Garageband for Anyone

Hank Wajda
Jason Heiser

2009 Keystone Technology Summit

Garageband for Everyone-Tips and Tricks

Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Sigmund Weis Music Building, Room 115
1:10 - 2:40 PM


Hank Wajda, Music Educator, Keystone Technology Integrator, TI-ME Instructor - TI-ME is the Technology Institute for Music Educators; www.ti-me.org

Bensalem Township School District; Robert K. Shafer Middle School

With more teachers as content creators, the need for copyright free background music has never been greater. Apple's Garageband has made music creation a democratic process. Garageband allows the user to create original, royalty free music from small audio units called "loops". In this session, you will learn some tips for creating high quality musical clips that you will be proud of. No musical experience necessary.

First of all, let's define a loop. A loop is a short audio recording (1-4 seconds) that contains a rhythmic or melodic idea. They can be simple or more complex. You can use pre-made loops, or create your own. I like to compare loops to LEGOs. You can't do much with a single loop, but combined with others, you can create great loop based recordings.


This handout is a list of tips and tricks to keep the audio content you create in Garageband sounding professional.

Garageband has made music creation easy, fun and within the grasp of everyone.

1. Think in groups of 2, 4, or 8 (they are really measures)

2. Allow musical ideas to unfold over time. Music is written on a canvas called time.

3. All instruments don’t to be playing all the time. Have sections where fewer instruments are playing. This is called texture.

4. Choose compatible sounds and loops. A subdued blues piano loop might not work with a lively banjo loop

5. Create Drum solos where appropriate

6. Use your ears to decide if you like what you hear.

7. Use effects to create unique sounding loops and for digital recording

8. Duplicate tracks and nudge forward to create an interesting chorusing effect

9. Split loops, and change the key to give your piece momentum.


Windows users often ask "Is there a program like that for PCs?

The answer is yes. There are a few programs.


1. Mixcraft - $64.95 You can download a free trial of Mixcraft from their website: http://www.acoustica.com/mixcraft/

2. Fruity Loops - You can download a free trial of Fruity Loops from their website: http://flstudio.image-line.com/

3. Sony Acid Music Studio - $54.95 You can download a free trial from Sony's website at http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/download/trials/musicstudio

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