Working With Projects

Creating a Project:

You start working in GarageBand by creating a new project.

To create a new project:

1. Choose File > New.
2. In the New Project dialog, select the type of project you want to create.
3. In the dialog that appears, browse to the location where you want to store the project, then type a name for the project in the Name field.
4. Set the project’s tempo, key, and time signature as described in the following sections.
5. When you have finished making the project settings, click Create.

Setting the Tempo:

Each project has a speed, or tempo. The tempo defines the rate at which beats, the
basic rhythmic pulse, occur in the project. The tempo is measured in beats per minute,
or bpm. You can set the tempo to any speed between 60 and 240 bpm.
The default tempo is 120 bpm, which is a common tempo used in popular music.

To set the tempo:

In the New Project dialog, drag the Tempo slider left to slow down the tempo, or right
to speed up the tempo.

Note: You can change the tempo later in the time display, located below the timeline,
or in the Track Info pane for the master track.

Setting the Key:

Each project has a key, which defines the central note to which the other notes in the
music relate, and the scale used (either “major” or “minor”).

To set the key:

1. In the New Project dialog, choose a key from the Key pop-up menu.
2. Choose the scale from the Scale pop-up menu to the right of the Key pop-up menu.

Note: You can change the key later in the Track Info pane for the master track.
If you change the key of a project after recording instruments or adding loops, all
Software Instrument recordings and loops are transposed to the new key. Real
Instrument recordings are not transposed.

Setting the Time Signature:

Each project also has a time signature, which controls the relationship between beats
and measures. A project’s time signature consists of two numbers separated by a
forward slash, which look similar to a fraction. The number on the left controls the
number of beats in each measure, and the number on the right controls the beat value
(the length of the note that gets one beat).

You can use any of the following time signatures in a GarageBand project:

  • 2/2, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, 7/4, 6/8, 7/8, 9/8, or 12/8.

The default is 4/4, the most commonly used time signature.

To set the time signature:

In the New Project dialog, choose a time signature from the Time pop-up menu.

Note: You can change the time signature later in the Track Info pane for the
master track.


Opening an Existing Project:

You can open an existing project to continue working.

To open an existing project:

Choose File > Open, locate and select the project you want to open, then click OK.

You can also open a recently open project by choosing File > Open Recent and
choosing a project from the submenu.

If you close the currently open project, a dialog appears, asking if you want to create a
new project or open an existing project.


Saving a Project:

As you work, it’s important to save your project often so you don’t lose your changes.

To save a project:

Choose File > Save (or press Command-S).

When you save a project, by default GarageBand creates an iLife preview that is saved
with the project. An iLife preview lets you preview the project in the Media Browser
and in other iLife applications, but can increase the project’s file size. You can select
whether to create an iLife preview for projects in the General pane of GarageBand
Preferences.

You can also save a project as an archive. When you save a project as an archive, all the
audio files, loops, and other media the project uses are saved in the project file. This is
especially useful if you want to copy the project to another computer, or are
duplicating a project with your own Real Instrument recordings.

To save a project as an archive:

1. Choose File > Save as.
2. In the Save As dialog, select the Save As Archive checkbox.

You can also compact projects to make sharing easier.
Compacting a project reduces the file size by compressing audio in the project.
Compacting can result in some loss of audio quality.

To compact a project:

1. Choose File > Save as.
2. In the Save As dialog, select the Compact Project checkbox.
3. Choose the compression settings you want to use from the pop-up menu next to the Compact Project checkbox.

Sending a Project to iTunes:

You can send a project to an iTunes playlist, then play your exported projects in iTunes, download them to an iPod, or burn the playlist to a CD.
Files are exported to iTunes in AIFF format. You can convert the exported file to another format, such as AAC or MP3, from within iTunes.

To send a project to an iTunes playlist:

  • Choose Share > Send to iTunes.

The entire project, from the beginning (measure 1) to the end of the last region, is exported.

You can set the name of the iTunes playlist to which files will be exported, and also set
the name of the album and composer, in the Export pane of GarageBand Preferences.

You can also export a single track, or a group of tracks, to an iTunes playlist.
To export a single track, solo the track (or mute all other tracks) before exporting.
To export a group of tracks, solo the tracks (or mute all other tracks) before exporting.