New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way—like a learning mixtape.

Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

iPad Music Production: GarageBand
Illustration by

Setting up your song


From:

iPad Music Production: GarageBand

with Garrick Chow

Video: Setting up your song

Whenever you're working in GarageBand, you're working in a song. A song is simply the project that you're currently in. Right now, the song I am in is the project that I created in a previous movie, but I am going to go to My Songs and here I see the song that I'm just working on is currently titled My Song, and I still see the Curtain Call Demo song that was created when I installed GarageBand. But if I want to create a new song, I simply tap the plus button and tap New Song. Again I am given the instrument picker here, I can select a keyboard.

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
iPad Music Production: GarageBand
2h 48m Beginner Sep 11, 2012 Updated Aug 02, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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

Setting up your song

Whenever you're working in GarageBand, you're working in a song. A song is simply the project that you're currently in. Right now, the song I am in is the project that I created in a previous movie, but I am going to go to My Songs and here I see the song that I'm just working on is currently titled My Song, and I still see the Curtain Call Demo song that was created when I installed GarageBand. But if I want to create a new song, I simply tap the plus button and tap New Song. Again I am given the instrument picker here, I can select a keyboard.

Now an important thing to remember here is that your song is not actually saved until you do something, basically you have to record something in your song before it's saved. If I go back to My Songs, notice I still only have those original two songs here, My Song and Curtain Call. The one I just created is nowhere to be seen because I actually haven't done anything in it yet. So now I have to tap the plus button again, choose New Song, select the Keyboard and this time I'll just record a couple of bars. (music playing) So now that I have recorded some content, if I go back to My Songs you can see now I have a third project in here currently titled My Song 2, which doesn't really tell me what the song is, so if you want to rename your song simply tap the name, you can delete that out of there, I'll just call this Keyboard Tune and tap Done.

And now I can go back into the song. So any time you want to make sure you save what you just recorded, it might be a good idea to tap My Songs that will automatically save your song, then you can tap the project to open it up again and continue recording. Now it's entirely possible you might just be using GarageBand for live performances. Maybe you have your iPad hooked up to a PA and you just want to play the keyboard through it or one of the other instruments. But even if that's the case I would still suggest creating a project and maybe calling it live and just selecting that project when you want to perform live. That way you run into less chance of accidentally recording over a project that you wanted to save, maybe one of your other songs that you've been recording.

But if you're going to be recording a song, it is important to know how to properly set up that song, and you'll find most of settings you want to be concerned with under the Settings button. The first item here is Metronome and that's the clicking sound you hear as you're playing. It helps you keep all your tracks in time with each other, and you probably heard that when I was recording. (music playing) Just drag this track volume down. So currently we're listening to the Woodblock sound of the Metronome. We can actually select from three other sounds, there is Click, Hihat and Rimshot.

For the most part, you'll want to pick the sound that will come through the clearest based on whatever else you're playing in the song, because you can't actually adjust the volume of the Metronome. What you hear is basically what you get. In my opinion the Rimshot is probably the loudest followed by the Woodblock. I've trouble hearing the click in the Hihat myself, so I usually don't select this. I'll even add the default Woodblock. But be sure to go through and try all different sounds on your own to see what comes through the best with your recordings. Next we have the Count-In feature and this gives you four counts before it starts recording. So anytime I press Record with Count-In on GarageBand will give me four beats, 1, 2, 3, 4 and then it will start recording.

This is especially useful if you're working by yourself and don't have somebody there to press the buttons for you. What you can do is just move the playhead where you want to start recording and with Count-In on when I tap the Record button, you'll see the playhead jump back a measure and then you'll see it start recording at measure six in this case. (music playing) And there it starts recording. Without Count-In turned on, GarageBand will start recording immediately as soon as you tap the Record button, which might not give you enough time to get your hands off the iPad and on to your instrument.

So I generally recommend leaving that on. The next setting is the Tempo. Now if you already have your song flushed out you may know the exact tempo you want, in which case you can either just tap the arrows to get to the tempo you want, or just move your finger up and down to set the tempo more quickly. Now if you don't know what tempo you want, maybe you're just in the demo phase and you're still trying to flush out what your song is all about, you can also use the Tap to is set Tempo button, and simply by tapping here GarageBand will automatically calculate the tempo. Maybe you're recording a friend playing guitar and while they're strumming you can tap out the beat.

If you don't have somebody else there may be you can just hum your tune and while you're humming just figure out the beat that way. After a couple of taps GarageBand should have what you need. Next we can set the Key of our song. Now this is especially important if you're going to be working with Apple Loops or smart instruments. Both Loops and smart instruments will conform to the key that you select. So it's a good idea to have the key set before you start recording. So if I know this is going to be for instance an A minor, I might choose minor and then A.

Now if I'd already recorded some music with the smart instruments or Apple Loops, because I have Follow Song Key selected here and it's turned on, the instruments I record will automatically conform to the new key. But if I were to turn that off, the instruments that I've recorded would stay in their original key. Generally though, you probably want to keep that on, although there might be some cases where maybe you record in C major and then you decided to change the song to an A minor, but you want to hear what the part in C major sounds like over that key. So you can play around with keeping Follow Song Key on or off.

Next we can set our Time Signature. You can select from 4/4, 3/4 or 6/8 and this is another setting that's important to set before you start recording your song. Because if you put down some music and then change the time signature, none of that music will conform to the new settings, so make sure you set that before you start recording. Next we have a Fade Out option. This simply adds a 10 second fade out to your song, no matter how long your song happens to be. This is a good idea to turn on if maybe you just can't come up with an ending for your song. But even if your song is only 30 seconds long, the last 10 seconds will be a fade out, and that fade out will move based on the length of your song.

So if I then expand that song to two and a half minutes, the last 10 seconds will still be that fade out. This final setting currently labeled AirPlay Bluetooth, doesn't really have to do with the settings of your song, but it's here to give you some options for playback. By default, you can monitor what you've been playing through your iPad either through its internal speaker or through the headphone jack. But maybe you have a better quality speaker hooked up to your home stereo system or maybe you have Bluetooth speakers, by turning this option on you can connect your iPad wirelessly to these devices and listen through what are arguably better quality speakers.

Now notice when I turn AirPlay on, I get this message telling me that Audio input is disabled, and you may notice a delay when playing Touch instruments. What's this basically telling me is that this feature is only for playback. It can't be used for recording because the wireless features produce too much latency or delay between the time you play and what you actually hear. But this is still a good way to monitor what you've played through better quality speakers. Incidentally if you have your iPad hooked up to an HDMI cable that might be plugged into say an HD TV, you'll see this labeled AirPlay Bluetooth HDMI as well.

I'll just leave that off for now. So those are the song settings that's important to be familiar with. Now we will be building a song from scratch later on, but before we get into that I want to spend some time looking at each of the specific instruments that you can play in GarageBand.

There are currently no FAQs about iPad Music Production: GarageBand.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed iPad Music Production: GarageBand.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Notes cannot be added for locked videos.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.