GarageBand is a great software used to create, compose, and edit music with your Mac, when you open it, a dialog box opens, with several sections listed on the left side. If you are starting for the first time, it is beneficial to check to Learn to Play and Lesson Store to get tips and suggestions in composing music professionally.
In this blog, we will talk about this software and see how to convert GarageBand to mp3 format or how to save GarageBand as mp3. But to start composing professional tracks, you will have to get more practice and experience. Let’s start with a new GarageBand project.
How to start a new project in GarageBand
- First, go to the New Project.
- Here, you can choose between several different project templates, specialized for various purposes, from electronic music to ringtones.
- Select Empty Project if you don’t want to use any ready template.
- Below, you can choose several Project settings, like the Tempo in Beats per Minute (or BPM), the Time Signature and the Input and Output sources to use, in Audio Input and Audio Output.
- Once you click on Choose, the new GarageBand project opens with its workspace.
How GarageBand works?
Before moving forward, let’s understand better how GarageBand works. The GarageBand project is your whole music song, composed by several rows or Tracks, each representing a single audio file or audio instrument that plays in time.
Then, each Track welcomes more Regions, which are single audio patterns that play in a determined instant of time during your project. The whole structure of your project, with its Tracks and Regions, is fully described through the main timeline, that can be played through the Player buttons on top, and the timer display above.
Basically, you have three main kinds of Tracks, as if you will open your new Project for the first time. The Software Instrument adds a Track used to compose music with audio instruments via GarageBand.
For example, you can create melodies with a piano or a guitar, defining each of their notes. Audio adds an Audio Track used to record any voice (by using a microphone) or any audio instrument connected to your Mac.
Then, you have the Drummers; these are the Tracks used to create percussions and beats that give rhythm to your overall project song. The first time you open your new project, you have to choose either of these three, to create the first Track inside your Project Timeline.
At this point, your new Project opens. If you ever need help with functions and features inside GarageBand, enable the Quick Help through the second button in the top left corner. This opens a small dialog box that describes the button you are hovering over with your mouse.
Let’s now see each of these different Tracks inside GarageBand. Software Instruments are used to compose music note by note directly through GarageBand, instead of using a real instrument. You can select and change the instrument to use by simply selecting the right Track and then choosing the right instrument from the Library panel on the left.
If you don’t see it, just click on the first button from the left in the top right corner. Remember that changing the instrument won’t update the Track name, so it is better to adjust its name by double-clicking on the Track.
Once the instrument is defined, you can start composing by opening the Piano Roll, through the last button in the top left corner. Check the right notes by clicking on the Piano Roll, and type down the notes by holding CMD down and clicking on the timeline on the right.
You can also move each note by clicking and dragging them, in order to change the tone or their position in time. You can also click and drag the edges to change the duration of each note. To check their duration and time placement, always check the time display on top.
Once you create your notes, a new Region will be created inside the related Track, showing a brief of all notes inside. So, when you play your project, you will play exactly the notes added inside the Region through the Piano Roll.
You can also use the Score interface to add your notes if you prefer. It can be quite useful to play your sequence continuously automatically to check how your melody is coming out. If you click and drag on the timeline Bars, you will create a Cycle Range, which forces the player to play over and over the part of the project that stays below it.
You can enable and disable the cycle loop by clicking on the Cycle button above. If you don’t like your melody, you can delete any note or Region by selecting and using the Backspace key. Whereas, if you need to repeat a basic melody over and over, you can click and drag the edges of a Region to loop it in time.
If you click and drag the edges more at the bottom, you will extend the Region over time, without looping its content. If you want to make copies of the same Region, just click and drag it while holding ALT down. Besides composing the notes for the Software Instrument Track, you can also adjust the settings for the instrument itself.
If you click on the third button in the top left corner, the Controls panel opens, which you can use to adjust the instrument tone and sound. Furthermore, under EQ, you can apply audio filters on different frequencies, in order to adjust the sound output. Let’s see the Drummer Tracks.
You can add new Tracks clicking on the Plus button on top, selecting the kind of Track. The Drummer Tracks are used to create beats and percussions with a combination of kicks, snares, or cymbals that are automatically set according to the settings of the Editor panel at the bottom.
Differently from the Software Instrument Tracks seen before, you don’t have any Piano Roll, but an Editor that allows you to choose the kind of percussions to use, the general style, and the kind of rhythm. Apart from this, you still have the Controls, the EQ panel, and the Library panel to change the percussions to use.
The Editor panel does not create Regions with notes in the Project timeline as it creates audio waveforms continuous in time and contains again inside Regions. Percussions are played in order to create a Region that can be looped with no problems.
Moreover, if you extend a Region, the percussions will play differently, to cover the new time duration. If you want to create a completely personalized percussion, you have to use a Software Instrument Track with a Drum Kit instrument chosen from the Library panel.
Then, through its Piano Roll, you can play different percussions by fixing different notes. There are also the Audio Tracks. These tracks welcome audio waveforms, so everything that must not be composed, such as audio files ready to use or any recorded speech or music.
To import an audio file, just click and drag it on your timeline directly. This will be contained inside an Audio Track through a unique Region. You can adjust it and add effects on it by using the Control panel and the EQ.
If you need to record from your microphone or any external instrument, you have to create a new Audio Track inside the Project and use the Record button on the Main Bar on top. When you click on it, after a short countdown, the recording will start.
Here, the recording will be collected as a continuous audio waveform inside a unique Region. The recording will be made with the Audio Input device specified in the project preferences, that you can check by going to GarageBand and then to Preferences, inside Input Device.
How to convert GarageBand to mp3?
GarageBand files are unique audio file formats that can be used to create music, play, or record music/songs. It uses the AIFF format as an audio type and consists of music files in their original content without any compression.
However, users cannot export music files in GarageBand file format as it consists of rich, high-quality content with audio. While MP3 is a flexible audio format, it can be shared or played on any device you want. Converting GarageBand files to MP3 is also very easy within iTunes.
Since the GarageBand file uses AIFF or AIF file extensions, and they produce high-quality audio files in an uncompressed audio format, which can also be saved to a disc or DVD.
Apart from this, you can also use third party converters as well to convert GarageBand to MP3. But, here, we will show you the step-by-step guide on how to convert GarageBand files to MP3 using iTunes:-
First, open the GarageBand (.aiff) file in iTunes by dragging and dropping the GarageBand file into the iTunes library from your desktop. If you want, then you can also go to ‘File’ from the start menu and select ‘Add to library.’
- After that, now select the GarageBand audio file (AIFF format) from your desktop.
- Then you have to go to ‘Preferences.’
- For Mac users, go to ‘iTunes’ on your Mac PC and click on ‘Preferences.’
- Now you have to change the import settings.
- From the ‘General’ tab, select ‘Import settings,’ then use ‘MP3 Encoder’ from ‘Import using’ and hit ‘OK.’
- You can choose any predefined audio quality from ‘Settings’ or choose ‘Customize’ to modify the audio quality.
- In the ‘MP3 Encoder’ custom audio settings, you can change your stereo bit rate, audio quality, sample rate, channels, stereo mode, and other default settings.
- Now you have to create an MP3 version.
- For Mac users, when you return to iTunes, right-click on the target music file and click the ‘Create MP3 version’.
- Here, you can see the progress of converting the AIFF file to MP3 at the top of the iTunes interface.
- That’s it, and now you are done.
So, now you have understood how to convert GarageBand to mp3 or exporting your GarageBand projects to MP3, as it is a simple process.
We all know that the GarageBand export function has a couple of quirks regardless of what format you use. Here, you have to mute both at the beginning and end of your project, which is automatically removed, and may require adding spaces between projects if you burn a multi-project optical disc later.