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Groove Matching and Flex Time in Mac’s GarageBand ‘11

Improve the rhythm and sound of your Mac’s GarageBand recordings with the Groove Matching and Flex Time features. If your GarageBand recording has a few notes that are mistimed, or held too long or too short, Groove Matching and Flex Time is the answer.

Although Apple makes it easy to lay down tracks and add loops, you won’t become Quincy Jones overnight. Even when you match tempos and such, some music just doesn’t sound good together such as a Classic Rock Piano with a New Nashville guitar. Mixing or balancing all the parts so that one track doesn’t drown out another is a challenge as well.

As part of GarageBand ’11, Apple added a Groove Matching feature, which Apple compares to a spell checker for bad rhythm. It works across different instrument tracks. To exploit the feature, mouse over the left edge of a track you’ve decided should function as the groove track − the drum major, as it were, for your little marching band. Click the star that appears. Now place check marks next to each track you want to match to the groove track so that everything sounds swell together.

Apple helps you get your timing down too. A Flex Time feature that also debuted as part of GarageBand ’11 can help you change the timing of audio recorders so that the entire work sounds more professional. You double-click a song region to open an audio waveform editor. You can then click and drag along the waveform to change the timing of notes and beats without influencing other recordings. For example, you might extend a vocal or piano note, or shorten it.

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