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GarageBand '11 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating a project with tempo, time signature, and key


From:

GarageBand '11 Essential Training

with Todd Howard

Video: Creating a project with tempo, time signature, and key

Whenever you want to create a new project in GarageBand, you'll have two quick stops to make first. The first of these is the New Project chooser. On the left side you'll need to choose what you want to do in GarageBand--create a new project, work on a learn-to-play lesson, create a ring tone, and so on-- and on the right side, depending on which you've chosen, how you are going to do it. So if you click on New Project, you'll see that there are nine project starter templates designed to save you time. If you are doing one of the things listed here--writing a song or playing electric guitar--just go ahead and choose it.
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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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GarageBand '11 Essential Training
4h 58m Beginner Jul 29, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course is a comprehensive guide to the popular digital audio software from Apple, demonstrating the tools and techniques to create, edit, and publish music and podcasts. Author Todd Howard covers the ins and outs of the application, from interfacing with external devices, exploring Apple Loops, and recording instrument and vocal tracks to creating successful mixes, performing edits, and sharing finished projects. Additionally, the course introduces the new features in GarageBand '11, including Flex Time and Groove Matching, which provide powerful methods for editing and tightening up the rhythmic timing of tracks.

Topics include:
  • Connecting instruments, MIDI controllers, mics, and speakers
  • Creating a project and specifying tempo, time signature, and key
  • Jumpstarting the recording process with Magic GarageBand
  • Recording real instruments, software instruments, and electric guitar tracks
  • Compositing a final track from multiple takes
  • Creating, naming, and organizing song sections using the Arrangement track
  • Equalizing and compressing tracks
  • Adding reverb and echo effects
  • Sharing songs with iTunes and Logic Pro
  • Archiving GarageBand project files
  • Taking guitar and piano lessons
  • Creating podcasts, movies scores, and ringtones
Subject:
Audio + Music
Software:
GarageBand
Author:
Todd Howard

Creating a project with tempo, time signature, and key

Whenever you want to create a new project in GarageBand, you'll have two quick stops to make first. The first of these is the New Project chooser. On the left side you'll need to choose what you want to do in GarageBand--create a new project, work on a learn-to-play lesson, create a ring tone, and so on-- and on the right side, depending on which you've chosen, how you are going to do it. So if you click on New Project, you'll see that there are nine project starter templates designed to save you time. If you are doing one of the things listed here--writing a song or playing electric guitar--just go ahead and choose it.

You can always modify it later. Keep in mind that all of these project types are just preset window configurations optimized for each specific task, and you can use these as starting places. The point is, if you choose Electric Guitar, you're not precluding yourself from creating a podcast or a Loops-based song; it will just take you less steps to get there if you choose the one you want from the New Project chooser to begin with. If you aren't doing anything in particular but just want to play, the simplest way to create a project with nothing in it but one MIDI track for recording with a software instrument using your MIDI keyboard, like a piano or organ, just go ahead and choose Piano.

The simplest way to set up a project with nothing else in it except one real instrument track ready to record something through a microphone, choose Acoustic Instrument. And as you might've guessed by now, the quickest way to create a GarageBand project with nothing more than a single track preset with everything you need to play and record some electric guitar using all of the amp models and guitar stompboxes that are at your fingertips with GarageBand '11, Electric Guitar it is. For this example let's choose Acoustic Instrument. I am going to double-click or just click and select Choose on Acoustic Instrument.

The second stop is the Save As dialog. Do yourself a favor and take a moment to decide on a descriptive name and save all of your GarageBand project files in a location that you can easily find later, in case you want to delete some project files or back them up. I just always save mine in the Music directory under my username. I am going to name that NewProject. I've already got my Music directory selected. If you need to actually navigate through your finder, you can click this down arrow here to expand this sort of normal view for finding where you want to save things. I am just going to leave that at Music for now.

Then in the bottom half of the Save As dialog box you can set your tempo with the slider or just by typing in the beats per minute, or bpm, that you'd like to record or play at. If you're planning to use the metronome, this'll be the starting tempo that your click will play at when you turn it on. It also determines the speed at which Apple Loops will play back in this project, and even some of the effects you might use will have certain timed elements that will sync up your project, all based on this tempo setting. You can set your time signature by choosing a value from the Signature dropdown menu.

You can choose 4/4, or 6/8, 3/4, and so on. And then finally, the key your song will be in, as well as whether it's a major key or a minor key. If you don't have all these answers at your fingertips when you're creating your new project file, for whatever reason, you can just use the default values of 120 beats per minute, 4/4, and C major. You aren't trapped once you make a selection here. These settings can be altered from within your project file, but sometimes it can be really helpful. My general rule of thumb is if you already know what tempo, signature, and key your song is going to be in, then by all means enter it in the Save As dialog, and then you don't have to worry about it later.

If you are just experimenting, or haven't really decided on these values yet on the song you'd like to work on, then just go with the defaults. The song that I am going to be creating throughout the middle five chapters of this course is going to be 4/4, and the tempo is going to be 154 beats per minute, and the key is A major. Once those are set, I'll click Create and my project will open up. In the LCD display, I can cycle around with the up or down arrows until I get to project, and you'll see that my settings are already configured.

You can click and hold on this icon as well to see the four different displays that are available to you. Be aware that when you change the settings after you've actually recorded something into a track, or after you've dragged some loops into your timeline, these settings can alter what you played to suit the new tempo, signature, or key, leaving you at the mercy of the Undo command. Basically, if you change your tempo down 10 beats per minute and you've already recorded something, GarageBand is going to attempt to shift that tempo down and actually destructively edit your audio region.

So if you do that by mistake, just go ahead and hit Command+Z to undo and get back to where you were before you made that change. You can also always change or tempo or your key back to what it originally was.

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