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01GarageBand can help with iffy tim­ing. Choose Track » Con­fig­ure

Track Header (or hit Alt-T and tick the Groove Track box). Mouse over the left edge of your drum track and click the yel­low star to make it the ‘groove mas­ter’. All other tracks now have check­boxes in their head­ers – tick the dodgy ones and they should now fol­low the tim­ing of the drums more closely.

02Avail­able with GarageBand 10.2,

Drum­mer Loops are essen­tially Drum­mer per­for­mances cap­tured as Ap­ple Loops and stored in the loop li­brary with reg­u­lar au­dio and MIDI loops. The ad­van­tage is that you can flick through the parts with your project run­ning and only drag in the ones you like, after which they can be edited in the Drum­mer Ed­i­tor the same as reg­u­lar Drum­mer re­gions.

03GarageBand con­tains a hid­den sampler called AUSam­pler, a ba­sic sampler that you can drag and drop au­dio files into to build new in­stru­ments. Cre­ate a Soft­ware In­stru­ment track and click the Smart Con­trols but­ton, then open the Plug-ins pane to the left of the con­trol panel. You’ll find AUSam­pler, (which can also load EXS24 files) in the popup plugin menu.

04If you have an iOS de­vice, you can use Ap­ple’s free Logic Re­mote iOS app to con­trol GarageBand re­motely. You can nav­i­gate and mix projects, record new tracks, and even play soft­ware in­stru­ments, all from a de­vice con­nected to the same wire­less net­work as your com­puter. The Down­load Logic Re­mote op­tion in the GarageBand menu will take you to the app’s iTunes Store page.

05When mix­ing your projects, you can dis­play the Mas­ter track in the main win­dow so that you can add ef­fects and au­to­ma­tion to the mas­ter stereo bus. Se­lect the Show Mas­ter Track op­tion in the Track menu, and ac­cess the plugin slots by click­ing the Out­put tab in the Smart Con­trols pane. The au­to­ma­tion lanes for all tracks can be re­vealed by press­ing the A key.

06If you find your­self re­stricted to only one key be­cause you only have one ver­sion of a par­tic­u­lar Ap­ple loop, se­lect Show

Trans­po­si­tion Track from the Track menu, and you can trans­pose whole sec­tions of your project sim­ply by plot­ting points on the curve. This will af­fect Soft­ware In­stru­ment tracks, pitched Ap­ple Loops and au­dio tracks with the

Fol­low Tempo and Pitch box checked.

07GarageBand’s Ar­range­ment Track is use­ful for try­ing out new ar­range­ments of ex­ist­ing projects (re­veal it by se­lect­ing Show

Ar­range­ment Track from the Track menu), but if you set up an ar­ray of ar­range­ment mark­ers at the start of a project, then add a Drum­mer Track, the Drum­mer Track will au­to­mat­i­cally pop­u­late your ar­range­ment with dif­fer­ent re­gions for each sec­tion. Very cool!

08The Quick Help but­ton, marked with a ques­tion mark in the top left cor­ner of the trans­port bar, en­ables GarageBand’s ‘self-help’ mode, of­fer­ing help­ful yel­low text boxes that ex­plain the func­tion of a par­tic­u­lar ob­ject when you hover your cur­sor over it. If you hover over the Quick Help but­ton it­self when en­abled, it dis­plays a set of tips for the app’s main work­ing ar­eas.

09If you start a project on GarageBand for iOS, you can use the iOS app’s Smart Touch in­stru­ments to quickly get down some ideas on the move, then im­port your iOS songs into GarageBand for OS X via the

File » iCloud menu. This is a one-way deal though — songs won’t go from Mac to iOS, be­cause the Mac app has ca­pa­bil­i­ties that just aren’t pos­si­ble yet on an iPad or iPhone.

10If you have a suit­able au­dio in­ter­face con­nected, you can record au­dio onto mul­ti­ple tracks si­mul­ta­ne­ously. With the Smart Con­trols pane open, click on the header of each track and se­lect the re­quired in­put chan­nel in the Record­ing Set­tings panel. Then press Alt-T to con­fig­ure the track head­ers and tick the Record En­able check­box. Then en­able each track and hit Record!

12GarageBand for OS X is an in­cred­i­bly pow­er­ful mu­sic-mak­ing tool. The lat­est up­date – ver­sion 10.2 – brings three new per­cus­sion play­ers to the Drum­mer track menu, open­ing up a plethora of pro­fes­sion­ally-played per­cus­sion grooves with which to en­hance your rhythm tracks. The Drum­mer in­ter­face has been slightly re­designed, so you’ll find the new play­ers in the Li­brary pane to the left.

13GarageBand’s colour-cod­ing of re­gions is based on the type of ma­te­rial they con­tain. MIDI re­gions are green, Drum­mer re­gions are mus­tard yel­low, recorded au­dio re­gions are blue, and im­ported au­dio re­gions are brown. But here’s a nifty trick - press­ing Ctrl-Alt-G con­verts all brown re­gions to blue ones, al­low­ing you to ad­just their tun­ing and tim­ing via the Fol­low

Tempo and Pitch fea­ture. 14 Make sure that your mixes are loud enough to com­pete with other peo­ple’s tracks by check­ing the Auto Nor­mal­ize check­box ( Pref­er­ences » Ad­vanced » Auto Nor­mal­ize). This will en­sure that your projects are ex­ported at full loud­ness when you mix down. A range of ex­port op­tions are avail­able from the Share menu, in­clud­ing shar­ing to Sound­cloud, iTunes or bounc­ing to disc or CD.

15The Smart Con­trols pane pro­vides quick and easy-to-nav­i­gate ac­cess to the pa­ram­e­ters of the currently se­lected in­stru­ment or plugin that you’re most likely to need to get to grips with. The lay­out de­pends on the kind of in­stru­ment or ef­fect you have loaded up, and you can use the but­tons at at the top of the pane to switch be­tween the Smart Con­trols and the Chan­nel EQ.

16GarageBand ships with loads of Ap­ple Loops, but mak­ing your own is sim­plic­ity it­self. Just record a part that you think would make a good loop, trim it to the right length and give it a suit­able name. Then se­lect File > Add Re­gion

to Loop Li­brary. Your loop will then be ac­ces­si­ble via the Loop Browser within any other project, and will fol­low the tempo like any other Ap­ple Loop.

17 18Us­ing the fac­tory tem­plates to start a project can save you a lot of set­tin­gup time. How­ever, you could save even more time when in­spi­ra­tion strikes by cre­at­ing your own cus­tomised project tem­plates. Set up your tem­plate, save it and drag it into the dock, then click to launch it. GarageBand has a built-in tuner, ac­cessed via the but­ton to the right of the LCD dis­play in the trans­port bar. This ex­am­ines the in­com­ing au­dio sig­nal, whether it’s from a con­nected mic or gui­tar in­put, and dis­plays the pitch on a cir­cu­lar read­out, so you can use it to check whether your in­stru­ment is in tune be­fore you record it.

19On Soft­ware In­stru­ment tracks, in the top-right cor­ner of the Smart Con­trols panel, there’s a but­ton whose icon looks a bit like the fly­ing saucer from a Space In­vaders video game. Click this to en­able a hid­den, pre­set-based arpeg­gia­tor. A gen­er­ous li­brary of pre­sets is ac­cessed via an ad­ja­cent popup menu, from which you can also edit note or­der, rate and oc­tave range.

The Con­fig­ure Track Header panel de­ter­mines which but­tons are vis­i­ble for each track

GarageBand 10.2’s Drum­mer in­ter­face has a bold new look

GarageBand’s got a hid­den arpeg­gia­tor that comes with a ton of use­ful pre­set riffs

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