Thursday, May 31, 2012

DianaDee Osborne Library Building in GarageBand etc

Have you created a great MIDI track with a repeating section of notes?
You can get multi-use out of all your work AND make future song development faster by saving that section to the Loop Library. Other sites give you technical instructions... This one offers quick hints. My examples are 2 piano circus beats: (1) a 16-beat section with rather steady beat in A minor and (2) a 16-beat section with 'fancy' grace notes and runs in C major.
NOTE: When later using loops, plan to copy-and-paste each loop region rather than drag it "loopstyle"... a future blog will describe the advantage. For now, just note that this method is required for odd loops described in Step 1.
Loops do NOT have to be 2, 4, or 8 measures as usual. You can build into your loop with a grace note or glissando in the first measure that will slide into an additional 4 measures. THEN when you later import the loop from the library, you just copy-and-paste those introductory odd notes into the last measure before your loop, delete that first measure IN your loop, and slide the loop up against the previous measure.
2. Obviously you would quantize your loop measures before building the actual loop (see earlier hints on making this easier).
3. SAVE YOUR PROJECT before moving on! Step 7 can be "dangerous"!
4. In your original (source) track, split at the beginning of measure you want to create as a loop and and the beginning of the measure AFTER the loop-to-be.
5. Create a DUPLICATE track, and copy the newly split region (the loop-to-be) onto the duplicate track. **Be sure it begins at measure (or whatever your program's name for Project Count 1).
6. Re-join the track you split in Step 4.
HINTS you might NOT FIND ELSEWHERE..... and they are really useful.
7. CHANGE YOUR PROJECT KEY to the key of your loop. This is DANGEROUS -- it will change EVERY other track also.... However it's the only way for the Loop Library to record the actual key of your loop. Example: In your project of G major, your loop often will be in E minor (the minor for that key); your loop will save as G major if you skip this Step (7).
8. Check the LENGTH of every MIDI note VISUALLY. Using the Piano Roll view, ensure that NO NOTES OVERLAP into the next note... REASON: (a) Over-long notes: Even if the next note is quantized, it often cannot be heard until the previous note ends. (b) Over-short notes may be what you DO want for staccato (choppy) sound, but check in step 9. (c) Consistent length in a chord: If 2 notes are long, are you getting the full sound you want from the shortest note? OR, if 2 of the 3 notes are short, is the longest note obnoxious? :)
9. Check the LENGTH of every MIDI note by LISTENING to the SOLO track. Can you hear every note you want to hear?
10. Check the Velocity (loudness) of each note by clicking on it and ensuring it is about the same as surrounding notes (unless planned otherwise, of course).
ADDING your region loop to the Loop Library.
Just follow the program's instructions. In Garageband:
1. Highlight the region you want to loop.
2. Go to Edit >Add to Loop Library.
Type in a name for your loop.... LOOP NAMING HINTS are in another blog.
3-B. Select the Instrument Description. Suggestion: for MIDI drums, use the Kits category so you can always quickly find them at the top level of Kits in the Loop Library.
3-C. IMPORTANT: SET YOUR LOOP TO Scale-Any. That puts it at the top level under your instrument...It will show up whatever your project's key. You might also want Genre-None.
4. Enter your computer password when asked.... and the loop should show up immediately in your loop library, showing the key you selected. It will also show 16 beats for 4 measures, or a time for odd-measures-loops. You don't care about the tempo... that's just a guideline for design, since MIDI notes will adapt to the tempo of any project when you import them.
5. MUTE the loop track
if you want to save it for future changes..... like a QUICK change to another key for another loop.
7. PLAY your project to check that it's still ok.. and Save if so. If there's any problem, just use File> Revert to Saved Project. And that's it! Another loop for faster song development in the future!
May you absolutely love working to create new music for The World!
©2012 DianaDee Osborne