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Exploring Electric Guitar tracks and monitoring

From: GarageBand '11 Essential Training

Video: Exploring Electric Guitar tracks and monitoring

To create an electric guitar track, let's press Option+Command+N and select Electric Guitar and before I click Create, let's just peek in the Instrument Setup panel and make sure that the guitar is connected into the Apogee ONE, which it is. And also I can choose, if I have a USB interface or a FireWire interface that has multiple inputs, you will see that those will all list out here. You would have Mono 1, Mono 2, Mono 3, Mono 4 if you had four instrument inputs. This one just has one. That's actually why it's called the ONE. So Mono 1 is already set and Built-in Line Output is fine for how we want to be hearing our sound.

Exploring Electric Guitar tracks and monitoring

To create an electric guitar track, let's press Option+Command+N and select Electric Guitar and before I click Create, let's just peek in the Instrument Setup panel and make sure that the guitar is connected into the Apogee ONE, which it is. And also I can choose, if I have a USB interface or a FireWire interface that has multiple inputs, you will see that those will all list out here. You would have Mono 1, Mono 2, Mono 3, Mono 4 if you had four instrument inputs. This one just has one. That's actually why it's called the ONE. So Mono 1 is already set and Built-in Line Output is fine for how we want to be hearing our sound.

And with electric guitar we want to make sure that the check box next to "I want to hear my instrument as I play and record" is checked. The reason this is checked is because when you're playing your electric guitar through GarageBand you want to able to able to use GarageBand's amps effects and stompboxes as you play and actually hear your guitar coming through your speakers or headphones with all of the effects applied that you have chosen. The future is what's known as monitoring, and you always have the option of monitoring what you're recording as you are recording it, but it's most important with electric guitar sounds. By the way of example, let me actually create a real instrument track, while the electric guitar is plugged in, and show you what you get if you didn't choose electric guitar as your track type.

Okay, so basically-- (music playing) You have a clean electric guitar with no effects applied to it whatsoever. It doesn't really sound very good. It's just your dry, dead guitar. It sounds fine! Just doesn't sound like it's plugged in like an electric guitar. It sounds like you are playing an electric guitar with no amp. So that's not what we want in this case, so this is a good opportunity to show you how to delete a track. A track that's selected can easily be deleted just by pressing Command+Delete on your keyboard.

You can go up to the Track menu and choose Delete Track if you want as well, but Command+Delete is the shortcut, and I find end up doing that quite often. In fact, it's just as easy to duplicate tracks with Command+D. So if I actually have a few tracks here and I want to get rid of them, I can hit Command+Delete and Command+Delete and get rid of those. You can tell that monitoring is turned on because the Monitoring button here in the Track header is glowing yellow and if you need to turn Monitoring off for one reason or another on the fly, you can just tap it and get that turned off. Okay, but now we have electric guitar coming in through the Apogee ONE in Mono and it's in Channel 1. And currently the default is the Clean Combo amp, just for this Sustain pedal, and so let's see with this how that sounds like.

(music playing) So it sounds good, a nice little English Combo amp, sort of the British invasion amp, got that biting distortion with the sparkling highs. You get a nice little description here if you mouse over your amps, of what they do and what they are based on. These are all sort of based on classic amp combos. You can use the menu at the top of the Guitar Track Info panel to choose from a variety of different guitar amp and stompbox preset combinations, and you can also press the period key to advance through the list, or the comma key to go back.

So you can make your way through that list and play your instrument and see what it sounds like. (music playing) And hit period. (music playing) Hit period again. (music playing) Till you find something you like. (music playing) Basically, I am seeing too that my guitar level is absolutely pegging every single thing that I play. (music playing) Coming out too high, so I want to edit my input level, and that's something that you can get by double-clicking on the amp itself. Anytime you have your amp combo selected, double-click it and you have sort of access to that same row of Track Info panel stuff that you saw when we were looking at the acoustic instrument.

You can add effects and EQ and things like that, as well as adjust--like I was going to do here--our input recording level. So you can do that manually just by clicking and dragging the slider down, and you can also turn down your instrument volume itself. In this case, I am actually going to bring the volume on the guitar itself down a little bit, see if I can get a better signal in here. (music playing) As we have seen in the previous two movies, all of these settings can be modified.

So with electric guitar tracks you have three general areas you can make adjustments. One is the guitar amp itself, which is this front panel, and this is sort of meant to represent the knobs and dials that would be on this physical amp, if you were playing it. So you have your Gain, Bass, Mids, and Treble to adjust your EQ of the sound overall and the presence overall, which sort of brightens your sound. (music playing) You can hear it get brighter (music playing) and then get a little darker. (music playing) So I have to just find the sweet spot. (music playing) Okay and if we want to add a little bit of reverb to it from the amp, we can do that.

(music playing) Bring it down. (music playing) You can make all those adjustments. You can also adjust the effects that are used on this track. These are more of the track effects, so Compression. You might want to add something else like maybe a Chorus, but these are things that when it comes to electric guitar tracks, you usually like to reserve for the stompbox models. You don't want to apply distortion in the track effect on this; you might want to use a distortion pedal for guitar.

So I am going to double-click to go back to the front of the amp here, and if I double-click on the stompboxes, you will see that I have access to fifteen different Effect pedals here. You can use up to five together, and you can just click and drag them into place or change around your order by clicking and dragging. And then when I click on the individual stompboxes, I can adjust each of their various parameters, taking them out by dragging them back into the bin. If you ever need to bypass one of your stompboxes, you can just click on it and then click on the big button at the bottom. That's basically why they call it a stompboxes.

This is meant to be a model of guitar pedals that you would just step on on the floor to turn on and off. So you can just click those. If you actually just want to hear your Sustaining Chorus without the overdrive, you can sort of skip it, just by turning it off. (music playing) And that's how easy it is to set up an electric guitar track, and as we go into recording the song, we will actually work with a lot of these parameters in more detail. For now that's a quick look, and I just encourage you to come in here and experiment.

All the stuff is about plugging your instrument in, getting some of these sounds up, twisting the dials, and finding what sounds good. We could very easily spend an entire chapter delving into each and every one of the guitar amps and stompboxes available in GarageBand, but now that you know how to select them and how to add them to your pedalboard, and how to move them around to alter the order that your guitar sound travels through them, it's up to you to plug your guitar in and start experimenting. They each have a small set of parameters with clickable dials and switches, and since there is no right way or wrong way to use them, just use your ears and discover what amazing custom tones you can create.

Anytime you stumble upon something mint, just click Save Setting and make up a fun descriptive name that will allow you access that electric guitar tone within any of your GarageBand projects. Most people think of GarageBand as a recording application only, but it can also be a very powerful application for guitar practice and even performance. Plug into your interface, run a line out to a mixer and speakers, or a full PA, and you have an infinite number of guitar stacks and pedalboard configurations to choose from, on the fly.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

50 video lessons · 23192 viewers

Todd Howard
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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