Apple has filed for a patent (number 9,640,158) for “dynamic music authoring,” which could hint at changes in future versions of GarageBand and Logic Pro X.
According to the patent filing, in some implementations, a computing device (think a Mac or, perhaps in GarageBand’s case, an iPhone or iPad) can be configured to present a graphical user interface that enables the dynamic authoring of music by a user of the device. The Apple device can present a grid of cells, where each cell represents a music segment. The cells can be configured to playback the music segment once or playback the music segment in a repeating loop.
The user can select (e.g., touch) one or more cells in the grid to cause the corresponding music segment to play. While playing selected cells, the user can provide input selecting various musical effects to apply to the playing music. The user can record a dynamically selected sequence of cells and musical effects to create an original musical product.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that modern computing devices can be configured with software that allows users to create music at home. For example, music authoring software can provide features that allow users to store music tracks, samples, or other prerecorded music segments and combine the music segments to create an original musical product. However, Apple says the music authoring software is often difficult to use and often requires the user to have specific expertise or training in how to use the music authoring software to combine the music segments into a coherent musical product. The tech giant wants to change this.
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.