Morphing Music in GarageBand

Morphing Music in GarageBand

We like to be in control. Wait. Make that love to be in control. That’s one of the reasons why we love GarageBand ’08: it lets us fully automate effects and instrument parameters as the project plays out—no micromanagement required. We showed you how to use GarageBand’s new automation features to give movement to your sounds in the "Add Movement to Sounds in GarageBand,” article. Now learn how to apply the same principles to change the very nature of an instrument’s sound over time—just like they do on the drum, synth, and vocal tracks all the kids are so in love with these days.


Forget sticking with stock instruments—GarageBand lets you easily make sounds mutate and move while your song plays. Apple GarageBand ’08 ($79, as part of iLife ’08)


1. Create an Uptempo Project

Choosing a major key gives your music a happier tone, while music in a minor key is generally darker.


To match the style of music you’d normally hear these types of effects in, let’s create something danceable. In GarageBand, choose File > New, and select Create New Music Project. In the resulting dialog, type a name for your project, type 132 in the BPM field (beats per minute, or the tempo of the song), choose C Major from the Key pop-up menus, and click Create. Once the project window opens, close the Keyboard window (if it’s open) and delete the default Grand Piano track (select the track and press Command-Delete).


2. Grab Some Beats and Harmony

Here are the five tracks you should have added—yeah, it’s a pretty odd mishmash.


Alrighty, let’s build up something eclectic using GarageBand’s included Apple Loops. Display the Loops browser by clicking the eye button. First, we need a beat—to find some house music beats, click the All Drums, Beats, and Electronic buttons. Scroll down the resulting list until you find the Deep House Dance Beat 02 loop, drag it up to the beginning of the timeline, and then click Reset in the Loops browser.


That’s one way to find loops, but if you know what you’re looking for (and we’re about to tell you), find the rest of your tracks by name. In the Loops browser, type “70s” in the search field, select 70s Ballad Piano 01 in the resulting list, and drag it up to the beginning of the timeline below your beats track. Repeat to add the following loops: 70s Ballad Drums 01, 80s Dance Bass Synth 04, and Chordal Synth Pattern 15.



3. Sequence Your Song

Drag a loop’s lower-right corner left to shorten it (shown here), or drag its upper-right corner right to extend it.


Now that you’ve got the tracks, create the actual foundation for the song. We’re going to start this song off with a normal piano and drum intro and then have it turn into something more electronic. Select the Beats track, click the loop, and Option-drag it to create a duplicate that starts at measure 5. Then drag the upper-right corner of the duplicate loop to the right, and extend it to measure 17. Go back and select the original Beats loop, drag the lower-right corner of the loop leftward and shorten it to one measure, and then move the loop to start at measure 4. Then select the Piano track and extend the loop to measure 17. Select the Kits track and extend that loop to measure 5. Select the Synth Bass track and move the loop to start at measure 9, and then extend the loop to measure 17. Finally, select the Synths track and move it to start at measure 5, and then extend the loop to measure 21. Click the Play button to hear your song so far.




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Like the other three comment-posters, i don't have any of the chordal synth tracks. How can I get them?



I don't seem to have chordal synth pattern 15 or any other synth pattern.
I am using the latest version of GB. Can I substitute or get it somewhere?



I don't have chordal synth pattern 15, or any other "chordal" loops. I'm using '08 4.1.2 Whats up?



I don't seem to have chordal synth pattern 15 or any other synth pattern.
I am using the latest version of GB. Can I substitute or get it somewhere?

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