Garageband Tutorial Basics

Ok, I know Prof. Bianco wants us to check out Adobe Soundbooth–I looked at the tutorial and the program looks sick, but if you’re like me and don’t have the creative suite on your comp, and you can’t take the school’s computer with you, or you just feel like doing something different, you could do a lot of the same procedures with Garageband, Mac’s free recording software.

In this picture we see the main window.

From here, we’re going to need to make a new track to import/record your sound on
So, click Track > New Track > and select “Real Instrument”

This opens a new track that you can record directly on, or use to hold imported sound.

(Adding a new track)

What’s convenient about Garageband is that if you’re using a USB mic (like the Snowball) the program will automatically recognize the presence of a mic once it’s plugged into your computer. Tell the program Yes, you want to use the mic (or use your built in mic instead by clicking No) and you’re ready to record.

Recording: Click the red Record button on the bottom toolbar (next to the Play button) and away you go.
You might also want to turn off the Metronome function by clicking Control > Metronome
Otherwise, you’ll get a 4/4 clicking while you’re recording if your computers speakers aren’t muted.

Here I have a bunch of tracks recorded (I have also deleted the standard “Piano” track that opens with the program for efficiency’s sake). You’ll notice that each track has multiple sections of audio on it, split into parts. How do you do this?

Splitting tracks: Garageband makes it quite easy to split audio tracks into parts. Select the track that you want to edit by clicking on it. Then click on the section of audio that you want to split (this is easy to forget, and unless a specific audio sample is selected the Split function won’t be available to you). Now, move the scrolling cursor (the bar that runs along the tracks as you play your audio–it has a little triangle at the top of the window to show you where it is) to where you want the track to be split into two parts.
Next, go to Edit > Split (cntrl T) and the track will be divided into two.

To move the split parts around–say, to delete the second half of the audio, or put one part of the split audio into another track that has different effects on it–deselect both pieces of the audio, then click back on the section you want to manipulate. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up moving both hi-lighted sections instead of the one you want.

In the above picture, you’ll also notice that there is a window to the right of the screen with a bunch of sliders that allow for different effects like Reverb, Echo, Compression, Gate, and some pull-down bars for Equalizers and extra effects (bass reduce, add brightness, manual echo, etc.). This window will show up once you start recording on your track, but you need to click on the expanding arrow under the word Details in the bottom left-hand corner in order to see your range of adjustment options.

This should allow you to move everything around and get some of the sound to how you want it to be.

–Josh Barnes

~ by hobodreams on October 25, 2010.

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