gbTouch & gbLink FAQ’s

Note: Because gbTouch only works with the older versions of GarageBand (’09 or ’11), all references to GarageBand in these FAQ’s refer to the way the older versions work.

No. gbTouch is a type of "remote control" for GarageBand '11 or '09 on your Mac. (Note: it does not control the Apple iPad GarageBand music application.) It gives you the ability to perform common GarageBand operations using the iPad screen instead of your Mac's usual mouse and keyboard. It does not replace your mouse and keyboard. Rather it supplements your normal way of interacting with GarageBand.

gbTouch is also a type of "control surface" for GarageBand. Professional music production applications include support for a variety of hardware devices that provide direct control over the application's mixer faders and buttons to control playback, recording, muting, and other common recording functions. GarageBand historically has only supported one hardware control surface that is no longer available. gbTouch builds upon GarageBand's built-in support for this device to add control of track volume, pan, muting, and other functions. For more details please see the User Manual.

No. The version of GarageBand introduced in October of 2013 removed a number of critical software features that gbLink relied upon. Those capabilities had been present in GarageBand since nearly the first version many years ago.  Unfortunately we do not expect those to return. gbTouch is for use only with GarageBand '11 (and GarageBand '09 for those users still using old PPC Macs).

However, our gbXRemote iPhone app does work (only) with the current version of GarageBand for Mac.

gbTouch includes control features that you tend to use often and repetitively during a GarageBand session, emphasizing those where wireless mobility are most beneficial. It works along side GarageBand's traditional mouse/keyboard user interface to provide a more flexible way to control GarageBand's operation and to enhance your overall productivity.

One place where gbTouch excels is while recording tracks. Is the best, most comfortable or convenient place you'd like to to record away from your Mac? Use gbTouch to select the track you wish to record onto, or even to create a fresh, new track. Press the gbTouch master record button and you are ready to rock and roll. Made a mistake and want another go? Press the "Undo" button and your latest recording will be removed so you can try again.

Here's one workflow scenario we like - use GarageBand to browse loops and sounds, and get some tracks down in your arrangement. With gbTouch on the iPad you can then:

  • Use it to mute or solo individual tracks to better evaluate your song
  • Review sections of your arrangement using the Transport buttons, like moving forward or backward and stopping/pausing Play mode. Enable the cycle function or metronome if you wish.
  • Adjust the volume of an individual track
  • Create a new loop section using the "Set Cycle Start" and "Set Cycle End" buttons
  • Use the Performance keyboard or drum pad to create a music track
  • Use the playhead like a "Jog Wheel" to rapidly move back and forth through your song
  • Quickly enable/disable track effects on the Track Edit/Details screen
  • Manipulate the frequently used track effects like Echo, Reverb, Compressor and Visual EQ from the gbTouch Track Edit screens

Better yet, how about doing many of these things away from the confines of your computer desk and mouse? Go sit in that comfortable chair in the back of your studio and listen/manipulate GarageBand from gbTouch while hearing your composition in a new perspective.

gbLink is a small OSX (Mac) user agent program that provides the ability for gbTouch on your iPad to communicate with GarageBand on your Mac using your Wi-Fi network. gbLink communicates with GarageBand using the same communications pathways that GarageBand uses to communicate with its support hardware "control surface" (see first question). It also communicates using actions that GarageBand "publishes" to allow other applications to control some of its functions. gbLink serves as a type of "conduit" and translator that affords gbTouch access to these control features and various GarageBand information. gbLink does all of this without any user interactions. Once it's setup, you typically won't even know it's there.

See "Requirements and Setup" on the gbTouch product page for gbLink set up instructions.

gbLink is available for free at www.delora.com. Visit the website while using your Mac - gbLink is not installed to or from the iPad. Click on "Requirements and Setup" on the gbTouch product page, then click on the gbLink icon to bring up a request form which will activate the download of a standard OSX Installer application. Install gbLink according the instructions on the Setup page or the gbTouch user manual. (The manual is available on the gbTouch product page on the website.) Open gbLink in the Mac System Preferences and press the Run button. Then purchase gbTouch from the App Store on iTunes and you're ready to go!

gbLink 3.1.2 works on OSX 5.1 or higher.

gbTouch was designed and tested for use with GarageBand '11. gbTouch can be used with GarageBand '09 with some limitations, which are described in the user manual. We have not tested gbTouch with other versions of GarageBand and discourage you from using it with any version prior to GarageBand '09.

gbTouch 3.4.0 requires gbLink 3.1.2. It will not open with a lower gbLink version.

If you don't have the latest gbLink version, first go to System Preferences on your Mac, click on gbLink and press STOP. Then go to the bottom of the gbTouch product page on the Delora website, click on the gbLink icon, and download-reinstall the latest version of gbLink like you originally did.

No. gbLink does not "hack" or "hook" GarageBand in any way. It uses standard GarageBand control surface support and GarageBand control features that it "publishes" for interested applications to use.

Probably not. In our testing GarageBand has exhibited some pretty strange behavior when it is set up to use a second control surface along side gbTouch (or iControl for that matter). This appears to be a limitation of GarageBand's control surface support. Symptoms include things like some gbTouch controls no longer working, or gbTouch faders controlling the incorrect track. We have also noticed that this problem persists even if GarageBand is restarted with the other controller disconnected. Furthermore the problem may arise even if the second control surface was used long before you even installed gbTouch but has not been used since.

If you wish to continue using the other control surface you will have to adopt a specific procedure and follow it each time you change controllers. Basically the procedure is that you must make sure that the other controller is disconnected when you use gbTouch, and that gbLink is OFF when you use the other controller. But there is one additional step: you must delete GarageBand's "control surface preferences" before you start GarageBand after you have changed controllers.

To delete the preferences file:
1. Open a new Finder window. Click on “Go to Folder…” in the Go menu.
2. In the box, type ~/Library/Preferences
3. Click Go
4. Find the file: com.apple.garageband.cs
5. Delete that file (drag to Trash)

If you have used a different control surface with GarageBand in the past then you must delete GarageBand's control surface preferences before you can use gbTouch. You only need to do this one time as long as you have disconnected the second controller and never have it connected when you use GarageBand.

Some buttons will be grayed out and not operate if they are not applicable at the time. For example, the down and end arrow keys on gbTouch will be grayed out if the last set of tracks is already currently being displayed.

As in GarageBand, the (sound) generator effect only applies to software instrument tracks, so the Generator button is always grayed out on gbTouch when a real instrument track is selected. Also, some software instrument tracks do not have a generator effect - it's missing - but gbTouch doesn't have a way of knowing this ahead of time. So nothing happens when you press the button.

Make sure that gbLink is running. Go to the Apple System Preferences on your Mac and click on the gbLink icon. Click on the Run button if it is not already running. Exit System Preferences and try opening gbTouch again. If gbLink was already running, make sure the indicators in the center of the preference pane are all green. If they are red or yellow, see the Troubleshooting chapter in the user manual. You can also try pressing stop, and click on the Run button again.

If automation is on in GarageBand for Track Volume or Master Tempo, then gbTouch controls for those will not work. Click on the arrows at the right edge of each track in GarageBand to bring up the track volume automation headers and make sure you disable them during a gbTouch session (small light is off). For tempo, go to Track > Show Master Track in the menu bar and make sure automation is off in the Master Tempo header.

gbTouch does have a time based playhead position option for the LCD display. However, you have to enable it by going to the iPad Settings application, clicking on gbTouch, and setting the "Allow time display" segment to ON.

We made this a purposeful action because the time display has a limitation that you should know about. If you use tempo automation in your song (i.e. you make tempo changes within different parts of your song) and you have master tempo automation enabled, the time display on gbTouch will not show the correct time position. GarageBand does not provide this information to gbTouch. But we've included the feature for those of you who may want a time based display at times when you are not using master tempo automation.

No. GarageBand only updates its master volume information that it provides gbTouch (through gbLink) when you have finished moving its volume slider.

Unfortunately, this information is not provided to gbTouch. If you make a time signature change in GarageBand, save the file, close it and reopen it in GarageBand. When it comes up in gbTouch, it will have the new signature in the display.

gbTouch's bar & beat location features relies of GarageBand providing the current time signature. Often when the time signature is not properly updated it is due to a limitation with the GarageBand application. Briefly GarageBand does not correctly inform gbTouch when you make a change to the time signature. This happens any time you enter a new time signature by clicking in GarageBand's LCD, but it will also happen when you first create a new project that uses a time signature different than the default 4/4. To force GarageBand to properly report the change you must save your project, close your project, then reopen it. This step must be repeated anytime you change time signature.

gbTouch utilizes GarageBand's built-in support of Propellerhead's ReWire™ technology in order to gain access to certain information that GarageBand does not provide through its native iControl control surface support. This has important implications if you use GarageBand at the same time with other music software that also supports ReWire. An example of this might be having both GarageBand and Logic Pro running, even if Logic Pro is idle in the background.

ReWire only permits a single music application to use its facilities at the same time. The first application that requests ReWire will gain use of it. Subsequent ones will be denied. So, for example, if you first start another music application that uses ReWire, and then GarageBand, the message 'A different ReWire host application is running' will appear.

If this happens you should click "Quit" (this exits GarageBand), quit the other music application, and then restart GarageBand. Failure to do so will mean that gbTouch's LCD display will not show correct location, tempo, or time signature. You will also be unable to set tempo or use the popups to move to a new location. However, if you need to have other ReWire music applications running at the same time as GarageBand, you can still use the other features of gbTouch.

Yes. gbTouch shows the name of the currently selected track on the Track Edit overlay screens so you always know which track is being adjusted.

Tapping the top (up to first set of tracks) arrow key on the right side of the tracks - so that the first set of eight are shown - usually gets the two back in sync.

Multitrack record on GarageBand is pretty complicated due to how it treats real instrument and software instrument tracks. GarageBand's control surface support, which gbTouch relies upon, will sometimes set the record enable buttons on gbTouch different from what is shown on the GarageBand screen. In our experience whenever this happens what is shown on gbTouch is usually correct. However the differences can be disconcerting. It is for this reason that we recommend you leave GarageBand multitrack record setting OFF unless you intend to record multiple tracks at the same time.

Swipe your finger to the left (or right) while in the striped area above the top keyboard or below the bottom keyboard to scroll through each independently.

To hear playback for either the keyboard or drum pad controllers on the Perform screens, first make sure that a software instrument track is selected/current. gbTouch shows these with a green backround (green LED on the Mixer theme). This can be a new track you create in GarageBand on the Mac, or use an existing software instrument track in your song. (Note: if you add a new track using the "+" button on gbTouch, it is always a real instrument track. Unfortunately, GarageBand does not provide gbTouch information needed for us to offer a choice of type of track.) Then browse the software instrument choices on GarageBand's Track Editor/Info panel on the Mac and make a selection. When you play the keys or pads on gbTouch, you will hear the notes played using the instrument sound chosen.

To record what you are playing on the keyboard or drum pad screens, simply hit the Record transport button with a software instrument track selected.

These symptoms will occur if you have Bluetooth enabled on your iPad during a gbTouch session. Go the the Settings application on the iPad, click on "General", and set Bluetooth to OFF. When your session is over, you can turn Bluetooth back on if you wish.

Our recommendation to turn off Bluetooth applies just to the iPad. You should be able to continue to use your Mac with Bluetooth accessories.

GarageBand does not properly reinitialize gbLink's ReWire when it changes audio settings. To remedy the situation, save your project, exit GarageBand, then start GarageBand.

Typically the firewall is operating in your network router connected to the Internet. This does not require any additional set up.

In general a firewall can affect set up if it is between your iPad and the Mac running gbLink. This firewall must be set up to allow messages through on the ports currently used by the iDevice and gbLink. Set up can become fiddly so we encourage you to set up your network so that both the iPad and the Mac running gbLink are both "behind" your firewall.

If your Mac where you run gbLink uses OSX's built-in firewall then you have to set it up to allow gbLink and your iPad to communicate. Leopard's and Snow Leopard's firewall will automatically ask permission to allow gbLink to send and receive messages. gbLink attempts to reuse the same port each time you start gbLink so this request should be infrequent. However if the last port used is currently in use by another application when gbLink is started then gbLink will use a different port and you will be asked by the firewall to allow that port.

Other types of firewall software must allow you to open a "UDP" port in the range 49,152 - 65,535. Again even though gbLink dynamically assigns the port it will attempt to reuse the same port it used the last time it ran. So there is no need to open all of these ports. If you would rather (or need) for gbLink to use a fixed port please contact support (support@delora.com) and we will be happy to provide additional instructions.

GarageBand does not support both the iControl and gbTouch at the same time. If you try this, GarageBand may get "confused" and gbTouch and/or the iControl may work inconsistently. Furthermore you cannot solve this issue simply by stopping gbLink or disconnecting the iControl while GarageBand is running. You will have to exit GarageBand, restart gbLink (or reconnect the iControl), then start GarageBand. If you want to continue using the iControl and gbTouch (but not at the same time) do the following before you start GarageBand:

  • to use the iControl make sure to stop gbLink before plugging the iControl in
  • to use gbTouch, first unplug the iControl, then start gbTouch
Note that while it is usually OK to connect and disconnect a USB device like the iControl while your Mac is powered, please check your M-Audio iControl user guide to see if this is supported by the iControl. To be completely safe avoid doing this while the Mac is running!

Check if you have the OSX application "GarageRemote" installed on your Mac. This application can interfere with gbLink operation and create the type of issues listed.

GarageBand performs a number of tasks at the same time; playing your song, updating its own graphics and other user interface elements, and managing a controller. When you use gbTouch, gbLink is seen by GarageBand as its controller. So GarageBand will handle requests from gbLink, and provide various updates to gbLink.

GarageBand prioritizes how it services all the simultaneous requirements. Audio playback is always first priority so complex songs that use most of your Mac's available processing will cause GarageBand to focus almost all of its attention on playing your song, leaving little to update the user interface, and servicing gbLink. Additionally since GarageBand prioritizes its own user interface over much of gbLink's functions the place where you will first notice will be gbTouch’s responsiveness. Keep in mind that this is rarely an issue when GarageBand is not playing a song.

Since GarageBand services its own user interface before gbLink you can help improve gbLink's responsiveness by removing unnecessary GarageBand user interface elements. The one we have noticed that makes the biggest difference is when GarageBand is displaying its Edit panel, especially if it is showing an audio waveform. If you are experiencing lag, you can often improve responsiveness by closing the Track Editor panel (cmd-E toggles the Edit panel, or click on the "scissors" button in bottom left corner).

GarageBand has a preference file, 'com.apple.garageband.cs' that it uses to save settings for control surfaces. Sometimes this file can become corrupted, which leads to unexpected behavior. Sometimes deleting this file corrects unusual problems. The file is located at '/Users/(your_account_name)/Library/Preferences'. Exit GarageBand then place this file in the Trash. GarageBand will create a fresh version the next time it starts.

iOS supports Bluetooth “personal area network” (PAN) connections to certain Macs, and these can be used to connect your iDevice. However the set up procedure is complex, and not all combinations of Macs and OSX work. So it is not something that is officially supported. There are also other reasons why Wi-Fi is preferred to Bluetooth. Bluetooth has significantly less data bandwidth than most Wi-Fi connections, and it often has more latency, which means that controls may seem sluggish or unresponsive. Bluetooth also has much more limited range.