Add Movement to Sounds in GarageBand

Add Movement to Sounds in GarageBand

6. Walk Across the Room. Time to add some motion. For the first part of the sequence, we want to have our “walker” walk across the room from left to right. Select the footsteps track and click the View Automation disclosure triangle to display the automation curve. From the resulting pop-up menu, choose Track Pan. To start your walker on the left side of the room, drag the starting curve point from its +0 position (center) straight up to -64 (full left).


In GarageBand’s LCD, choose Time from the LCD modes pop-up menu to display the timeline in time increments. At the 7-second mark, click on the curve to create another point and drag it straight down to +63 (full right). At the 15-second mark (or your sequence’s end), create a third point on the curve and drag it to center (0). When you listen, your walker should walk from left to right and back to center.


Here's what your Track Pan curve should look like if you followed our instructions.


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7. Add Room Ambience and Depth. Right now, your effect sounds flat because there’s no room ambience or sense of depth. So let’s create some. On the footsteps track, choose Add Automation from the automation pop-up menu, click the Echo & Reverb disclosure triangle, select Reverb, and click OK to display the Reverb curve. Drag the starting curve point up around the 5 to 10 percent range to create some room atmosphere (the bigger the number, the more cavernous the room).


At the 7-second mark, create another curve point at the same level as your first. At the 15-second mark (or your sequence’s end), create a third curve point and drag it up around 30 percent to create the perception of distance (less reverb brings the walker closer to you). Then choose Track Volume from the automation pop-up menu, create a curve point at the 7-second mark at 0 dB, create a second point at the 15-second mark, and drag it down to about -7 dB. Take a listen, and fine-tune your settings if needed.


GarageBand now lets you select which effects and instrument parameters to automate per track.


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8. Finish and Finesse. Now bring your door sound into the same room as your walker. Because it’s just one sound instance, simply select the track, display its Track Info (Command-I), click the Details disclosure triangle, and move the Reverb slider to the same level as your footsteps at the 15-second mark (in our example, that would be 30 percent). Take a listen and adjust the volume, if needed, using the track’s volume slider, and the sound placement. And there you have it!


Audio geeks: You can get even better results using GarageBand’s Matrix Reverb on each track instead of the default Reverb to work in room reflections, and experimenting with automating EQ as the walker walks away.


We livened our effect further by speeding up the tempo, using the Master track Tempo curve, to have our walker bolt out the door.




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