oit Digital Audio Basics with GarageBand (For Garageband 09) UMass Office of Information Technologies

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1 oit UMass Office of Information Technologies Digital Audio Basics with GarageBand (For Garageband 09) GarageBand is digital audio software that comes with MacOS as part of the ilife suite. It can be used to compose music, edit audio, and produce podcast episodes. Get Started... 2 Garage Band Track Editor Interface... 3 The Garage Band Media Browser... 4 The Garage Band Loops Browser... 5 Import Audio Files... 6 Import Photo/Video Files... 7 Record New Audio... 8 Edit Audio... 9 Save & Export Useful Links Garageband Keyboard Controls OIT Academic Computing Lederle Graduate Research Center University of Massachusetts Amherst Phone: (413) March 2010 jc

2 Digital Audio Basics with Garageband 2 Get Started GarageBand is part of ilife, a software suite for your Macintosh computer and is one of the possible applications you can use to capture the audio for your podcast. If you have previously recorded audio, you can get started with editing right away. If you need a sample audio file to work with, visit Librivox ( and download a public domain clip. If you wish to make your own recording, go to the Record New Audio section of this document for instructions on how to record quality audio using GarageBand. What You Will Need 1. Recording device: a voice recorder, computer or camcorder. We recommend recording in digital format so there is no loss of quality during transfer. A computer works best, but digital voice recorders are also good. 2. Microphone: The built-in microphones of most digital devices are adequate if you are recording in a quiet, closed space, but for best results you should use an external microphone or headset. USB microphone headsets are ideal for basic solo recording. 3. Audio Editing Software: in this document we focus on Apple s GarageBand, which is part of ilife, a Macintosh creative software suite. If you do not have ilife you can use Audacity, a free, cross-platform editing program availble as a download from: Create Your Project 1. Go to Applications > GarageBand. The GarageBand intro window will open. 2. In the GarageBand window, double-click Podcast. The New Project from Template window will open. 3. In the New Project from Template window: In the Save As: field, enter a title for your project (e.g., Podcast-1 or Interview-1) In the save location field: drop-down menu, select the location where you would prefer your podcast to be saved. Note: Uncompressed audio or video files can take up a large amount of space on your hard drive, before you begin, make sure that you have sufficient space available on your computer, or consider using an external hard drive. Click Create (at bottom-right of window). The GarageBand - My Song window will open.

3 Digital Audio Basics with Garageband 3 Playhead Garage Band Track Editor Interface The image below is the main window with the Track Editor and Media Browser visible. The Track Editor provides enhanced track editing tools and an expanded view for fine-tuned adjustments. This waveform is a visual representation of the audio on a track. Track Editor Click to display Loop Browser, Track Info or Media browser. Click to hide/view Track Editor. Control Bar Start or Stop recording playback will continue. (R key) Repeat playback from the beginning once it gets to the end. Jump back to the beginning of a track. (Home key) Jump back by one measure (segment) of your recording (Page Up Key) Play or Pause the audio. (Space Bar) Jump ahead by one measure (segment) of your recording. (Page Down key)

4 Digital Audio Basics with Garageband 4 The Garage Band Media Browser GarageBand integrates itunes songs, Garageband projects, movie files and other media files into the Media Browser for easy previewing and importing into your project. Click-and-drag a file from the Media Browser to the Tracks Pane to import it into your project. Use the Mixer Panel on each track to control track volume and balance. Click the musical note in the bottom right corner to show or hide the Media Browser. Playhead This is the Media Browser Drag to adjust the viewing scale of a track. Tracks Pane Track Editor Click and type to go to search for a file. Use the balance knob to adjust the level of audio on each channel (left or right). Meters indicate the volume level of each track relative to what humans find comfortable. If the meter rises into the red, you may need to lower the track s volume. View/Hide Media Browser Opens the track volume pane for manual volume adjustment by adding and moving handles (points) on the blue volume line. The Ducking feature allows you to set which track volume should drop back when other tracks are playing. Use the Track Volume Slider to adjust a track s overall volume. Track Volume Pane

5 Digital Audio Basics with Garageband 5 The Garage Band Loops Browser GarageBand features an extensive collection of sound clips and audio effects that you can use to embellish your recordings. By creating your own loops, you can record and reuse your own sounds and recordings. Click-and-drag a file from the Loops Browser to the Tracks Pane to import a loop into your project. This is the Loops Browser Tracks Pane Track Editor Click and type to go to search for a file. Click the eye to show or hide the Loops Browser.

6 Digital Audio Basics with Garageband 6 Import Audio Files File Types You can import the following audio file types into a Garageband project: AIFF, WAV, AAC, MP3, and Apple Lossless. Locate the best quality files for your source materials. If you are searching for a clip of captured audio, look for versions that are large files (larger file size typically signifies higher quality). Ideally, audio files should have a sample rate of 44.1 khz and a bit depth of 16 bits. If necessary, convert non-compatible file types using another program, such as itunes, MPEG Streamclip, or Quicktime Pro prior to importing the files into Garageband. Import Files Drag from Finder 1. Browse for an audio file on the desktop or other directory. 2. Drag-and-drop the file onto an existing track or into an empty space on the Tracks Pane to create a new track. Drag from Media Browser 1. Click the Media Browser button (eye icon at bottom-right) to open the Media Browser. 2. Click the Audio tab. 3. Select the itunes folder, a listing of your itunes library content will open. 4. Drag-and-drop the file(s) onto an existing track or into an empty space on the Tracks Pane to create a new track. If you click the Photos tab or Movies tab you can drag-and-drop images or movies onto the Podcast Track to accompany your Garageband project. Copyright Considerations If you are copying an audio file from the Internet or other source to use in an audio project or podcast, be sure that you have permission to do so. Either get the file from a reputable public domain archive of audio (such as archive.org or librivox.org) or contact the author of the work and request permission to use it. This is especially important with music. The RIAA is especially protective of its member s copyrights, so using music without permission for any public performance is risky.

7 Digital Audio Basics with Garageband 7 Import Photo/Video Files File Types You can import QuickTime compatible movie files or imovie Projects into a Garageband project. If necessary, convert non-compatible file types using another program, such as MPEG Streamclip, or Quicktime Pro prior to importing the files into Garageband. Import Files Drag from Finder 1. Browse for a photo or video file on the desktop or other directory. 2. Drag-and-drop the file onto the Podcast Track. Drag from Media Browser 1. Click the Media Browser button (eye icon at bottom-right) to open the Media Browser. 2. Click the Photos tab or Movies tab. 3. Navigate through the folders in either tab to locate a media file. 4. Drag-and-drop the file(s) onto the Podcast Track. When you drag a video file onto the Podcast Track, the track will be renamed Movie Track. You can use either photos or videos on the track, but not both. Copyright Considerations If you are copying a media file from the Internet or other source to use in an audio project or podcast, be sure that you have permission to do so. Either get the file from a reputable public domain archive or contact the author of the work and request permission to use it. Photo Enhanced Podcast Playback Podcasts that incorporate photos are considered enhanced podcasts, and may only be exported using AAC compression.

8 Digital Audio Basics with Garageband 8 Record New Audio Select or Create a Track 1. In GarageBand, click the Track where you wish to record (i.e, Male Voice, Female Voice, etc.). 2. If you do not see the track you want to use, go to Track > New Track... The New Track pop-up window will open. 3. In the New Track pop-up window, select Real Instrument if you are recording from a physical source (e.g., voice, musical instrument, etc) or select Software Instrument to record from a virtual instrument within GarageBand. 4. Click Create. A new Track will appear in the Tracks Pane. Begin Recording 1. In the Tracks Pane, align the playhead to a position along the track where you wish to begin recording. 2. Click the Record button (or press R) to begin recording. You will see the track s timeline expand as your recording progresses. If you click the Record button one more time, GarageBand will stop recording, but the playback will continue to move. Click Record again to continue recording at a point later in the timeline. (You can use this to pause your recording, without ending your recording session.) To stop the recording AND halt the playhead from continuing along the timeline, click the Play button (or press the Spacebar). Recording Tips To maximize the quality of your recording: Find a secluded, quiet space (listen for traffic, fans or other noises). A space with soft materials on the walls will make for cleaner audio. Try to make sure that you will not be interrupted during your recording and remember to turn off your cell phone! Before you record your actual content, test your equipment by recording a brief piece of audio to ensure that everything is working properly. Create written notes or use index cards to help you get through your recording with a prepared sense of timing and rhythm. Avoid unnecessary noises such as banging your hands on the table, shuffling papers, or touching the recording device. Also, remove any jewelry or accessories that may create unwanted noise. If you flub a line, pause, keep talking, and edit it out later. Make your audio casual but structured. Don t lecture or read your content. But don t talk too fast or run words together either. Speak naturally or conversationally.

9 Digital Audio Basics with Garageband 9 Edit Audio GarageBand lets you easily edit segments of recorded audio tracks. Change the Position of Clips on a Track To change the position of an audio clip, select the clip and drag it to a new position. You may change the position of a clip within a track or move it to a new track. Remove a Segment of Audio 1. Align the playhead at the the beginning of a segment of audio that you would like to remove. 2. Go to Edit > Split (or press Command-T). The audio track will be divided at the playhead. 3. If you are removing a segment within a track, next place the playhead at the end of the segment that you d like to remove and go to Edit > Split again. 4. Select the segment you would like to delete. The segment will become a darker color. Go to Edit > Cut. The unwanted segment of audio will be deleted. Create a Loop In GarageBand, you can save an audio segment as a Loop that you can reuse and repeat. 1. Align the playhead at the beginning of a segment of audio that you would like to create a loop from. 2. Go to Edit > Split (or press Command-T). The audio track will be divided at the playhead. 3. Align the playhead at the end of the segment of audio that you would like to create a loop from and go to Edit > Split again. 4. Select the segment that you have isolated and go to Edit > Add To Loop Library. The Loops dialog box will open. 5. In the name field, give your loop a name. Select an Instrument Descriptor for it, and also a Genre. 6. Click Create. Adjust a Project s Master Volume In the Control Bar, at the bottom of the Garageband window, drag the master volume slider to the left or to the right to reduce or increase the overall volume level of your project. Adjust a Track s Volume In the Mixer Panel, on the left side of the Garageband window, drag the track s volume slider to the left or to the right to reduce or increase the overall volume level of an individual track. (See breakout diagram of the Mixer Panel on page 4 of this document for additional Mixer features.)

10 Digital Audio Basics with Garageband 10 Save & Export There are many audio formats used on the Web, but MP3 is the most prolific. The MP3 format offers a balance of sound quality, file size and widespread compatibility. This format is compressed to be smaller than the original files, and thus will not be as high quality. It s advisable to keep a copy of the original Garageband project file in addition to exporting an MP3 or AAC file for distribution. If you will be exporting your podcast with photos (slides) you will need to export as an AAC (See section below, Exporting an AAC.). Quality and File Size If you are creating a podcast that is just spoken word, you can use lower quality audio. For example, most NPR podcasts are 44.1kHz at 64 bit. Technical Details: Samples per second & Quality 44.1kHz 22kHz 11kHz 8kHz Standard audio CD sampling Half of the CD sampling rate. (good for a mix of voice & music) Passable voice Telephone quality Bit rate Quality MB/min 1411 CD quality Good CD quality Near CD quality Near CD quality FM quality AM quality Short-wave quality Source: documents/briefings/briefing-23/html/ Chipmunk Effect: If you save your MP3 at a khz rate that is not divisible by 11, some players will speed up the audio--creating a chipmunk version of your audio. Saving an Archive Project in Garageband If you are always working on the same computer, you can simply Save your Garageband projects to your hard drive (typically these will be saved in the Garageband folder inside your Music folder.) If you want to back up a project or edit it on another computer, save it as an Archive so that all the associated media files are saved together. 1. Go to File > Save As. 2. Give the file a name and choose a location to save the file. 3. Check Archive Project. 4. Click Save. If this archive file is too large for your needs, you can save a compact version which still lets you edit the project, but uses slightly lowerquality audio. For this option, check Compact Project and choose Medium, Small, Micro. Although all are CD quality, Medium will give you the best quality copy. Exporting an MP3 Once you have a version of a Garageband project that you want to share, and have made a backup (see above), you are ready to create an MP3 file of the project. 1. Go to Share > Export Podcast to Disk 2. In the Compress Using drop-down menu select MP3 Encoder. 3. In the Audio Settings drop-down menu select Spoken Podcast or Musical Podcast. Mono Podcast = 32 kbps (mono; optimized for voice) Spoken Podcast = 64 kbps (stereo; optimized for voice) Musical Podcast = 128 kbps (ideal for voice & music) Higher Quality = 192 kbps (ideal for music & complex audio) 4. Give the file a name and choose a location for it to be saved. (If you are posting this to a Web site or podcast, don t use spaces or special characters in the name. Only use letters, numbers, dashes and/or underscores.)

11 Digital Audio Basics with Garageband 11 Exporting an AAC Once you have a version of a Garageband project that you want to share, and have made a backup (see above), you are ready to create an AAC file of the project. 1. Go to Share > Export Podcast to Disk 2. In the Compress Using drop-down menu select AAC Encoder. 3. In the Audio Settings drop-down menu select Spoken Podcast or Musical Podcast. Mono Podcast = 32 kbps (mono; optimized for voice) Spoken Podcast = 64 kbps (stereo; optimized for voice) Musical Podcast = 128 kbps (ideal for voice & music) Higher Quality = 192 kbps (ideal for music & complex audio) 4. Check Publish Podcast. 5. Give the file a name and choose a location for it to be saved. (If you are posting this to a Web site or podcast, don t use spaces or special characters in the name. Only use letters, numbers, dashes and/or underscores.)

12 Digital Audio Basics with Garageband 12 Useful Links Podcasting Overviews Podcasting, Wikipedia Make Your First Podcast, Podcasting News Ten Tips for Improving Your Podcasts, Jack Herrington Creating a Podcast, Bart G. Farkas. Podcast Tools, S. Housley Video and Podcast Search Engines, SearchEngineWatch General Recording Advice, Librivox Garageband Documentation Garageband Manuals, Apple Garageband Tutorial, Penn State Faculty Media Center Garageband Podcasting Tutorial, University of Toledo Audacity Links Download Audacity Audacity Tutorial, UPenn Educational Applications Seven things you should know about Podcasting, ELI (PDF) The Educational Podcast Network

13 Digital Audio Basics with Garageband 13 Garageband Keyboard Controls Playback Control Play Pause Go to Beginning Go to End Forward one measure Backward one measure Forward one screen Backward one screen Zoom In Zoom Out SpaceBar Z or Home Opt-Z or End Right Arrow Left Arrow Page Down Page Up Control-Left Arrow Control-Right Arrow Recording and Editing Controls Undo Command-Z Record Start Stop Split (at playhead) Join selected R (note that this does not stop the playback) Command-T Command-J Jump to Start Start Stop Recording Trim Join Jump to End Jump Back Jump Forward Undo Start Stop Playback Step Back Step Forward For a complete list of Garageband Keyboard Shortcuts see:

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