Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Recording multiple tracks with Jam Session, part of GarageBand for iOS Essential Training.
Now I'd like to take a look at what I think is one of the coolest features of GarageBand and it's called Jam Session. It allows you to connect up to four different iOS devices so everybody can play in one session and you can even record all to one song. Now this does require either a wi-fi or a Bluetooth connection. Wi-fi is going to be preferable because you'll get better speeds and communication between the devices, but if a wi-fi network is unavailable, you can switch to Bluetooth. So for this particular movie, we're going to continue working on the song we have been working on throughout this chapter and we're going to add two more tracks, but we are going to do it simultaneously through Jam Session.
I'm going to be playing my iPad and Todd will be playing his. So to kick things off, I'm going to tap the Jam Session button and I'm going to create a Session. So now my iPad is broadcasting information out over the wi-fi network saying that a Jam Session is available and other iPads can find that and then join the session. So before I have Todd join the session, let's take a look at some of these controls. We have the Bandleader Control and you can see that the Bandleader controls the recording and playback for the Jam Session. That means that as the Bandleader, I control when the recording starts and stops, I control the tempo and the key, and so on.
If I turn that option off, I'll let other people in the Jam Session control playback as well. I'd like to maintain control, so I'm going to leave that on. We also have Auto-Collect Recordings. This is another really cool feature. Once we'd start recording our session, everybody will be recording on his or her own iPad. When we're done, if I have Auto-Collect Recordings on, all of the different recordings will instantly be copied over to my iPad and they will appear in my project. If I leave that off, I have the option of dragging in the performances that I want to keep. All right, so I'll ask Todd to tap Jam Session on his iPad and you can see he also has the option to create a session, but he will also see under the Join Session section my iPad.
So he can join my session by tapping and we can do this because we're on the same wi-fi network. All right, so Todd now has a message saying that we're Ready to Jam. The message also tells him that I'm in control as the Bandleader, so I am going to be able to control the tempo and the key, and so on. Okay, so Todd will tap OK. And now if I look over on my iPad, I can see under Band Members, I have Todd's iPad listed here as Connected, and again, we can connect up to two more iPads for a total of four devices connected together for a Jam Session. All right, I'm just going to tap to close that window and you can see that we now both have a green icon for the Jam Session indicating we're connected to an active Jam Session.
So Todd already has his keyboard selected, I am going to select my instrument for this session. So I'm going to create a new track, I am going to play the Smart Bass and I'm going to go with the Picked and I'm going to play Notes instead of Chords. Now an important thing to keep in mind here is when you're playing in a Jam Session, each player will only be able to hear his or her own iPad through its internal speaker. I'm not going to be able to hear what Todd is playing through my iPad, just as he won't be able to hear what I'm playing through his iPad. Now when you're in close quarters and everybody is just listening to each other's internal speakers, that's probably okay, but ideally, you probably want to connect the iPad to some sort of Mixer or PA system where you can have an amplified sound, so everybody can just hear a little bit better.
Now in the situation we are set up in here, both of our iPads are connected to a mixer, so you will be able to hear both of what we're playing as we're recording our session. But just keep that in mind when you're working on this on your own, you want to make sure that you have maybe a PA system, or a mixer, or just keep in close quarters with the person you're jamming with. All right, so I think we're ready to record. We've got our instruments selected, my playhead is at the beginning. Ready to give this a shot? (music playing) Todd Howard: There we go. Let's see what happens. (music playing) All right, so I think that was pretty decent.
Todd Howard: It was fun. I think we both made a little--a couple of mistakes, but nothing that we couldn't fix using the techniques we looked at earlier in this chapter. Now you might have seen very briefly that message saying that it was collecting the recordings from Todd's iPad. So if I go and switch over to the Track View, you can see that sure enough, in addition to the Picked bass that I just recorded, here's a synthesizer called Lotus Pond which happens to be the same instrument Todd was just playing on his iPad. Now over on his iPad, when he switches to the Track View, you can see that he just has his own recording of his instrument and sort of a back up here, but I automatically grabbed that as soon as we were done, and it's now been copied to my iPad.
It's muted by default, but I can unmute that and now I can listen to our performance by tapping Play. (music playing) I'll solo that so you can hear what he was playing. (music playing) And there is my bass. (music playing) So there you can see, thanks to Jam Session, we were able to do simultaneous multitrack recording with two iPads.
Now we have added two more tracks to our song in one recording session. Now when you're done, you can tap the Jam Session button to stop the session. Todd has got in the message saying his Jam Session is not available anymore and we're now both solo artists again.
- 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