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Lesson 11. Creating Unique Music for Your Projects

Lesson 11. Creating Unique Music for Your Projects

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SomepeoplemaywanttoavoidGarageBand.Itisn'tassimple

orintuitiveastheotheriLifeproducts.Whereasalltherest

(iTunes,iPhoto,iMovie,iWeb,andiDVD)takeinexistingdigital

content,manageit,organizeit,andprepareitforoutput,

GarageBandsynthesizescontentfromavirtuallyblankslate.If

youdon'thavethetimeorinclinationtomakeyourownmusic,

there'snothingwrongwithsettlingintoyourgreatCDcollection

withiTunesandskippingtherock-starbitaltogether.

Thatsaid,youshouldatleasttryit.Thislessonisdesignedto

provideashortandsafelookaround.Whoknows?Youmay

discoveradeep,lurkingtalentformakingyourownmusic.It's

powerful,exciting,and(dareIsayit?)narcotic.Youmaynotbe

abletostoponceyoulaydownyourfirsttracks.Evenwithouta

guitarorkeyboard,youwillbeonyourwaytomakingoriginal

musicwithGarageBandafterthislesson.







CreatingNewMusic

Jenniferlikestakingpicturesandenjoystheprocessofmaking

videos(aslongasit'squick).Butshereallydoesn'thaveany

musicalaspirationsor,frankly,skills.Still,asabusinessowner

shehasanobligationnottoaccompanyvideosandslideshows

inherretailstudiowiththecopyrightedmusicshelistenstoon

heriPod.Charlie'sinterestinGarageBandisfarmoreextensive

thanmakingbackgroundmusiche'sagreatguitarplayer,and

heusesGarageBandtohelphimpracticeandrecordhis

professional-soundingtrackswithoutneedingtocoordinatewith

agroupwhenhefeelslikejamming.Christopherisallowedto

usecopyrightedmusicfromCDsinhispersonalhomeprojects,

buthe'sattractedtoGarageBandbecausehewantsmusicinhis

videosthatsoundshipbutwithoutlyricssincetheymight

competefortheattentionoftheaudience.Jenniferneeds

music,however,andshehasalimitedbudget.

It'salwaysanoptiontobuytherightstosomemusic,orfind

someroyalty-freetunes.(Therearemanysourcesonline.)

Appleprovidesalargeonlineassortmentofshortmusicalriffsif

youhavea.Macaccount.CalledFreeplaymusic,it'sonyour

iDiskinthesoftwarefolderfor.Macmembers.

Butevenwiththatviableoption,theFreeplaysongslikevirtually

allpreparedmusichavepresetlengths(10seconds,30seconds,

1minute)thatmaynotmeetyourproject'sspecificneeds.And

ultimately,theyarepubliclyavailabletunes(althoughyou

cannotusethemcommercially),andyoumaywantsomethinga

littlemorecustomized.Forasmallbusiness,thecornerstoneof

asuccessfuloperationisoftenbeingunique.ForJennifer,her

brandandbusinessareallaboutcreativity.Confrontingher

fears,JenniferlaunchesGarageBandtomakesomeverysimple,

quickbackgroundmusicforherin-studiopresentations.



SettingUpforYourSong

1. OpenGarageBand.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Launchingtheapplicationtakesyoutothestart-upwindow

fromwhichyoucanopenaNewMusicProject,aNew

PodcastEpisode,aNewMovieScore,oranExistingProject.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Jennifer'snotquitereadytoworkwithaparticular

presentationyet,soshedecidestomakeanewmusic



projectratherthananewmoviescore.



Note

YoucanexportyourfinishedmoviedirectlyoutofiMovie

intoGarageBandbychoosingShare>GarageBand,which

willopenupanewmoviescoreinGarageBandforyou.You

canalsoimportyourmovieonceyou'reinsideGarageBand

evenifyoudidn'toriginallychoosethemoviescoreoption.

It'sflexible.Thereisaslightlydifferentopeningwindow,but

youcanreachallyourtoolsnomatterwhatyouchoose.



2. ClickNewMusicProject.

TheNewProjectwindowopens,inwhichyou'llestablish

somebasicparametersforthesongyou'llcreate.



3. Giveyoursonganame,butleavetherestofthedefaults

setastheyare,andthenclickCreate.

Thiswillopenthemainwindowformusiccreation.The

projectissavedintheGarageBandfolder,whichresidesin



theMusicfolderinyourHomedirectory.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



4. MoveyourpointertotheGrandPianokeyboardandclick

someivoriesontheinstrumentsittinginthemiddleofyour

window.

Youshouldhearthesoundsofagrandpiano.(You're

makingmusic!)

IfyouhadanelectronickeyboardwiththeappropriateUSB

connector,youcouldconnectitandplaythatGrandPiano

interfaceusingyourfullsizekeyboard.ButJenniferdoesn't

haveakeyboardsittingaround,soshe'sgoingtogetridof

thisonscreendiversionaltogether.



Note

IfyoudidpluginaUSBkeyboard,you'dneedtoconnectit

toyourMacpriortolaunchingGarageBandtoenableit.



5. Clickthebuttoninthefartop-leftcorneroftheGrandPiano

keyboard(itturnsredwhenyourolloverit).

Thekeyboarddisappears,althoughthegreenGrandPiano

trackitwasrelatedtoremainsonscreen.ItisOKtoleave

thistrackhere,butyouwon'tbeusingit.(Moreabout

tracksinamoment.)

Nowthatthewindowformusiccreationismostlyemptyand

readytogo,howdoyoustart?SinceJenniferhasno

intentionofplayinganyinstrumentorsingingintoa

microphone,sheneedstofindsomemusic.

6. ClicktheLoopBrowserbutton(theeyeicon)inthebottomleftcornerofthewindow.



ThisopenstheLoopBrowser:theplacewhereyou'llsearch

for,listento,andultimatelyselecttheappropriate

instrumentallooptoaddtoyoursong.



AddingLoops

Aloopisasmallsegmentofmusicthatcanbeplayedoverand

over,poppingfromtheendbacktothebeginningtosoundlike

asmooth,continuousmusicaltrack.It'sshort,lastingperhaps

only1to4seconds,andcanrepeatindefinitely.Atypicalrealworldloopmightbethedrumbeatinarocksongitmaybe

basicallythesamerhythm,keepingtimeforthelengthofthe

song.Onepersonbandsoftenusemachinestogenerate



repeatingloopsofsoundtoplayalongwith.TheLoopBrowser

providesaccesstohundredsofloopsthatcomebuiltinto

GarageBand.

ThemenusideoftheLoopBrowser



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Althoughthereiscertainlynosinglewayandnowrongwayto

buildamusicaltrackforyourvideosandslideshows,Jenniferis

goingtofollowaneasyway.

1. IntheLoopBrowser,selectAllDrums.

Thisreducesthenumberofoptionstoonlythedrumloops.

Theremainingcategoriesaredimmedandnolonger

selectable.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Note

YoucanchangethesizeofyourLoopBrowserbymoving



yourcursortotheareajustabovethebrowser'stopbar.

Whenthecursorchangesintoahand,dragitupordown.

JusttotheleftoftheVolumeslideratthebottom,youcan

seethatthereare280loopsthatcanbeclassifiedas

drums.Jenniferneedsone.Onthefarrightsideofthe

LoopBrowserareall280searchresultsthatmeetthe

conditionsspecifiedontheleft.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Thesixcolumnsinthesearchresultshavesomeinteresting

information.Theleftmostcolumnshowsanicon,eithera

greenmusicnoteorabluewaveform.Thegreennote

indicatestheloopisMIDIthatis,acomputergenerated

sound.AMIDIloopisnotarecordingsomuchasa

mathematicalinstructionforplayingmusic.Ithas

propertiesthatmakeitattractivetothebeginner.Most

importanttoknowisthatwhenyoumergeMIDIloops,the

computercanworkforyoutomakethemsoundgood

together.



Thebluewaveformrepresentsanaudiofile,notunlikethe

filesiniTunes.Thisisanactualrecordingofsound.The

Maccannotaugmentthissoundtomakeitfitwithother



soundsthewayitcanwiththeMIDIloops.Audiofilesare

lessmalleableasrawmaterialforbeginnersandarealittle

hardertomakesoundgood.Forthatreason,don'tuse

themforthislesson.Focusontheitemswithgreennotes,

theMIDIloops.

Besidesthenameoftheloopandtheicon,youcanignore

therestofthecolumns.Butifyou'recurious,whatyou've

gotistheloop'stempo(ameasurementofhowfastasong

willbeplayed),itskey(notrelevanttodrums,buta

referencetoasong'spositiononthemusicalscale),andits

beats(thenumberofbeatspermeasure,theunitofa

song).Fav(favorites)isaconveniencethatallowsyouto

markloopsyoulikesoyoucanfindthemquicklylateron.

WhenyouuseloopsinGarageBand,thesoftware

automaticallyadjuststheirlistedvaluestofittogether.So

youdon'tneedtolimityourselftoselectingloopsthathave

matchingtempo,key,orbeats.

2. Clickanitem,anditwillstarttoplay.Clickitagaintostop

it.Exploredifferentloopsinthisway.



Feelfreetomakenotesabouttheonesyoulike,orclick

theFavcheckboxtosearcheasilyforthelooplater.Clicka

playingloopanditstops.

3. ScrolldownthroughthelistofdrumloopstoStraightUp



Beat02.

4. DragStraightUpBeat02tothespaceundertheGrand

Pianotrack.

IfyoudropitintheTrackscolumn,GarageBandcreatesa

newtrackfortheloopandplacesthemusicatthe

beginningofthetimelineareatotherightoftheTracksand

Mixercolumns.Thisareaisthemusicalworkspace.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Youhavenowcreatedanewtrackforthedrumloopand

addedthelooptothenumberedtimelineontheright,

startingatthe1.

Thecoloredlineinthetrackiscalledaregion.Youjust

turnedyourloopintoaregion.Thelittledarkbarsanddots

intheregionrepresentthenotes.Theverticalredlineat

theheadofthisloopisGarageBand'splayhead.Fromthe

numbersinthetimelineruler,youcanseethatthisregion

is2measureslong.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Note

UnlikemoviesandthetimelineiniMovie,musicisbuiltin

measures,whicharecountedalongtheruler.Ameasureis

amusicalunitbutnotafixedspanoftime,soitvaries

dependingonthesong.Noticethenumber1atthe

beginningofthetimeline,ratherthana0asyou'dfindif

thiswereatimescale.The1denotesthebeginningofthe

firstmeasure.Aloopthatextendsfromthe1tothe2is1

measurelong.Similarly,aloopthatextendstothe7

resultsinapieceofmusic6measureslong.



5. ClickthePlay/Pausebuttonintheshuttlecontrolsatthe

bottomofthewindow.



Themusicwillplay,continuingforwardrightpasttheend

oftheloopandintosilence.

Didyouhearit?Itwasshort.



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