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Will an iPad + Garageband allow me to jam with friends like we can on a macbook?


iPF Noob
Jan 30, 2023
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Garageband (on an Apple laptop) has been my main tool for playing music with friends for years. We all (3-4 people) play live together with all instruments being monitored & mixed simultaneously through Garageband using Garageband midi instruments and effects. I may soon be without a Macbook and would prefer to not buy a new Apple computer since the only thing i want it for is Garageband.

I understand that Garageband runs on ipads and iphones, so im considering buying a second hand ipad to replace the macbook. Im just a little concerned that the ipad will not have the power, features, or peripherals to fulfill my needs compared to my current macbook setup. Can anyone help me to understand if there are limitations when running Garageband on an iPad that would prevent my use case? or can i assume that the experience is essentially the same one that im used to just with a mess of dongles and a touchscreen?

Some detail on how we're usually set up when running 3 instruments at a time:
- 2 "real" instruments (e.g. guitar + bass) both plugged into a 2 channel audio interface like an M-Audio MobilePre which connects to 2 tracks in Garageband via USB
- 1 midi instrument (either drums or keyboard) also plugged in to USB
3 tracks above are output either over the headphone jack or back to the MobilePre
- Sometime i like to play Spotify + Gragaband audio out together

Some specific concerns:
- I'll obviously need some usb-c or thunderbolt dongle that can do 3 things. Do these dongles exist and play nicely with garageband?
- power the ipad
- provide at least 2 USB-A ports that garageband can access
- provide a headphone audio output that garageband can use
- Will the iPad be able to power the USB peripherals that are connected over USB-A? e.g. the M-Audio MobilePre and a Midi cable together?

Thanks in advance!

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