Monday, August 1, 2011


PURPOSE OF DUPLICATE TRACKS: Full control over volume, including fade-out. This works for MIDI DRUM LOOPS that you import.... for example, that clinky bell might get on your nerves at the imported volume, but you can lower its volume in places to rest the ears IF it has its own track. Another example: I found some REALLY cool thunderstorm effects under Software Instruments at
Track > Show Track Info > Sound Effects >Nature Sounds ....
Thunder, lightening, pouring rain.... and all are MIDI notes, so I could select exactly what sound I wanted for Power songs like IN GOD'S EYE (

The problem? The rain and earthquake and crashing waves would end too abruptly--the moment the MIDI note stopped -- but if I tried continuing that MIDI note, the rain etc. lasted too long. Same for thunderclaps, etc. You can create a fade-out of a GarageBand track, but not of a single note within that track.

Here's the fun trick I figured out which might help you. Warning: This can get tediooouuussss for long songs. It's easier if you plan ahead, do these with Verse 1 before you copy it to add verses 2,3, etc. that lengthen your song.

1. Click on the track name to highlight your MIDI track. Every region of the track itself should turn rich green... IMPORTANT: This is NOT selecting individual notes in the track.
2. Select Track > Duplicate Track.
3. You now have a new track with an identical name. Notice that GarageBand (my version anyway!) does NOT duplicate the information within that track as some other recording programs do. Repeat Step 2 for each note that you have in your original tracks. Example from my simpler HOPE THROUGH DARK RAIN: Create 3 duplicate tracks.
4. As a safety measure, re-name your original track to include a word like ORIG. Example from HOPE: Storm Orig
5. Then rename each duplicated track --in order from top note's sound to the bottom -- to include the sound in the name. Examples from HOPE: Thunderclap, RainHardLtThunder, RainLIGHT.
6. Now you need the data in each track. It's easiest to first slide the button under your last trackname as far to the left as it will go, to compress your screen more.
a. Drag the first MIDI region to begin at measure 1.1.001. If you don't, the copy will start in the wrong place. (Or you'd have to move the red marker to begin *exactly* where the ORIG track begins.)
b. Put your Cursor at the end of the ORIG track (gray space), hold down the right mouse button, and then move the cursor all the way to the front of the ORIG track.
c. Go to Edit > Copy. [Note that you could not use Edit>Select all because that selects every track.) Apple-C is the short-cut key.
d. Select that track by clicking on the track name. Press the HOME key to ensure that the red line marker is at count 1.1.001. Select Edit>Paste. Apple-V is the short-cut key. (If for some reason PASTE isn't an option, no problem... you just did something else that's in the program memory now. Just repeat 6b and 6c.)
REPEAT 6d for each duplicate track.

a. Select the solo button (headphones symbol) for the ORIG track and every duplicate track.
b. Play. They should be simultaneous.
c. Fix if they aren't. If tracks don't match, one or more tracks didn't begin in the right place.... that's a hint for fixing easily that has to wait til another day, sorry! But most likely they fit. First suspect if they don't is accidentally skipping Step 6d for the last duplicate track. Future steps assume the tracks all match:)
8. MUTE the ORIG track and slide it to the bottom of your tracks, just as a future reference.

You need to have the notes section open ("snowflake" button) and Piano roll showing (no music note symbols). In this example, the notes are A#2 (Thunderclap), A2 (RainHard), and G2 (RainLIGHT)

DUPLICATE TRACK #1 (A# Thunderclap)
9. Select the first duplicate track (example: Thunderclap). Put the red marker near the end of the final track with your sounds and Play until you get to the final note("chord") of the track, ensuring that you can see it in the Piano Roll area.
10. Select the second-to-the-top note so it turns darker green. Put your cursor right after that note, hold down your right mouse button (and KEEP holding it through this step), then drag to the left until every note of the 2nd from top is highlighted AND with mouse button still down, drag downward until every note below is highlighted.
11. REMEMBER you can't use your mouse to delete notes; go to Edit>Delete. What is left is ONLY the notes that were on top. Example: Only notes on the track are A#, labeled A#2 if you hold the cursor on the green MIDI line note for a moment to see the note name and velocity (loudness).

12a. Repeat steps 9, 10 and 11 to delete all notes on the top "row). (Example: Delete all A#2 notes.)
12b. Then repeat for the 3rd "row" of notes. (Example: all G notes). Now the only notes left are those that were originally on the 2nd "row." Example: The only notes on the track now are A, labeled A2 by GB.
12. Repeat steps 9, 10 and 11 for the top two rows notes (Example all A#2 and A2 notes now deleted). Now the only notes left are those that were originally on the 3nd "row." Example: G2 notes.

You now have one track per sound and can fade in or out as needed, raise volume, even add special effects to a single sound, such as giving that thunderclap a reverb that bounces people to attention! Much joy to you in music!
 -- ©2018, 2011 DianaDee Osborne

Updated Version Reprinted in two parts January 8 and 9, 2018

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