Skoog And GarageBand

GarageBand is one of the world’s favourite apps for music creation.

One of the best things about Skoog 2.0 being compatible with iOS devices is the opportunity to use Skoog with GarageBand. It is an amazing app for playing, creating and having fun with music (you might even learn a bit too…). A one-stop-shop for getting creative with music on your iPad or iPhone. 

Best of all it’s free

GarageBand boasts a huge range of sounds and interactive instruments, recording, mixing, loops, effects and all kinds of cool fun things to do with music and sound as well as enabling you to create and record your own tracks even if you have never touched a musical instrument before. And it is free on iOS and Mac OS!

Skoog and GarageBand seamless connection


Over the years we created various resources for using Skoog in conjunction with GarageBand on Mac. With Skoog 2.0 we incorporated this interactivity into the core functionality of the app to make Skoog and GarageBand work seamlessly together. This post gives some key tips on getting the most from Skoog and GarageBand and also highlights a few of my favourite things to do with Skoog and the GarageBand.

The apps

I will focus mainly of GarageBand (GB) for iOS but if you want to use your Skoog with GarageBand on Mac OS then simply download our BT IDI App form the App store on your Mac and use this to connect your Skoog device to your desktop or Laptop and Skoog away!

Getting started

Before you unleash your Skoog into the world of GarageBand there are  a couple of general settings in both apps that you should tweak to make the workflow seamless and give you the best experience. For GarageBand, open the settings menu (usually depicted by a wrench /spanner or a cog wheel icon in the top right hand corner of the GarageBand screen). Now select ‘Advanced’ and then turn on ‘Use with Music Apps’ and ‘Run in Background’.  

In the Skoog App simply got to the MIDI settings menu (MIDI icon in middle of the menus at the top of the screen) and turn MIDI on and Audio off. This now means your Skoog app will send MIDI out to receptive apps and the sounds in the Skoog app will not be triggered. 

Connecting your Skoog

Now you are good to go (assuming you have connected your Skoog as normal). CONNECTING YOUR SKOOG

There is no other set up required and once you have set these settings in GarageBand they will be remembered by the app (unless you change them of course), same for the Skoog app. No routing of MIDI or choosing channels etc. It just works! (Video guide Skoog and GarageBand)

Playing GarageBand Instruments

This is a big deal. GarageBand has a library of amazing instrument sounds lovingly curated, developed and evolved by the team at Apple over many years. This includes the incredible Alchemy synths which bring a whole new dimension to expressive and easy to use synthesisers. When they added Alchemy to GarageBand in 2017 Susan Prescott at Apple said: “These updates bring a wide range of new and highly requested features to both hobbyists and the community of pro musicians and audio engineers who rely on our software and hardware to create amazing music.” All I can say is thank you Apple! 

You still set your notes in the Skoog app, sensitivity etc.. but your sounds are now coming form GarageBand, and you can also record these just as you normally would record any GarageBand sounds. 

There is a huge range of more orchestral, or ‘acoustic’ instruments, as well as extra packs of sounds you can download such as the ‘toy instruments’ which are great fun. Play around, spend some time exploring all these different sounds, the possibilities are endless, and it is just a whole lot of fun!

And now get looping.

The Live Loops feature provides incredible sequencing function for GarageBand on iOS. Intuitive touch control to make creating loop based music easier than ever. And yes you get your Skoog involved there too!

Here is a link to a PDF guide to jamming with live loops in GarageBand:

Skoog and Live Loops

The key tip here is in the settings menu when you are ‘in’ live loops in GarageBand you can set the key of the Apple pre set loops. Yes you can set the key! All you need to do to unlock your Skoog’s pentatonic jam tastic music enabling goodness is to match the key set in live loops to the key set on your Skoog and you are free to play. 

We have a webinar coming up  where we are going to explore GarageBand in more detail and live loops will be a big part of that so please do sign up and join the session.

Also, check out our support pages for tips and help to get the most from your Skoog.