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Using Flex Time to fix a double-tracked rhythm guitar part

From: GarageBand '11 Essential Training

Video: Using Flex Time to fix a double-tracked rhythm guitar part

We spent some time talking about rhythm and timing in the movie on Groove Matching and how we assigned our syncopated drum track to be our groove track and matched the rhythm of the acoustic guitar track to that by clicking the check box on the left. I'd actually like to do the same thing with our two guitar tracks and click the Groove Match check box on the left. Let them fall in step with that drum loop as well, because the rhythm is a little bit sketchy on some of these little phrases. So I'm just going to feel comfortable clicking those and know that these are nice and clean. I am also noticing one other thing. In the last movie we applied a new preset that we had customized to these two guitar tracks and had called it Fat Stack II.

Using Flex Time to fix a double-tracked rhythm guitar part

We spent some time talking about rhythm and timing in the movie on Groove Matching and how we assigned our syncopated drum track to be our groove track and matched the rhythm of the acoustic guitar track to that by clicking the check box on the left. I'd actually like to do the same thing with our two guitar tracks and click the Groove Match check box on the left. Let them fall in step with that drum loop as well, because the rhythm is a little bit sketchy on some of these little phrases. So I'm just going to feel comfortable clicking those and know that these are nice and clean. I am also noticing one other thing. In the last movie we applied a new preset that we had customized to these two guitar tracks and had called it Fat Stack II.

GarageBand has this habit of renaming your tracks every time you touch anything having to do with the presets, so it's called them both Fat Stack II. I am going to take one second here and click and rename these to Fat Stack Left and Fat stack Right, so they're named the way I'd like them to be. So now that I've groove-matched both of these tracks to that original drum track, I can feel safe in knowing that these are nice and tight. Well, there happens to be some spots where I played something completely in rhythm that is not what I wanted to play.

So what I'm talking about here specifically--I will put the playhead roughly up to the spot where it is and zoom in for you, so we can all see what's going on here-- the rhythm of this one bar, there's sort of an accent on the two of the bar in the Acoustic Guitar track. You see here's bar 16, and here's the first quarter note of bar 16. So that's the 1, 2, and here's where that acoustic guitar accent is. I am noticing that on Fat Stack Left guitar I played that accent just fine, but on Fat Stack I I came right in on the 1. Well, let's say I want to move that to the 2.

I can double-click on this region and open it up in the editor, and you can see that the playhead is actually right here in both windows, so at bar 16. So this is my chord that I want to move over here to the 2. You will see that this cursor in the top half of the editor window is the Flex tool. If I go below the median, it becomes the Selection tool. So you need to make sure you're up on top here. So as I've located the note that I want to move, go ahead and click the Flex Time Marker on that accent, and then take a look up here in the timeline.

I'll move the playhead out of the way. When I hover my Flex tool over that area that I just marked, I get a little arrowhead, a line, and an X. This X will delete that flex edit. If I click it, it just goes away. Or if I hover over the marker, I can click and drag the marker, effectively moving my chord away from where it was in to a new location. I am going to hit Undo because this is important to look at. If I move past this region of highlighted color, GarageBand wants to kind of swallow up that whole chord.

So what it does is when it says, "Ooh! You're moving too far," is it says we probably want to flex this entire next piece. So it goes ahead and selects that as flexible for you automatically. So we can just keep moving this chord out till we position it where we want it on the two of the bar instead of on the one of the bar. So let's listen to it with the metronome on, before I've made the Flex move, from bar 15, so we'll hear one bar of time, and then we'll hear that chord playing on the one, and I am going to solo that track out. And actually I will put it in the middle again, so it's very easy to hear.

(music playing) One more time, I will go back two bars, so we get a little more time to hear. (music playing) So it comes right in on the one. Now when I move it to the two and play it from bar 14. We'll hear 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2 is where it will come in. (music playing) So I've effectively displaced that chord by one beat just by using the Flex tool to click and drag a note into a new place, incredibly easy to do that.

Let me pan that back out to the right, and let's hear both parts together and make sure they're in sync. (music playing) Sounds good. I will even check it out with the acoustic guitar too just to make sure everything is sounding good. (music playing) So that's perfectly flexed in my opinion now. So I am going to scroll to the end of the tune by using my scroll slider to move sideways. And I know that there's something I heard toward the end that I wasn't terribly happy about either in the Fat Stack guitar, so I am going to use this as an opportunity to do one more flex move here.

I am going to play it from about bar 35, zoom back out a little bit and give this a listen. (music playing) Move back a little. (music playing) Yeah, that's where it is, sort of strange. (music playing) I sort of want it to play da, da, da, da, and that last little note is sort of out of time. (music playing) It kind of comes late and sort of feels sloppy and sort of late.

So I think it's in this track. I am going to use Option+Click to center-pan this. It looks like maybe that's the note there. (music playing) Yeah, so that's in the wrong place. I am just not happy with that. Zoom in a little bit, get my Waveform so I can see what I'm doing. (music playing) Click my Flex Time tool and I am going to try a couple of things. Do I want it on the 4, do I want it on the 1? I am not sure.

Let's listen to it on the 4. I am going to go back to bar 33, so we can hear a whole bar. (music playing) Okay, so that felt pretty natural. Da, da, da. I am going to try it on the 1 also and see if that's what I want. (music playing) And that feels really late. I am not into that. I think we want it on the 4, and let's see what happens in the other track, at that same spot.

(music playing) Center that up as well. (music playing) Yeah, it looks like I'm sort of playing a slightly different part there, but I'm hitting on the 4. So I think I am going to be happy with that choice. Pan these back out where they belong and listen to it together from 33. (music playing) Excellent! That sounds good to me. Those are in good shape.

Let's hear that same moment in the mix from almost back to 33. (music playing) Yeah, so now it sounds like that's what I intended to play. Everything is going on that 4. It's that easy to use Flex Time and the Flex tool to move a note or a few notes forward or backward in time to fix rhythmic mistakes or even change a creative idea after the fact. Why not take a few extra minutes to clean up a few problem spots? Your Flex Time edits are always left highlighted so that you know when you've made a Flex Time edit in the past.

So when you come back into your project, you'll always see that color highlight, telling you, hey! I already moved that in the past. So that's a really helpful reminder that you've made flex edits as well.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

50 video lessons · 23673 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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