When you shouldn’t use GarageBand for PC

If you are showcasing your new material and don’t have access to a band to back you or want to enhance a solo performance and add depth with a backing track, it’s tempting to use the original recording and play along with it. GarageBand does of course allow you to mute tracks so you could for example mute the vocal and bass and then play along, but it’s more of a workaround than by design.

If your aim is to record and play live, then GarageBand, despite it’s strengths isn’t the best tool for the job. I’d highly recommend Ableton live, as it’s designed from the ground up to perform that function. It’s important to be able to be flexible in a live situation, so having to play the tune note for note like the original can be restrictive and lack creativity.

Tools like Ableton allow you to create and record loops and arrangements and change them on the fly so you can really produce exciting live performances, without being confined to a particular structure. The recording process is of course very similar to the GarageBand workflow, but in addition to that Ableton also has dedicated live/performance work surfaces, that can easily be connected to midi controllers or even midi pedals to facilitate effortless smooth performances.

Even better, there's Ableton Live lite, which has some limitations but is free to use and download, so you can work it out without any financial commitment and then upgrade if you reach the glass ceiling with it's limitations.