GarageBand is an application developed by Apple for the macOS and iOS platforms, thanks to which it is possible to play various types of musical instruments and record the songs created on your devices. The program is aimed at a non-professional audience (for professionals, Apple has developed Logic Pro X, which is decidedly more advanced) and, therefore, even those who are not very familiar with the world of audio editing or cannot play a instrument in particular can use it without too many problems: thanks above all to its simple and intuitive graphic environment.
How do you say? With this introduction I put you themouth watering and now you would like to know how to use GarageBand? No sooner said than done! In today’s guide, in fact, I will show you the main features of this software by explaining how to use it both on Mac and on iPhone and iPad. Even if you are not very familiar with the world of music, you can be sure that using GarageBand won’t be a problem at all, as long as you scrupulously follow my instructions, of course!
So, are you ready to get started? Yup? Very well! Make yourself comfortable, take all the time you need to concentrate on reading the next paragraphs and, more importantly, implement the “tips” that I will give you. I’m sure you will have a lot of fun creating backing tracks with GarageBand and, why not, maybe this will be the beginning of a promising career as a hi-tech musician. I wish you a good read and, above all, have fun!
How to use GarageBand on Mac
If you use a Macknow what to use GarageBand it’s quite simple: after installing the program, just start it and then use the various tools and features present in it to create backing tracks.
On Macs, GarageBand is usually already installed. To verify that this is the case, all you have to do is open the launchpad (the icon of rocket placed on Docks) and locate the GarageBand icon (the electric guitar resting on a amplifier) or, if you prefer, search for the application via Spotlight.
If you have uninstalled GarageBand from your Mac, however, know that you can download the application directly from Mac App Store: to do so, connected to this page, press the button See in Mac App Store located under the name and the overall evaluation of the software and, once the MAS is open on your computer, press the button Get/Install the app. When the download is complete, press the button You open to launch GarageBand and you’re done.
When you start the application for the first time, you may be asked to consent to the installation of a collection of sounds necessary to fully use some of the program’s functions: I suggest you accept by clicking on the appropriate button.
Once GarageBand has started, read the information sheets that show you its main features and press the button Keep on to display the main program window, from which you can access its various sections by clicking on one of the tabs located on the left sidebar: New projectto create a new project; Learn to playto perform exercises that allow you to learn to play a musical instrument or Shop lessonsto buy guitar lessons, piano lessons or lessons taught directly by some artists.
If you’ve chosen to start a new project, select the tab New project from the sidebar located on the left and press one of the buttons located on the right of the window to select the type of project desired (eg. Empty project, Keyboard collection, Amplifier collection, Voiceetc.), then click on the button You choose located in the lower right corner.
If, for example, you decided to start an empty project, then in the window that opens you will be prompted to choose one of the track types among those proposed: Software toolfor playing and recording a wide variety of instruments such as piano, organ and synthesizers; Audioto record sounds through a microphone or to connect a guitar to your Mac and record through virtual amps and effects pedals or Drummers, to add a drummer to automatically accompany your song. As soon as you have selected the type of track to use, press the blue button Create.
Based on the choice made just now, you’ll find yourself in front of the GarageBand editor which, as you can see, is divided (virtually) into different blocks, which puts its apparently complicated interface in order. In the block located on the left, for example, there is the Bookshelf of sounds and instruments, in the upper part of the window there are the instruments with which to perform the mixing of the songs, while at the bottom of the window is theeditor actual containing i check and theequalizer.
In addition, in the upper part of the window there are buttons that can be useful in various circumstances: the button Quick help (on which the symbol is shown ?), for example, can allow you to view comics that illustrate the characteristics of each element displayed on the screen, while the button Smart Controls (the icon of adjustment wheel), can be pressed to activate/deactivate the quick controls displayed in the lower right corner of the GarageBand editor.
Using the menus located at the top (in the macOS menu bar), however, you can access the other GarageBand functions: Fileto save a project, open a new one or to import a song from other devices; Editto edit the piece by making, for example, clippings; Traceto act on the tracks present in your project; Shareto export the file containing the recorded song, etc.
The best way to become familiar with GarageBend is to continue practicing with it: therefore, take advantage of the information I have just provided and constantly dedicate time to learning the audio editing application developed by the Cupertino giant. If you need more information on using GarageBand on Mac, read the official Apple guide by clicking on the link I just provided.
How to use GarageBand on iPhone and iPad
You would like to know how to use GarageBand on iPhone and iPad? I think it’s a great idea: this way you can compose music even on the go, seizing inspiration on the fly! As I already told you in the Mac chapter, to use GarageBand all you have to do is install the app on your device, start it and use the tools present in it to play your favorite instrument.
On iOS devices, the GarageBand app is usually already installed “by default”. If you have uninstalled the app, press this link to go directly to the app pageApp Store that hosts it, presses the button Getconfirm the operation via the TouchIDthe Face ID or the code and, when the download is complete, press the button You open.
After starting GarageBand, press the button Keep on to close the welcome screen displayed when you first start the app and tap the blue button Use GarageBand to access the section containing the musical instruments.
After starting GarageBand, press the button Live Loopsto use the tool that allows you to create music more easily or press the button Tracksif you want to create music by playing a musical instrument (eg. Keyboard, Percussion, Amplifier, Bows, Bass, Guitar, Ethnic, Drummers, etc.). If you don’t see these buttons because you are in the “My tracks” section, press the symbol (+) located at the top right.
If you have chosen to use the Live Loops feature, press the button New to start composing a new song, tap the button showing the pen with squares located at the bottom left, press on one of the cells displayed to select it and press on the item Loops to use ready-to-use tracks made available in GarageBand. Then, in the box that opens, tap on the available tracks to start playback and, after identifying the one that’s right for you, drag it to the selected cell.
If you want to record a Live Loops performance, then press the button Register (the dot red) located in the control bar at the top, start the performance by pressing the cells or switches to start playback, stop the recording by pressing the icon square located in the control bar always located at the top and tap the button play (the icon of triangle) to play the performance.
If, on the other hand, you have chosen to play a musical instrument and have pressed on the voice Tracksselect the tool you want to use (eg. Keyboard), tap the button in the center to select the specific tool you want to use (eg. Grand Piano, Classic Rock Organ, Electric pianoetc.) and, before starting to compose the music, press the button Register (the dot red) located at the top.
Now all you have to do is play the chosen instrument and, when you finish recording the audio track, tap the symbol of square located at the top to stop recording. To listen to it again, press the button play (the icon of triangle) always located at the top.
In both cases, to save the audio track you’ve recorded, all you have to do is tap the button My songs (top left) and you’re done. Did you see that it wasn’t that difficult to use GarageBand on iOS? If you need more information on using GarageBand on iPhone and iPad, read the official Apple guide (for iPhone and iPad) by pressing the links I just provided.
Salvatore Aranzulla is the most read blogger and IT popularizer in Italy. He is known for discovering vulnerabilities in Google and Microsoft sites. He collaborates with computer magazines and takes care of the technological section of the newspaper Il Messaggero. He is the founder of Aranzulla.it, one of the thirty most visited sites in Italy, in which he simply answers thousands of computer-related questions. He has published for Mondadori and Mondadori Informatica.