I am learning a LOT about GarageBand this weekend! 2 tricks in particular...

Jupiter

Telefied
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Posts
27,856
Location
Osaka, Japan
As you might know from recent queries, I've been gradually getting more into recording stuff, because I am making promo videos for my school and I wanted to make some little background tunes.

I've got three pieces basically laid out; each one is about a minute and a half. This weekend I've been going over em, tweaking things and trying to figure out what bugs me about each one. 😅 That's surprisingly difficult! I listened to this one bit a dozen times trying to figure out why the smart drummer was losing the groove, until I figured out the problem was in the bass and guitar--both were coincidentally off at the same spot. 🥴

I'm gradually getting more adept at note-by-note editing for the virtual instruments, but I had some guitar parts that had slight timing issues even in the best takes... 😓 The long term solution is practice, of course, and I'm actually doing more of that these days thanks to this project, but I discovered the short-term solution today: flex time! I discovered it by accident, just by clicking random buttons to see what they were. Boy that is a great feature! I didn't stress-test it, so I don't know how much you can mess with time before it turns horrible, but boy just bumping this or that note a few hundredths of a second can really save a take! I was just really impressed that GB could do that as well as it did.I saw that there's even a quantize function that would find and correct the timing issues all by itself--I didn't try that one yet, but I reckon I will...

The other trick I learned today had to do with automation tracks. I had assumed GB could fade individual tracks in and out because I had already found that feature in iMovie, and it just seemed like a no-brainer for GB, but when I dug into how to do it I was amazed by the broad spectrum of parameters you can control that way, including pans, all kindsa eq stuff, effects like reverb and delay, etc.

Kinda made me wonder: I know the SERIOUS guys are using something like Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Cubase, etc., but GB seems to have pretty amazing functionality even if you don't take into consideration that it basically comes free with my Mac; I can hardly imagine feeling limited by it. What DOESN'T it have that these other apps can do?

Anyway, that's the latest dispatch from Newb-ville!
 

still_fiddlin

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 6, 2009
Posts
2,950
Location
Texas
As you might know from recent queries, I've been gradually getting more into recording stuff, because I am making promo videos for my school and I wanted to make some little background tunes.

I've got three pieces basically laid out; each one is about a minute and a half. This weekend I've been going over em, tweaking things and trying to figure out what bugs me about each one. 😅 That's surprisingly difficult! I listened to this one bit a dozen times trying to figure out why the smart drummer was losing the groove, until I figured out the problem was in the bass and guitar--both were coincidentally off at the same spot. 🥴

I'm gradually getting more adept at note-by-note editing for the virtual instruments, but I had some guitar parts that had slight timing issues even in the best takes... 😓 The long term solution is practice, of course, and I'm actually doing more of that these days thanks to this project, but I discovered the short-term solution today: flex time! I discovered it by accident, just by clicking random buttons to see what they were. Boy that is a great feature! I didn't stress-test it, so I don't know how much you can mess with time before it turns horrible, but boy just bumping this or that note a few hundredths of a second can really save a take! I was just really impressed that GB could do that as well as it did.I saw that there's even a quantize function that would find and correct the timing issues all by itself--I didn't try that one yet, but I reckon I will...

The other trick I learned today had to do with automation tracks. I had assumed GB could fade individual tracks in and out because I had already found that feature in iMovie, and it just seemed like a no-brainer for GB, but when I dug into how to do it I was amazed by the broad spectrum of parameters you can control that way, including pans, all kindsa eq stuff, effects like reverb and delay, etc.

Kinda made me wonder: I know the SERIOUS guys are using something like Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Cubase, etc., but GB seems to have pretty amazing functionality even if you don't take into consideration that it basically comes free with my Mac; I can hardly imagine feeling limited by it. What DOESN'T it have that these other apps can do?

Anyway, that's the latest dispatch from Newb-ville!
The current version of GB is a wrapper around Logic Pro engine, so many of the same features are there, but not always easy to find. It's designed to be simple to use, and I suppose it succeeds but if you've used Logic it can be a little maddening to dig out the pieces. I'd have to walk upstairs, and it's too early for that :), but IIRC setting up busses/auxes and sends, groups, and "take folders" (with "quick-swipe" comping) are features I use regularly in Logic Pro, which may not be accessible. (Could be wrong, because I know some of the default track/input-type options will set up some routing using sends, but I'm not sure it can be done manually.)

Personally, if you want to save some time, the $200 cost of Logic Pro will "uncloak" the features, and also allow you to see all of the little parts, like the individual settings on compressors and other FX, that you cannot get to in GB, at least last time I looked. And, in my experience, GB is not very efficient because of that wrapper software, and the routing and default FX settings, so on older hardware, I could not get it to run effectively, while Logic Pro could be configured easily to do the job. I know, $200 is not $0, but give it some thought.
 

Mjea80

Tele-Meister
Joined
Oct 3, 2020
Posts
400
Location
North
Hey @Jupiter, sounds like you are making some great progress!

Automation is a great tool for what you listed and also for adding dynamics to a track which can really bring a listener in.

Also, Flextime is great when you have a track that has some issues you need to tweak. I find on live instrument tracks I will use flextime for fix timing issues, but on midi based tracks I use the quantize function.

On to your last question. I have not used GB in so long that I really don’t know a lot if the differences. TBH I did not know that GB even had Flextime, so that is great to hear. I do believe thought that LPX does come with a much bigger library of instrument plugins and presets.

Sounds like you are progressing a long nicely. Keep up the good work, and feel free to post your work, I like hearing other members recordings.

✌🏻
 

catdaddy

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Posts
1,807
Location
backroads of Florida
I used GB for a year before upgrading to Logic Pro. The transition was very smooth thanks to their inherent similarity. I find Logic Pro to be more intuitive and a better fit for my work flow, but GB is a fine DAW and capable of great results. The more you dig into it, the more functionality you'll find. There've been a few well-known artists that have produced some work they've released using GB exclusively. Explore and enjoy!!
 

burntfrijoles

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Posts
9,720
Location
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
I don't use Mac GarageBand because I have Logic. I teach an adult ed class for seniors about using iPhone/iPad and it was suggested that I offer a new class for iOS and Mac GarageBand. I was reasonably sure I could teach the basic of Mac GarageBand but wasn't sure about iOS. As it turns out, the iOS app is relatively easy, particularly with Drummer tracks and the other virtual instruments. The program is going to offer it to see if there are any aging rockers or aspiring songwriters who are interested.
I really wish that Apple would consider upgrading GB for the iPad Pro since it is a very capable machine. It could look a lot more like Garageband for Mac. If they ever do that I may not replace my Mac when the time comes. (That would be a while since I have a new iMac).
 

Peegoo

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Posts
13,350
Location
Beast of Bourbon
GB is far more powerful than many folks realize; I use it for most all recording and mixing I do and get great results with it.

I like to keep things simple. I don't care about plugins, IRs, and other add-ons because they really don't do much for me. I tried that stuff and it just complicates the process. YMMV.
 

Jupiter

Telefied
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Posts
27,856
Location
Osaka, Japan
I don't use Mac GarageBand because I have Logic. I teach an adult ed class for seniors about using iPhone/iPad and it was suggested that I offer a new class for iOS and Mac GarageBand. I was reasonably sure I could teach the basic of Mac GarageBand but wasn't sure about iOS. As it turns out, the iOS app is relatively easy, particularly with Drummer tracks and the other virtual instruments. The program is going to offer it to see if there are any aging rockers or aspiring songwriters who are interested.
I really wish that Apple would consider upgrading GB for the iPad Pro since it is a very capable machine. It could look a lot more like Garageband for Mac. If they ever do that I may not replace my Mac when the time comes. (That would be a while since I have a new iMac).
Yeah I have fiddled with it on my iPad and iPhone. I was using it quite a bit to make backing tracks to noodle over on the iPad but that device doesn’t have enough memory onboard for real projects, and the phone is just so dang small…but I really like the way you can use virtual instruments on the touch screen…
GB is far more powerful than many folks realize; I use it for most all recording and mixing I do and get great results with it.

I like to keep things simple. I don't care about plugins, IRs, and other add-ons because they really don't do much for me. I tried that stuff and it just complicates the process. YMMV.
I believe guys when they say those doodads make a difference but I think my hearing just isn’t up for it anymore…
 

burntfrijoles

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Posts
9,720
Location
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
but that device doesn’t have enough memory onboard for real projects
You don't need a lot of storage if you just save them in iCloud.
but I think my hearing just isn’t up for it anymore…
It's really not the sonic difference its the features, convenience and functionality. It's the best $200 you can spend if you do a lot of recording.
 




Top