create in GarageBand for Mac cannot be opened in GarageBand for iPad, then read below.




These issues will be solved if you update your GarageBand for Mac version to the latest 6.0.4. If you purchased GarageBand Band for Mac from the Mac App Store, just go the the Mac App Store and select the Updates tab and download the latest version.

GarageBand ’11 – Version 6.0.4


The latest version of GarageBand ’11 has just hit the Mac App Store, this update addresses general compatibility issues and addresses overall stability and performance issues including the following:

Fixes an issue with the GarageBand Lesson Store not completing single or multiple lesson downloads

Corrects issues with some tempo-based effects falling out of sync with main song tempo

Resolves problems with Magic GarageBand project files not opening up correctly in the GarageBand tracks view.

Does GarageBand for iPad Support MIDI Input For External Devices?


Yes it does, reports are flying in of customers connecting M-Audio Uno’s as well as Roland V-Drum kits and Edirol Midi keyboards.

Can You Import GarageBand Files From Your Mac To Your iPad and Vice Versa?


Yes you can, to do this you need to connect your iPad to iTunes first. Then on your iPad go to Apps and scroll down, they should appear. Although Apple does categorically confirm that this is not possible to do and it should be implemented in a future update.

Why Can’t I Use Three Fingers When Playing The Touch Instruments?


This can happen if you have Zoom enabled in the iPad’s Accessibility settings. Just go to Settings – General – Accessibility and turn Zoom off.

What Guitar Input Methods Are Available?


You can use iRig and Apogee JAM. Reports are coming in of users connecting the Fender Mustang Amp via the camera connector kit, as the amp has USB out – this works well too.

Why Is There A Red Line At The Top Of The GarageBand Screen After I Quit?


This is just a reminder that GarageBand is still running and obviously using the battery and processor time. It is not literally recording but is still running.

When Changing The Length Of A Song Section, The Automatic Option May Not Be Available


The Automatic option matches the length of the section to your next recording. This is especially useful when recording improvisations or longer parts. The Automatic option is only available for the last (rightmost) section in a song.

GarageBand for iPad has a maximum song length of 320 bars. If the song is already 320 bars, the Automatic option will be grayed out and unavailable.

Why Can’t I Use the Join Function With Audio Recordings, Guitar Amp Recordings And Apple Loops?


Join is only available for Touch Instrument recordings.

GarageBand $4.99/Download

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  • Wouter van Caspel

    I downloaded Garageband on my iPad (1). And now the Loopbrowser Button above is MISSING. How do I get it there?


    Wouter van Caspel

      • Charles Hartke


        I haven’t used GarageBand on the iMac in quite a while and just upgraded to GarageBand ’11 for my daughter to use with her Keyboard. When I click on the in my application folder it brings up the window to download the software again and it keeps doing this even after the software has been downloaded.

        Can you offer any suggestions?

        Thanks and Best Regards,


  • Wouter van Caspel

    It is OK. I found the solution. The button only appears when you choose the button my songs.

    • Joanne Carter

      Ok, thanks for letting us know and also thanks for letting us know the solution too. Please come back if you have any other queries.


      Your comment sounds weird to me… When you tap on “my songs” icon you get to the screen with your songs stored on iPad. My “song sections” button is disappeared. I cant make my song longer than 20sec. Or so in new files. And they are enormous long in old files. Please help

  • Ray Lax

    You state that you can IMPORT garageband projects into the iPad via iTunes, well that function is totally NOT working with current versions of both Garageband.

    How did you accomplish this or did you just write this without verifying your statement?


  • Liz

    hi, I am loving GarageBand for iPad so far, but…is there a tutorial to teach me how to structure a song in GarageBand? In other words, it opens to the first part of the song, and I see how I can change its length, but then how can I go to a “Part B” and then join the parts together, etc.? It would seem that, since Garageband seems to operate on the concept of a “song”, that it would show me how to compose the different parts of the song. I guess I can set the number of measures to the total number of measures of my song and then do everything manually, but I get the feeling that somewhere there is a way to write something like a Verse and a Chorus and tell it to repeat these as needed.

    I wonder, am I attributing too much sophistication to this software?

    I’ve already looked at a few video tutorials on YouTube but haven’t come across this. Thanks!

    • Lasse

      Hi Liz.

      Did found any answars how to arrange the diffrent parts like “part a” to “part B” and so on…

      It seems I got the same problem as you, and I am in a desperat need to find out.

    • Nathan

      Yea same problem, what’s the point in recording a second section ie b, if you can’t play section a then automatically playing on to section b. there must be a way, if not then creating a new section is the same as creating a new song.

  • Mike

    I purchased Garageband for my iPad, but everytime it tries to install, it says that i have to plug my iPad into my computer and select “Available Downloads”. I tried that and it still won’t install. I feel like I’ve been robbed of my money and time, is there a solution or can i get my money back?

    • Walter

      Hey Mike,
      As for getting your money back, if you write Apple a sincere letter about your difficulties, maybe, but being that it is software and not an item that you can return, I kinda doubt it. Good news is, if you ask them to allow you to redownload it, I know they will. If you want this forum to help you though, you’ll probably need to list some more info. Such as, did you DL it through itunes or the app store on the ipad? (What were the steps you took before installing?) Are you having any difficulties with your Apple account? Also, try troubleshooting “install apps ipad”. Good luck.

    • Nevin

      Hey the same problem is happening to me. I was wondering if you ever found out the solution? And if so can you help me out with that?

  • Jeff

    I have the same problem as Liz. I want to combine part A and B for a longer song, but I can only go up to 32. Any advice?

    • Joanne Carter

      Hi Jeff and Liz as mentioned above, GarageBand for iPad has a maximum song length of 320 bars. If the song is already 320 bars, the Automatic option will be grayed out and unavailable.

      • Mike

        I can only get my Garageband for iPad & for Ipod Touch to record 8 bars. How do you get 320?!!! I feel ripped off! I don’t see the “When Changing The Length Of A Song Section, The Automatic Option May Not Be Available” screen you have on my version of Garageband.

        • Mike

          Never mind. The + button next to the 8th bar makes it up to 320 Bars on both iPad & iPod Touch. I’m a happy camper now!

  • Craig

    I’m trying to import a background track from iTunes, any ideas on how I might do that? When I click the import from iTunes button it tells me there are no songs available to copy.

  • Josh

    I have been trying for days to get an external audio source into garage band through an RCA plug. I have a 3.5 mm plug with 3 RCA ends and it shows up as a headset on my phone and I can capture audio on it, but the iPad doesn’t capture the audio? Ideas?

    • fixed1t

      Having tried the manual route of converting mac garageband files to open on the ipad a few times I got fed up so wrote a converter.

      A full description can be found on my fixed blog

      The blog also gives links to my fixed1t website to down load a fully working time limited copy of the converter along with the files it you just want to see if they would work with your ipad. There is also a link to my fixed1t youtube so you can see a video of the converter in action.

      Please check it out, and test it out. If like it please post a like and comments. I have a few other Garageband labour saving ideas for using complex scripts but would like to get feedback from people on this one first.

      Cheers fixed1t

  • LL

    I am wondering if there is a way to name the audio tracks. For example, I use mine to lay down an acoustic guitar, then a lead vocal, then a harmony part, then a fiddle, etc.

  • Lisa McGloin

    i bought Garageband from my ipad. it didn’t install and gave me a message saying i would need to download the app from my computer. when i plug my ipad into my imac, i can see garageband in my apps for my ipad and it has a check next to it but when i sync my ipad, it doesn’t load and the check next to garageband on my mac goes away. how do i get garage band to install on my ipad?

  • miriam

    i also struggled to download garageband to my ipad but eventually got it right (not sure how though) I have worked on it and love it but i have a big problem.everytime i connect to itunes on my pc garage band starts downloading again and I loose all my tracks in garages band, are they maybe backed up somewhere on my pc?? any help would be great thanks.

  • Magnus

    In the demo song Curtain Call in GB for iPad, the smart drums must be fake. There is no way to make that simple base drum in the beginning of the song. Or am I wrong? If you look at the drums in instrument mode you also see that the base drum isn’t playing (it doesn’t move/pulse) when sounding. So, maybe the song is not made on an iPad, they just imported some midi in a way that is not possible for regular users. Or what do you think?

  • greenink

    I’m trying to use the “audio recording” capability (GB ipad app on iPad2) to record a single, 5 min. piano piece. No sections, nothing fancy. Just a straight 5 min. recording. It cuts me off every time. In “Song Section”, I’ve tried setting Section A to 32 bars/automatic. Often just defaults back to an earlier setting (ex. 8 bars). Even if it “sticks” at 32 bars/ automatic, it’ll cut my live recording off at 32 bars. How can I set this up to record a longer piece of several minutes’ length? There MUST be a way! I was hoping to use this as a piano practice tool. Hope you can help. Many thanks.

  • Tertia

    I too am having compications with tracks being cut off while recording. After having recorded multiple tracks in the same section at the appropriate length seemingly out of no where I’ll begin an additional track that cuts off randomly. When I check the setting in the section length the reading isn’t consistent. It may read that it’s been reset to 8 or 32 bars or it may read that the length is just as long as other tracks when plainly it is not.

    I have found that tapping settings to automatic on-then off-then-on again sometimes works but not always.

    I have been told that some glitches will be ironed out in the next update ( like when I plug my USB Yeti mic in&I get a notice that it “requires too much power”).

    Will this track length issue be resolved as well?

    Thanks for any and all assistance!

  • Matt

    I, too, continue to have issues with the sound recorder cutting off. Automatic seems to be very spotty. I did not have any of these issues prior to the last update…it worked well as a simple “hit record and go until you are done” option. What happened??

  • Chris

    Very often when I try to start with a manual drum beat (namely on the pads) it will play back a cluttered mish mash of what I recorded. Even when I do a simple beat it will sound like a massively irregular heart murmur. I’ve tried closing all my apps and even turning the iPad on and off. This still persists. Any answers? Thank you

  • bert

    Having the same problem as greenink, tertia, and matt. My recording cuts off at 32 bars. I put it to automatic and got about 50 bars, but it cut off then too. I also had to touch the ipad screen while recording a piece to keep the ipad itself from automatically turning off, which was hard to do while using both hands to play the instrument. I just want to record an 8 minute song in one shot.

  • Matt

    Here’s some follow up. I read that deleting and re-installing GB on your iPad fixes the automatic recording length on the sound recorder. I did that and it worked…back like it was before. Make sure to save/export your music though as deleting the app lost all of my recorded samples, songs, etc.

  • owells

    Garageband on the iPad stops after a few bars when I record vocals.
    Worked fine initially. Now I updated it records to 8 bars, 16 or as many as it feels like. I set on auto and it still stops.

    Any ideas?

    • Matt

      Did you see my comment above yours? Uninstall the app and then reinstall it. I had the same issues and it fixed it for me, but make sure you export all of your music on there currently as it will be deleted when you uninstall.

  • Dave

    I’m having trouble importing audio to my garage band app. When I select import on theTrack screen my audio shows up but it will not allow me to select them. Any ideas?

  • Lukas

    Someone else has mentioned this above but hasn’t recieved a reply. I’m having the same issue:

    I can download it from iTunes, but it won’t install on to my iPad. On iTunes, it will show GarageBand on the pages, but when I look on my iPad, there is just an empty space. Also, when I go to settings on my iPad, it says ‘GarageBand’ at the bottom, so it seems to know GarageBand is on there

    • Shane

      I have figured this one out: GB will only import uncompressed audio in WAV or AIF format. So in iTunes on the host computer, convert the audio you want to use into WAV format first. You can do this by going into the preferences and changing the CD import format to WAV, then select the track and you will see a convert to WAV option in the context menu for that track. Once you have the WAV file ready, plug in your iPad and select Apps. Scroll down to the file sharing section and choose the GarageBand app. Then you can click on Add File and navigate to the WAV file, this will “push” the file to the iPad. Finally, in GB create a new track for audio recording and tap on the blank track to get the Import… option. This will bring up a list of all the tracks that are available to import from iTunes and the WAV file that you shared wil be there!

  • Michael

    I found that GB for IPad automatically repeats a song once it has reached the end…is there a way of disabling that feature?

    thanks a lot!

  • Simon

    I only seem to be able to record and store 10 songs on the iPad app at any one time. Is his an app feature? Very disappointing if so. If not, how can I store more?. I need the GarageBand app to store the master tracks for my backing tracks and ont want to delete any so I can make more.


  • Mark

    Been using GB on Ipad 2 for some time now. Recently i have had a recurring issue of guitar amp tracks exploding into ear piercing static when touching random settings while the track is active. I shut down the app and delete it from the tray. Reopen and it clears up for awhile then CCHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Power down the ipad and restart. Minutes later the sound returns. open a new project. same thing. Oh by the way i am usung the alesis io dock.
    so i duplicated the track and moved the recording over and deleted the original track. Great for awhile then the ear attack resumes. When i turn the track volume down it lowers the static. when i change the amp the static takes on the amp properties.
    Cant find anybody addressingthis problem.

  • Jake

    iPad 2 stock not jailbroke iOS 5.0 with GarageBand 1.1

    I made a song on GarageBand 1.1 Made a copy of the song (for security purposes only) and imported it (bounced tracks) to the audio files folder. After listening to the playback on the audio file, I noticed I needed to make a small edit to one of the tracks. Well, I corrected the track from origional song and imported it (bounced tracks) back to the audio files folder.
    Now, I have 1 audio file that I want to keep and, the old audio file that I needed to correct and don’t need at all anymore.

    Question: How do I delete this unwanted audio file?

    Can I do it in GarageBand on iPad 2?

  • danny thibeault

    i want to share my song in a band file from my ipad to my iphone but everytime I try to share using itune on my pc i always see my song as a document. i know i should be seeing a file and i`ve checked out the procedures on youtube but they always seem to have files through the app tab in itune and not a documents…help please

  • Jake

    I think I know what you are talking about. Try these steps below……

    – instead of opening with iTunes, open with GarageBand
    – after the song finishes exporting, open the song again and look in your “apple loops-audio files” folder. the song should show up as a file.
    – next, create a new song. Use the microphone instrument as a single track.
    – open your audio files folder and “click and drag the file to the beginning of the new song.
    – remember, you need the same amount of measures on the new song as you had for the song you want to upload to iTunes, or else you will only have 8 bars or so……
    – save the new song and exit GarageBand
    – Connect iPad to pc
    – Once pc recognizes iPad is connected, click on the iPad in the devices menu, all of your iPad documents, apps, games,etc. will appear.
    – click on the apps tab, then click on GarageBand
    – your music files will appear
    – simply click and drag the music file to your desktop (after you do this don’t delete this file using your pc yet, from past experience)
    – Next, drag the file from your desktop to your iTunes library
    – eject the iPad from iTunes and check the iTunes library. Convert this song (file) to MP3 version
    – click on the song and play it, it should play fine.
    – Now, simply sync your iPhone with your iTunes library on your pc.

    Simple as that pal.I hope I understood your question correctly and this procedure solves your problem. If not, hit me back.

    REMEMBER!!!!! Always delete this audio file when you are done with it in GarageBand because, if you have an extensive amount of audio files ksaved on your iPad, it will fill up your flash drive pretty quick.

    To delete – same procedure above but, click on the audiofile and simply press the. “delete” button on your pc. It will ask you “are you sure you want to delete this file?” press yes.

    Good luck,

    Jake in Nashville

    • Rolf Hug

      iExplorer, a free app for OS X will give you access to all the GarageBand documents…and the rest of your iPad…careful…

  • Wil

    Hello, I updated my ipad GarageBand to the latest one from yesterday, created a qui song and press edit and then click the song, press delete and it hang and then deleted 3 songs that I’m sure at 100% I didn’t ask to delete. Is there a way to recover those songs?



  • Pete

    Some of my song files seem to be inaccessible (they won’t open and are displaying a white downward arrow on green background in the top right corner of the file thumbnail. This happened when I tried to upload them to iCloud.

    I’m using an iPad third gen. Is there any way of retrieving these files ?

    • Rolf

      Same thing happened here today. I wanted to upload three songs to iCloud
      now they appear with a white downward arrow. Checking the files they show now ZERO bytes. They’re gone. Any tools to get them back? Is this a known iCloud issue ??

  • Mario Valenzuela

    How do I master songs on GarageBand? Is ther any apps for mastering ipad?
    Or tell me the best way to master my song that i made using GarageBand iPad

    • Rolf Hug

      There are no mastering tools in the iOS version. I’d recommend to transfer the project to a Mac, finalize it with GarageBand OS X
      or even better with Logic which has same cool mastering tools.

  • Joey Madison

    Hey, quick question. I have Garageband on my imac computer and I’m thinking of getting the upgraded version, but I do not want to loose the current projects that I already have saved. If I do upgrade… will I still be able to open the music files from the previous version? Please respond… If you have an answer.

    • Rolf Hug

      Hi, you do not lose your previous version projects. You’ll open them in the new version. You have the choice to either save in the new version or create a copy in the previous. Unless you work with different GarageBand version on different machines, I see no reason to to so as the new version is much better.

  • Mark

    Recording song on iPad with GarageBand. Saving as I went. Returned to iPad to find song without added parts and when trying to open song, it kicks me off GarageBand. Previous songs open and play. What to do?

    • Rolf Hug

      Saved where, in the iCloud ? If so, you must know that iOS GarageBand is still
      not officially iCloud supported (Apple support). Hands off ! Save projetcs on iPad,
      transfer over USB.

  • Peewee

    How do I merge measures. Section anis 8 measures,msection b is 16 with a different beat. SectionA keepps repeating. How do I add section B and A together?

  • Paul

    I have 12 bars in my song, 1-8 section A 9-12 section B however when I play it only loops around section A, never gets to B, I’ve looked around the menus, any help please?

  • Jeez beej

    I have garage band for the iPad. It is really neat! However, my wife is a cheer coach and she needs to be able to cut songs from iTunes. Will this ever be available on GarageBand?
    If not is there any other apps that do this?

  • Jake in Nashville

    Sure you can. Try this App….


    You can import ANY SONG FROM ITUNES library on your iPad.

    Open app.
    Hit the + sign to create a new song
    Hold finger on the top track til pop up menu appears.
    While keeping fingertip held down on the screen, slide your finger to BINS
    BINS folder lets you open/import files on your iPad.
    iPod folder will appear
    Open folder and there are all your songs from iTunes library installed on your iPad.

    Hope this helps!

    Jake in Nashville

  • Shawn

    How do I merge merge sections? Section A 8 measures, section B is 8 with a different beat. Section A keeps repeating. How do I add section B and A together?

  • Cooper

    hi i was using the rocksmith real tone cable for my ipad (1) and it was working fine until yesterday ive messed about with the settings and it doesnt work. any ideas?

  • Lesa

    Is it possible to use my iPad as a keyboard and be wirelessly used with Garageband in my 2010 iMac?

  • Wally

    I have the latest garage band for the ipad 2 installed. I’m trying to use this to record a 30 minute service at church, however after 320 bars are recorded, I get a message that I have reached the max. I am not out of memory on the ipad. Is there a way to increase the max recording size?

    • Mark

      If its one track Use a different app that is just a recorder. Griffin italk is a good one. It will record till your device is full.

    • John gemmill

      Will changing bpm lower in settings help ? I dunno, but if issue about max number of bars then maybe worth a shot ? Worth a try maybe…done in settings , i think, at top right.

  • Ralph

    Nathan, just switch to “All Sections” if you want to play/record through all the sections you made.

  • C Salas

    Hey guys, is there a way to a) open .mid files in garageband for iOS? and b) if not, is there a way to import basic projects from garageband for the Mac into garageband iOS? I am losing my mind over this and cannot believe why apple wouldn’t make it easier for projects to sync – especially simple projects that don’t have a lot of complexity… Really appreciate your help!

  • Mark

    I came up with a way to get ios garage band projects into any PC DAW.

    Select each track on the header to the left a flyout should offer a merge option. Choose merge. When all the tracks show up with radio buttons, ONLY select one track. It will take all the segments in that track and render them into a single sound file which begins at zero ( this is important so you can easily line them up in your DAW) All effects and volume settings will be rendered in too. Do this for every track until you have up to eight rendered files.

    It will make a copy of the projects each time, you can clean those up later.

    Now Minimize the project and hold the thumbnail until the project icon starts its wobble dance. Choose the share arrow and then choose share via itunes and then choose garage band format.

    When its done hook up the ipad to your PC, then access your device from within Itunes on the PC. Go to the Apps tab and scroll down to view the file sharing window. Chose garage band and notice your saved project is in a folder with the “project name copy” or whatever you called it. In the lower right choose save as. and save the project to your PC.

    Open your DAW and locate your transferred project and open the folder to find the media folder. This is where you will find up to 8 sound files labeled ” Merged Tracks blank thru 8″
    Select them all and drop them into your DAW project and bingo you have all eight tracks whose beginning put them in perfect sync. Be sure to set up your project tempo to match the GB project before you drop in the tracks. Now you have the fast flexible looping environment of GB easily moved to a powerful mixing and mastering environment where you can eq and compress each track.

    Ps I realize this is strenuously detailed, but I hated being a beginner and people writing instructions that assumed I knew all the ins and outs.

  • PhilipMoodie

    I have GarageBand on my iPhone 5 which has worked flawlessly until today 2/9/13… The last song I was working suddenly will not open, everytime I open the app, the app loads fine and I can choose my other song, but the one I want crashes the app everytime I attempt to open it!!!

  • Wes

    When i record something using a keyboard and use the dials and mixers to alter the sound during the recording, it alters the sound of the entire recording not just the section where i turned the dials. I want the sound of one of the organs to be different during the recording, not have the dials effect the sound of the entire recording

  • John

    GB on ipad. Suddenly after adding a drum track and saving the song, GB won’t reopen at all. Anyone have any fixes. It was working perfectly up to today. I have the latest version and a new ipad. Thanks in anticipation.

  • Alanna Ross

    Hello, I have a question concerning the file size. My friend sent me a recording using only 75 measures and i still can’t record because it says file size limit reached. Does anyone know how i can remedy this?