How to make electronic music with garageband

Written by steven j. miller
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How to make electronic music with garageband
Singing is just one way of making music with GarageBand. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Knowing how to play with the basic functions of GarageBand will make it possible to compose creative, original and professional-sounding music. Whether you use a connected keyboard to improvise, notate your ideas with musical notation or simply sing into a microphone, you can create and manipulate your music using GarageBand. By learning about the options available to you in the program, it becomes possible to quickly create your own original musical ideas and share them with the world.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Digital piano
  • Microphone

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Open GarageBand and select the type of project you would like to work on. The default options include piano, guitar and voice. Choose one and press "OK."

  2. 2

    Look at the instrument interface and learn what each of the buttons on the left side of the screen accomplish. The icon with an image of an instrument indicates the sound that will play back when you press "Play." To change this sound, double-click the instrument icon. A list of instruments will appear on the right. You can change the instrument by selecting one of these options at any time while making music with GarageBand.

  3. 3

    Adjust the volume of your track by using the slider in the small box on the right.

  4. 4

    Change the panning of the instrument. This changes the location from where your instrument will sound in the recording. The pan button looks like a knob and turns from left to right. If you turn the knob to the left, the instrument will emanate from the left speaker.

  5. 5

    Learn about the rest of the buttons in "Track view." In order from left to right, you have a record button with a red dot, a mute button that looks like a small speaker and silences the track, and a solo button that looks like a set of headphones and mutes all tracks except for the one selected.

  6. 6

    Hit the "Record" button and play a melody using your keyboard. If you have trouble playing piano, you may also sing into a microphone. Either way, GarageBand requires some method of inputting your music into the track. Some basic musicianship skills will help.

  7. 7

    Use the metronome click that sounds while recording to help keep your tempo. If you need to slow down or speed up the click of the metronome, change this with the interface at the bottom of the screen. Click on the up or down arrow key in the blue interface until you see the tempo screen. Click the tempo marking and slide the slider up or down to change it.

  8. 8

    Select an area of the track to make it possible to loop a section while recording. This allows you to play a measure repeatedly.

  9. 9

    Initiate the looping mechanism by selecting an area of time with your cursor and clicking the icon at the bottom of the screen that looks like two arrows moving in a circle.

  10. 10

    Stop playing when you get the clip exactly the way you want it. Each time the track loops, GarageBand will create a new "take."

  11. 11

    Choose from the drop-down menu the take you liked the best. Select the orange button that appears on the track.

Tips and warnings

  • Click on the scissors icon to use "Score view" to directly enter notes into the score. This makes it possible for those without performing skills to input notes into the score.

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