Sharing my experience with GarageBand and UVI Workstation

• Dec 14, 2019 - 08:45

I have been thoroughly impressed with Samuel Ricke's work with Bach's glorious music, most particularly with the MP3s he's created in Logic Pro X and the UVI Orchestral Suite. UVI had their software on special and I picked it up for just over AUD$212 ($139 US)... bargain! I'm financially embarrassed (limited funds) so was happy I had GarageBand on my 2012 Macbook Pro that I picked up for a very reasonable price ... and then, things sort-of went to custard.

Now, I can "write" music just fine. I created this little 12-bar theme (sting?) with bass, strings, horn and bassoon, and the effect is really quite stunning. I wouldn't go out and hire an orchestra quite yet to enthrall the populace with my Opus quite yet, but it does seem to work, to a degree.

However, importing MIDI files exported from Musescore don't have the same outcome, unfortunately. At first, I exported what I have transcribed so far of Mendelssohn's Hebride's Overture to midi and it imported to Garageband just fine. However, whilst you can assign UVI-Workstation plugins to the various parts, only the bassoon appears to "take": the others do not "play back" at all.

So, I went through the exercise of exporting the MIDI files as PARTS and imported the strings section into Garageband. Which worked! I was able to assign a violins plugin successfully and hear it. But that's only if that was the only track in the file... even copying and pasting the track to an existing file with say a bassoon track left the violins mute.

I do love the fact that Musescore allows us to hear what we write, or transpose... this is exceptional. One of these days, perhaps we'll be able to assign UFSes and VSTs directly in MuseScore and all of this will be moot. In the meantime, looks like I might have to spring for Logic Pro X if I want to have a sound somewhat better than a 78RPM recording (vinyl) of Toscanini's reading of this piece.


In my exploring the DAW universe a greater understanding has slowly evolved of music creation: one proper musicians, of who I am not one, actually take for granted... that of how a sound of an instrument happens. Someone synthesising that sound deals with a complexity of details that, if not effectively dealt with, can make a piece played with sampled instrument sounds have a mechanical, non-human feel.

When I listen the Samuel Ricke's 'reading' of Bach's works now, it's with a heightened appreciation for his Logic Pro X skills. I can't afford Logic Pro, but I can afford Reaper 6. I hope to bring a similar sense of colour to Mendelssohn as Samuel brought to Bach.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.