Add Movement to Sounds in GarageBand

Add Movement to Sounds in GarageBand

Using automation, you can make sounds move left, right, forward, and backward through a scene or song.


It takes great effort to create music that moves people; creating movement in music is way easier. Toss in Apple’s GarageBand, and the feat is downright simple. Using the automation features in GarageBand ’08, you can virtually set instruments in motion in your music or create sound effects that move forward, backward, and across the stereo field. To demonstrate the basics of creating motion, here’s how to create a sound effect of footsteps walking across a room and then out a back door. You can hear the results at



> Apple GarageBand ’08 ($79 as part of iLife ’08)

> Microphone - either your Mac’s built-in mic or an external mic connected to your Mac’s audio input or an audio interface

> Hard-soled shoes (not tennis shoes)

> A hard surface to walk on

> A door


If you want to skip the recording step, download the sounds we used for this project here.


1. Create a New Project. In GarageBand, choose File > New, and select Create New Music Project. In the resulting dialog, type a name for your footsteps effect, leave the default song settings as they are (since we’re not creating a song), 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). Make sure that the Metronome is also turned off (from the Control menu, choose Metronome to deselect the checkmark).


Since your sound effect won't rely on a tempo or key, ignore the song settings when you create your project.






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