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How to Record a Track in GarageBand in iLife ’11

Before recording a track with iLife '11's GarageBand, make sure you’ve defined the instrument and its settings properly. If you’re recording a Real Instrument track, be sure to set the Input Source, Recording Level, and Monitor settings.

To record into a track, follow these steps:

  1. Select the track for the recording in GarageBand.

    Click the header of the track to select it. You can record into a new track or into an existing track in a new region or over an existing region.

  2. Drag the playhead to the point in the timeline where you want to start recording (or leave the playhead at the beginning of the timeline).

  3. (Optional) Turn on the metronome and the Count In option to play one measure before starting to record by choosing Control→Metronome and Control→Count In (respectively).

    A more sophisticated metronome is used in professional studios as a click track to help keep time while playing an instrument or singing; you can simulate a click track by using the GarageBand metronome: It clicks for each beat of the measure (not recorded with the music). You can turn the metronome on or off by choosing Control→Metronome.

    If you use the metronome, you might also want to turn on the Count In option by choosing Control→Count In — just like a bandleader counting 1-2-3-4 to prepare the band to begin a song, GarageBand plays the metronome one full measure before starting to record so that you can get ready to perform along with the beat.

  4. Click the red Record button to start recording, and then start playing (or singing).

    GarageBand starts to record in the track while playing any other tracks, and it lays down a new region in the track’s timeline.

  5. Click the red Record button again to stop recording, and press the spacebar or click the Play button to stop playback.

To hear your recording, drag the playhead in the timeline back to the beginning or to wherever the new recorded region starts, and then click the Play button or press the spacebar.

As you record each track, you can build up a song. You can overdub a section of a song by simply creating a new track and recording into it at the precise point in the song where you want the section to begin: Click a starting point in a track or otherwise move the playhead to begin recording at that point. You can also correct a mistake this way: Record the correct part in a new track, and edit the other track to delete the mistake.

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