Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Sound Editing Basics: GarageBand

This resource guide offers a tutorial in GarageBand, a free software for Apple users.

Editing

Tools:

      

           

      

Panning controls the amount in which an audio track will be heard more in the left or right speaker.

You can manually add a track, but when recording and importing a track can be created automatically. If you have a track highlighted, recording will take place on that track. 

Other Kinds of Tracks:

Here is an explanation of what each track does:

 

You can change pitch with the transposition track without changing the tempo. You can change the tempo without affecting pitch. To learn more about this go to the Transposing and Changing Pitch tab. You can also edit audio to a movie file as well as export the audio to that movie file. The arrangement track is very helpful to keep organized and the master track is helpful for controlling all of the tracks at once. 

Customizing Tracks:

With this you can customize the tools on your tracks when you go to configure track header. If you right click on a track it also gives you this option. 

 

Renaming Tracks:

You can rename regions as well, which is what the audio clips are called. 

   

When you go to the menu bar and go to Mix > Show Automation, a new button will appear on your track. 

The staggered line connected by dots button is called the Automation button. 

You can now use it to draw points on the flat yellow line to create your own fade ins, fade outs, and cross fades. 

You can use the automation feature to control things other than the volume too. You can control panning, effects, and more when you use the drop down menu on the track (click where it says volume). 

Here is how you do fades. 

Fade in:

Fade out:

Cross-Fade:

With GarageBand it is also possible to change the pitch without changing the tempo. 

Note: changing speed affects tempo as well as pitch. 

Here you can view the key signature of your project, the LCD bar. It appears this way in default, but you can change it to show the time instead.  When recording, GarageBand will not adjust the key signature to what you recorded or uploaded. That is something that you have to change manually. 

You can transpose a track in your project by going to the menu bar Track > Show Transposition Track. Transposing means to change the pitch, or pitches of your track into another key. If your song was recorded in the key of A and you would like to transpose it to the key of C, you would use transpose +4 to that key. 

Here is a helpful chart for transposing:

Use the top row to identify the original key. The keys are according to columns going downward. Count to the right in the top row to the key you would like to transpose to. You also don't have to know what key your song is in to transpose, you can just make your own guess to adjust to the key you like more. 

The transposition track will only work with MIDI and Apple Loops regions.

You can tranpose a selected audio region of recorded or uploaded audio if the editors (scissors button in the upper left corner) workspace is opened. The follow pitch and tempo box must be checked. Then you can use the transposition slider to transpose it. It is not recommended to use this on the vocal tracks because it have the "chipmunk" effect. It should not really be used on more than one instrument at a time. 

With GarageBand it is possible to change the tempo without changing the pitch. 

Note: changing speed affects tempo as well as pitch. 

Here you can view the tempo of your project, the LCD bar. It appears this way in default, but you can change it to show the time instead.  When recording, GarageBand will not adjust the tempo to what you recorded or uploaded. That is something that you have to change manually. Take note, however, if you have the audio recorded or uploaded in that tempo, and then attempt to change the tempo manually in the LCD bar, the audio will change tempo as well, even if they aren't synced up. 

You can also change the tempo by going to the menu bar Track > Show Tempo Track. Here you can make as many tempo changes as you want by clicking on the blue line you can make more points and more tempo changes. 

‚Äč