Tag Archives: garageband

How to AutoTune in GarageBand


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This particular screencast was sent in by Elan. You might know him on the Web as App411. Here he’s going to show you how to use the Auto-Tune yourself in GarageBand. Auto-Tune was that funky robot effect that ruled the radio for a big chunk of 2008. Autotune is the effect made famous today by artists like T-Pain. Some swear by it, some condemn its usage. Whether you love the effect or hate it, I think you’ll have fun playing around with it.

The first step, of course, is to open up GarageBand, and open up a new project. Click on the voice tab, and name your project. Choose either the male or female basic track. Next, you’ll need to record a few notes. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a great singer. AutoTune will make you sound fantastic!

Next you’ll want to select the little button near the bottom-left that looks like a pair of scissors. You’re going to edit a part of the track that does not have your singing in it. Remove everything prior to – and after – your voice. Choose your desired volume. Elan chose to keep his at the default.

Next, you’ll go to the Advanced Tuning slider bar, and pull it all the way to 100. This will give you the full T-Pain effect. Choose whether or not you want to limit it to the key, and change the pitch if you like.

This was a great screencast, Elan! Thanks for sending it in. If any of you decide to create a track using these effects, make sure you share them with us so we can see what you’ve come up with!

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GarageBand Tutorial


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Today’s screencast is one that is both informative and fun. Alex is a GarageBand expert, and wanted to show all of you his tips and tricks. When I’ve used GarageBand in the past, I simply clicked on a lot of things and attempted to actually make something that resembled music. However, there are actually specific things that you can do. Who would have ever guessed?!

Once you open GarageBand, you’ll want to choose “Loops”. That lets you use all of the tracks included with the application, as well as adding in your own instruments. Name your recording whatever you choose. At the bottom, you’ll see options for changing the key, tempo and beats per minute. However, it’s usually better to change it from within your project.

Choose a category to the right of your project window. You’ll see a listing of all the tracks, and you should choose whatever one you like the most. You should play around by putting a few different tracks together, to see what works well together.

GarageBand allows you to change the length of each track in your project, as well as letting you fade tracks in and out. Alex gives excellent instructions for managing this, and plays his end result for you. It’s not difficult to do. I would have never figured it was this easy!

You can also record your own voice (or musical instrument!) and add it to your track. Use your built-in mic or external microphone. Create a new track, and choose “Software Instrument”. Once you’re all set, you can start playing your tune… and then save it. Play around with the different instruments that come included with GarageBand, and even add your own singing in there if you dare!

Once you are finished with your song, click on “Share”. You can now send your creation to different applications, such as to a CD burner or iTunes. Don’t compress the song file, or you will lose quite a lot of quality.

Thanks a lot Alex for teaching this old dog some new tricks!

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What’s New in iLife ’09 (iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb, GarageBand)?


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I am taking a look at the new iLife ’09 for Mac OS X. As of the day I installed this, January 26th, it wasn’t available to the public yet. Due to a misprint in a BestBuy ad, Danny was able to purchase his copy early. Taking a look at it, I’m already liking what I see. The four components of iLife are:

  • iPhoto – Organize photos two new ways: Faces, based on who’s in your photos, and Places, based on where your photos were taken. Then share on Facebook or Flickr with a click.
  • iMovie – Make a great movie in the time you have. Choose a dynamic theme to enhance your movie in seconds. Or refine every shot with the Precision Editor.
  • GarageBand – Learn to play piano and guitar. Learn songs from the artists who made them famous. Rock like a legend with new guitar amps and stompbox effects.
  • iWeb – Design a website to share your photos, movies, and music just by dragging and dropping. Add new dynamic widgets and publish and share with a click.

Danny says that he’s noticed no speed improvements, but has definitely gotten excellent functionality improvements. He says that it is definitely well worth the amount of money it cost to buy the software.

I’m big into shooting live-to-tape, via Ustream. However, after watching Danny play around in iMovie, I’m willing to give it another try. He loves iPhoto just as much, especially the capability to publish immediately to Facebook or Twitter. iPhoto also lets you organize your photos in ways you may not have even thought of before.

The new version of GarageBand allows you to “take lessons” from beginning to expert level. There are new guitar features, and full-screen capability!! Assign instruments and styles to your guitarist, bassist, drummer, and keyboard player. Shuffle instruments randomly to instantly hear a new sound from your backing band. Create a custom mix using volume sliders or by muting and soloing any instrument.

And then we come to iWeb. iWeb makes it simple to design your own website… a task that is difficult for many people. Start by picking an Apple-designed theme. Each theme comes with coordinated fonts, backgrounds, and colors to give your site a consistent look throughout. Next, choose your template, and customize it using the tools integrated in iWeb.

I’m definitely getting my copy this week and getting it installed… are you?

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Web Music Communities for the New Musician

From “shaggysi0” in our live chat:

I really love music. I play guitar and bass and use the PC as a recording tool, currently running Adobe Audition for music production, which I find is a good, feature-packed, but easy-to-use application. About a year and a half ago, I was looking for a place on the web to share music that I had created. I was already familiar with SoundClick but the interface just didn’t do it for me….

I stumbled across iCompositions. I had a look round and signed up almost immediately, because I was impressed with the layout, the content, and the simple-but-attractive interface. The website is aimed mainly at… wait for it…. Macintosh users producing music with GarageBand and other production tools for the Mac. They don’t, however, discriminate you if you’re not using a Mac! But so many of the community members have recommended GarageBand and mac in general for music production.

This website opened doors for me, because community members comment and rate yours and each others work, and they also offer to “collaborate” with you, maybe on a remix, play an instrument on a piece already recorded, vocals on an instrumental, or whatever you want, really! It’s like going into a studio with some really talented musicians but all done from the comfort of your own home. I have written and recorded several collaborations with members of the community, and have made a couple of good friends on there. I think that, for music, this could be the way forward! Especially with a good community like iCompositions, which is my main “home-base” for sharing my musical work.

What are your views and opinions on this? and do you think this is worth doing some kind of video on, maybe to bring attention to this and other communities for people who are budding musicians (there can’t just be me in the chat surely?!)

Thank you for what you do in the tech community. See you later.

Hey, I’m all for sites and services that give you opportunities previously unattainable. I can tell you that when I put out the call for a weekly giveaway theme, we received a handful of very usable creations almost immediately.

The Gnomedex Song

From Derek K. Miller:

Rather than ladling more crap for Chris and Ponzi to do at this late date, if you’d like a sample of your voice mail message about Gnomedex to be included and haven’t sent it already, record something TODAY and email it to me at dkmiller [.at.]pobox.com as an MP3 file or via http://www.yousendit.com/ NO LATER THAN THE END OF TOMORROW (Summer Solstice, June 21) – thanks. I’ll be releasing the final song as Creative Commons-Attribution (i.e. commercial use fine, remixing fine, re-recording fine, synch fine, whatever), and if I can find a way to post the original GarageBand and WAV multitracks without killing my bandwidth (maybe at archive.org), I’ll do that too.