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Archiving GarageBand project files

From: GarageBand '11 Essential Training

Video: Archiving GarageBand project files

GarageBand provides several methods for saving your projects and a few of them even offer some hard drive space savings, but at a cost. Now, in my opinion, the best thing to do is just get yourself a nice, big external FireWire or a USB hard drive. They are incredibly affordable now-a- days by comparison to even a couple of years ago, and just keep all of your project files backed up on it. Anything you're still working on or likely to work on again soon, you can keep on your computer, but if you're done with it, or have made several mixes and you want to just back it all up, then you can save it all to your external hard drive and not worry about it.

Archiving GarageBand project files

GarageBand provides several methods for saving your projects and a few of them even offer some hard drive space savings, but at a cost. Now, in my opinion, the best thing to do is just get yourself a nice, big external FireWire or a USB hard drive. They are incredibly affordable now-a- days by comparison to even a couple of years ago, and just keep all of your project files backed up on it. Anything you're still working on or likely to work on again soon, you can keep on your computer, but if you're done with it, or have made several mixes and you want to just back it all up, then you can save it all to your external hard drive and not worry about it.

Everything is at its full quality, the resolution that you originally recorded at, and you don't have to worry about making choices about saving hard drive space. That said, let's go through some of the options that you have for saving and archiving projects. Some of them may actually be particularly useful to you. First of all, there is the standard File > Save As. Now, the thing with Save As is this is the largest file format that you can save it. So all of your original audio that you've recorded into the project, all of the data for your MIDI performances, all of the loops that you may include, as well as your automation data are all saved into the GarageBand project package, and then that takes up as much space as it takes up, depending on the tracks you have and how long your file is, et cetera.

But you can always just use Save As. Call this final_mixdown-SaveAs, and save it. If I actually go look at that file and do a Command+I for Get Info, I can see that it's 92.7 megabytes for a one- minute song of some 8 or 10 tracks. Keep in mind too that if you're recording at an even higher quality, press Command+Comma to go in to Preferences and Advanced and under Audio Resolution, if you have this set to Best, you will be recording at 24-bit as well as exporting 24-bit files.

This is going to add again to your overall file size, so depending on what size you're using for your recording, that will have a large impact on the size of your final file once you've saved it. Another option you have is Save as Archive Project. Under File > Save As. Now, what Save as Archive Project does is it will actually save all of the real instrument loops that you have used in your project directly into the project file, so that you can actually bring this GarageBand project to another Mac who may not have the loops that you have and continue to work on the project.

So this is actually the way that we've saved a number of the exercise files in this course, so that you could have access to some of the loops that are located in the Rhythm section jam pack, which you may or may not have. So you just click Archive Project and I will name this one Archive and Save, and we'll go back out and take a look at this one, see if there's any difference. 93.5, so a little bit of file difference. Saving as an archive project is always going to be a little bit bigger because we're including the Apple loops as well as all of the other stuff that we've recorded.

Now, there is another check box in File > Save As that we will visit, and this is Compact Project. Now, what you do with Compact Project basically is trade quality of audio for file size. So for some reason you need to save a workable, editable GarageBand file but with much less file space. Some examples might be a situation where your hard drive is getting quite full and you still need to save the project or maybe you are going to save hundreds of GarageBand files off to a laptop maybe and take them on a trip with you.

You can use these three different settings for Micro, Small, and Medium, which basically takes all of your audio files that you've recorded and converts them to Apple's supportable format, which is AAC, and you can choose three different quality levels. Medium size compact projects at 192 actually sound fairly good. You are going to be mostly happy with that if you have to save down to this file format. I definitely recommend using the Medium. So we will just go ahead and Save this one as well and we will compare our file size.

CompactMed so we know it's medium, and we click Save. Well, this might take a little bit longer because it has to do the conversions. All of our audio files over to AAC. But luckily, this project is only 1 minute long, so it's going pretty quickly through them. I will go back to the Finder again and take a look and we see that our project size is now 21.3 megabytes. But this is still a completely editable, workable GarageBand project file. It's just that all of the audio files have been down-converted to AAC.

Good practice and good rule of thumb is to always save a master mix as well using the Share > Export Song to Disk command and make sure the Compress button is unchecked, so that you can save a full resolution file off to your hard drive as well. Now, you've got a CD-quality master saved to your hard drive and you can burn that to a CD, you can archive that, you can save it, upload it somewhere, so it's always going to be your backup of your best quality of this final mixdown.

I usually save a master mixdown file AIF like the one I just saved and my original GarageBand project file in a folder called whatever the name of the song is and back that up to an external hard drive.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for GarageBand '11 Essential Training
GarageBand '11 Essential Training

50 video lessons · 23193 viewers

Todd Howard
Author

 
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  1. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      1m 13s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 4s
  2. 23m 4s
    1. Connecting instruments, MIDI controllers, mics, audio interfaces, and speakers
      4m 24s
    2. Setting important Mac OS X and GarageBand preferences
      4m 32s
    3. Creating a project with tempo, time signature, and key
      4m 37s
    4. Creating a track
      9m 31s
  3. 25m 42s
    1. Exploring Real Instrument tracks and setting a good input level
      6m 20s
    2. Exploring Software Instrument tracks, keyboard velocity, and MIDI
      6m 59s
    3. Exploring Electric Guitar tracks and monitoring
      7m 48s
    4. Positioning the cursor on audio regions to access different tools
      4m 35s
  4. 10m 23s
    1. Choosing a genre in the Project Chooser
      2m 3s
    2. Auditioning players in the band and hiring new players
      8m 20s
  5. 16m 45s
    1. Browsing and filtering the Apple Loops library
      5m 20s
    2. Dragging Apple Loops into your arrangement and choosing from alts
      6m 33s
    3. Jamming along with your composition
      4m 52s
  6. 35m 11s
    1. Setting tempo, enabling count-in and metronome, and dragging in a drum loop
      5m 22s
    2. Using GarageBand as a scratchpad for recording new ideas
      3m 29s
    3. Using the Arrange track to create song form sections
      3m 1s
    4. Splitting Apple Loops and choosing alternates to build a drum part
      6m 36s
    5. Recording multiple takes with cycle record
      4m 32s
    6. Punching in a small section of audio
      6m 20s
    7. Using Groove Matching to tighten up the rhythm of a performance
      5m 51s
  7. 33m 56s
    1. Tuning up and tracking a rhythm electric guitar part
      4m 26s
    2. Customizing the guitar sound using amps, stompboxes, and effects
      11m 44s
    3. Using Flex Time to fix a double-tracked rhythm guitar part
      7m 40s
    4. Using Cycle Record to record multiple takes for soloing
      3m 40s
    5. Compositing a final guitar solo from multiple takes
      6m 26s
  8. 19m 25s
    1. Recording a Software Instrument track
      3m 48s
    2. Editing the parameters of Software Instruments
      8m 44s
    3. Editing MIDI notes in the piano roll editor after the performance
      6m 53s
  9. 14m 12s
    1. Recording lead vocals
      6m 39s
    2. Correcting pitch with automatic tuning
      4m 16s
    3. Reordering, duplicating, and deleting song sections using the Arrangement track
      3m 17s
  10. 1h 7m
    1. Creating successful mixes
      7m 4s
    2. Pre-mixing
      15m 31s
    3. Equalizing tracks
      5m 51s
    4. Compressing tracks
      10m 13s
    5. Adding reverb and echo effects to individual tracks
      6m 39s
    6. Creating automated volume and pan moves
      10m 41s
    7. Freezing tracks to improve system performance
      2m 0s
    8. Using master track effects and automating a fade-out
      3m 31s
    9. Creating a final mixdown: Exporting a finished song to disk
      5m 40s
  11. 12m 51s
    1. Sharing your songs with iTunes and burning CDs
      3m 6s
    2. Opening a GarageBand project in Logic
      4m 26s
    3. Archiving GarageBand project files
      5m 19s
  12. 36m 44s
    1. Taking music lessons
      7m 32s
    2. Creating ringtones
      3m 50s
    3. Creating podcasts
      14m 12s
    4. Scoring a movie
      11m 10s
  13. 53s
    1. Goodbye
      53s

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