Rhythm Recording Project


This project was based on Recording Techniques in GarageBand 10.

Recording Techniques:

Control Timing with Groove Tracks


To control timing of all of the other tracks by groove matching. Groove matching. Groove matching is an advanced form of quantizing the meter, pacing, and feel of a selected groove track (in this case, the drummer track) and syncing other tracks to it. This method works with both Software Instruments and and real Instruments. Shown above is an example of six tracks being corrected using the groove of the drummer track. I am using the drummer track because it best represents the feel of the song.

  • Control-click the track header and choose Track Header Components > Show Groove Track from the shortcut menu.
  • Hover the pointer over the left edge of the track and select the star to apply the groove of that track to the others.
    • Checkboxes will appear next to the other tracks, indicating which tracks the groove is being applied to.

Follow the Rhythm of Another Track


Using this technique, you can change the beat of a track to match another instrument track. Since the Drummer virtual session player is region based, you can edit the drummer beat for each section of the song.

  • Open the Drummer Editor and select the “Follow” checkbox (this affects the kick an snare portion of the beat).
    • The Presets list contains numerous presets that you can select to change the beat of the kick and snare.


Here is the drum track before the beat was synced to the bass.


here is the drum pattern after. The difference is very slight.

Record Multipass Drum Beats


Overdub (or multipass) recording allows you to record in the same region multiple times, adding different sounds within each pass in a cycle area.

  • Press Command-K to show the Musical Typing window
  • Select the track you will be dubbing over.
  • Before you begin playing over the track, you need to deselect the Cycle Recording
    • This is under GarageBand > Preferences
      • It is the Cycle Recording  checkbox that specifies whether a Software Instrument performance using a cycle area is going to be a multitake or an overdub recording.
  • Now you can record multiple overdubs.

Record Arpeggiated Drum Machine Beats


With the arpeggiator, you’ll be able to create great-sounding complex beats with little effort on your part.

  • Since the arpeggiator is turned on, each key will trigger a pattern based on the arpeggiator setting and the Mix Controls in the Smart Controls area.
    • You are able to adjust the level of each kit instrument in the mix by raising or lowering that sound in the Mix controls.

Make Audio & MIDI Regions Loop Ready




In order to create a loop that can be used to build music you’ll need to do a few things first. The most important rule for making a region loop-ready is timing. This means that the region must start and end precisely on a measure or beat with the measure. If you do not do this, the loop will not be in musical time and may fall out of time with other parts.

  • Press Command-Right Arrow to zoom into the timeline as needed.
  • Quntize the timing as needed in the Quantize pop-up.
    • This will instantly adjust all of the notes to the nearest gridline.
  • You may also need to trim a track. You can do this by using the Audio Editor.
    • Drag the right edge of the region toward the left.
      • Before doing this turn on Flex Timing which adds a convenient vertical line for musical timing purposes, which you can use as a guide.

Add Regions to the Loop Library


Files in the Loop Library will show up in the loop browser to use in your projects. There are only a few steps you have to do:

  • Select the region.
  • Choose file > Add Region to Loop Library.
    • The Apple Loops Library will open as shown in the picture above.
      • Here you can name the region, as well as specify whether it is a loop or one-shot. You can also choose instrument descriptors and mood buttons appropriate for your new loop.

Work with the Tempo of a Track


To add or edit tempo changes you need to use the tempo track.

  • Choose Track > Show Tempo Track.
    • The Tempo track will appear at the top of the timeline below the ruler.
  • Adjust the horizontal zoom in the timeline as needed.
  • To add a control point, double click the tempo curve.
  • To change the tempo, drag the tempo curve between two control points upward/downward.
  • To add a new tempo Control-Option-Command-click the curve.
    • A new field will appear to enter the new tempo value.
  • To make a tempo change gradual click the upper control point a curve it by dragging the handle up and to the left.

Terms and Concepts:

  • Meter- a repeating stress, accent, or pattern that keeps the pulse of the song. It’s like the heartbeat of the song
  • Pacing- the speed the composition is played at
  • Tempo- is the speed at which a passage of music should be played. Beats per minute
  • Beat- a rhythmic movement or speed that the music is played at
  • Hip Hop- rap with an electronic background
  • Out of the Pocket- not in the groove with the rest of the composition
  • Quantize- transforming musical notes to an underlying musical representation. Keeping on beat
  • Single Take- took one attempt. One and done
  • Multipass Recording-recording multiple times
  • Overdub-recording over what is already there, or playing along with it
  • C1 Octave Range- middle c on a piano
  • Cowbell- a precussive instrument used for cool effects
  • Drum Kit- what you think of when you hear the word drums
  • Kick Drum- low end of the drum kit
  • Snare Drum-the middle/high end of the drum kit sounds
  • Cymbal (note in MIDI)-
  • drum machine (8o8)- a popular drum machine sound
  • Loop- seamless repeat of a sound
  • Arpeggiation-playing the 1,3,5, and 1 scale
  • Sound Effects- sounds to fill silence, or to give an effect
  • One Shot Sound- little sounds in the background.

What I Learned:

I learned how to use these recording techniques to fix rhythm within my projects

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