Beginners Guide to GarageBand (Mac) - Let’s Write a Song | Mike Barnes | Skillshare

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Beginners Guide to GarageBand (Mac) - Let’s Write a Song

teacher avatar Mike Barnes, Music Instructor

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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.



    • 4.

      The Anatomy of Garageband


    • 5.

      Auto Drummer


    • 6.



    • 7.



    • 8.

      Recording Guitar/Bass


    • 9.

      Recording with a Mic/Vocals


    • 10.

      Making a Loop into a Song


    • 11.

      Mixing Intro


    • 12.



    • 13.



    • 14.



    • 15.



    • 16.



    • 17.

      Mixing Tips and Tricks


    • 18.



    • 19.



    • 20.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Beginners Guide to GarageBand (Mac) - Let’s Write a Song

In this class, you'll learn everything you need to get started with Garageband for Mac.

I’ve broken all the lessons down into three main sections to keep things as simple as possible:

  1. Anatomy  - When you first open up Garageband it can seem very overwhelming with so many buttons and options. But fear not, we’re going to break everything down in this first section! I’m going to guide you around the program so when you come to record you’ll know exactly what to do.

  2. Recording - Now that we know our way around the program it's time for the fun bit: writing and recording our song! We’re going to learn about virtual instruments, recording guitars/vocals, Garageband’s presets and loads of handy production tools.

  3. Mixing and Mastering - We’ve got our song, now let’s make it sound great. In this section, we’ll be talking EQ, compression, plug-ins/effects and an introduction to mastering to complete our song.

By the end of this course, you’ll have an in-depth understanding of Garageband and how to produce music.

I highly recommend listening to this course with headphones/decent speakers. Some of the audio examples I present are going to be hard to hear through laptop or phone speakers.

Click here for my Garageband IOS class

Meet Your Teacher

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Mike Barnes

Music Instructor

Top Teacher

Hey friends!

My name's Mike, I'm a 28-year-old musician and music instructor from the U.K. I've been playing, writing and producing music for the last 13 years. I co-run a music charity called T.I.M.E - Together In Musical Expression where I run music workshops and classes for people of all ages and abilities.


I believe EVERYONE has it in them to create beautiful music. It's just a case of letting go of expectations and having fun with the process of creating. 

Please feel free to get in touch with any questions or just to say hello!




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1. Introduction: [MUSIC] Hey guys. How's it going? I hope you're having a great day. Thank you so much for joining me here for my GarageBand Beginner's Guide. My name is Mike. I am a full-time musician and music instructor from the UK. I've been playing, writing, and producing music for the last 12 years and I co-run an organization and charity called T.I.M.E, Therapy in Musical Expression. We run music workshops and classes for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. In this class, I'm going to show you how to use GarageBand to produce amazing pieces of music. This class is going to be perfect if you're a beginner and you're completely new to producing and recording music, or if you've got a good bit of experience and you just want some extra clarity and understanding about how some things work. Together we're going to go step-by-step through the process of producing a track. We'll start with the anatomy of GarageBand and how to work our way around the program. We'll utilize MIDI and virtual instruments to build our song and make beats. We'll add loops and samples to add interest and bulk out our track. I'll show you how to record vocals, guitars, and other live instruments. I'll introduce you to effects like compression, EQ, panning, flex, and automation. I'll walk through how to edit, mix and master our song to make it sound polished and professional. I'm also going to be writing a song myself throughout the course so you can see the exact process that I go through to write, produce, and record a track. By the end of this course, you're going to have an excellent understanding on how to produce music that you're proud of. Thank you so much for watching this intro. I'm really excited to get started. Hope to see you in the class. [MUSIC] 2. Class Project : Hey, thank you so much for joining me here on my skillshare costs over the wonderful time. I hope you learned a lot and that it's really useful for you. Before we get started, I quickly wanted to talk about our class project. Our class project is going to be a safe space where you can post any loops, songs, ideas, covers, anything you come up with in Garageband. Feel free to post it in our class project is going to be a safe learning space where we can all just listen to each other stuff, inspire each other, get information, feedback, and critique, and just have a good time minute. Please. Please don't be scared about posting in there. It's only the people in this course that are going to be able to see you. It's not like posting it to YouTube or Facebook or anything like that. Recording and writing music ourselves is really great, but done with other people, it's made even better. Sometimes the most powerful mixing tool can actually be someone else ears, when you've spent a long time putting together a song you listen to over and over again and your ears and your mind becomes a bit fatigue to that. Sometimes hearing other people's opinions and other people's takes on it can be so helpful and can mean the difference between an okay track and a really special one. It will be really fun. I'd absolutely love to hear what you've written and recorded and what you learned from the class, without further ado, we're going to get into things I'll see on the next lesson. 3. Gear : Now, first of all, I'm going to talk a little bit about gear. Now, you don't need fancy gear at all to write, and record, and produce in GarageBand. There's lot of ways around things I'm going to go into a little bit later. This is just some of the gear that I personally recommend for some really good results. All of the gear I mentioned is going to be linked in the description if you'd like to buy any of it yourself. The first bit of gear I'm going to talk about is headphones. Now, this is probably one of the most important things I'm going to put on this list. Trying to mix, and master, and write with the laptop's speakers is just not going to work. The base response and the clarity on them just really, really isn't good. A lot of the software instruments and virtual instruments you hear from GarageBand are almost going to be inaudible without a decent pair of headphones or a good pair of studio monitors. Now, if you can't afford some studio headphones, even just a pair of in-ear buds will be great. Over-the-ear headphones are the best, but just work with what you've got. Even if you've just got those Apple earbuds, they'll be totally fine for now. These headphones that I'm using are the Audio-Technica-M50x. Next up, we're going to talk about MIDI keyboards. What MIDI keyboard is, is it, basically, acts as a trigger for the virtual instruments that are going to be in GarageBand. We're going to talk more about virtual instruments later. A virtual instrument can literally be anything, and on GarageBand, we have tons and tons of different sounds like bases, cellos, anything you could think of. We use our MIDI keyboard to trigger those sounds. We don't need tons of instruments in our house. You don't have to have a MIDI keyboard to trigger these sounds. I'm going show you a way around it later, but it's just really nice to be able to play those notes on a keyboard. I really like this MIDI keyboard because it's got some drum pads on it. If we're going to drum in your parts, that's really fun for that. It's got this really cool expression wheel, which changes the sound. It's just an all around great keyboard. Link is in the description. Alongside the MIDI keyboard, a sustained pedal. Super, super useful. They're pretty cheap. You can get them off Amazon. They just sustain the notes that we're going to be playing on our MIDI keyboard. Next is our microphone. I'm actually using my microphone now. I'll show it here. I've got a Rode NT1, which is a condenser microphone, which is really good for recording all sorts of things, but particularly, guitar, vocals. Now, condenser microphones can be quite expensive. There's a lot of ways around this. You can get a USB microphone, which plugs straight into your laptop. The Blue Yetis are really, really popular. If you're really on a budget, you can even get something like this, which is just a 10 pound microphone. It's actually surprisingly good for recording vocals and guitars and stuff. Next up is an interface. What an interface does is, takes an audio signal, like for microphone or a guitar, and puts it into our computer. The one I'm using is a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. I think, I'll put the link in the description, but this is just really great. It's got a lot of good tools and outputs and B-rolling. Again, if you're on a budget, the USB microphone is a great way to go. If not, you can get these quite little audio interfaces. This one is just for recording guitar. That's an option if you don't want to spend on a big interface. Monitors. Studio monitors or any speakers will be really, really great for hearing your song and recording back. I currently don't have any monitors myself because I'm living in a one-bedroom flat. I've got kids down there and kids over there. I really can't make a lot of noise. I predominantly use headphones for all of my bits and pieces. If you're working on a newer MacBook, it might be worth looking into one of those extension ports that you can plug into that USB-C. You can get some extra USB ports, HDMI, all that good stuff so that you can plug in a MIDI keyboard, your interface, any bits and pieces you want. Hard drive. A lot of the newer MacBooks run out of space really quickly because they're limited on storage. A hard drive's just going to help you throw all of those demos, tracks, plugins onto your hard drive so that it frees up loads of space on your MacBook. Now, if you want to be really fancy, you can also use a monitor. If you've already got a monitor at home, you can plug in your MacBook and it will stretch GarageBand over the screen. This is really nice. It just gives a bit more space for the program. Things aren't as cluttered up, but this is totally, totally optional. It's only if you've got one laying around or you're that way inclined. That's it for gear. Now, let's move on to the program itself. 4. The Anatomy of Garageband : Okay, so when we first open GarageBand, this is the screen that it's going to show us. So before we do anything, I just want to remind you to update your GarageBand and update your OS. If there's any problems or bugs, this is going to sort all that out. The second thing we want to do before we do anything, is click up here on GarageBand, go to sound library and click on Download All Available Sounds. So just about all of GarageBand sounds are in this download and they're going to help out so much later.To be honest, they are what makes up most of GarageBand. It's an easy thing to miss. So make sure you download that before we get started. Okay, so the choose your project screen, we're not going to worry about these things down here too much yet, these just like lessons and presets, but it's going to be much easier if we start with an empty project. Now if we click this little arrow down here, it'll bring up our details. So let's just go through this quick. First is our tempo. This is going to be the speed of our song. Don't worry about any of this if you don't know the key and the tempo stuff of the song you want to make right away because all of this can be changed later. But if we do know the tempo of the song you want to create, then now's a great time to put it in. What I quite like to do is just vibe on this Tap Tempo and just get a rough feel of the song we want to make. So that's just going to match it to the BPM or the tempo of the song by me tapping on there. We just go. I quite like 75. That sounded good. Don't worry about this too much if you don't know the Key Signature of your song, only really ties into a couple more advanced things, so if you don't know honestly don't worry. However, if you are musically minded and you know, that's great. Time signature, we're just going to go full for today to keep it nice and easy. But you can select 3,4, whatever time signature you want. Then we just want to make sure that we've got input and output device set. Mine is a weird one because I'm currently recording the screen. Yours should be built in Output, or your monitors, or wherever you're using to Output. Mine is normally the interface actually yours might be the same. Input device I'm just going to use Built-in Microphone for now. I'm going to put in my MIDI keyboard and my interface a little bit later. Okay, so once we've done that, let's click Choose and we're going to open up Project. It's going to ask us what instrument we want to put in. So you've got MIDI keyboard, Microphone, connected guitar bass, also Drummer. For now I'm just going to run down the program, we're going to get into how to put these in a bit later. Just for example, I'm going to put in a software instrument for now, click Create, and this is the screen we're going to come up to. Just for now, we're going to delete this Musical Typing. I'm going to get into that later. This is our home, this is GarageBand. Let's just run down everything on this page. It can look really intimidating to start, but I promise you'll get your head around it really quickly and before you know it, you'll know a lot of back your hand. So first of all up here, is our library. I want you to imagine this like you have a room in your house, and in that room is just like, every cool instrument Amp you could ever think of.This links into our saying earlier about our virtual instruments. So as you can see on this list, we've got tons of instruments that we can use, so we can trigger all the sounds using MIDI. I'm going to show you that a little bit later. When I talk about library and selecting a MIDI instrument or a preset, this is what I'm talking about. Next up, is probably one of the most helpful things that I'm going to show you and that's the Quick help button. So when we have this clicked on, its going to give us a little description about what everything does in GarageBand. So you pretty much don't need me. I'm joking, please don't go away. We can just hover over with our mouse and it's going to show us exactly the description of each thing. Okay, next up is our Smart controls button. Depending on what instrument we've got selected, it's just going to bring up the controls for the instrument. So as you can see here which got Treble bass and some of the controls for the instrument. Next we've got the Edit and we're going to come to this a little bit more later. This is where we actually edit either the audio or the MIDI track itself. We can rearrange it, cut it up. I'm going to show you that a little bit later. Turn that off for now. The next thing are our Media controls, so pretty straight forward, rewind, pause, play. This is the record button and this is the cycle button.This is really cool when we have this selected, everything within this yellow bar is going to be repeated. So if we're trying for multiple takes or we're mixing and we just want to hit the same thing over and over again to get the right sounds, we can use this. Now we can actually move this cycle bar up and down. We can make it longer and shorter. Just make it work for us. Next, we've got our Beat and Bar. This is just a display of what's happening with the song. We've got a Tempo, a Key, a Time signature. That's just going to display where we are on the track and you can see how that changes the bar and the beat depending on where we are in the song. We can actually change these. We can change it from Beats & project, Beats &Time, Beats, Time on itself. These are all just change depending on what we have selected. Let's leave it on Beats & project for now. Next up is the Tuner. This is for stringed instruments. If you want to tune them up, really useful. I haven't got anything, select their minutes. I can't bring up though we'll get that later. Next is the Count in. Again, quite self-explanatory. This is going to be the tool that counts as in. So just for example, if I was to record with this electric piano, I'd hit record and it's going to count as in. We could also change this to two bars so if we want a longer Count in, that's an option. Next is our Metronome. This is just going to be, the click. Its going to keep us in time throughout the song. Now, if you coming with ideas, it's fine if you don't play along with a Metronome, but if you plan to really build the song, please play along with the Metronome. Stay in time. It makes things so much easier later down the line. Here we have our Master volume, again, quite self-explanatory. We have our notepad, which is just that, a Notepad. If we count in with any ideas. We have our loops. We're going to get into this a little bit more later. This is basically a load of preset sounds from GarageBand that we can drag into our project to help beef it out. Then we have our media browser. This is where we can just put in any tracks or loops that we have from our computer. Don't worry about that too much. Okay, so this Plus two is going to allow us to add in another instrument. It takes us back to that beginning screen so we can start to layer up some instruments. This is our Catch Playhead. All that's going to do is, when we have it selected, its going to follow our Playhead along. For example, if I zoom in, find our Playhead, It's going to follow us throughout the track but it ever turned off, It's going to get a screen and we're not going to follow anymore. On our instrument panel, we have a couple different tools here. The first one is to mute the track. This next one is to solo it, so if there's lots of other sounds going on, we click this and it's completely soloed we'll only hear what's selected by the solo headphones button. Then we have our volume and our pan. What the pan does, is move the sound left or right. So I'm going to really quickly record something and then I'm going to show you a couple of other little tools. Once we have that recorded, We have a couple of options here. If we move our cursor down to the bottom half of this track, we can trim it or lengthen it. If we go to the top half we can lift it. So basically what that's doing is just copy and pasting it. If you've got like a drum track or a bass part that we just want to repeat it and repeat it, we can use this to leap out. What we can also do with this is just move it around so if we want to move into a different place, we can do that too. Lastly, we've got this little toddler over here, and this is just going to zoom us in and out, or we can use the Pinch poor thing on our track pad. Now I can do the same. This review of noting as well on this Edit tab, you can redo and undo if you make any mistakes. Cool so that is pretty much the autonomy of GarageBand, and now we can move on to the next lesson. 5. Auto Drummer: We're going to talk about automatic drummer. The automatic drummer in GarageBand is a really, really useful tool we can use to create beats, drum loops, even if you have a great understanding of how drums work and go together. To select our automatic drummer, we want to click this plus tool, and we want to select automatic drummer. Let's hit Create. Cool, it's going to going to bring up this screen. Let's start on the left side of the screen. Here we can select what drummer we want to use. Now, you can literally think of all these drummers like different people, they're all going to have their own different styles, their own flares, the different ways of playing. Depending on what category you want to pick, we're going to have this selection of different drummers. Depending on what sound you want, that's for now let's go to R&B and go to Curtis. So selecting your drummer is going to completely change the drum track. Let's have a listen to that now. We've got really good drum sound there. Now if you like that, you can totally stick with the first preset you're given, but we have lots of options here to change the sound depending on what we want. First of all, we can actually change the drum kit that's being played. These are all different drum kit sounds that we can select from. Let's try Brooklyn. So it's just going to completely change the sound, pick whatever one you like, whatever works for you. You can also use electronic drums, so if you are like an 808 or anything techie, that's there tool. To bring up that previous edit pad, we're going to come up to the edit tool again. This is going to show us our editing tools for our automatic drummer. Down here you've got the preset. So these are just preset beats and it's going to be the same drummer, the same style, but he is going to change up how he plays. Let's just go for a couple of these. Cool, so they're all a little bit different. Now what we can do to change these even more is use this grid here. Now you can probably read it says, loud, soft, complex, and simple and depending on where we drop this yellow dot is going to change. If you want something simple and soft, we can bring it down here and equally, if you want something loud and complex, we bring it out there. Then what we can also do is change what drums are being played. If you want to hear some cymbols, let's try that. To make this a little bit clearer, I think I'm just going to select a acoustic drum kit sound again, let's bring our editor backup. Let's say you wanted Hi-Hats. What we can also do if you notice these numbers here, each number, we'll just change slightly how that part of the drum kit is being played, in this case the High-Hat. So we have six different Hi-Hat rhythms there, so let's try six. Cool, nice one. You can do the same kick in the snare, we could have percussion and we've got claps, rack, and tumborins, so that adds to it too. Then this next button is super-duper cool, so it's the follow tool. If we've got something only recorded like a keyboard or a guitar or a bass clicking this will allow us to follow that instrument that we've already recorded. Let's just record a quick beat of electric piano. Then if we select our drum editor again, click on Follow, and then we're going to select the classic electric piano, then that kick and snare is going to follow the piano. Just really cool too. let's say you've got a drum sound that you really like for your verse, but you wanted to change the next set of drums up for a chorus. Say you wanted it to be like louder, a bit bigger, maybe use some symbols instead of a Hi-Hat. We can click on this Plus button and it's going to add another drummer region and now we can do all the same effects that we've used down here to change up the beat that's been played. We can make it sound bigger for a chorus or whatever. If we make this first section, like [inaudible] , so make that so soft. Let's go like around there, I see L_1 on the Hi-Hats. Let's hear how that sounds. That sounds really nice. Now I want to change up the second one to somewhat a chorus. That's looks perfect, loud and complex, I'm going to select the cymbals. Let's use some claps instead. Let's listen to that transition from verse to chorus now. That sounds great. Then if we slide this drum track over a little bit. Now I'm just using two fingers to slide to the left, it's going to bring up these fills and swing. That just again changes the sound up, if you want more fills, we can drag this up higher, if we want more of a swing to the drums, we can adjust this too. Let's make it quite filly, and let's put it on 60 percent swing. Lets hear how that sounds. That sounds pretty cool. That's pretty much the automatic drummer, have a really good play around with this and get some cool beats going. Don't worry if you want to put in your own drums, I'm going to explain that next. hope you join me on the next lesson. 6. Midi: Next up, we're going to talk about one of my favorite things about recording, and that's MIDI. MIDI is basically a way of triggering a virtual instrument. In GarageBand, there's lots of different virtual instruments that we can trigger using MIDI. You've got drums, bases, strings, keyboards, just about anything you could think of, there's a virtual instrument for. We have a couple of ways of triggering MIDI. The first and my favorite way is using a MIDI keyboard to trigger those sounds, but we can also get a virtual MIDI keyboard in GarageBand. If we come up here to window and click on Show Musical Typing, it's going to bring up this virtual MIDI keyboard. Let's click Classic Electric Piano and then we could use the keys on our laptop to play the instrument. So you see how they grayed out with the ones I'm pressing down. This is a way of inputting media if you'd like to. You've got the sustained band here on tab. You can select your Octave, or we can move this blue bar up and down the keyboard to select the octave that way. Cool. One of the things that I don't particularly like by using this method is the velocity. When you're playing on a MIDI keyboard, it senses how hard you're pushing down the keys, so there's more of a dynamic there, and you don't get that playing through the laptop keyboard. However, you can adjust the velocity using these buttons. CSZ and V, and that will play a quieter or louder depending on the sound. You can also use this pitch bend and modulation. This is going to just change ever so slightly. This is where I'm going to start to really think about the song that I want to write. For me myself I want to play in my own MIDI drum idea, and so I'm going to delete these tracks. When we thought about what media shouldn't we play in, we just go to this Plus button, and we're going to click Software Instrument, let's click Create, and then it's going to bring us back over to the library where we can select what instrument we want. I'm personally going to start with a drum kit, but you can start wherever you'd like. If you'd like start with the bass part, or if you'd like to start with the piano part, you do that. I quite like working from a drum part first, I feel like that gives it a lot of rhythm and direction, so I'm going to start there. I think I'm going to pick an electric drum kit and I always since we are really popular now. I think I'm going to give it a go today. I'm quickly going to find the kick and the snare go. There's two different sit snare sounds there. So once you found a sound you happy with and you're ready to record, you just want to come up here, click this record button, and it's going to count us in. What I'm going to do this song is I'm going to double the tempo just so I can get more clicks. I find it easier to keep in town would have left got more clicks going on here. So I'm going to make that a 149. What I'm going to do is I would like a two bar count int give me eight buzz so I've got a bit more time to get ready. I'm going to keep it really simple today and just make a simple basic song. What I'm going to do is I'm just going to keep a four-bar loop to start to keep it really easy. That just means that I'm just going to record within this little space. I'm going to build up all the instruments over the course, and then I'm going to split them down to make your song later on. That's just a really easy way I find of making a song structure. We've got our kicking our snare there, but I would like to add some high hats on. Now what you can do with MIDI? Even after we've recorded, you can then record over the top and it will just add on top with the strong key for example, you can make tons of different sounds altogether using the same MIDI file. But for now I'm just going to add some high hats on top. There's my high hat. Just like before, we're going to select our drum kit, hip Record. Cool. That's just about right. Don't worry if your MIDI recording isn't absolutely perfect, and we can do a couple of things a little bit later on to put it in time and just make it sound really tied. Cool. I'm happy with that drum track, so now I'm thinking that I'd like to add some base of top so I'm going to select software instrument again, Create a new track and let's go to Base. These are more of the traditional bases, so make sure you look through this library. There's so many cosines and it could be really inspiring to just have a good play around with some of the instruments there on him. That sounds crazy. Now it's like a correlate sound. Let's go with that. Again, I'm just going to select the same device. I'm going to hit Record, and let's proceed over the top. It could be as simple as that. I think I want to add like an Octave to that. I'm going to play that on the Octave above. Hit record. That's ain't how feel about that. The idea is okay, but I want to change it up a little bit, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to hit this edit tool, and it's going to bring up this MIDI editor, which is really great. I'm going to get rid of libraries, so I've got a bit more space and I'm going to pull this up so I can see the MIDI editor a bit clearer. What you can do here is we can adjust the MIDI notes even after we play them, because this is all software based. We can alter it and change it. even though I haven't played it. The other way of inputting MIDI that was talking about earlier is using the Pen tool. If we press down Command, you can see that it brings up this Pen icon, you see that? So what we can do with this is actually input notes manually, and you can see the keyboard there for reference. What we can do with these MIDI notes, you can shorten them or lengthen them. We can move them around. So if you want to change without me know is. What we can also do is change the velocity. A little bit like I was saying earlier that dynamic and feel of the instrument we can change. If I wanted to make this note softer, I select it and I'd go down to velocity, and I just turned it down. Equally, I can bring the velocity up and make it heavier. What we can do is transpose. So using this tool down here, we can bring the pitch of the notes up. Oh man, I'm making a mess of this. What we can also do is highlight a Calvino's that time and then we can shorten them altogether or move them around together, so I'm just going to delete these for now, and I'm going to change what I've already played. I think I want to make the bass parts like the most harmonized with each other. So I'm going to suddenly adjust the velocity of these. Bring that down a tiny bit, but like that. That sounds cool. So now this notes comes in ever so slightly early, so I'm just going to cut that off a little bit. Now the really powerful tool we have in GarageBand is the Quantize tool. Basically we're, the quantize tool is going to do, is it's going to drag the notes in time. It's the bass part is pretty in time now. But if we got the drums, I think there's some changing we could do. They're more or less in time, but because we're using an electronic drum kit, I wanted to sound like it's a drum machine, like it's almost like robotic. I'm going to select this Region button and I'm going to use the Quantize tool which is here. It's going to ask you what the nearest note you want it to be dragged too. If you're writing in triplets, you can do that. I think most people are going to use the Quantize notes here that you can use these down here if you want a bit of swings the Quantize it's not as perfect. Just have a play around with the Quantize tool. I'm not going to get to inside the maps of notes and beats, but most of the time you'll find it works best within one four one eight or one 16. I'm just going to go for 1 8, and now you may have not seen that, but what the Quantize tool just did there is it shifted over notes into the right place. So she sung like this. Yeah, how great is that? Although the Quantize tool is so handy and really powerful at making a track sound really tie and really together, it does remove that human element. So if you're trying to make a song that has that human feeling to it and suddenly there's not quite perfect, and you can use this Strength tool to select how hard you want the Quantize it to work. If you watch, I'm going to zoom in, and as we adjust the strength, those notes are going to go slightly back at a time, and the more we drag the strength up, is going to make them more perfect. Now, because I'm using like an electronic drum kit, I want it to sound like a robot. Almost wanted to sound like an old school drum machine, is by nature perfect. But it's totally depending on what sound that you want. But just keep in mind, if you're always using the Quantize strength at a 100 is going to sound a little bit robotic. But we can also do with the Quantize tool is sometimes just select the notes we want to be quantized, and you can see it pops up there. So we can just quantize a couple notes at a time if you'd like. That is how we use MIDI in GarageBand. Now this can be so powerful and you can write whole songs just using the software instruments provided in GarageBand. If I had a lot of my favorite artists have just used those instruments in GarageBand and logic to create their songs. So yeah, get experimenting, get playing around, and see what you can come up with. I'll see you on the next class. 7. Loops: Welcome back. Next we're going to talk about loops. Loops are really, really easy and straightforward to use and we can find them up the top right-hand corner with this little loop button. What loops are, is they're just like pre-made little sounds and jingles that we can take and put into our song. All of them are copyright free, so you can obviously use any of them, you want it that way, but any of that. Let's just have a listen to a couple. That's the variety you can get with Apple Loops. We can narrow down the loop that you want to search for it so we can select from Instrument, Genre or Description. I think I want to add some pile like hi-hats on top of the beat I've already got. We can either look through using these categories or you can type in, say, hi hat and it will give you all the different hi-hats. That was really cool. Yeah, man, sounds really cool. I love that one. Let's use that. All we have to do once we found a loop that we like is take it and drag it in and it's going to create it's own track so there we go. There is our hi-hat and what a lot of these loops do is they will match the tempo set on your song, so we don't need to worry about uttering them to make them match up. That should do it all automatically. Let's see how that sounds all together and that sounds very good. Because I'm sick into a loop, I'm not going to add too much salt of ambient loops right now. I'm just going to look for something that we can maybe put in later. That's another thing that loops are really good for is a lot of them can be just ambient sounds or noise that can just add that extra laity to a song. Earlier I found these ones, they're called robot, yeah, these Robot beeps. Nice one. I really like those so I'm going to add that in for now, I'm going to mute it for now and I'm just going to add it in later. Nothing that's going to add a bit more interest where the song may empty out or yeah, we'll just see what we can fit it in later. By the rest of tracks in Garage Band, we can we can loop them. We can copy and paste them and yeah, just use these to add atmosphere and to [inaudible] your song and that's about a for loops. Have a really good experiment. Get listening to some experiment with how they will work with your song and yeah, have a good time with the loops. I'll see you on the next lesson. 8. Recording Guitar/Bass: Next we're going to talk about recording guitar and bass. You can see I've got my nice blue guitar here. To record guitar and bass, we're going to need a bit of kit that I talked about earlier, and that is our interface. I'm using my Scarlett 2i2 to record my vocals in a minute. I'm going to be using this JAM device to record my guitar. Now we just want to make sure it's plugged in. We can go up to preferences to make sure that we have the input device selected, so you can see here it's already found it and it's using the JAM device. Once that's configured, all we've got to do is plug in. The most important thing about recording audio of any kind is getting our gain staging right. On any interface, you should have a gain control. What we want to do is play at the volume that we're expecting to record with. We just want to make sure that our gain display isn't peaking. On this JAM device, you can see there's a little light that's going green. What that will do, if I turn the gain up and play, you'll see that's going red, that means its peaking. That will be very similar on most audio devices. The main thing we want to do is make sure that it's not peaking. If it's a little bit quieter, it's much easier to fix later, but if it's peaking, the audio quality will just be ruined. I'm going to play at the level that I'm going to record at. I'm just going to adjust it so that it sits comfortably in the green. Perfect. Then we're going to add in the guitar track. We're going to come back up to that plus button and we're going to select guitar or bass. If your interface has multiple inputs, it will give you a selection here as to what inputs you want to use. Mine one has only got one, so we're just going to go with one. Then it's going to ask us if we want to hear our instrument as we play and record. I definitely do, so I'm going to make sure that's ticked and click "Create". Because we've told it It's a guitar we're inputting, it's brought up automatically, this library of sounds that we can use for our guitar. All these are going to be different amps, different pedals, different effects. There's tons of them here and I'd really recommend you just have fun playing around with them. That's the best way to figure out the sound you like. I could go through them all, but I'd be here forever. I'm just going to have a good play about with some of the different sounds and I'm going to pick one I like. I really, really liked that one. I'm so sorry if I keep saying cool, over and over again. I've just noticed that I keep doing that. I'm very, very sorry. We've got a rough sound we like. Now what we can do is adjust this sound, just like we would if we had a guitar amp in front of us. We can toggle on our smart controls here, and it brings up a couple of suggested controls. Again, this works just like your guitar amp. We can change these depending on what sound we want. We can adjust the gain. I might bring that up a tiny bit, I might reduce the tone a tad. If you want a bit more depth to designing a guitar or bass sound that you like, we have this really cool options for GarageBand with an amp designer. You can see it down here, the button for open amp designer. If we click on that, it brings up this amp. What I love about this is it works just like an amp in front of you would. Again, we can play about with all these controls, find a setting we really like. What we can also do is change the kind of amp that we're using. We've got different models, amps, cabinets, so much cool stuff to play around with here. I think I'd like to add a bit more reverb, so I'm going to switch that on. I love the sound of that. I might tune the mids down the tiny bit. There I go again, saying cool. Stop. Stop. What we can also do is change the mic that's being used. This is a little bit confusing because it's all digital. You think, well, there is no mics involved. How lots of people record guitar and particularly how they used to record guitar in the old days was by putting a mic in front of the speaker, and this emulates that. We can choose a different mic depending on the sound. Let's go for a dynamic mic. What we can also do is change where it sits in front of the cabinet. Depending on where we move this, we're going to get a completely different sound. This is right the center on the speaker, right up close to it. If we move it further away, it'll get a bit more airy. Nice. Have a good play around with that. I personally really like to read them one-to-one. I thought that sounded great. Let's head back to our track and record our guitar part. I'm going to use the cycle function here, and I'm just going to loop the first four bars while I'm trying to come up with an idea. I think I'm just going to keep it really simple and I'm going to follow what the bass is doing. There we are. Cool. I've got my idea there and now I'm ready to record. What I'm going to do is I'm going to drag the cycle length over to eight bars, and then I'm going to loop my drums and my bass. Because what I want to do is, I want to get a bit of variation with the guitar playing, I don't want it to just sound like a loop. If we record eight bars, it will just vary up that bit and keep it fresh. When we are ready to record, we've just got to tap on our guitar track and hit record. Nice. What happened there, is because I've been using the cycle feature my guitar looped over itself. With MIDI, they stack, but with audio inputs, they're going to create different takes. If you can see, there's a little number 2 up here. If we click on that, we can see the different texts that we've recorded, and then we can pick our favorite from that. I think take one was okay. I think I'm going to do another quick recording, just so I'm happy, but this is how we select what type we want. I like how that sounds so far. What we can also do to change up our guitar sound is use pedals. Right by the amp designer, you can see this little pedal button. So if we click on that, it brings up a pedal board. This is really great. It works just like a pedal board would in real life. As you can see here, we've got a ton of different pedals, phases, tremolo's, compresses, delays. All we have to do is drag them into our pedal board, and then that adds to our effects loop. You control them just like you would a pedal in real life. We can just turn these dials to change the sound of this delay. Have fun with the pedal board, get really experimental, try lots of different things and get a sound you're happy with. I nearly forgot, the tuning tool. Again, when you're using a stringed instrument, you can use this tuner to keep in tune. Always tune your instrument before recording. I know it's an obvious thing, but it's very, very important. I've made the mistake of not tuning many a time. I know I've explained all this with a guitar, but all the steps are exactly the same for the bass. You just want to find the bass category in your library, and all the amp designer, the pedal board are all in the same place. Have fun recording with your guitar and bass. Next we're going to talk about recording with a microphone and some more specifics around recording vocals. I'll see you there. 9. Recording with a Mic/Vocals: Okay, next we're going to talk about recording with a microphone and some more specifics around recording vocals. There's two simple steps to record them with a microphone. The first one is distance, how far away we are from the microphone, and the second is gain, it's literally as easy as that. Distance, when you're using like a condenser mic, the general rule of thumb is that you should be about eight inches away, I tend to do that and then measure that from the microphone itself. The reason I say eight inches away is because if we're too close to the microphone, any tiny little movement we make is going to slightly change the sound and we want to make sure the vocals is nice and consistent we can get close to the microphone if we want, like a voiceover or something deep, and bassy. Just keep in mind that we've got to be careful with moving in front of the microphone when we're that close. The next step is gain. We want to make sure that when we're recording vocals, that were not peaking, if we're a little bit too quiet, that can be more easily adjusted afterwards, the main thing we want to make sure is that we're not clipping, that will ruin the audio. On your interface or USB microphone, you should have a gain dial of some sort. Now there should be a display to tell you when your microphone is clipping. It will go red or orange when it's starting to clip, so you want to make sure to turn again down when it's getting to that level. Now, obviously you can record any instrument with a microphone, be it guitar, violin, and there are many different setups and techniques that people use to get the best sound from those instruments. I suggest if you've got a specific instrument, you want to know how to mic up, experiment and see what you like the sound of. There's lots of YouTube tutorials out there, which will give you a much better specific understanding as to how to mic up your instrument. Because I'm using my microphone to record right now, I'm going to be using this cheap ten pound microphone I got off Amazon to explain a couple of things. It's noticed that I've plugged in a microphone. I'm just going to click "Use". Once you have your microphone plugged in, you want to go to the plus button again, and you want to select "Record Using a Microphone", and this is where you can select the microphone. If you're using a interface, you want to make sure that you selecting it on the right input, and if you want to hear yourself while you're recording, you can tick this box here. Let's click "Create". Because this microphone is cheap, it doesn't have a gain dial, but I can see from GarageBand whether it's clipping or not. You can see now that it's nicely in the green. We are not going into clipping territory. If I was to tap it. You can see there is that orange, that's where you want to avoid. We do not want clipping in our recording. If you're using a proper microphone, you'd have to test this, make sure it's got into the green, and then what you want to do is, sing as loud as you plan to in your recording, and if it's peaking, just take it down a bit. If your microphone doesn't have again dial, you can click on the audio track, go down to Plug-ins, select this highlighted box, and scroll down to "Utility", and then Gain. That was a little bit tricky to find but it comes in useful when mixing. If we need to adjust the gain here we can. This microphone is looking fun for the minute, so I'm just going to turn that off. When we're ready to record, we've got hit that record button and it'll count us in 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2. Do you think I was going to sing? I can't sing. That's just to give you an idea on how to code your vocals. Now, I cannot sing at all, I'm not even going to try, and luckily, I have a fantastic friend called Harriet, and she recently recorded some wonderful vocals for something we're working on. I'm going to show you some of the presets and effects using her voice. I'm sure you'd much rather hear hers than mine, trust me. Okay. This is the track that I've been working on with Harriet, ignore the boxes and stuff. It's a massive message. It's a work in progress. This is what she recorded, " you live by youself, sleep in the middle, go to make your bed, but some-." Beautiful, right? Lovely, amazing vocals, much better than mine. Once you've recorded your vocals, there's a lot of presets that GarageBand gives you to be able to basically mix them with one-click. It's amazing. We're going to click on the audio track, and clock to library and here's where the presets live. Because we're using a voice, we're going to click on voice. So yeah, these were the presets, and I like compressed, natural and tracking vocal personally. But again, have a good play around with all these presets. See what sounds you like. I think for Harriet's, I'm going to use natural vocal. Let's see what difference that made. "You live by yourself, sleep in the middle-" It's made that even better. What that's done is just applied a load of preset effects, compression, reverb to make them sound like that. If you want to edit the vocals a bit more yourself, if you go into the smart controls, you can see down here that we've got, yeah, tons different controls that are going to change the track. If you're more reverb, if you want to add some highs, add some compression. All of them here. So just for the sake of it, let's see what compressed vocal sound like. "You live by yourself, sleep in the middle, go to make you bed, but somebody's made if for you-" Nice. there's lots of variation there lots of things to play around with, and if you want to get crazy, there's this experimental section. Now these are just like crazy. If you want some weird sounding presets, this is where you're going to find them. "You live by yourself, sleep in the middle" I'm very sorry Harriet. "go to make your bed, but somebody's made it for you-" any forgot. But we can also do with focus is if we click on our vocal tract, hit the "Edit" button, and then head over to track. We have an option to use pitch correction. Really simple, zero to a 100 depending on the strength of the pitch correction you want. Let's get an example. "You live by yourself-" still on helium vocals. Let's change that. "You live by yourself, sleep in the middle, go to make you bed, but somebody's made it-" You here that? Harriet sang so well in this, she doesn't need any pitch correction at all. That's a brief guide into how to record with a microphone and how to use GarageBand's vocal presets. I hope seeing you on the next lesson. 10. Making a Loop into a Song : Okay, so next, I'm going to do a little bit of song arrangement. I'm really happy with the foundation we've got there with the drums, bass, and guitar. But what I'm going to do now is stretch everything out and make more of a song structure to it rather than just a loop. So it's going to take me a little while to structure all of this. So I'm going to do it off-camera, otherwise it'll just be super boring and then I'm going to come back in just a second and show you what I've done. We're back. It's been a couple of days since I last recorded, so I'm sorry if things are a little bit different, this is what I've done to the track so far. You're probably looking at this and thinking, where's all this come from? What have you done? But don't worry, I'm going to break it all down for you. I really haven't done anything too complicated. All I've done is use the set of tools that I've all ready talked about in this course. I've just had a little play around with a couple of things. So if I just start playing the track and I'll explain what I've done. I've just moved all the stuff around, looped it, and just added a couple more beats in. I haven't done any mixing. So I started with an intro, where I just had the bass and the drums. [AUDIO] Just them on their own. Then I just looped those. Then I brought in the guitar and the Hi-Hats. So what I've done there is I've literally copied and pasted the same guitar part and I'm going to pan that later to make it nice and wide sounding. This guitar part here is just a solo guitar where I just do a little bit of frilly things. [AUDIO] Really simple. All the same settings for all of this. I haven't changed any of that. Carry on. [AUDIO] I've added in there another median instrument. This one is called tight cycles. So you can hear what's that doing underneath. [AUDIO] So all it is, is building up what we've all ready written. So we start with the bass and drums and it slowly builds. Makes it progress and gives this some direction. [AUDIO] Okay, cool. This is just a break. All I've done is I've stopped the guitars, stopped drums, and I've put in some claps, right here. We'll just solo them quick. It's a really simple, just some claps to really thin it down and then I bring it back up again with some melody and some other beats in just a sec. So I've just cut some stuff out, put some drums there. I've carried on the baseline, that just runs through the whole thing, hasn't changed at all. It's just looped over and over. The Hi-Hats have cut out. My other median instrument here has cut out. But what I have edited if you can hear, play it again. [AUDIO] Those robot sounds from earlier, I've put them in there to give you a bit of ambiance, something extra, something in the background. What you also have noticed, is this swoopy swell sound. [AUDIO] What that is, is, I've just used the apple loops up here. You remember that from earlier? I've used the loops. What I've done is I've used two. So one called subsonic boom fx seven and the other one is long crashing boom o five. Now you probably notice that they don't really sound like a cymbal and it doesn't really sound like a sub drop. What I've done is, I've taken the loops and I've reversed them. So how you do that? If you click on the loop, head onto this edit button, and there's a button here where you can reverse the playback. So when you do that to a cymbal it sounds like a swell. I'll play it on his own. [AUDIO] You see, that's cool. Then I did the exact same for this sub. The original loop would have sounded like this. [AUDIO] But when you reverse it, again, it just makes a swell. [AUDIO] So this is a really cool little trick. Little trick that I use all the time. I know lots of producers do the same when they're trying to make that swelling sound. So after the break, I've added everything back in again, Hi-Hats and median instrument, the bass stays there, the drums come back in. My two guitars have come back in and then all I've done is add a lead guitar to give it a bit of melody. So let's listen to that. [AUDIO] What I've really done there is loop what we've written earlier in the course and just added on this guitar beats. If you're wondering why did with their guitars is I just harmonize them both and just play it on it's own [AUDIO] Yeah. That's all I have done really. Sounds a little bit mushy at the minute because I haven't mixed it at all, but that's what we're going to come on to next. You can notice as well, towards the end, the instruments are slowly fading away. So I'm actually, I'm going to loop that until about here. I forgot to do that. So when it gets to the end of that guitar part, the instruments will start to fall away. [AUDIO] In fact, I'm going to bring that back there. Hi-Hats falls away. [AUDIO] Okay, so I hope you enjoyed that. Next is mixing. I'm going to show you some really cool stuff in the next class. I hope you join me. 11. Mixing Intro: Next we're going to talk about mixing. Mixing is basically adjusting and playing around with our song, to make it sound really good and to make everything sound even and to put some nice effects on the instruments and the sounds we've got. It's a lot fun. I like mixing. It is a really delicate art and is something that you'll always be learning. Everyone has a slightly different way of mixing, everyone has their own style and things they like to do. But we are just going to go through all the basics today. I'm not going to make it too complicated. I'm just going to show you where the effects are, how to use them, and what some of the effects do. While recording and writing our song, what I think you'd have been doing and what I've been doing is adjusting all the volumes on the side to try and make a nice mix, a nice balance and all of those instruments. That's a really good place to start, making sure all of our volumes are at good level, we can hear everything and it sounds a good balance.. As I'm sure you know, we're just going to use these volumes sliders to get a nice volume. I've already done a rough one. I'm going to tweak it a little bit more later, but I think it sounds fine as it is. I think plug-ins and effects is a great place to start after we've adjusted the volumes. It's worth noting, if you've used a preset engage band like these amps or any of the midi instruments or even the vocal presets. What they do is add a load of effects, EQ compression on automatically. If you really like the sound of the instruments and everything that's going on, feel free to leave those especially seeing this is like a beginner's guide and we want to keep it nice and simple. But if you want to add any more or tweak the ones that are already on there, we just want to click on our track and hit up to our Smart Controls button, and we've got a load of options down this side and you can see here it says Plug-ins. If you want to keep it nice and simple, you can just use these dials here. These are already some effects as you can see, your echo, reverb. This is a compressor, we've got a gain and our tone, all of them will change depending on what track we've selected. You can see here, drum track, we've got a load of different effects there, our Synth E-Bass allows more. Have a really good play around with all of these dials and buttons and get some cool sounds going on. If you want to add some more, this is our plug-in section, so you can see it's already using that preset. I haven't done in this. This is the preset that comes with the amp, it's adding in all these effects for us. Now if we want to turn them on and off, we just drag our mouse over them and we can use this button to turn it on enough. If you want to adjust the plug-in, we click on this slider tool in the middle, and it'll bring up our options. Here, this is our Noise Gate, so we can change the noise gate or if we want to change this noise gate to something else, we can click on this arrow tool that side and then we can select the different plug-in. These are all the different plug-ins that we can have. Now, there's obviously tons here. I'm not going to have enough time to go into all of them today and that would just be way too dense anyway. I encourage you to just head in here yourself, have a really good play around with some of these plug-ins and effects, and see what it is that you like. Just to show you as an example, I'm going to have a quick listen to this guitar and see if I can make any adjustments to make it sound a bit better. I'm just going to bring the reverb up a bit. Nice one. I quite like the sound of that compressor, so I'm going to turn that on. It's worth noting as well, as you can see we've got a full list of effects here. But if you want to add any more, we bring our mouse up to the bottom and we'll see this little highlighted line. If we click on there, we can select another plug-in. Quickly on the subject of volumes and getting our mix sounding balanced. If you've used auto drummer or midi drums any point, you have a really cool option which we're going to show you now. Here I've got an auto drummer for example, it's not going to fit with our song. If we go up to our Smart Controls, we have a mix section here. What this is going to allow you to do is change the level of each drum, which is really, really handy. So say, if you want to bring the kick up, we can just bring up this dial. If you want to bring down the snare, bring this dial down. We've got a couple of effects over here, we can adjust our room sound and our drive, we've got our compressor, which is great. This is really useful when mixing drums. Bring down the kick, bring out the hi-hat, and we can really refine our drum sound. Another really important mix tool is a gain dial. To find our gain dial, so we want to click on our track, come to our Smart Controls, head to our Plug-in section. We're going to select a new plug-in, and it's going to be under Utility, then there's our Gain. The gain is basically going to dictate how sensitive our audio output is. If we want it to be a bit louder and a bit more sensitive, we can turn it up. If it's a bit too loud, we can turn it down. 12. Compression: When mixing, there is a ton of effects and plug-ins that we can use, but there is a couple of real core tools that everyone uses, they are really important and they are key to making your mix sound good. Let's talk about compressors for a minute. A compressor basically squishes our sound file. Now what do I mean by that? Naturally, when recording we have some loud sounds, and some quiet sounds. Take vocals for example, you are going to have moments in the song where are going to sing really powerfully and really loud and there is other moments that are going to be a bit more controlled and a bit more quiet. Basically, what a compressor does is, squishes down those louder parts, and makes the whole sound more consistent. So rather than getting really loud and then really quiet, it is more stable level. I try and give you an example with the guitar. If you notice, there, it is very subtle because I have not got it too aggressive on this guitar. You noticed when I turned off I lost a bit of its body and a bit of that consistency. Because I've already used, the preset the GarageBand has given me is already compressed it for me, which I think sounds really nice. I'm just going to leave it like that. If you want to play around with the compressor options. You can come to this screen, play about with these sliders, or if you want another pre-built setting, we can come up here to this box and it has a load of compressor settings. You can have a good play around with all of these. This is going to change all of these settings. So let's have a go at selecting. I'll play some platinum guitar emphasis. So you see there is just change all those options. That in a nutshell is compression. If you don't want to delve too much into the compressor massey your stuff, your controls will often have this compressor dial. You can just turn that on and adjust the intensity of the compressor, using just this one dial. It makes it a lot simpler and for most beginners, this is totally fine. I for one wanted to show you the option and talk a little bit about it because it's a really important tool. 13. EQ: Next up we're going to talk a little bit about EQ. Now EQ, if you've ever used the guitar amp or even in your pastoreo, we've had the options for just the treble, middle, and base. Base is basically a simplified version of the EQ tool found in recording softwares. To access EQ, we're going to come to our smart controls. We have a little tab here for EQ. Now we can adjust the EQ here. Or if you want a bit more room for come back to controls, and back to our plugin section there should be a plug-in for your channel EQ. You can see that here. If we press the edit button and here we can see we get a bit of a bigger displays. I quite like playing around with EQ in the plug-in version just because it gives me a bit more room to move around. Because I'm using a preset sound, I'm using my guitar here. GarageBand has EQ this for me already, or we have the option to adjust further if we'd like to. This can seem quite intimidating and it looks scarier, but it's some robots brain or something. But I want you to think about it. In its simplest form, this line is all the different frequencies that we can hear, up here is our really high sounds, up here are really low sounds. To make it really clear, what we can do is click on this analyzer button and then play a sound. You can see from the sound waves where our sound is on this EQ scale. We can see is all in this mid area, little bit leaning on the low. With all these tools, we're just basically altering the frequency of the sound. If we pull up the sounds here is going to increase the mids. We tail this off, it's going to get rid of all the lows here, and equally we can tail off the highs. There's a lot of options here. All of these different funny-looking shapes at the top basically just focus on a different frequency bands. So as you can see, they're highlighted there, so frequency band is here. Really, is quite as simple as that. If we want more highs, we can select this high one up here and increase the highest. [MUSIC] The thing sounds a bit better down there. What is done here is, it's [inaudible] or the low end. Now if we took that away, we can probably hear [MUSIC] more of that rumble, that base. What our preset has done there is just blocked through that off and it gives us a bit of a cleaner [inaudible] sound, which I really like. I think that's a good option. Basically what you're doing is just sculpting our sound really. If we want it landing more on the high frequency or the low frequency, or the mids. I just think that's sculpting our sound. But what we can also do with the EQ is get rid of any unwanted frequencies. To say if there's like annoying ring, or a buzz in our recording, we can find where that frequency is by clicking on. Let's for example, say wave sound and frequency was somewhere around here. You can select this band and bring it up. [MUSIC] Let's say you want to get rid of that frequency. What we can do is come down here to this queue, click on it and go bring that number right up. It makes that really thin, that really thin wave. We can move these dots all around. We can find the annoying frequency and it should be really loud once we've selected it like this. Then once we've found that annoying frequency, we can bring it right down. What I'll do is just scoop out that frequency. But luckily our recording doesn't have that problem, so we're just going to keep it as it was. What EQ does is basically selects how big an area we want the effective of our EQ. So if you want to bring up a lot of this high end, we can make that Q a smaller number. If you want to be more selective like we just saw, you bring up. Again, because this is GarageBand and has lots of great tools that make things really easy for us. We again, have some presets that we can choose from if we don't want to delve too much into EQ ourselves. We want to go up here to this little box. Then we've got a load of preset EQ tools sitting there for us, which is great. For now, let's go clean up guitar. To say that's totally changed the EQ pattern here. Let's see how that sounds. [MUSIC] Then to compare, we can turn that off and listen again. It says no EQ. What if we try another one? Let's try electric fun guitar. See, now that has completely changed the EQ part. Again, so that's going to sound pretty different [MUSIC]. Again, it has gotten a lot more than top end. Go. So I'm going to keep it on that train up guitar, realize how that sounded. It's nice and easy because they've already done the EQ for me. What you can do once you become a bit more advanced with EQ, you can give each instrument its own frequency. If you want to say really focused the EQ in on the base for the low end, and then the guitars more than mid and your vocals and stuff more to the mid to highs. You can sculpt it like that. Again, I'm just going to keep it nice and light and breezy today. But have a play around with it yourself as always, experiment and get crazy with it. That is a brief introduction to EQ. 14. Panning: Next I'm going to talk a little bit about panning. Panning is a really important tool in mixing. It's going to give us a lot of depth and a lot of space. What panning basically does is move out sound either to the left or the right. Now, if you imagine you're going to see a band live, all the members of the band wouldn't be standing in front of each other because that would be really weird to look out for one, but it also sound really odd because all the sounds would be coming at you from the same direction. If we spread out our sounds, we put some things slopes to the left, some to the right, some in the center, and then maybe some random stuff right or the left. It gives us some larger scope and loads of direction and I'm going to show you now. I'm going to pan at some stuff around to give you an idea on what difference it makes. Generally speaking, I tend to keep my bass and drums centered and is more the guitars, keyboards, and other bits and pieces that I tend to pan around. With my guitar, I think I'm going to pan that slightly to the right, we can just use these pan dials here to select whether you want it to be panned. Let's pan that a little bit more to the right and then we'll get into it because we've got two guitars here playing the same thing. I'm going to move one to the left and keep that one to the right, they shouldn't be the same number. Let's listen to that. It's only very subtle there, but we are beginning to spread that sound around our heads rather than having it from one direction. I'm also going to pan this guitar right over to the right. Again, I'm going to keep those drums and the bass where they are, the Hi-Hats I want them to stay there too, this keyboard sound, I think I'm going to pan out right over to the left. Let's see how that sounds altogether. Hopefully you can hear the difference there, I think if you're wearing headphones, it'll be much more noticeable. I think I'm going to move those claps a little bit off-center, say maybe about there, my robots, I think I'm going to pan them right over to the right, the swoops I want them to stay there and so my lead guitar, I want them to be really right and left too. I'm going to pan this one over to the right, a bit harsher than the first one, because otherwise, the rhythm guitars and the link guitars is going to be battling for space, I think that's a good way of putting it, you want each instrument to have its own little space. Again, think of the idea of a live band stretched across a space on stage, they all have their own space and in turn, the sound has its own space. Sometimes I think people make the mistake of turning up an instrument because they think it sounds too quiet when, in actual fact, it's just being muffled by all the other sounds on top of its space. I'm going to pan the other guitar equally over to the right, that's 35, and match that 35 too. See how much of a difference that's made, I always hope you can hear the difference there. We've got a lot more sounds going on in that 3D space now, which makes it just sound times better in my opinion. I know keep saying it, but it's really important, have a play around with it yourself, see what you like, the sound of just experimenting with different instruments and different places, seeing how they sound, seeing how that reflects in your headphones and hopefully you get something sounding really cool. 15. Flex: Welcome back. Next, I'm going to talk about the flex tool in Garage Band. Earlier I talked about quantizing MIDI. Moving those MIDI notes in the right place and getting everything in time. Now with the flex tool, we can basically do the same thing but with audio files, like a record of guitar or some vocals or a bass, anything like that. We can play around with it if it's not perfectly in time. If we come to our audio tracks, I've got my guitar track here, we're going to click on our edit tool and I'm going to expand this a little bit so you can see it and then we're going to go over to this flex button here. If we click on it. What the flex tool does is really clever and it can automatically detect where a sound starts. If I'm playing guitar when I'm hitting that chord or I'm singing that first note, it detects that and you can see here, it draws this little line and then what we can do is move slightly where that sound begins. We can't do it too radically, otherwise it will sound a bit broken. I mean, you can if you want to make it sound weird but generally you want to move it a little bit but often that's enough if our guitar solo or our guitar chord is just ever so slightly at a time, we can just give it a little bit of help and push it in the right direction. You can see it's drawn a line here where it can tell the sound started. Now if you drag our mouse over, it should give us these almost like wine glass shape. Now if we click on that, we can move the sound file around. If you wanted that note to begin over here, you could drag it there. Let's just see what that sounds like. It's probably going to sound not great because it was already in time. That's the sound of that. You see what that sounds, it was delayed. I don't need to use it luckily because it's already in time. If we bring over our mouse and you can see these three lines, that will create a new line that we can edit. We can chop this up, if we like to. It's going to sound awful. You see how that marked it around a little bit. What we can also do with this is quantize that sound. If we come over here to our quantize button. Again, it gives us the same options that we had with our MIDI quantize. Let's pick one-eighth note, that should about be right, and that's going to pull them all in time. You can see here the white bars is where it's been affected. Yeah, really, really impressive. That just pulled all of my guitar's chords into the exact right time. I think it was fine before, so I'm going to turn it off. Again, or if you'd like the human element, personally, I like having a little bit of non-perfectness, I guess, but if you want it to all be snapped into place for you, that quantize tool is super-duper useful. 16. Automation: Next we're going to talk about automation. It sounds like a scary word, but it's actually really useful and really easy. You can think of automation, imagine it like a little robot friend who throughout the sum is going to turn a certain doll for you. If you want your volume, for example, to fade in, a little robot friend automator can just turn out for us whenever we want or we can select any effect for him to turn up. It could be the panning or the compression or the delay. We can get him to do whatever we want. To access automation, we're going to come up here to mix and click Show Automation or we can press A. It's going to bring up this slightly different view of our workstation. I'm going to use panning on our robots for this track. If we click on the track that we want to add automation to, it's going to bring up this yellow line. Now this is basically the automation line. Now depending on what we've selected, as you see over here, it currently got volume selected. But we can use any of these different controls with our automation. Let us use volume because it's a really obvious one. When we click on this yellow line is going to create some dots, as you can see there. If I wanted to bring the volume up during a certain part of the song, you can select the dot and drag it up. The volume in this example is going to remain nice and low here, is going to be at minus 36 dB. Then it's going to come up to plus 3 dB and then go back down to minus 36 again. I will just give you an example let's say like this this. You can use this to fade out the song at the end. Or if you've got a guitar so low that you want to pump up the volume for you can use it for that. We can have a really good play around with this. Let's just make it sound super crazy. You can actually create really cool sounds by using the automation. What I'm going to do for this track is I'm going to use the Pan tool to make that robot sound like it's flying around your head. If we come over here and select Pan, always worth saying as well. You can have multiple different automation. You can have a Pan automation, a volume and a reverb all happening at the same time. We can see here it's been panned to the right already, so it's off-center. But I want it to fly around us. I'm going to start the Pan all the way to the right and then it's going to end all the way to the left. It should sound like this. I'm going to make the robot fly back the other way with the second one. Just as in that extra bit of ambiance Dykstra 3D space. Once we've written in our automation, let's take panning for example, like I've got here. If I then wanted to adjust that later, this dial actually becomes redundant because we've already programmed in what we want to do. Let's say I wanted to move my automation as a whole, what I can do is highlight all of those dots. Then I can move that automation after I've programmed in nice and easy. Let's say you just want a bit more volume on this track, but you've already written in your automation. You can highlight it and just up the volume a bit. 17. Mixing Tips and Tricks : So I'm going to wrap up this mixing section with just a couple of general tips and tricks that really helped me out when I'm mixing. First of all, if you're going to be double tracking or you want to have another audio track, if you want to do some more takes. A really useful thing is if we left-click on a track and then we've got an option here for New Track with Duplicate Settings. This is just what it says on the tone. It's going to create a new track with the same settings. If you wanted to double track nice and easily without having to replicate and go in and find all the same settings that we had before. We can just use that and we can copy and paste our track over if we're going to be double tracking, or we can just record if we want to get some more takes. That's what I've done when I was double tracking my guitars here. I know both of these have the exact same settings. Noise gate can be found on any audio track. If we come to the smart controls and then track, and you'll see it here. What noise gate does is it basically tries to get rid of background noise. If you're singing or if you're playing guitar and there's like a bit of background noise, maybe like there's a fan or there's some just general ambient noise. The noise gate will try and cut it out after you've stopped singing. I'm going to explain this with Harrington's vocal because my guitar won't quite work with it [inaudible]. You can hear there's a bit of background noise, there is some breathing, a bit of cracking. It does add a bit of character to that track, but is very often that people want to get rid of those sounds. So the noise gate helps us do that automatically. With the threshold here, we're basically telling you how quiet it needs to get before the noise gate comes in and cuts out the audio. So the higher we have this, the more aggressive it's going to be. I'll give you an example. Just as soon as she finished there it cut out. But if we listen here, you get a bit more of that trailing in the end. But see the only thing I've noticed a lot with the noise gate is, it's very hard to get a clean, nice sounding vocal where the noise gate isn't cutting into the vocals, but it cuts out all of the ambient noise. So there's definitely a sweet spot and it's going to change depending on wherever you are mixing. Another tip is when we click on our smart controls over to the left, we have master echo and master reverb. Now we can control these to dictate how much master reverb or master echo comes into a track specifically. If we wanted lots of master reverb on our lead guitar, but not so much on our rhythm, we can select them here. There's also an option where we can fade out our song. If we copy it to mix and then click on ''Create Volume Fade Out'' on Main Output. What that's going to do, see it's brought up our automation again. It's just going to bring up this master track and it's going to fade out our track's volume right at the end. So you can see our track ends here and that's where it's faded. I personally don't want to fade down this track but this is really great if you want to use it. Nice. Then we can also alter that. If we want it slightly sharper fade we can do that or a really long fade. We can do that too. Also something I'm not sure I mentioned it earlier. But if you want to extend the size of our track, we come to this top right-hand corner. We can choose where our end marker is, so we can make the song shorter or longer. Depending on what we want. 18. Mastering : We are on to mastering. Mastering is another really deep, quite complex subject but today we are going to keep it really simple and easy, I'm going to show you the basics. Mastering is effectively like the icing on the cake. It's that extra bit we do at the end to bring some things together and just complete our package. We're basically going to be adding effects and mixing our track as a whole rather than our bits individually. For example, rather than adding a bit of reverb to a guitar, we'll be adding reverb to the track as a whole. Effectively, scoping out the sound of the song as a whole. First of all, we need to find our master track. If you come up here to the top, click track, show master track and it should appear down here. If we click on a master track and then head up to our smart controls, it is going to give us some effects and some controls on the output and the EQ. Here we have our master control, so we can control our master reverb and echo, we've got output controls and our EQ. We can see here it's a very similar setup as to when we mix our individual tracks, we've got our plugins here, we've got a lot of dials that we can use to change the sound. Squeeze, this is a compressor, we've got a brightener, we've got some EQ tools, another compressor and the limiter. A lot we spoke about earlier, our compressor is going to squeeze our track down and make it more consistent. Often how people describe using compression is making the tracks sound more punchy. I'll give you a little before and after. Then turn our squeeze on, again very subtle and obviously we can adjust it with this and then that's quite good level, that squeeze. I'm going to leave that brightness off, we're going to come to see EQ in a minute. We have a second compressor here. You can see when we have these output dials here and they'll be the same when we compress tracks individually. While this little meter here, so you see when it turns blue there, that means the compressor is working. I quite like it a bit more heavily compressed around there sounds really punchy. It's also added a bit of gain, because the compression generally makes tracks a little bit quieter, it gives you an option to increase the gain so levels up a little bit more so that sounds a little bit louder, a bit more gainy, which I quite like. Great, next we've got a limiter. A limiter is basically going to be what we use to select the volume ceiling of our track, you can see if I select it on a player track, the more turned up that dial, the higher the ceiling goes, so its gets louder, that sounds great. We've these pre-selected dials here, but if you want to add more effects to your master track, just like we did with our individual instruments, we can select another plug-in so let's go, what can we do? I really like directional mixer, it gives it a bit of more spread and a bit of more room, I'll show you what I mean. It just gives a bit of more air about it. Again, all these things are so subtle, but when they all add up, it makes a really, really big difference. I'm also going to add a multiprocessor, this is effectively like a compressor so I'm going to turn one of these off, I'm going to turn that squeeze off. I'm going to select, I really like this fast attack four band compressor, it sounds more solid and more consistent to me and more punchy. There's some little effects we've added there, they've just brought that up, another little level has made it sound a bit more polished and a bit more together and feel free to use these ones as well if you like them. Again, experiment with your own see what you like the sound of and there's so many great tools on here and it's so fun to play around with. Next we're going to talk about EQ-ing our master track. These exact same principles I talked about with EQ in our individual tracks, same goes for here, it's just going to be selecting the frequencies we like and sculpting the overall sound. Again, I know this can be quite overwhelming, so please don't worry about it if you're not too fast about these sort of things, but the good thing about GarageBand again is we've got presets. If we come over here, you can see that we've got a load of EQ presets and we can come down to the mastering tab and we've got some mastering EQs here depending on what mix we want. I think I'm going to select hip hop for now and you can see it's only really subtle, a lot of mastering EQs. You'll see, if you ever watch anyone else EQ their master track, it tends to be very subtle. If you want your bass, boosted more, you should really be doing that in the mix rather than just the EQ, it should just be a really subtle, really small, like they've done here. This is just going to bring out a bit more that low-end and give us a bit of sculpt so let's listen to that again before and after. I'm going to change it to pop to see what that does; let's try rock. I think that sounded great, I'm really happy with those effects we've added so I think that's going about wrap up our mastering. We've really only just scratched the surface of mastering there. People genuinely take weeks and months mastering their song, it can be such a fine art. It's all about giving your song shape and character and often it's about making an album sound consistent. If you've got a group of songs over the same mastering effect, they're going to sound like they're part of the same family, same characteristics, same effects, it pulls it together, mastering. This is just a brief introduction, I hope it's helped and again, I really look forward to seeing what you've done, how you master, any tips you want to give me about mastering. You found something really cool, you found an effects that works well, feel free to send it over. This is just a really brief introduction, so all we've got left to do now is exploring our song, possibly the easiest thing on this course, let's get right into that. 19. Exporting: After we finished recording, mixing and mastering our song, we want to share with the world, right? We want to expose it and get it out there. What we want to do, is come up to Share, go down to Export Song to Disk. Then it's going to give us an option where we want to save the track. Let's just name this Skillshare song 1. Then it's going to give us an option as to what file we want to save as. The really high quality files of this AIFF or WAVE. I tend to choose WAVE. I click the 24-bits that's the highest quality. If you want to compress it a bit more there's 16-bit, or if you want to choose MP3. Say if you want to send this over WhatsApp or you want a smaller file, you can click this too. Again, I suggest that having the highest quality possible. For now we're just going to select ''WAVE'', and then we click ''Export''. It's going to bounce it all down. Then we're going to be done. There we are, exported, done. Our song is there. Again, I just want to emphasize that if you've got any songs or any recordings you're working on and you'd like to share them, maybe you're a little bit nervous about sharing them on Facebook or YouTube, please feel like you can share them in our class project. I always absolutely love to hear anything you've done. We're going to now go into our last part of the course. I will see you there. 20. Final Thoughts : That brings us to the end of the course. I want to thank you so much. If you've worked still this way, it really means a lot to me. I really hope you've taken some good information away from this. I hope you'll be able to record and produce and get creative after watching this. Please feel free to send me any of your demos, anything you've written, anything you want a bit of a feedback on, I would love to hear what you've done. I know I said it a couple times, but I really want to skip this course, really beginner friendly. Something that I really struggled with when learning to write and produce and record, was that people would go into crazy detail when all I wanted to know what was the most simple of bits and pieces. So, I hope I've been able to help you find those bits, and been able to help you scope our GarageBand. Hopefully now you're a bit more comfortable with it. You're not so intimidated. There really is so much more to learn within mixing, mastering, and writing, as I'm sure you're aware. At the end of the day, I really want you to view recording programs like GarageBand more as a Canvas than a computer program. It should be a space where you can get creative and you can put in your ideas and you can shape them and see them come to life. I really don't think it should be something you should struggle with or something that only techie people really get involved with. Really, it should be just about having fun and making something that you like. So hope you had fun with GarageBand, get experimental, get a bit weird with it. Really open up the program and I hope you make some amazing music. In fact, I'm sure you will. Please feel free to come back to this course if you need a refresher, a reminder or anything. Skillshare are so great at breaking down all those lessons at the side of the screen. So you can just hop back in where you need a bit more info and hopefully they'll be there to help you out. Thank you again for joining me in this course. I hope it's been really helpful. It's been a pleasure to make these videos and to act as your teacher. Hope you have a lovely day, and I will see you very soon. Thank you.