In this week’s episode of The Logic Pros, we’ll be taking a look at syncing Apple’s new Music Memos iOS app with Logic Pro and GarageBand on the Mac.

Late last week Apple released a new app called Music Memos designed specifically to allow songwriters and musicians to quickly capture audio and develop song ideas. And on top of acting as a standalone tool for songwriters, it’s also a companion for Apple’s full-fledged audio suites, GarageBand and Logic Pro. Today we’ll take a look at how to access the new Music Memos feature from all your devices, and the options for taking an idea you’re developing in Music Memos into GarageBand or Logic.

First, you’ll need to enable iCloud for Music Memos to make sure they sync across devices.

You’ll be prompted the first time you open the Music Memos app, but you can enable it later if you miss it. The image below on the left is what you’ll see when you first launch the app:


If you missed the prompt on your first launch, you can enable it from the iOS Settings app at Settings>Music Memos>iCloud (pictured above, right). And also make sure you have the latest version of Logic Pro X or GaragaeBand (version 10.2.1).


Once you’ve recorded something in the Music Memos app, you’ll be able to access saved memos from within Logic in a new option tucked under the File menu: File>Import>Music Memos File…

In GarageBand, you’ll find the option under File>iCloud>Open iCloud Song.


Since we’ve already enabled iCloud in the Music Memos app, all of your memos will automatically be saved and available in Logic or GarageBand. However, by default iCloud only saves a CAF audio file, which gives you both the audio you recorded and the ability to import tempo information into Logic or GarageBand, but it won’t preserve any drum or bass tracks you’ve added in Music Memos.

Logic and GarageBand will prompt you to keep tempo information when importing your Music Memo, but getting your entire Memos session into Logic or GarageBand requires an extra step or two…


You have a few other options for transferring your idea over to Logic Pro (or GarageBand) on your Mac via iCloud. Under the sharing function in Music Memos, you have the ability to share each memo to iCloud as either a Mix Down, Audio File, or a GarageBand session:


An audio file is what iCloud saves by default, but a Mix Down will get you a stereo mix (one audio file) with any bass and drums you might have added using the Music Memos’ automatic build-a-song features.


Alternatively, saving to iCloud as a GarageBand session will let you import the entire music memo as separate tracks (your recorded audio and any drums and bass you’ve added), so you can continue to edit each independently inside of Logic or GarageBand. There isn’t specifically a Logic session option, but the GarageBand session will open just fine in Logic (as pictured above) with your drum and bass tracks preserved separately for editing.


You’ll notice any of the auto-drum and bass tracks imported from Music Memos open on tracks in Logic with channel strips already loaded up with Drum Kit Designer and a bass patch for the bass track (as pictured above). You can then edit the Drummer track and bass tracks however you please, either editing the MIDI or making changes to the channel strip/instrument settings (and while you’re at it, check out The Logic Pros: How to customize Logic’s Drummer, beat-by-beat).

And one last tip, this one courtesy of Apple’s release notes: “The downbeat of Music Memos Ideas automatically snaps to the bar nearest the playhead when imported.”

The Logic Pros is a regular series exploring all of the most interesting gadgets and software for making music on your Mac/iOS devices. If there is any gear you would like us to take a closer hands-on look at, let us know in the comments section below or shoot us an email.

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.