Play your instrument

Each Magic GarageBand song includes a part named “My Instrument” at the center of the stage. You can use My Instrument to play and record a microphone, an electric guitar, or a music keyboard.

To play your instrument in Magic GarageBand:

  1. Click the highlighted area at the center of the stage to select My Instrument.
    MGB my instrument
  2. Choose the input source for your instrument from the My Instrument pop-up menu below the left side of the stage, using these guidelines:
    • If you are playing a USB keyboard, choose Keyboard.
    • If you are playing an acoustic guitar through your computer’s built-in microphone, choose Internal Mic.
    • If you are playing a guitar connected to your computer’s audio input port, or using a microphone connected to the audio input port, choose Built-in Input.
    • If you are using a microphone or instrument connected to an audio interface, choose the numbered channel of the audio interface.
    • If you are recording using a microphone, and listening to your project through your computer speakers, choose Monitor Off. To hear yourself as you play and protect against feedback, choose Monitor On.
  3. Choose the instrument you want to play from the row below the stage.

    To select an instrument not shown, click Customize, choose the instrument type from the pop-up menu, click the instrument you want, then click Done.

  4. Play your instrument.

You can play My Instrument either with the project stopped or playing. You can also record your own part in a Magic GarageBand song using My Instrument.

Record your instrument

You can record your own instrument in Magic GarageBand. After you choose the instrument to use as My Instrument, you can record your part, and even record multiple takes.

To record your instrument in Magic GarageBand:

  1. Choose the correct input source for your instrument from the My Instrument pop-up menu, using these guidelines:
    • If you are playing a USB keyboard, choose Keyboard.
    • If you are playing an acoustic guitar through your computer’s built-in microphone, choose Internal Mic.
    • If you are playing a guitar connected to your computer’s audio input port, or using a microphone connected to the audio input port, choose Built-in Input.
    • If you are using an audio interface, choose the numbered channel of the audio interface.
    • If you are recording using a microphone, and listening to your project through your computer speakers, choose Monitor Off. To hear yourself as you play and protect against feedback, choose Monitor On.
  2. Click the red Record button, located in the control bar next to the Play button.

    After a one-measure count-in, recording starts. Recording starts from the beginning of the song or from the selected section. A narrow track appears below the sections, showing the waveform of the new recording.

  3. When you are finished recording, click the Play button.

When you open the song in GarageBand, your recordings appear in the My Instrument track in the timeline.

Play and record your electric guitar

You can connect an electric guitar to your computer, and play and record it in an Electric Guitar track. You can choose guitar presets, amps, and stompbox effects to dial in the tone you want your guitar to have.

Play and record your electric guitar

  1. Connect the electric guitar to the audio input port of your computer using an adapter cable, or to an audio interface connected to your computer.
  2. Click the Add Track button in the control bar.
    Mentor video + modes
  3. In the Add Track dialog, select Electric Guitar.
    Mentor video + modes

    The Add Track Dialog appears, with an icon for each track type.

  4. Click the disclosure triangle next to Instrument Setup.
  5. Choose the input source from the upper-left pop-up menu.
    • If your guitar is connected to your computer’s audio input port, choose Built-in Input.
    • If your guitar is connected to an audio interface, choose the interface channel the guitar is connected to. Unless the guitar has stereo output, choose a Mono (monophonic) channel.
  6. Under “I hear sound from,” choose the audio output you want to use to hear the sound from your guitar.
  7. To turn on monitoring for the track, select the “I want to hear my Instrument as I play and record” checkbox.
  8. Click Create.

    The new track appears selected in the timeline.

  9. To start recording, click the red Record button in the control bar.
    Mentor video + modes

    The playhead moves across the timeline, and a new, red region with the recording appears in the selected track.

  10. When you’re finished, click the Play (>) button in the control bar to stop recording.
    Mentor video + modes

Record an electric guitar

You can record an electric guitar in an Electric Guitar track. You can connect the guitar to your computer using an adapter cable, or plug it into an audio interface connected to your computer.

Before you start recording, do the following:

  • Make sure your guitar is connected to your computer and is working.
  • Make sure you have enough free disk space for recording. Each minute of mono audio recorded at CD quality uses around 5 MB of disk space.
  • Double-click the track header to open the Track Info pane. To hear your guitar as you play and protect against feedback, choose On from the Monitor pop-up menu.

To record an electric guitar:

  1. Click the header of the Electric Guitar track to select it.
  2. Play your guitar to make sure it has the sound you want. If you want to change the guitar preset, amp, or stompbox effects, click the Track Info button (with an “i”) and change them in the Track Info pane.
    Transport-Record button
  3. Choose Control > Count In to have the metronome play for one measure before recording starts, or set the playhead a few beats before the point you want to begin recording, to give yourself time to start playing.
  4. Click the Record button (the red circle) in the control bar to start recording.
    Transport-Record button
  5. Play your guitar.

    The new region appears in the timeline as you record.

    As you record, watch the track’s level meter to make sure the track is receiving input, and that the input level is not high enough to cause clipping. If the red dots next to the level meters light up while you record, lower the input signal and try recording again.

  6. When you’re finished playing, click the Play button to stop recording.
    Transport-Play button

Electric Guitar

Add Track buttonYou can add an Electric Guitar track to play and record an electric guitar in GarageBand. In an Electric Guitar track, you can choose guitar amps and guitar presets for highly realistic guitar tone, and add stompbox effects to customize your sound.

An Electric Guitar track is a special type of Real Instrument track. Recordings you make in an Electric Guitar track appear as purple Real Instrument regions. You can arrange them in the timeline, and edit them in the editor, the same as other Real Instrument regions.










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