Introduction: How to Edit Songs From Your ITunes Library on GarageBand
This "how to" will describe in detail the process of how to edit, merge, loop, etc ANY of your favorite songs using Garageband. Garageband is a program available for OS X and iOS Mac users that has everything you need to learn, play, record, mix, and share great-sounding music, even if you've never played a note. If you have a Mac, chances are you can search "Garageband" in the spotlight, open it up, and begin making and editing cool music with the help of my guide.
This guide will show how to use multiple features of Garageband in order to specifically create a mega-mix of your favorite songs, rap verses, etc.
**It is assumed you have music downloaded to your iTunes library if you would like to use this guide.
Items Needed: A mac computer with GarageBand.
Step 1: Open GarageBand on Your Mac
Open GarageBand by either:
a) Clicking on the small guitar symbol on your dock (bottom of screen)
b) Searching "GarageBand" in the spotlight feature (top right of screen- magnifying glass symbol)
c) Clicking Finder on your dock --> Applications --> GargageBand
Choose New Project --> Double click Voice --> Name your project whatever you would like --> Click "Create"
SIDE NOTE: When naming your project, it may ask for tempo, BPM, etc. Don't worry about that. Just select Create.
You will now see a screen similar to the picture at the top.
Step 2: Open the Media Browser
The "Media Browser" is a collection of your songs from iTunes, photos on your computer, etc.
To open it, click on the small "View / Hide the Media Browser" button at the far bottom right of your garageband screen (see photo).
You now have open all of the songs from your iTunes library.
--> If for some reason it opens up your photos or movies, simply click on the "Audio" tab above.
The next step will show how to pull these songs onto the screen to allow for editing.
Step 3: Drag Song(s) Onto the Screen
Now, with your entire iTunes library open, decide what songs you want to edit, loop, merge, etc. You can listen to & preview your downloaded songs simply by clicking on the song, clicking the play button below the library, and then stopping the song by once again clicking the play (stop) button.
To use a song, click once on a song you want to use. Now, drag the song anywhere onto the portion of the screen in the middle where it says "Drag Apple Loops here."
Now, you're going to want to move the song all the way to the left so it begins to play sound as soon as you preview the track.
To do move a track to a specific time/beat, click anywhere on the song's track OTHER THEN the far left (you will see that would expand the track rather than move it) and move/drag it to the left so the song would begin at beat 1. You'll see the beats (1, 2, 3) at the top of the screen.
Now you have a song/track ready to listen to and edit.
SIDE NOTE: You can play the song by clicking on the Play button on the bottom of the screen next to the red "record"circle, and quickly go to the beginning of the song by clicking on the "Start from Beginning" button.
Step 4: How to Split Portions of Songs
Let's say you love every verse that Juicy J does in every song, but the rest of the song is terrible. You only want to hear Juicy J's part. With GarageBand, you can split and cut Juicy J's verse from one song and then combine another one of Juicy J's verse from another song. If you don't have Juicy J songs downloaded, it's ok. As long as you learn how to split portions of songs you'll get the idea. Heres how:
1) Press Play (or the space button) to begin the song you have dragged onto the loop.
Note: you'll see the GarageBand cursor moving as the music plays.
2) Stop the song a few seconds in (by pressing play again or hitting the space button).
3) Before splitting, MAKE SURE the track with the song in it is selected (see pic).
4) Go to the blue box on the bottom of the screen with the measure numbers in it, click on the little music note button, and select "time" (see pic). This will allow you to move the GarageBand cursor around to every and any second of the song.
5) With the correct track selected, go to the top of the screen and click on Edit --> Split. The song will now split at that point (see pic #2).
You'll now notice that you have two distinct portions of the song. One is highlighted and one is not. You can click on whichever portion you want to select that piece & further edit it.
Let's move on to the next step.
Step 5: Cut Part of a Track
Now that your track is split into two pieces, you can move them around (which will come in handy when you want to add another track/play 2 songs over-top of each other) OR, as we are going to do, cut/remove portion of a song.
1) Select the piece of the track your going to cut (in this case, we have 2 pieces- it's sensible that you choose the right piece as there's room to move it further right).
2) With the correct piece selected, go to Edit (at the top of the screen) --> Cut.
Note: You can also move portions of a track by selecting and dragging it into either an empty track or simply moving it right to create space.
Now that there's one portion of a song in the project, let's add a portion of a different song into the project.
Step 6: Add Another Track
Let's now add another track to show how you can put multiple tracks into one song. Refer back to Step 2 to open your media browser, then refer to Step 3 to drag a new song onto the screen where it says "Drag Apple Loops Here."
Throw in any song you want. Once you figure out how to use the program, you can think of similar-sounding songs and use those to create cool mixes.
You should now have 2 songs/tracks on your GarageBand project. It should look similar to the first picture above.
Step 7: Overlap 2 Songs
Now that there are 2 tracks on the screen, let's see how you can overlap the sounds of two different songs.
Your tracks may already be like this (see pic), but if not:
1) Move your tracks all the way to the first beat / 00:00 seconds (all the way to the left)
Remember: moving a track is easy. Simply select and pull it in the direction you want to move it.
The 2 tracks should be evenly above / below each other as the picture above shows.
Chances are it will sound horrible, but the point is to show how you can overlap songs as producers / DJ's do. They call this a "mashup."
Step 8: Play One Portion of a Song After Another
We just saw how to overlap 2 songs, now let's move portions of songs directly after each other. In Step 4 we discussed how you may really like Juicy J's verses on songs and want to create a compilation of his best verses. We learned how to cut tracks, move tracks, etc. Now let's put those skills together to create a mix of different songs.
Your tracks should be aligned together as seen in the picture in Step 7.
1. Move the bottom track to the right so as the first track ends the second track will immediately begin playing (see pic).
Now, when you hit play, you will notice that as the first song ends the second song will immediately begin playing. This is how you would cut multiple verses from multiple songs and move them all next to each other to create a mega-mix of your favorite rap verses, if you wanted too.
Step 9: Upload Your Song to ITunes
Once your song is complete, you can send it to iTunes or send it to a CD. Either way, it's simple. Let's send this song to your iTunes.
1) Click on Share (top of screen) --> Send Song to iTunes (see pic)
2) A pop up screen will appear with iTunes playlist, artist name, etc. (see pic)
3) Name everything as you wish EXCEPT type in a playlist name that you already have as a playlist on your iTunes. If you try to send your song to a playlist that doesn't exist on your iTunes, an error message may appear. Everyone should have a Recently Added playlist, so that is the most reliable to use.
4) Make sure "Compress" is checked.
5) "Compress Using" & "Audio Settings" should automatically be set to what's best for your computer.
6) Click "Share" and wait.
7) The song should go to your iTunes under the playlist you directed it to.
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.
what if your song doesn't show up even after searching for it
I do not understand (or see) where/how you are marking off (selecting) the portion of a song that you want to keep.... thus throwing away the stuff that you don't want.
I see where you move the marker (vertical bar/cursor) to where you want the song to begin. But then where/how to you set an end marker --so you are keeping everything in between those markers???
Hi... I am new to Garageband and have recorded a song but seem to have a problem. How can I be sure the timing of my chord track is in sync with the timing of my melody track and bass track? Sometimes it sounds like the timing of one or the other track is just a bit off.