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Using Groove Matching to tighten up the rhythm of a performance

From: GarageBand '11 Essential Training

Video: Using Groove Matching to tighten up the rhythm of a performance

Anytime you're working with a number of tracks, chances are that more or one of them might be a little bit out of rhythm with the rest. Groove Matching is one of the new features in GarageBand '11, and the results you can achieve are quite amazing. Some people feel that this is a little bit like cheating--well, if you want to play good rhythm, you've got to learn to play good rhythm--but the truth is, a lot of people are just starting out with music or maybe they're actually pretty good at music, but they're just starting out with recording, and the whole idea of throwing headphones on and tracking guitar is a little bit of nerve wrecking, you are not going to do your best performance all the time. Sometimes that's the performance you have, so you can use Groove Matching to bring the rhythm of a given track into step with the rhythm of another track.

Using Groove Matching to tighten up the rhythm of a performance

Anytime you're working with a number of tracks, chances are that more or one of them might be a little bit out of rhythm with the rest. Groove Matching is one of the new features in GarageBand '11, and the results you can achieve are quite amazing. Some people feel that this is a little bit like cheating--well, if you want to play good rhythm, you've got to learn to play good rhythm--but the truth is, a lot of people are just starting out with music or maybe they're actually pretty good at music, but they're just starting out with recording, and the whole idea of throwing headphones on and tracking guitar is a little bit of nerve wrecking, you are not going to do your best performance all the time. Sometimes that's the performance you have, so you can use Groove Matching to bring the rhythm of a given track into step with the rhythm of another track.

It's kind of a luxury to be able to just sort of click a couple of buttons in GarageBand and bring your rhythm section into groove with each other. So if this is something you want to use, go for it. If you feel like it's cheating, then don't use it. It's one of those features that's totally up to you. It's not automatic, but it's very powerful. A good example of the groove matching function would be to tighten up my original scratch acoustic guitar part using the drum track that I laid in here as the groove track, and then I can use the groove assigned check boxes, as you will see, to connect the guitar part to that drum loop track, and I will do this by hovering my mouse over the left edge of any of the tracks.

You will see that you can click to assign one track as the groove track. So the fact that I used drum loops from the Apple Loops library and I know that these loops are solid, going to make that my groove track by clicking on the star to the left. GarageBand wants to analyze audio for groove tracks. You have to actually give it permission to go through and find all of the rhythmic anomalies and sort of figure out where it's going to do its work. And we also have to enable the Follow Tempo & Pitch function, which as soon as I click Continue here, I can show you where that's located.

Normally you would have it off, but in order to perform a groove-match, you have got to let GarageBand switch Follow Tempo & Pitch on, so go ahead click Continue to that as well. So GarageBand performed an analysis of my bass track, my acoustic guitar track and also the drum track as the master. By default, it has placed a check mark here in the left column for both Bass and Guitar. But perhaps I want to keep the bass as it was when I recorded it and justify Groove Matching to the acoustic guitar. So I can turn those off and decide which tracks I want to apply Groove Matching to.

Drum loops are often a really good choice for groove masters, since they're completely in time, but there's no reason not to use whatever drummer you have playing on your song, even if it's not loops, since the drummer is first and foremost setting the time and feel of the song. If your drummer is falling out of step, hopefully you have another track you can elect as the groove track and lock your other tracks to it. What I want you to take a look at here-- I am going to zoom in a little bit more so we can see our waveforms a little more clearly of guitar and bass here-- when I actually click the check mark in the left column to follow the timing of our groove track in the acoustic guitar, I want you to watch these waveforms just carefully and notice when I click the check box that they are actually going to nudge around a little bit.

GarageBand has used the rhythm of the drums to reposition the transients within this acoustic guitar track to match it so that the rhythm is solid between the two took. So keep your eye on those waveforms. See how they just moved around a little bit there? I'm going to scroll further along in the song here, because I know that there is a part right here before the Chorus-- let me turn Groove Match off here for a sec and zoom in a little bit more Pre-Chorus-- I was listening back to the song here before recording this movie and realizing that when I came in at the beginning of the Chorus on the acoustic guitar track that in fact I was a bit late to my rhythm, and you can actually see that here as I zoom in.

This is the downbeat of Chorus. Here is Bar 26, so as far as the Metronome is concerned, this is the one, and the drum part really does come in there. That first snare kick drum hit right at the beginning, it's on the money. My guitar note is a little bit late, so sort of lagging out a little bit. The bass is fine, the bass is right on here on the money as well, but as I click this, watch how this waveform scoots back to the top of the bar. That's basically what Groove Matching is doing-- it's stretching and compressing your audio to match another track that you elect as your grid.

So let's listen to it without. You can sort of hear me coming in a little bit late. It's kind of subtle. I am not very late, but late enough to make this worth doing. (music playing) Play it one more time. (music playing) So I feel like that guitar is just a little bit soggy. It's a little bit behind the beat. I am going to click Groove Match on and play the same section for you. (music playing) One more time. (music playing) So now everybody is on the money.

We have got nice-sounding rhythm track and we can go back to the beginning and take a listen and hear this tight track. (music playing) I am going to adjust some of my volumes just a little bit, while we are listening back here as well, try to get a little bit of a better blend. (music playing) So let GarageBand help your tracks really stand out by using Groove Matching in moderation, especially when trying to push your rhythm tracks to be as solid as they can possibly be.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

50 video lessons · 23147 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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