GarageBand Tutorial

First Song with GarageBand

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18 Videos | Length: 1hr 33min 59sec
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  • Introduction 5:16


    Learn about what this series is about and hear a run through of the song that will be built up throughout the following videos.

  • Laying Down a Beat 5:11

    Laying Down a Beat

    Starting with a blank project, follow along as a kik and snare part are created, and then two Drummer tracks are added and EQ’s and layered together to form the basic groove for the song.

  • Verse Chord Progression 4:42

    Verse Chord Progression

    Watch as the basic chord pattern for the verse is recorded in real time, time corrected in the Piano Roll editor, layered with an additional keyboard sound, and copied across sixteen bars.

  • Verse Bass Part 5:04

    Verse Bass Part

    See how the bass part is built up by recording a part that matches the rhythm of the keyboards, quantizing it, layering it, and copying it.

  • The Prechorus 3:56

    The Prechorus

    Hear how this section is used to build up anticipation by using wide open chord voicings with no third. It creates an ambiguous quality that keeps the listener’s attention, wondering where it will lead to and how it will resolve.

  • The Chorus 3:30

    The Chorus

    Hear how a delayed harmonic resolution is created by placing an Am chord before arriving at the C, and how the rhythmic connection between the keyboard and bass parts is finally relaxed and separated.

  • Pads & Pitch Risers 3:53

    Pads & Pitch Risers

    Watch as a pad is added to fill out the harmony in the prechorus, and pitch risers are added to build the excitement and anticipation leading to the chorus.

  • Adding an Intro 4:11

    Adding an Intro

    See how elements of both the the verse and the prechorus are modified and combined to form an introduction, and used as a means of foreshadowing what is to follow later in the song.

  • Adding Strings to the Chorus 2:40

    Adding Strings to the Chorus

    Watch as an eight bar counter melody is created in the chorus using a single note string line doubled in octaves. Using a longer motif in this way over the four bar chord pattern creates more interest and keeps the listener focused for the full eight bars.

  • Song Structure 1:47

    Song Structure

    See how the song form is built up using simple copy and paste functions.

  • Developing the Arrangement Pt. 1 5:58

    Developing the Arrangement Pt. 1

    Learn to add and remove elements from various sections as a vehicle to build or reduce the energy and intensity in different sections of the song.

  • Developing the Arrangement Pt. 2 7:07

    Developing the Arrangement Pt. 2

    See how removing various elements on the second verse and second chorus creates a “breakdown” style effect, creating contrast and interest between the various song sections.

  • Lead Vocals 5:35

    Lead Vocals

    Watch and listen as the lead vocals for each section of the song are are loop recorded three times.

  • Backup Vocals 4:16

    Backup Vocals

    See how the background vocal hook is constructed, and layered, to fit with the chorus’s melody.

  • Editing the Vocals 8:00

    Editing the Vocals

    Follow along as EQ, compression, and reverb are added to the lead, backup, and harmony vocals. Hear how some stereo delay combined with layering the three different takes together is used to create an alternate feel during the second verse. Finally, hear how the breakdown effect at the beginning of the final choruses is enhanced by featuring the backup vocals without the lead vocal.

  • Adding Guitar 9:19

    Adding Guitar

    See how a guitar part (played by groove3 colleague Orren Merton) is constructed to support the natural tension and release in the songs arrangement, and watch as the verse part is edited and processed to help contrast and compliment the keyboard rhythms.

  • Vocal Problem & Soloution 2:37

    Vocal Problem & Soloution

    Discover how a common problem with layered vocals not all ending in sync together is fixed by selectively trimming away some of the region ends.

  • Finishing the Mix 10:57

    Finishing the Mix

    See how some of the final elements come together to finish the mix, including changing the rhythm guitar tone, adding volume automation to the keyboard parts, setting the Master Track effects processing, creating a fade out, and sharing the finished mix.

Product Overview

Say you've got a creative spark for a song idea and want to compose, record, and mix it into a song, using Apple GarageBand. In this 90 minute series, Eli Krantzberg shows you how you can use GarageBand to make it all happen, step by step.

Eli starts by explaining the series, and giving you a preview of the song, called "Hello Fun." The next videos are all about Song Buildup, Laying Down the Beat, coming up with a Chord Progression and Baseline for the Verse, creating a Pre-Chorus, then a Chorus.

Once the parts start taking shape, Eli dives into expanding the song with Pads and Pitch Risers, forming an Introduction, and adding String Synths to the Chorus.

With the parts formed, Eli now turns to song structure and developing the arrangement. With the song itself beginning to form, he spends the next few videos showing you how to Add and Edit Vocals and Guitars before finally Finishing off the Mix and sharing it with the world.

If you're new to GarageBand, maybe even to digital music in general, "First Song in GarageBand" will get you started on the path of complete song creation!

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