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Compositing a final guitar solo from multiple takes

From: GarageBand '11 Essential Training

Video: Compositing a final guitar solo from multiple takes

Using the Multiple Takes feature in GarageBand to give yourself some choices is the name of the game with comping. I recorded several lead guitar passes in the last movie, and in this one we're going to use the Split function again to cut the audio region and to comp together a lead guitar part. Some may call this process frankensteining the guitar solo, but I like to think of it as creative jigsaw-puzzling. So the way that we're going to go about this is, just like we did when we punched bass in, is position the playhead before the Pre-Chorus and use the Split command, which is Command+T, and then move the playhead to the end of the Pre-Chorus, select the region we want to split, and Command+T again.

Compositing a final guitar solo from multiple takes

Using the Multiple Takes feature in GarageBand to give yourself some choices is the name of the game with comping. I recorded several lead guitar passes in the last movie, and in this one we're going to use the Split function again to cut the audio region and to comp together a lead guitar part. Some may call this process frankensteining the guitar solo, but I like to think of it as creative jigsaw-puzzling. So the way that we're going to go about this is, just like we did when we punched bass in, is position the playhead before the Pre-Chorus and use the Split command, which is Command+T, and then move the playhead to the end of the Pre-Chorus, select the region we want to split, and Command+T again.

So let's do some quick housekeeping before moving on to comping the solo. I know that the original guitar part needs to be Take 1 at the beginning and Take 1 at the end. So for these two independent audio regions now I can jettison Take 2 through 6, because there was actually nothing here. I only did Take 2 through 6 during the Pre-Chorus. So I'll say Delete unused takes, and I'll do the same thing for the other audio region.

So Take 1 is all that remains for the first half of the song and for the ending, and now for the Solo Section we have all six performances that I did. Now in your exercise file you'll have all six of these takes, and you can feel free to go ahead and review them all, see which one you like best. In fact, you could probably make a different version of the guitar solo. I know that my original pass when we did the lead guitar all the way through was horribly bad. I made a number of mistakes in there, so that was what drove me to doing multiple takes after that, to sort of replace the solo.

But I reviewed these already, and to me the first half of Take 5 is the best, the first half that we have, and the second half of Take 6 is the best, second half that we have. So what I want to do is I'm going to go back to Take 5. You see that this now says a total of 6 takes and we're listening to 5, and I'm going to listen to the first half and just make sure that's what I want - (music playing) So that's sound fine to me. I'm going to double-click and open this in the editor so I have a better view.

And Take 6 we'll listen to, and listen for the second half, right about here is where it's going to get good, if you will. (music playing) So it's basically right smack in the middle. So I'm going to bring the playhead back to the middle. Let's verify that's where I want to be. I'm going to double-click right here. (music playing) Okay, so I can see that waveform and here is where the second half begins.

(music playing) Okay, so right at the end of this note. In case of Take 6, I may come in a little bit early, so I want to make sure there is enough room there. Since Take 5 is the one I want, and this is Take 5 I'm looking at, I'm free to bring this playhead back as close to the tail end of that as I want. I don't want to cut it off, but get pretty close. Select, Command+T, and now simply leave this on 5 and the second half we can switch over to 6. So we've now Take 1, Take 5, Take 6, Take 1, and here is our completed guitar solo.

(music playing) It sounds good to me. Turn off Cycle region. I don't need that anymore. And if I want to, I can clean up here. If there are some things that I wanted to maybe revisit in here, I think I'm not sure, or maybe I want something different, definitely I would not delete them. But I did listen to them all, and as far as I'm concerned, these ones all stunk compared to the last one.

So I'll delete those and I am going to delete the unused takes here as well. So now I've just flat audio regions, and all the excess baggage is gone, and I'd hit Save there and save this off. Okay, so now we've got this comping procedure done, the punch-in of the solo. I'm going to hit Return and go back to the beginning and listen to our whole new Dreamy Texture lead guitar part. (music playing) I might do a little mixing on the way through here as well.

(music playing) That sounds good. Great! That really sits in there quite well.

I'm happy with that. So another way that you can use comping creatively to put together a certain part of the song that you may be you still working on, let's say using comping as a writing tool, is that you could set up a cycle region and just sort of improvise the part that you want to play. Now when we did this guitar solo, I was attempting to play a solo that I had previously written, so this is sort of different than what we did before. Let's say I was making up that solo from scratch is you could just sort of play and then, heck, you could do 25 takes if you wanted to, and just make up something different every single time, and then go back and listen to all of your different takes and try to decide, hey! This is a great first quarter middle part here I really like. Ooh! I love that one little phrase, and geez, I don't have really have a good ending.

Let me punch in again and try some new endings and sort of use it as a way to sift through your improvisations to actually compose and write your part. So, using comping as a way to put together multiple takes of a part to try to find that seamless performance is one way, and using it to improvise creatively to write a part is another way that you can use comping.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

50 video lessons · 23396 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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