To Invest or Not to Invest: Choosing Between Garageband and Logic Pro

beginner collaboration daw digital audio workstation garageband logic pro madeline finn mastering mixing nashville recording songwriting user friendly virtual instruments workflow Mar 10, 2023

To Invest or Not to Invest: Choosing Between Garageband and Logic Pro

By Mike Meiers 

The Great Songwriter Debate: Is a DAW necessary as a songwriter in 2023?

Overall, learning to record at home in a DAW or, Digital Audio Workstation, can be life changing! It’s a great way for songwriters to gain experience and control over their own music, while also saving time and money. It’s so fun to have an idea and then be able to track it right away. Using a DAW will help you develop your skills and create music you’re really proud of. That’s what I help songwriters do and I want to help you do that too.  Imagine how many more great songs you could create!

It’s a shame that a lot of songwriters are still averse to using one in 2023.  But I get it, people are used to their own process, and it seems complex if you’re new to recording tech. But, I hope by the end of this article you’ll be excited or at least more curious about using one.

Do you use a PC or Mac? 

There are many DAWs out there that I like, but I have a Mac, so let’s just get into the great debate between Garageband and Logic Pro. So if you’re all PC, then this article isn’t what you’re looking for. I would research FL Studio, Ableton Live, Protools, Cubase, Studio One, or Reaper.

Mac? Okay! Garageband or Logic is it. What can you do in these programs? 

Garageband and Logic share so many similarities that once you know how to use one, you’ll basically know how to work in the other. They have a similar interface and both have a ton of virtual instruments and effects. 

Let’s go through the basics of what Garageband and Logic both can do:


  1. Create Melody: They provide a range of virtual instruments, that can be used to create your melodies and grooves, from keyboards and guitars to bass, strings, brass and drums.
  2. Arrangement: They have a feature to quickly and easily arrange music. Either by dragging and dropping pre-made loops and samples in the project or using their arrangement tool to mark different sections. It can help you get a sense of how different sections of the song fit together and experiment with structure and feel.
  3. Recording: Garageband allows songwriters to record their own audio tracks using the built in mic on your laptop and use it on the road, and of course you can set up a direct input and use your own professional equipment in your home studio.
  4. Collaboration: Garageband and Logic both make it easy for songwriters to collaborate with other musicians in different places. Songwriters can share their projects with others and collab in real time. 
  5. Mixing and Mastering: People used to only be able to hire out engineers for this, but now we have the power in our hands! Garageband and Logic provide a range of plugins and tools that you can polish your track right there.


What’s the Difference Between Garageband and Logic?

To be honest, the only reason there is a debate is because Garageband is free with any Mac computer, which makes it so easy to start AND so easy to stay with it longer than you should.

But if I were to put it as eloquently as possible…Garageband is like yellow mustard, nothing fancy and tastes great, it has all the essential elements that mustard should. And Logic is like Dijon, it has more depth and complexity, it still tastes great on everything mustard tastes great on but the more experienced mustard lovers prefer to use this when reaching for the sauce. 


My Top 5 Reasons I Prefer Logic over Garageband

Garageband and Logic are both great for songwriters and the choice between them really comes down to your level of experience and your specific needs as a songwriter. 

  1. Logic is more user friendly
  2. The visuals are much better  
  3. Stock Logic tones  sound really decent. I even used the guitar tones on tracks before I invested into Native Instruments guitar rig.
  4. In terms of gear in real life, Logic makes it easy to see which of their stock cabinets, pedals, etc…will provide a similar sound. 
  5. Lastly, once you buy Logic, you have unlimited access and upgrades for LIFE! And it’s just $200. It’s really worth the investment. 

If you’re just starting out, Garageband is great and I totally recommend it while you get comfortable and see the benefits, but if you’re getting serious and want to improve your workflow, I would upgrade to Logic immediately. 


Need Help learning your DAW?

March 14th, 2023, American Idol contestant and great friend of mine, Madeline Finn is teaching DAW 101. This is a LIVE class where Madeline will be demonstrating technical aspects and workflow in Logic, but you can apply much of it in Garageband as well as any of the workflow tips in any DAW.

This will make your life SO much easier and streamline your process from the get go!

Sign Up for your free class here.

About Madeline Finn

Madeline is a career singer/songwriter currently based in Nashville TN. Between her previous projects (ENVOI and The Whiskey Hollow) and her current solo work, she has accumulated over 24,000,000 Spotify streams and counting. Winner of the 2020 John Lennon Love Songwriting Competition and top 70 in the 2018 season of American Idol , she is well versed in the world of writing and performing.

She has fallen in love with the world of licensing and has had placements with HULU, FOX, TARGET, MTV and many more. When not swimming in writing and recording, you can find her facilitating meditation or hiking with her Golden Retriever mix George. 

About the Author

Mike Meiers is an Emmy Award Winning composer, songwriter, producer, and sought-after guitar coach. His prominent placements on major networks such as MTV, VH1, Fox, NBC, NPR, Showtime and Target have captured the attention of many rising star indie artists, music libraries and industry influencers.