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Setting tempo, enabling count-in and metronome, and dragging in a drum loop

From: GarageBand '11 Essential Training

Video: Setting tempo, enabling count-in and metronome, and dragging in a drum loop

We've seen how to use Magic GarageBand to create a song from some preset genres to play or sing over, and we've seen how to experiment with Apple Loops to build up a song from scratch. We could take either of these approaches and continue from there within this course to build out a final song, but instead I'd like to create an acoustic instrument project. I am going to name it Easier to Find, that's the name of my song, save it in my Music directory. And my plan is to start with the metronome and a basic drum loop for a rhythm track and try to get a solid take of the acoustic guitar part.

Setting tempo, enabling count-in and metronome, and dragging in a drum loop

We've seen how to use Magic GarageBand to create a song from some preset genres to play or sing over, and we've seen how to experiment with Apple Loops to build up a song from scratch. We could take either of these approaches and continue from there within this course to build out a final song, but instead I'd like to create an acoustic instrument project. I am going to name it Easier to Find, that's the name of my song, save it in my Music directory. And my plan is to start with the metronome and a basic drum loop for a rhythm track and try to get a solid take of the acoustic guitar part.

So I need to set the Tempo of my song, which I know is going to be 154 BPM, and the Time Signature is 4/4 and the key of the song is A major. So I may as well set that here and click Create. Once I have the acoustic guitar part recorded, I'll start to over-dub additional real instrument tracks like bass, electric guitar and vocals, or maybe some additional percussion. For most of us, when we are recording music, it's helpful to play to a click or a metronome. GarageBand allows you to do this with its Metronome feature, which is located right here.

Whether you are playing back or recording, if the metronome is turned on, it will play quarter notes at the tempo your project is set to. You can always turn the metronome off or on at will by clicking this Metronome button, or by pressing Command+U. I find that I usually like to use the metronome as I lay down some of the initial rhythm tracks of a song, like bass or drums, or even my first guitar track, and then eventually end up turning it off, allowing the rhythm tracks I've already recorded to be my guide.

You do whatever works for you. The metronome can be on, it can be off. It doesn't get recorded. It's just a helpful way for you to keep in time with your song. GarageBand's default behavior is to start recording from the current position of the playhead when you press R. Sometimes that's inconvenient, especially if you are running your own recording session; it's nearly impossible to press Record and play on the first beat of the song at the same time. You may need a little breathing room. There is an easy way to have GarageBand count one measure of time for you before starting to actually record, and that is the Count-In feature.

Just select Count-In from the Control menu, or press Shift+Command+U, and watch what happens when I press R to record now. I am at bar 18. Actually, let me get exactly on bar 18. I am going to press R, the playhead jumped back one measure, counted four, and then began recording at 18. That gives me a full bar of time to get my pick in my hand and get ready to play, sort of start to feel the tempo, and then play on b eat 1. Okay, so I'll clear this track out. I am going to press Command+A to select all.

It happened to be on this track, so it's going to select every audio region in that track. Press Delete to erase those and press Return to put my playhead back at the beginning of the song. Now I need to lay down the drum loop to play to because as helpful as they are, for me, metronomes don't provide much in the way of feel. It might be 100% in time, but I want a little groove to play my acoustic guitar part to. I've installed the Rhythm Section Jam Pack so you may not have all these loops, but don't worry. If you don't have that jam pack installed, the loops I am using in this course will be included in the exercise files.

I am going to go to the Loop Browser by pressing Command+L, and I'll use the filters to dive down to Rock/Blues and Kits. And I can either scroll down, or I happen to know that the family of loops I am looking for starts with the word syncopated, so I can just search for that here and easily find them. S-y-n-c, Enter, bang! Here's my whole family of loops. I happen to be into this Syncopated Pop Drumset 27, so I am going to look for that here and drag that into my timeline and put it at bar 2 in a new track.

So here's my drum kit. I don't like the word, kits, for title, so I am going to click on the name to rename it. I am going to click in the upper-right corner and drag this loop out to about bar 40, but wait, what happened? I can't go any further. See this little triangle up here? This is what GarageBand thinks is the end of the song. This is something you can click and drag and position anywhere you want. That way if you were doing a mix down, you could have the song automatically end here, even if you have information after it, sort of a way for you to say, "this is my end for right now." So you can actually move that out manually, throw that out about 43. And if you want to zoom out to get a little more view of your timeline, so you have some space to work feel free to do that, and I am going to move this loop out to 40.

I am going to press Return to put my playhead back at the beginning and play. And when I do, listen for the four beats of metronome that will play before the drums start, and then when the drums come in, you'll hear the metronome and the drums playing together. You may have to listen carefully. For me, I'd like to hear the drums and the metronome, so I know where the time is, but I am really paying attention to the drums, and the metronome is helpful for my count in. (music playing) Metronome is nice to have with the syncopated part as well because the metronome is a very square beat on 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, even if the drum set is playing a very syncopated part on upbeats and offbeats.

So it's kind of nice to have both of those playing here. So I am going to pres Return one more time and put the playhead back to the top, and I am ready to start tracking the acoustic guitar part for this new tune.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

50 video lessons · 23195 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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