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iPad Music Production: GarageBand

Importing audio files


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iPad Music Production: GarageBand

with Garrick Chow

Video: Importing audio files

So we've now seen how to get just about any kind of sound into your GarageBand project. We've seen how to play Touch instruments and Smart Instruments, how to connect guitars, and how to setup a mic so you can record sounds out of the air. But what if you have a file that already exists? Maybe you work with a collaborator who sent you a guitar part and they'd like you to maybe put some bass or drums on it. How do you get that audio file onto your iPad? Or maybe you have some sound effects sitting on your computer that you'd like to add to your project. So in this exercise I'm going to show you how to get the sounds from your computer onto your iPad. We start by connecting our iPad to the computer via the USB connection cable.

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iPad Music Production: GarageBand
2h 48m Beginner Sep 11, 2012 Updated Aug 02, 2013

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In this course, author and musician Garrick Chow reviews GarageBand for the Apple iPad—an inexpensive yet powerful app that allows you to record and edit music with both real and virtual instruments. The course begins with a tour around the interface, examining the instrument and track views. Garrick demonstrates how to play both touch instruments and Smart Instruments, as well as how to connect and use real instruments and microphones. Garrick then explains how to build, record, and edit a song from scratch, and how to then export and share your music with iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, SoundCloud, email, and with other devices.

Topics include:
  • Selecting instruments
  • Setting up a song
  • Playing touch keyboards and drums
  • Playing Smart Instruments
  • Using real guitar amps
  • Working with loops
  • Recording instrument tracks
  • Editing MIDI tracks
  • Importing audio files
  • Exporting songs to multiple locations
Subjects:
Audio + Music DAWs Music Production iPad Music Production Virtual Instruments
Software:
GarageBand
Author:
Garrick Chow

Importing audio files

So we've now seen how to get just about any kind of sound into your GarageBand project. We've seen how to play Touch instruments and Smart Instruments, how to connect guitars, and how to setup a mic so you can record sounds out of the air. But what if you have a file that already exists? Maybe you work with a collaborator who sent you a guitar part and they'd like you to maybe put some bass or drums on it. How do you get that audio file onto your iPad? Or maybe you have some sound effects sitting on your computer that you'd like to add to your project. So in this exercise I'm going to show you how to get the sounds from your computer onto your iPad. We start by connecting our iPad to the computer via the USB connection cable.

And then on the computer we go into iTunes. Here I'm going to select my iPad under Devices then I'll go under Apps, and here I'm going to scroll down and under File Sharing under the Apps listing I'm going to find GarageBand, and I'm going to click the Add button here under GarageBand Documents. This is going to allow you to browse through your computer to find the files you want to import. Now I actually have four versions of the same file I just created. I created a reverse cymbal sound that I'd like to add to the beginning of my song. And just to show you here, I have an AIFF version of the file, I have an M4A, and MP3, and WAV file.

So GarageBand can import all sorts of audio files. If the file you want to import is either grayed out or doesn't show up that means GarageBand can't use it, so you're going to have to convert that file to one of the formats GarageBand can use before you can import it. In this case I'll just select the AIFF file for the uncompressed version. And as soon as it shows up here under GarageBand Document it's now imported into GarageBand. I don't have to click the Sync button or anything like that. So I'm in fact now done with working with iTunes. Here I'll go back to GarageBand and you'll notice that next to the Apple Loops button a number 1 has shown up here.

That indicates that I've imported a file and GarageBand has detected it. So if I tap the Apple Loops button, it takes me into the Audio File area, you see this Audio Files 1, there is my reverse cymbal, I can tap it to listen. (music playing) So that's just a sound of a cymbal being hit but I reversed it in a program on my computer. And I'd like to start off my song here on the iPad with that sound effect. So we already know that to add a loop to our project we just drag it in.

There it is. Now it's actually a little bit too long in this case, because I want it to peak right here at measure 2 where the song actually starts. So let me just pinch out here to expand the view, so I can see it a little bit better. And we know that I can just simply tap it, drag a handle and just trim it to make it shorter. I'm just going to line that up right with measure 2, let me extend that back out a little bit and let's just turn that up a little bit and here how that sounds.

(music playing) All right, so that is the effect I was going for now, I now have this nice build-up right to the beginning of my song. And that's how easy it is to import audio files into GarageBand. Again once it's on your computer, you connect the iPad to the computer, use iTunes and the file gets transferred right over. And now you really do know how to get just about any sound into a project in GarageBand.

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