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- View Offline
- 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
Skill Level Beginner
The final Smart instrument we are going to take a look at here is Smart Strings. Now Smart Strings didn't originally ship with the first release of GarageBand, it came with an update in March 2012. So if you have purchased GarageBand before then and haven't yet updated, make sure you go to App Store and update, so you will see Smart Strings appear when you open GarageBand. And what Smart Strings does is it gives you an entire string section right here in your iPad. As with the other Smart Instruments you will see eight chord strips here in the interface and here they're all divided into four sections.
You can play these a number of different ways. Tapping in the chord strip gives you a pizzicato sound. The four different sections of the chord strip give you different inversions for that chord. (music playing) You can also slide your finger along the chord strip like a bow. (music playing) The more intense you slide, the louder the sound will get. You can use this technique to create swells in the music. The more you would slide, the more intense it will get. If I stop, it will start to decay and if I slide again, it will come back.
Where you start sliding also determines the chord that's being used. So if I started down here, we'll hear that. (music playing) If I start it up here, we'll hear a different version of the chord. (music playing) You can also do fast slides across the chord strips for more staccato bowing sounds. And again where you place your finger when you do those swipes is going to affect the sound. (music playing) So there you have three different ways you can play the Smart Strings and you can combine them all together.
So the iPad's touchscreen really gives you a unique tool to create these string sounds. This is something you definitely couldn't do with a computer keyboard or a mouse. You can't dynamically rub your mouse up and down on your mouse pad like this, but you can do it here on the surface of the iPad. Now you might have noticed across the top of the screen here we have the instruments that are divided into Violin sections, Violas, Cellos and Basses. You can actually tap to disable or reenable any of these that you like. So for intense if I only wanted a cello part, I could just make sure the Cello is highlighted, and now I am only hearing the cello.
I can still tap the different regions-- (music playing) I have the same ability to play staccato strikes or long-going actions. And if I need to, I just bring in more instruments maybe cello and viola. (music playing) So you can create some really unique sounds this way. As with the other Smart Instruments you can switch between playing chords and individual notes. If I tap Notes, again I see a fretboard here and right now I am looking at the cello. (music playing) So I can play a cello, I can swipe through and find maybe the violin for totally different sounds.
(music playing) Now we can play this one of two ways; I can play the strings like this. (music playing) But if I hold down over here, notice that highlights, I can use this then to pluck the strings. (music playing) Or if I do want to bow while holding this down, if I want to do a combination of plucking and bowing, I just hold down on the string, you will see that little vertical line appear and then I can bow across the strings this way.
(music playing) So we can do a combination of the two that way. And again it's just a matter of choosing which instrument you want to play this way. Also, as with the other Smart Instruments, you can tap the Scale button to limit the notes just to certain scales that you select, for instance, I'll choose the maybe Minor Pentatonic here. This is especially useful with fretless instruments like this if you're a little worried about getting the note a little bit sharp or flat, now you don't have to worry about it. You're only going to play notes that are within that particular scale. (music playing) I'll switch that back to the full fretboard and of course since this is a Smart Instrument, we have the Autoplay feature available.
I'll switch back to Chords, we'll find our Autoplay dial, and again, we have four different positions we can place it in. (music playing) So it's just a matter of moving the dial. (music playing) And as before, you can get variations on the different Autoplay patterns by tapping with one, two or three fingers.
(music playing) Not only do you get those three variations within those four Autoplay patterns, you can also drastically change the sound of what's being played by going up to the Cinematic button, and here I can choose from three additional styles. So for instance right now if I play a D minor, I hear this for Cinematic, but if I change it to Modern, I'll hear this.
(music playing) Here is Pop-- (music playing) and Romantic. (music playing) And again within each of these four different styles, you can still move the Autoplay dial and get different variations. Now these different styles not only apply to Autoplay, but if you have Autoplay off, you will still get different voicings between say Cinematic and Modern.
And so even though it's the same chord, you still get different voicings. And if that's not enough for you, you can also incorporate the idea of bringing in different instruments at different times. So maybe I'll have Autoplay on, and I'll start with just my 1st Violins. (music playing) And gradually add in the other instruments. (music playing) So that's Smart Strings.
It's a great tool for adding depth and a unique tone to your music. Even if you are primarily recording guitar music, adding some strings underneath there, can really take your songs to another dimension.