This tutorial will introduce you to GarageBand, a free software included with Mac that you can use to play and record the INSTRUMENT 1. Let’s get started by making a song.
First, connect your INSTRUMENT 1 to your Mac and download the Artiphon Staff Picks session here. Open the session. You should see this window:
This is GarageBand’s main window. You can see that we’ve already added our favorite sounds.
You’ll need to make sure audio and MIDI are set correctly. Go to the GarageBand dropdown menu on the top bar, select Preferences and choose the Audio/MIDI tab and you will see this window:
You will always want the Input Device to be the INSTRUMENT 1. Also select the INSTRUMENT 1 as your Output Device if you want audio to play through the INSTRUMENT 1’s speakers or headphone jack. You can choose Built-In Output if you want audio to come out of your laptop speakers or headphone jack. After this is set, close Preferences.
Now you can select one of the tracks on the left and hear its sound when you play the INSTRUMENT 1!
Remember that your technique and sound are separate. If the Guitar preset is selected on the INSTRUMENT 1, you can strum any of GarageBand’s sounds, not just Guitar. You can also have the INSTRUMENT 1 Editor open to customize your presets while experimenting with GarageBand’s sounds.
Now that you’re making sound you’ll want to record it! Notice these buttons near the top of the window:
You probably recognize the standard symbols for rewind, fast forward, stop, play, and record (from left to right).
Try pressing the record button and playing something. Whatever you play should be recorded onto the track, so then you can rewind and playback what you just recorded.
You may have noticed that there was a pause before GarageBand started to record. You probably also heard the steady “click” sound of the metronome. You can adjust these settings with these buttons in the top right:
The 1234 button is the Count In, giving you four beats before the recording starts. The metronome is to the right of that. The BPM (Beats Per Minute) of the metronome can be set here, along with the song’s key and time signature:
You can move the BPM up and down to make your song faster or slower.
Making a Song
Now let’s try making a multi-track song! Here’s one way to do it:
Select the Drum preset on your INSTRUMENT 1 and click the Acoustic or Electronic Drums in Garageband. Press record and listen for the pop of the metronome, then play some drums!
Once you’re done, press stop and rewind back to the start. Now try choosing the Slider Bass (default user preset two) on the INSTRUMENT 1 and the Jazz Bass sound in GarageBand. Press record again and record some Bass over your drums. Again, when you’re done, press stop and rewind back to the start of the track.
Now you’ve got Drums and Bass, a solid foundation for a song. For the third track, add whatever you want: you could strum a piano, tap out an electric guitar riff, slide a synth, or any other combination of sound and technique you think of.
Congrats, you’ve made a multi-track song! Below you’ll see some features GarageBand offers to make multi-track recording even more easy and fun.
GarageBand has lots of loops that can help you build your song. A loop is audio or MIDI that will can be looped continuously without missing a beat. In GarageBand, loops will change their tempo and key to fit your song. Press the loop button in the top right corner to open the loop library:
To add a loop, simply drag it from the loop library to a new track in your project. You could try adding a percussion loop like shakers, maracas, or hi hats. Maybe you want to skip recording drums and start with a pre-made beat, also found in the loops library.
There are hundreds of loops to choose from. Try combining loops with recorded MIDI from the INSTRUMENT 1 to build your song.
In GarageBand, it’s easy to edit what you record with the INSTRUMENT 1. You can double click a region of MIDI or click the scissors button in the top left to open the MIDI editor.
In this editor, you can change the pitch or timing of a note by dragging it. Notes can also be shortened or extended. Try editing recorded MIDI from the INSTRUMENT 1 to fix any mistakes.
Adding More Sounds
We’ve added some of our favorite sounds already, but there are many more to choose from! If you want to add a new sound, press the plus button in the top left. Then choose Software Instrument. This will create a new track under the one that was previously selected and open the instrument library. You can open and close the Library by clicking the button in the top left that looks like a file cabinet drawer:
By default, the sound will be Classic Electric Piano. You can see there are lots of other sounds to choose in the Library. Clicking a sound will assign it to the highlighted track.
If you want to save one of our Staff Picks instruments to use in another session, open the instrument Library, select the track you want, and press Save in the bottom left. You’ll be able to access that sound in any session by looking in the User Patches section of your Library.