Garageband is a software application developed by Apple that allows users to create music or podcasts. Whether you’re just toying around with it, or you plan to use it to record your next album, Garageband has some great tools. It’s a hefty application however, and something that you might need to spend some time with to fully understand how to utilize all if has to offer. To get you started, here are some tips to help your next Garageband recording sound great:
- Instrument Volumes: Professional recordings are mastered so that the track volumes are even. Make sure yours are even, too! If you’re recording something that’s plugged directly into the computer with a cable (electric guitar, bass, etc), make sure the input volume is around 75%, or just so it’s not hitting the red if you play hard. If you play too loud, it will distort. If you’re too soft, you’ll have trouble getting a good volume for your final mix.
- Tune Your Instruments: This goes without saying, but if you’re new to Garageband, it’s worth mentioning. Make sure you tune after each take to save yourself from having to rerecord down the line!
- Conserve Processor Power: Garageband files get pretty hefty pretty fast and will start to move a lot slower. So, to conserve space and avoid the annoyance of a dragging computer, go to the Track Info frame (Apple + I) and uncheck any plug-ins you don’t need. That will help free up some processing space.
- Easily Double-track: Double tracking is when you record two takes of the same part and lay them on top of each other to help to thicken vocals and other tracks. To do so, simply duplicate the original track (Trackà Duplicate Track) and rerecord your part onto the new track.
- Transform Instruments: What if you don’t have a bass but you want a bass part featured on your next song? With Garageband, you can turn the electric guitar that you own into a bass by recording your bass line an octave higher than you want it to sound when you’re finished. Open the Track Editor and move the Region Pitch slider down to -12. This brings the guitar loop down one octave, and should sound a lot like a bass. You can also play with a few other effects to get an even more realistic sound: compressor, equalizer, amp simulation.
Garageband is a great program for those interested in home recording. It allows musicians to play, write, record, mix and master in-home or anywhere.
Tell us what you think: What are some of your tips for using Garageband?
The SongCast Crew