Join Damian Allen for an in-depth discussion in this video Choosing a project in the Start screen, part of GarageBand '09 Essential Training.
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Let's start right at the beginning with the first thing you will see when you launch GarageBand. You will be greeted by a Welcome screen. Now this Welcome screen gives you access to a basic video covering the fundamentals of GarageBand along with the link to tutorials and Apple's website. Now the video tutorials you are working through right now are much more comprehensive than the ones listed here. But if you do want to come back to this screen later, just make sure you have checked, Show this window when GarageBand opens. That way the next time you launch the application, the screen will still come up. When you are done admiring the artwork, click Close. And this will bring us to the basic New Project window. Down the left-hand side of this window, you will see the basic categories. The first is New Project, then you have Learn to Play which is way you can access the free piano or guitar lessons that ship with GarageBand '09.
The Lesson Store where you can actually purchase Artist Lessons from major studio artists, teaching you how to play their songs. You also have access here to additional Basic Lessons. These are more free lessons like the ones in the Learn to Play section, that you can download incrementally as your skills develop on either the piano or the guitar. Next on the list is Magic GarageBand and this is a really fun introduction to GarageBand. It allows even the non- musician to play around with a certain genres of style, mixing and matching instruments in a band to create a unique composition. If you are a musician, you can also jam along with your own instrument. Watch the videos on Magic GarageBand for good springboard into the application.
The last category, iPhone Ringtones. This is a really easy and free way to take any audio or music on your computer and turn it into a ringtone for your iPhone. Now, let's go back and look at the New project section. These are templates or starter setups that the good people at Apple have put together to help you launch right into a certain task. Now just to clarify, you're not locked into working in a certain mode once you have chosen one of these is presets. They are simply there as convenience. So for example, if you began by creating a Podcast or even a Movie and then decide that what you really wanted to do was work on a keyboard heavy song, you can still add keyboard tracks and rearrange things, no matter which of these starting templates you chose.
The Songwriting templates are great starting point because it lays out paths for the common instruments in a typical pop song. And again if you want to go further and add other instruments, you can do that simply by adding a new track. So to get started, we can simply double-click Songwriting. This brings up a dialog asking what you want to name your project and where you want to save it. It creates a default name My Song or if you already have a project name, My Song, it will be called My Song 2, My Song 3, etcetera. Now I'll just expand out the full path here for a moment so you can see where this is saved. It's saved in your home directory, in the Musics sub-folder, in a folder called GarageBand. So if you ever need to move your projects to another computer or back them up, that's where you'll find them.
Next is time to choose your options. The first is Tempo or how fast this song will play. You can drag the slider to adjust it or double-click and type in the beats per minute. Around 100-140 is a typical rock song. Choose a Key signature. Now don't panic if your musical knowledge doesn't extend this far. There is plenty you can do in GarageBand without a formal musical training. When you are all set, click Create. Garage Band prepares the tracks and since we chose the basic Songwriting template, we are given tracks for Voice, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Muted Bass and a Drum track to get us started.
As we'll see in the coming videos, we can then add, change and customize the tracks as much as we like.
- Creating a project from scratch
- Making music instantly with Magic GarageBand
- Learning the guitar and keyboard with the lessons in GarageBand
- Using piano and orchestral and analog synth software instruments
- Mixing tracks for a balanced composition
- Working with the new stomp boxes and virtual guitar amps
- Effectively applying reverb, echo, compressors, and EQ
- Exporting and sharing compositions