5:53 am

MacMost Now 470: Groove Matching and Flex Time in GarageBand 11

Learn about GarageBand 11's new features that help you adjust the timing of recorded tracks. You can force one track to match the beat of another, adjust individual notes or force a track to adhere to consistent timing.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. In today's episode let's look at GarageBand 11's new features flextime and groove tracks.
So here I am in GarageBand and I have recorded a simple blues sequence here using my Midi Keyboard. I've gone to great pains to make sure the timing isn't quite perfect. As a matter of fact if I look at it, it doesn't quite fall where you would think on the visual guidelines here. So you can see there is room for improvement. Now you are going to hear that difference a lot more when I add a drum track to it. So we will do that by going to the loops and looking for drums. Lets look for a nice blues drum track. And we will add this very first one here. Drag it in and then I will make it loop over the extent of the sequence here. Now when I play this is what I get. So it doesn't sound too bad, but it could be better. As a matter of fact if I zoom in some more on the track here. I can see exactly where the drum beats are on the audio track and I can see where my key presses are. You can see right here that it is not matching up perfectly. So the way to change that is to select the drum track here and on the left is the little star here. This will turn this beat into the groove track. Once I do that it adjusts everything. See it snaps this to the beginning of that beat here. So its analyzing this drum track here and figuring out where the beats should be. And then you can see its matching all my notes to specific beats. So now when I play it will be perfect. So flex timing is a bit more of a manual process. So here I have got something I recorded from a real piano. And I can simply go into the audio region editor down here. The first time I click on it, it will analyze everything. Then I can drag my cursor over and see that there are three spots that show up. The middle line and two on either side. This tries to find the area of a note that is being played. Once I select this middle spot here, I can drag it around. So shortening the bit of sound before it or lengthening the bit of sound after it or vice verse. So I can basically alter things a little bit if some note is a little bit off. Another thing you can do is quantize note time. So this will take the entire track. So I have got a pretty long track here. So I can take these notes, even though these are not mini notes. These are notes recorded over a microphone. I can make these match the timing a little better. So if I expand it enough, you can see what is gonna happen. You can see here there are three notes played here. I am gonna match that to 1/16th. And you can see them move around and lock into place. So suppose I want to take this prerecorded track here and match it to this drum track loop that I added. Now since I recorded this one without actually hearing this track at the same time. They are completely out of sync. So I can fix that with two difference techniques. The first is to match the tempo of this with the tempo of the loop. The loop of course is professionally recorded so I am gonna use that. You can see here it doesn't match at all. It will end right here while the drums end here. So I can do that by selecting that track and I make sure I have follow tempo and pitch turned on. And I can adjust the tempo here and I will adjust it to just the right amount, actually I am gonna bring it down. It should be one drum measure less. And right at 106. There. And I am gonna then shrink this track down and make the extra loop. And now I should have something reasonably close. That sounds good. And now I can improve it even further by making this the groove track and it will analyze it. And the track next to it and match them even closer. So there's a quick look at some adjustments you can make in GarageBand 11. Till next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 3 Responses to “MacMost Now 470: Groove Matching and Flex Time in GarageBand 11”

    andrew susay
    1/12/11 @ 8:16 pm

    Thanks man!!!..When I got an iMac 3 months ago..which was the first ever Mac, I really hated it. Thanks to your tutorials, i am lovin my mac.

    Joseph Cambra
    7/13/12 @ 1:20 am

    Hi how can i change the tempo of one part of my song and then change it back to the og tempo? I can i do this? if so how? Please help:)

      7/13/12 @ 1:41 am

      You can’t. The song must have the same tempo. But you can use techniques like this one to play around with it.

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