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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.
It's finally time to get the lead vocal part recorded. We've covered how to create Real Instrument tracks in earlier movies, Option+Command+N, and I'll double- click Real Instrument setup one for doing vocals, and also I'll go ahead and the name the track, and you know how to connect your microphone as well. We've done this before. Our Input Source is set to the Apogee One and in the interface parameters I have chosen Source External 48 Volt Mic since the audio technique of 4050 I am using does require phantom power. Now sometimes when recording vocals, singers like to focus on a certain section of the song and then move on to others and other singers like to get a whole take top to bottom.
Either way is fine and you can literally press the R key on the fly right before the vocals are supposed to come in and then press R again when it's done. If there's now an instrumental section, you can punch in and punch out on the fly just by hitting the R key while you're playing. By way of illustrating how to do this type of punch-in on the fly while playing the song, I'll take that approach will this vocal recording. I've got the track selected that I want to record onto and I need to set my level. So the first thing I am going to do is click the Automatic Level Control, start the song, and just sing the beginning, and then I will stop so that our level is set.
I am sure that's going to need to be fairly low. (Music playing) [00:01:31.6 0] All right, I am going to catch it right there, move it just a little bit. The distance I sing from the microphone also has a lot to do with how loud things are coming in. So your mic technique as a singer also definitely impact how loud things are coming out.
If I double-click this real quick, I want to just take a peek. You can see that when I first came in, I was singing at a normal low volume, but GarageBand had not done the Level Control yet, so all of my levels are getting clipped. You can see that these waveforms are just what we call crew cut and just chopped off at the top, and that's going to provide digital distortion. So that sounds horrible. So we are not going to want to do that. I close the Editor down again and I will select this region, Delete, back at the beginning. So now that we've got our level set. I'll just start the song and press R right before the vocal and I'll sing the verses, and then I'll hit R to punch out and then spacebar to stop, and then we can focus on the chorus after that.
Noticing also that my clipping indicator lights are still on from when I was doing the test, and I can click those red lights to turn them off. The same goes for my mains. Those lights just warn you that sometime in the past this meter has clipped. So if you look down and suddenly you're seeing that there are red lights lit up, that's your indication that you need to go back and review somewhere along the line you have something that's clipping. All right, here we go! (Music playing) Once I am satisfied with the vocal or if I choose to do a few passes, then I can move on to the chorus.
I'll just move on at this point since I'm happy with that take. The playhead is already in the middle of the pre-chorus. So I can give myself a couple of bars. So I am going to move it ahead. So here's where the chorus actually begins and I am going to actually hit my left arrow key to go back two bars into the pre-chorus, and I will press spacebar to play and R to record and track the chorus. (Music playing) So pressing R on the fly while you're actually playing the song back and punching in and out is one way to approach recording a track that doesn't actually appear through the entire song.
For instance, a guitar obviously will appear through the entire song. Something like vocals comes in and out when there's a verse, comes out for the instrumental section, comes back in. So it can be one way that you can sort of pop in and out at will. So I'm pretty happy with those takes. I am going to go ahead and keep them and move on over in my Track Info panel. I'd actually like to use one of GarageBand's vocal presets as a starting place. So I am going to click on Vocals and then look at the different presets on the right. So most of the vocal presets include a Compressor and a Reverb or an EQ. So that's usually going to save a couple of steps. I am just going to choose Male Basic and click on the Edit tab to look at what it's plugged in for us.
So let's just listen back with it as is right now and see how it sounds. (Music playing) [00:05:4.02] So one thing I am noticing is that it's not quite loud enough.
I am going to try to get a little more gain out of the Compressor. I'm going to bring this up to about 7 and actually add a little more compression, a little faster attack, and bring that threshold down a little bit. So the first halves of these lines actually end up being a little bit louder. Just sample part of that again. (Music playing) That sounds pretty good.
Let's grab the chorus. (Music playing) All right, not bad. I actually did hear a few little pitchy spots where I kind of drifted a little bit flat. I'd typically maybe re-sing that part and try to get it a little tighter, but in light of this being a chorus on using GarageBand's many features, this is a good opportunity to use the Automatic Tuning feature.
In the next movie I'll explore how to use a little or a lot of auto-tuning to get the effect you're looking for.
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