Join Scott Bourne for an in-depth discussion in this video Optimizing GarageBand performance for podcasting, part of Podcasting with GarageBand 3.
- [Instructor] Okay now, I'm going to show you how to get GarageBand perform for you at its top level and since GarageBand is a very, very, very power-hungry application, this will be more important to those of you using an older or less powerful computer. Right off the bat, let's click at the top left corner, the GarageBand menu and get our Preferences up. Now, in the General Preferences, there is nothing you need to change right now for optimizing GarageBand. So, we'll move right to Audio/MIDI and here, we will be back at this very place in our next movie to talk about audio input and output but in this movie, we're going to focus strictly on maximizing performance and you have a couple of choices here if you scroll down to the middle of the dialog box, you'll see that you have the opportunity to maximize the number of simultaneous tracks used which creates a large buffer or to minimize the delay when playing instruments live.
That's a small buffer and when it comes to podcasting, most of the time, you're going to want to stick with minimum delay when playing instruments. The reason is that you will rarely have a large number of tracks in a podcast. If you do have a large number of tracks in GarageBand 3 and you're making a podcast, it probably means should've been making the music section separately in another GarageBand session and importing that into you podcast. So, my recommendation is, leave this set to minimum delay when playing instruments live.
Now, there's also a Keyboard Sensitivity switch here that let's you move less, more, or neutral the way that the sliders adjust the velocity of notes that you play unless you're a serious musician, there's really no reason to change that so leave that set to neutral. We can move over here to Loops and there are some things you might want to change in Loops but we will not make any changes to this portion of program right now because this really doesn't have that much to do with real-time performance.
When we get to Export, you might want to change the quality to Musical Podcast if you use music in your podcast or you just leave it at Spoken Podcast. If you're a very, very, very picky person, you want the best quality, you can move to Higher Quality but remember, that's going to make a bigger file size. So, I stick with Musical Podcast because I tend to have music beds in all of my podcasts. The next setting is Movie Settings and this will balance the quality for size and performance depending on what you're going to use you're podcast for in the event that you drop a movie into it and I usually just select Video Podcast.
You also have the option to save your podcast to iWeb which is the web building software that comes with the new iLife '06 or you can simply save it out to a disk. It's really advantageous to save to iWeb if you have at Dot Mac account because that will make one button publishing of your podcast possible but if you don't have Dot Mac, go ahead and select Save to Disk. For the purpose of this training, we will leave it set to Send to iWeb and the last box is Set artwork to recommended size for podcasts 300 x 300 pixels, that'll speed things up in terms of getting the artwork on your artwork track to look right so I'll leave that box checked and are final box here is the Advanced box and you have the option to set the number of Real Instrument and Software Tracks as well as Voices per Instrument.
I recommend you just leave all of these set to Automatic unless you have a really good reason to change them. Now, there's a couple of other things you might want to know about when it comes to making GarageBand work really well. GarageBand is a very memory-hungry program so it's my recommendation if you're going to do a lot of podcasting in GarageBand 3, you might want to improve your memory in your computer. The old joke goes, "You can never be too rich, "too thin, or have too much RAM", and I tend to agree with that. So, bump up your memory as high as you can and don't run any other programs if possible when you're running GarageBand because it's a very resource-hungry application.
Another thing you can do is once you have music involved in your podcast and real quickly, I'm just going to drag a jingle up here into the podcast. I'll talk to you a lot more in-depth about how to do this later but one way that you can optimize GarageBand's performance if you have a fast hard disk but not a lot of RAM, is to go ahead and lock those tracks once they're there, you'll see that the little button lights up where the lock is, that means that the track will be locked and moved to the hard drive.
This will not hurt performance as long as you don't have a really slow drive. It will help performance in terms of resource demand and when you press the play button in GarageBand, you'll get the message that says, "Locking tracks", and then that track can't be changed without unlocking it. The real advantage here is that you'll speed up performance in terms of processor and memory. So, those are all the steps you can take right off the bat to make your GarageBand podcasting experience a better one.
Setting your preferences and locking tracks are two great ways along with adding memory to get the most out of GarageBand and, of course, remember, close all those other extemporaneous applications that you don't really need and you'll be podcasting perfectly and that's it for this movie. In the next movie, I'll be talking about changing the audio input and output drivers so you can connect the microphone to GarageBand.