Friday, September 2, 2011

Aligning Imported MP3's Easily in GarageBand

Have you ever dragged an MP3 file into your GB project to create a new track? That's a great way to add flute or "atmosphere" or other enhancements to an older version of one of your songs if you don't have a BAND file for it.

What often happens, though, is a struggle to make it align with your GB click track. Here are a couple of easy hints to try before you fret too much over the attempt:

1. First, you'll probably need some space in front of the MP3 track. So slide the track to the right to add at least one measure of room.
2. Turn OFF the Snap to Grid feature (under Control menu item).
3. Now play the metronome with the track and keep sliding the imported MP3 region until it's as close as possible to the first count of the music hitting the first count of GB's metronome (also under Control).

4. If it still is not quite "on" but you're having trouble hearing where count one comes in to match the MP3 and metronome, here's a cool hint:
--a-- Open the Notation View (the "snowflake" at the bottom left).
--b-- Click on the new MP3 track's NAME to select it. The WAV files of the MP3 will now be showing in the Notation view.
--c-- WithOUT the metronome on, play the MP3 track solo, and watch the peaks. After a bit of time, you should be able to hear the timing of the music's first counts and slide the track until the peak in the WAV file matches count 1,

This doesn't always work, but it usually does or gets you much closer before trying something else.

STEP 5 finally: You have to get rid of that space in front of the audio track if you want to clean up your project. There are two main ways:

(1) split the region on a count 1 just before the music starts, delete the unnecessary front region, and slide the 2nd region to the front of the track. Ensure that Count 1 of the track lands with Count 1 of the metronome... usually a bigger WAV peak there.

(2) Solo the audio track and send it to iTunes, bounce it, or whatever. Then bring back the now-filled-in full track with the extra front space into your project. Delete the old audio after you ensure everything is working right.
Much joy in expanding your music realms!
©2018, 2011 DianaDee Osborne

Updated Version published 23 March 2018.