The Complete Guide To Garageband (Part 3)

12/1/2012 3:25:45 PM

How to Record A Keyboard

1.    Piano man

Select File> New and choose Piano from the New Project screen. Click Choose and Create. If you’ve got a USB keyboard plugged in, you can play the Grand Piano. If you haven’t. go to Window  Musical Typing for an on-screen keyboard.

2.    Play away

Ensure Control > Count In and Control > Metronome are ticked. Click Record and you’ll be counted in. Start playing on your real or virtual-keyboard, and your input will be recorded in digital format. When finished, click . Record again to stop recording.

3.    Change of tune

Double-click Grand Piano in the Tracks pane for the Software Instrument selection. Navigate to Organs > Jazz Organ, rewind your track and play it. The notes and timing you just recorded remain, but the instrument has been changed entirely!

Description: How to Record A Keyboard

How to Record A Keyboard

How To Edit Recorded Audio

1.    Edit a track

Following on from the previous guide, double-click the recorded audio region in the timeline to access the Track Editor. Select one note or several. Drag them to change their position or move your cursor to their edge and drag to change their lengths.

2.    Better timing

Select an audio region and use the Auto Quantize menu to quantise your notes, aligning them rigidly to a timing grid. Select Notes and adjust their velocity to affect the volume and, in some cases, the sound of your chosen digital instruments.

3.    Write a song

You can compose from scratch in the Track Editor. C -click the track timeline to create a region and double-click it to view it. C -click to add new notes or O drag selections to duplicate. This is great if you’re a budding songwriter but poor at playing instruments.

Mix And Arrange

Refine your sound using GarageBand’s Mixing Tools

Mixing is the act of getting the various components of your song working together, and making everything sound as good as possible. Arranging is the order of components In a piece of music. In pop songs, this centres on intros, verses, choruses and bridges.

Experimenting with arrangements in GarageBand is made easier by the Arrange Bar, which enables you to define arrange regions and drag them about and duplicate them, making it a cinch to reorder song components.

Description: Refine your sound using GarageBand’s Mixing Tools

Refine your sound using GarageBand’s Mixing Tools

Mixing is a different story. It would be unfair to claim that GarageBand makes mixing as easy as child’s play, since mixing is something of an art. However, it is safe to say that if you look at a chart- topping album, the mixing part of the project is often the lengthiest, as engineers and producers strive to perfect every element. GarageBand offers features that can get you started, though, including song-wide effects and controls that enable you to tweak and fine-tune individual tracks.

Make sure that all the elements within the mix are distinct — vocals in particular are often mixed too low. And take advantage of one freely available resource.., friends and family. After all, several pairs of ears are better than one!

How To Master Basic Track Control

1.    Header controls

Each track header has a set of controls. Under the track’s name (amended by double- clicking and typing) is a set of buttons. Mute (the right-facing speaker icon) can be used to mute the track Solo (headphones Icon) mutes tracks that are not Solo. This enables you to concentrate on specific tracks while mixing.

2.    Turn it up

At the far right of each track header is a level indicator and volume slider. The former provides an indication of a track’s level as it plays — avoid red warning indicators! The slider enables you to adjust the volume of the track; as the slider control is dragged, the dB level is shown as a tooltip.

3.    Stereo pan

Between the buttons and levels is the pan control. Panning determines where the track Sits in the mix: drag it up or left to rotate the dial left, and down or right to rotate it right. You can make instruments stand out by changing their positions. After adjusting the panning, you may need to tweak the volume.

4.    Volume control

Click the View automation button at the right of the volume slider and click the box to the left of the Track Volume menu to enable this option. You can then set points on the curve. If you click Track Volume and select Add Automation, you can define automations for track effects and panning.

Quick Tip Mix The Mix

With software such as GarageBand, it’s tempting to make continual tweaks while mixing, but constant changes don’t enable you to get a feel for your piece. Export a stereo master at some point and listen to that. Make notes of things that need amending, then go back to GarageBand, tweak the mix, export and repeat.

Don’t just listen to your work through expensive headphones. They generally make panning more apparent and tend to boost frequencies in the upper-mid range. Lisien to your mixes on a range of devices, including iPod headphones or a car stereo, and make relevant mix judgements You can’t make assumptions about where people will hear your music. Also, don’t listen with customized EQ. II you have the bass on your amp turned up, your mix will end up bass-light and will appear thin. Ensure that your amps are at default settings. The same is true of software: if you have a custom EQ setting in iTunes that you use while listening to songs, turn the Equaliser off via Window > Equaliser.

Description: Make notes of things that need amending, then go back to GarageBand, tweak the mix, export and repeat.

Make notes of things that need amending, then go back to GarageBand, tweak the mix, export and repeat.

How To Get To Grips With Mixing

1.    Arrange track

GarageBand enables you to rapidly duplicate completed components, rather than messing about selecting audio regions across dozens of tracks. Open a completed Apple Loops song and then choose Track > Show Arrangement Track.

2.    Add an arrangement

Well treat the first four bars as the intro and the next four as a verse. Click the + button next to Arrangement. Drag the new arrange region’s right edge to the left until the region is four bars wide. Double-click Untitled to rename it.

3.    Rearrange

Add another region and make it span the second four bars. Name It Verse then O-drag the Verse region to the right; you’ll get a copy of the region’s content. To see how easy it is to rearrange a song, drag the intro region between the two verses. .

4.    Two inputs

To Record a live performance but still control the mixing and effects, connect a guitar and a microphone to your Mac, each via it’s own interface input. Now proceed to set up a real instrument track for the vocals and a guitar track for the guitar.

5.    Record

To record go to Track > Enable Multitrack Recording. Now, check the instrument inpu levels. Press Record in each track’s header, then master Record. You’ll be counted in and vocals and guitars will be recorded to separate tracks.

6.    Fade away

Open the song created above. Choose Track> Show Master Track. Anything applied here affects the entire song. At bar 7, click on the master volume curve at 0dB. At bar 9, drag the control point to the bottom. You’ve created a track fade.

7.    Handle with care

Unless your recording is simple, avoid adding effects such as reverb to the Master Track, or your track will turn into a muddy mess. However sometimes adjusting its EQ can banish annoying booming bass or irritating and tinny high-end noise.

8.    Save it

If you regularly apply the same Master Track settings, click the Browse tab in the Master Track’s Track Info pane, click Save Master and name your setting. To apply the setting to a different song, select it from the drop-down menu and double-click.

Quick Tip Don’t Distort

Keep an eye on the level Indicators in the toolbar. If your mix becomes loud enough to distort, the two circular red LEDs will remain on and the play head will turn red. If this happens, amend the mix or work with peak limiting and compression.

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