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Working in Tracks view


iPad Music Production: GarageBand

with Garrick Chow

Video: Working in Tracks view

Working in Tracks view provides you with in-depth training on Audio + Music. Taught by Garrick Chow as part of the iPad Music Production: GarageBand
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Watch the Online Video Course iPad Music Production: GarageBand
Video Duration: 4m 1s2h 48m Beginner Sep 11, 2012 Updated Aug 02, 2013

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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
Audio + Music
Garrick Chow

Working in Tracks view

We already had a glimpse of the Track View in the previous movie, but since we are going to be spending so much time in it, I thought it was important here to take a look at some of its features. So we saw that any time you create a new song, you start off with one track. In this case, I created a Smart Bass track and it's sitting here in the Track View. You can create additional tracks by tapping the plus button. It takes you back to the instrument selector where you can browse through your instruments. Maybe, I will select the Smart Strings and when I switch back to the Track View now, you see I have two tracks. So I've got Smart Bass and Smart Strings now.

Depending on how you like to work, you might want to go through and just keep tapping the plus button and adding all your instruments if you have your song plotted out in your head, or you can just build your song track by a track and just create more tracks as you need them. It's entirely up to you. Now you can record in either track view or in instrument view, but if you're working with an instrument that has to be played on- screen, then obviously, you have to switch over to the instrument view. In fact, if I wanted to record some Smart Strings and I hit the Record button here, it's going to switch me back to the instrument view, so I can start playing. (music playing) So I just recorded a little bit of Smart Strings.

Now if I switch back to the track view, you can see the region I just recorded. So any time you record, you'll see these audio regions appear on the track you recorded and you will see three different colors of regions. For virtual or MIDI instruments like I just recorded, the regions will be green. If you're recording real audio, for instance if you plug a guitar into your iPad or you're recording sounds out of the air with a microphone, the region will be purple. And if you're using Apple Loops, they will be blue. But with each region, you can select it and then do a new number of things with that region. Once it's selected, you will see that I can move it around on that track, I can even move it to other tracks, except I can't do it in this case since I have to drag it to another String Track.

But if I had another string section on here, I could drag it to that. I can grab the handles on either end to trim the region. Once a region is selected, I can tap it once to bring up a menu and I can choose to Cut, Copy, Delete, or any other number of things and again, we will take a closer look at that when we get into mixing and editing. For that matter, you can also tap the selected track to bring up a menu, and here I can choose to delete that track or duplicate it or merge it with another track. Now just be careful that you don't double- tap a track to bring up that menu, because if I say double-tap the Smart Bass, that's always going to bring up the instrument and take you back into instrument view.

So the proper way to do it is to tap to select the track once, just pause for a moment, then tap it again and that will bring the menu up for you. Let's move this region back to the beginning. I also mentioned earlier that you can bring up the controls for each individual track by tapping the Mixer button, and you can see these are the controls in this case for the Cinematic track which is the version of the Smart Strings I am playing, and here I have access to the Mute and Solo buttons. I can choose to control the Track Volume, the Track Panning, Echo, and Reverb, and so on.

And if I select the Smart Bass, you can see now it says Liverpool. So now these are the controls for the Smart Bass track. But it can get a little bit tedious to have this window open, plus it covers up a lot of your track area. So instead of using that all the time, you can also just slide your finger horizontally across the track area to open up the track controls. Tapping here, you can see this gives you access to the most commonly used buttons such as the Mute button, Solo, and the individual volume for that particular track. Now the track controls do tend to take up a good amount of space on your screen, so if you're not using them at the time, just drag your finger back across and collapse it, so you have more space to work over here on the right-hand side.

Now speaking of this area on the right, where you see a region, sometimes you want to get a lot closer to the region, especially if you want to edit it. In that case, you can just pinch out with two fingers and just zoom right in on that region. This is especially useful if you're trying to grab a specific note and get rid of it or move it when you're editing. Then you can just pinch back in to go back to the original size. So that's an overview of the track controls. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with these features that we just looked at before we move onto the next movie.

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