Cre­ate a ring­tone in GarageBand, part 2

Use touch-con­trolled in­stru­ments to add melody to a ring­tone

Mac|Life - - CONTENTS - CraigGran­nell

Ap­ple’s touch in­stru­ments of­fer tac­tile mu­si­cal in­sight into tra­di­tional east­ern fare

In re­cent years, GarageBand’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties have ex­panded be­yond the gui­tars, drums, and synths that are most fa­mil­iar to Western ears. This hasn’t just been by way of new key­board pre­sets ei­ther — Ap­ple has added new touch–con­trolled world in­stru­ments, which of­fer tac­tile mu­si­cal in­sight into tra­di­tional East­ern fare.

In this tu­to­rial, we’ll be con­tin­u­ing to make a ring­tone (see April’s Mac|Life, is­sue 140), and us­ing two Chi­nese in­stru­ments — the erhu (a two–stringed bowed in­stru­ment) and guzheng (a plucked stringed in­stru­ment) — to add melody and at­mo­spher­ics to the eight-bar loop we al­ready filled with beats.

Be­cause these are touch in­stru­ments and smart in­stru­ments alike, they of­fer plenty of flex­i­bil­ity. If you want to pluck or strum vir­tual strings, that op­tion is avail­able. How­ever, in this tu­to­rial we’ll mostly be us­ing GarageBand’s Au­to­play func­tion­al­ity, so you can quickly lay down some pro­fes­sional–sound­ing audio even if you’re not par­tic­u­larly skilled with in­stru­ments.

Note that be­fore you be­gin, you’ll need to go to GarageBand’s Sound Li­brary (see bit.ly/gb­sndlib) and in­stall the Chi­nese Tra­di­tional touch in­stru­ment pack. Also, if you’re new to this tu­to­rial se­ries and haven’t got a drum track ready, cre­ate a new Drum­mer track and record eight bars of audio us­ing which­ever drum­mer and kit you pre­fer. Don’t worry about it sound­ing East­ern — the ring­tone we’re cre­at­ing is very much head­ing towards fu­sion ter­ri­tory, with a mix of acous­tic and elec­tric drums, world in­stru­ments, and — next is­sue — some vi­brant elec­tronic bass.

World in­stru­ments have also found their way into GarageBand’s acous­tic drum sec­tion — these Taiko Drums are from the Ja­panese Tra­di­tional pack.

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