Notes from an Attic

Using GarageBand
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Alan's Guide to GarageBand for ios
Below is a step-by-step guide to using GaragaBand for ios, set out in 6 steps. Section 7 suggests some useful additional resources.
FAQs – Drums and Percussion
How many different ways are there of adding percussion?
I’ve uncovered the following nine (YES NINE!) ways.
1. Getting Started
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2. Record your First Track
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3. Recording More Tracks
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4. Editing
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5. Mastering
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6. Naming and Sharing a Song
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7. More Resources on GarageBand for ios
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To find out more about using GarageBand for ios, check out Dan Baker's excellent series of YouTube videos. Below are two 'shorts' that will give you a flavour:
* ios GarageBand in 5 Minutes
*
'Video Killed the Radio Star' cover

Subscribe here to Dan Baker.
1. Audio Recording Real (i.e. Physical) Drums
Recording directly through the microphone using a ‘real’ drum
* Tap “+” to create a new track.
* Select Audio Recorder and choose ‘Instrument’.
* Make sure you have headphones on and the metronome selected.
* Tap the red record button and play your ‘real’ drum(s). Then tap the record button to stop recording.
2. Loops
You can drag and drop pre-made loops to tracks on the timeline.
* To open the loop browser, click/tap the loop icon at the top right of the toolbar.
* You can search for specific instruments or genres. Drag a loop to an empty area underneath any existing tracks to get started.
* Adjust the length of the loop to match your recording.
3. Drummer – Acoustic
* Tap “+” to create a new track.
* Select Drummer and choose ‘Acoustic’.
* Tap on the drummer’s face in the centre of the screen and choose the drumming style for Acoustic by selecting the name of the drummer that you like.
* Tap on parts of the drum kit to select/deselect them.
* Use the two-way joystick on the left to set for volume and complexity.
* Tap the button to select the Follow switch (bottom right of the screen). This will ensure that your drum rhythm keeps time with the rest of the song.
* Make other adjustments (Fills, Kick & Snare, Toms and Percussion).
* Press Play [>] at the top of the screen to listen to the different choices you are considering.
* Press the Brick wall to return to the track screen, where you will find your final setting for Drummer/Acoustic in place as the bottom track.
4. Drummer – Electronic
* Tap “+” to create a new track.
* Select Drummer and choose ‘Electronic’.
* Tap on the drummer’s face in the centre of the screen and choose the drumming style for Electronic by selecting the name of the drummer that you like.
* Tap on parts of the drum kit to select/deselect them.
* Use the two-way joystick on the left to set for volume and complexity.
* Tap the to select the Follow switch (bottom right of the screen) to ensure that your drum rhythm keeps time with the rest of the song.
* Make other adjustments (Fills, Kick & Snare, Toms and Percussion).
* Press Play [>] at the top of the screen regularly to listen to the different choices you are considering.
* Press the Brick wall to return to the track screen, where you will find your final setting for Drummer/Electronic in place as the bottom track.
5. Drummer – Percussion
* Tap “+” to create a new track.
* Select Drummer and choose ‘Percussion’.
* Explore the Presets on the left of the screen and select one.
* Tap on the drummer’s face in the centre of the screen and choose the drumming style for Percussion by tapping the name of the drummer that you like.
* Tap on the percussion options in the middle of the screen to select/deselect them.
* Use the two-way joystick on the left to set for volume and complexity.
* Adjust the Fills level (bottom of the screen) to suit your preferences.
* Make other adjustments on the right of the screen.
* Press Play [>] at the top of the screen regularly to listen to the different choices you are considering.
* Press the Brick wall to return to the track screen, where you will find your final setting for Drummer/Percussion in place as the bottom track.
6. Drums – Smart Drums
* Tap “+” to create a new track.
* Select Drums and choose ‘Smart Drums’.
* From the right of the screen, choose the drum elements you want to include by dragging them into the central panel. Where you place each element within the panel will determine how it sounds with respect to loud/soft and simple/complex.
* Use the Start/Stop button on the left to listen to and explore different possibilities.
* When you're happy with your set-up, set the playhead at the beginning of the track and press the red record button. As the track plays, make adjustments on the fly of the choice of drumming element and their position within the two-way panel.
* Press the red record button to stop recording.
7. Drums – Acoustic Drums
* Tap “+” to create a new track.
* Select Drums and choose ‘Acoustic Drums’.
* With your fingers, explore the drumming options by tapping the drums and cymbals in different ways. For example, try drumming on different parts of the drums and using different degrees of force. Try using more than one finger on the cymbals and hi-hat.
* Set the playhead at the beginning of the track and press the red record button. As the track plays, drum along.
* Press the red record button to stop recording.
8. Drums – Beat Sequencer
The Beat Sequencer provides a set of drum options shown on the left of the screen. The chosen drum kit can be changed using the button at the bottom left of the screen.
* Tap the squares to the right of an element to define precisely when it is triggered.
* From the menu at the bottom you can adjust velocity (i.e. volume), note repeat, etc.
* You can try tapping the Patterns button and select from dozens of built-in presets.
* Use the Start/Stop button on the bottom middle of the screen to listen to and explore different possibilities.
* Select the 'Chance' option to add variations to your drum patterns so they sound a bit different each time they repeat.
9. Midi Keyboard
Play percussion sounds through a Midi Keyboard plugged into the iPad.


FAQs – Editing
Q1. How do I Rename a Track?
* Tap the track strip in the main window to select it.
* Tap again to see a menu of commands (Cut, Copy, Delete, etc); these are shown in white above the strip.
* Tap on the Rename command. Delete the existing track name and type in a new one.
* Press ‘Done’ (top right of the screen) to complete.
Q2. How do I Delete a Track?
The answer depends on what you want to delete.
To delete just the strip, leaving the header on the left in place:
* Tap the track strip in the main window to select it.
* Tap again to see a menu of commands (Cut, Copy, Delete, etc). These are shown in white above the strip.
* Tap the Delete command.
* Press ‘Done’ (top right of the screen) to complete.

To delete the entire track, including the header:
* Tap the header of the track (on the left of the main window) to select it.
* Tap again to see a menu of commands (Delete, Duplicate, Rename, etc). These are shown on a black band on the track strip.
Tap on the Delete command. The entire track immediately disappears and the other tracks move up to fill the space.
Q3. How do I Snap to the Beat – Quantizing
When you ‘play a part in’ using a virtual instrument (i.e. tapping a virtual instrument on the screen) you won’t always get the timings exactly right and your track’s rhythm can sound ragged. Quantization allows you to snap the timings of your recording into the correct beat.
* Tap the track to select it.
* Tap again to show the menu and select Settings.
* Tap Quantization.
Then set the length of beat to which the quantisation will snap (e.g. ¼, ⅛, 1/16 etc).
For information, ¼ of a note is defined as one beat in length.

Note: GarageBand automatically quantises for the recording of the first track, which is why it is a good idea to start with the rhythm part as your first recorded track. For the second and subsequent tracks (blue regions only), there is an option to ‘Follow Tempo & Pitch’ of the first track, which can be accessed from the track’s Settings menu.
Here’s how:
* Double tap the blue part of the track and select Settings.
* Switch on the option Follow Tempo & Pitch.
Q4. How do I Transpose to a Different Key?
For blue tracks that you have played in yourself on a real instrument, you can adjust several features such as tempo, key etc.
* Tap the track twice and choose Settings
Turn on ‘Follow Tempo & Pitch and a TRANSPOSITION option is displayed. * Use the –/+ buttons to transpose the track down or up by the number of semitones you require.
Note that you can make other track changes using this method including doubling/halving /etc its Speed and using Reverse to play a track (or part of a track) backwards.
Q5. How do I Change Tempo?
Usually the tempo of a song is selected at the start of a recording via the Selector (the Spanner icon).

An individual track
However, if you wish you can change the tempo of individual tracks to something else.
* Select the track.
* Tap Settings (the spanner icon at the top right of the screen). From here, you can adjust Tempo, Time Signature and Key Signature of the track.

The whole song
If you wish you can change the tempo of the entire song later.
* Tap on the main window in any part of the black space. You will see a short menu with the options ‘Select All’ and ‘Edit’.
* Tap ‘Select All’.
* Tap Settings (the spanner icon). From here, you can adjust Tempo, Time Signature and Key Signature of the whole song.
Q6. Can I Edit a Track after Recording?
If the instrument is a midi instrument (such as a synth, drum machine, or Smart Instrument, that appears as a green track), the answer is YES.
* Enter Tracks view, tap an audio region and select Edit from the menu.
* Tap a note to see the Edit menu, showing options such as Cut, Copy, Delete, etc.
* Hold and drag a note up or down to alter its pitch.
* Select a note, expand the screen (using ‘reverse pinch’) and change a notes position on the time line (dragging horizontally from the left of the note) or its duration (dragging horizontally from the right of the note).
FAQs – General
Q1. Why are Tracks Coloured Differently?
The track colour indicates type of recording it is.
BLUE regions are from:
* Audio Recorder and Amp recordings,
* from Apple Loops, and
* from imported audio files.
Note that Blue regions show the audio waveform inside the region.
Also if you change the tempo or key of a song, only Apple Loops will change to match the new tempo or key; blue regions from Audio Recorder and Amp recordings and from imported audio files do not change to match the tempo or key.

GREEN regions are from other touch’ instruments – for example …
Here the sound is generated in real time by the device; notes appear as rectangles inside these regions.
Note that if you change the tempo or key of a song, green Touch Instrument regions change to match the new tempo or key.

YELLOW regions are from Drummer.
Q2. What is 'Velocity'?
Velocity is a ‘techie’ word for ‘volume’ (i.e. loudness).
Q3. What's the Max Number of Tracks?
32
Q4. What's a DAW?
DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation. Garageband is a example of a DAW but there are others, including Logic Pro X, Pro Tools, Studio One, Ableton Live, and Cubase Pro.
As well as being an excellent DAW, Garageband has the added advantage of being free!
Q5. Can I Create Different Keyboard Sounds?
Yes! The keyboard can be used to mimic a wide range of other instruments. For example:
Tap ‘New Track’ (the ‘+’ symbol)
Tap: Keyboard ––> More Sounds.
Choose: ‘Other’, select ’Strings Sustain’ and play the tune on the on-screen keyboard. Your keyboard will sound like a violin, cello, etc.

If you have an external keyboard, connect your keyboard to the iPad and follow the procedure described above.
Q6. Can I Change the Tempo of a Track?
Usually the tempo of a song is selected at the start of a recording via the Selector (the Spanner icon at the top right of the screen). However, if you wish you can change the tempo of individual tracks to something else.
* Select the track.
* Tap Settings (the spanner icon at the top right of the screen). From here, you can adjust Tempo, Time Signature and Key Signature of the track.
Q7. Can I Change the Tempo of a Song?
Usually the tempo of a song is selected at the start of a recording via the Selector (the Spanner icon at the top right of the screen). However, if you wish you can change the tempo of the entire song later.

* Tap on the main window in any part of the black space. You will see a short menu with the options ‘Select All’ and ‘Edit’.
* Tap ‘Select All’.
* Tap Settings (the spanner icon). From here, you can adjust Tempo, Time Signature and Key Signature of the whole song.
Q8. Will I Need a Separate Keyboard?
An external piano keyboard is a very useful addition to GarageBand but if you don’t have one there are virtual equivalents. A piano keyboard is a major part of the interface when you select a relevant instrument.
When the Virtual Keyboard appears on the screen, there are several useful settings that are worth exploring. For example:
  • Use the Keyboard button to toggle velocity sensitivity or choose a new key ‘thickness’.
* Tap the Scale menu to restrict the available keys to those within a specific scale.
Q9. Does GB have a Pitch Tuner?
Yes it does but, weirdly, the pitch tuner (for tuning 'real' instruments) is found on the Amp track. Use it to make sure your ‘real’ instruments are in perfect tune. * Hit ‘+’ to create a new track and scroll to AMP. The pitch tuner is the little tuning fork symbol near the top right corner of the screen.
* Use the levels indicator to adjust the tuning of your instrument.
Q10. What Special Effects are there (e.g. Arpeggiator)?
One interesting special effect is the arpeggiator, which plays chord patterns by sounding each note in the chord separately.
To access GarageBand’s arpeggiator:
* Click “+” to add a new track.
* Scroll to Keyboard and tap ‘Smart Piano’.
* Choose an instrument – say, Keyboards ––> Grand Piano and tap Done.
* Making sure that ‘Autoplay’ is switched to OFF, tap the ‘five dots arrow’ button, and then switch on the ‘Run’ option that appears. * Experiment with Note Order, Note Rate and OctaveRange settings.
Q11. How Does the 'Chord Strip' Option Work?
The Chord Strip enables you to play chords in several interesting ways.
* Click “+” to add a new track.
* Scroll to Keyboard and tap ‘Smart Piano’.
* Choose an instrument – say, Keyboards ––> Grand Piano and tap Done.
* Tap the Chord Strip icon above and to the right of the keyboard.
The three shaded section at the bottom of each chord are the base notes; the five white sections are chord options for the chord you have selected. Note that the Chord Strip is very useful for quickly creating bass and rhythm tracks.