Garage Band 11 adds Flex Time, Gives Piano and Guitar Lessons

At its Back the Mac press event, Apple showed off the new iLife ’11 which includes and updated version of Garage Band with some nice new features.

The most significant new fetaures are Flex Time, Groove Matching, some extra guitar amps and effects, as well as musical instruction for both piano and guitar. Now parents can entice their kids to skip playing outside with friends by throwing Garage Band ’11 in front of them for piano or guitar practice.

Xander Soren showed off the new features in Garage Band 11, including something called Flex Time for the world. With it, you can improve the timing of any note or beat. Just click in the wave form and drag to lengthen or shorten that segment to improve the timing of the overall project.

Groove Matching helps you match up multiple tracks to make them all sync together to sound like a unified song. For example, if you have a drum track, a guitar track, a bass track and a vocal track, then choose say the drum track as the “star” track and all the others will be synced to that track. It helps you make your music fit together even if the timing was slightly off between the various tracks.

Other useful additions are new guitar amps, which take the sound and mimic actual amps that are popular with guitarists. There are 12 new amps in Garage Band ’11. A guitarist’s foot pedal also alters the sound coming out of the amp and Garage Band has more of those as well in addition to new stomp effects. One guitar can sound like many or like it is hooked up to many different amps. Hook it up to a foot pedal like the Apogee GIO and the system can be controlled without ever taking your hands off the guitar.

To help budding musicians learn how to play either piano or guitar, Garage Band 11 adds lessons which will guide the user through the learning process with video and a lesson interface. Learning is augmented with the “How Did I Play?” tool which will analyze your performance and tell you when you missed a note or didn’t play it in the proper timing.

Here is Apple’s video demonstrating the updates.

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