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How to Set Up a MIDI Instrument in iLife's GarageBand '11

In iLife '11, you don’t have to use a USB keyboard for MIDI input to GarageBand '11 — any MIDI instrument or device can be connected by using an audio interface, which is a box that has many ports for connecting various types of audio equipment.

To use an audio interface with one or more MIDI devices, you must first install the software that comes with the interface. (Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.) You can then use Audio MIDI Setup (in Applications/Utilities) to select audio channel input and output devices for your Mac and control volume levels and other characteristics. Follow these steps:

  1. Connect the audio interface to your Mac and connect the MIDI devices to the interface.

  2. Double-click the Audio MIDI Setup application (in Applications/Utilities) to open the Audio MIDI Setup window, and then click the MIDI Devices tab.

    The MIDI devices connected to your computer appear in the Audio MIDI Setup window. If your MIDI devices don’t appear, click the Rescan MIDI button on the toolbar along the top of the Audio MIDI Setup window.

  3. Choose New Configuration from the Configuration pop-up menu; in the dialog that appears, name the new configuration and then click OK.

  4. Double-click the icon for your MIDI interface device and name the device or change its settings.

    The Properties dialog for your device appears, enabling you to name the device. You can change settings for the MIDI properties and ports for the device.

  5. Click the OK button to finish making changes.

  6. To add another MIDI device to your new configuration, click Add Device.

    The Add Device button is on the toolbar along the top of the Audio MIDI Setup window. For each MIDI device connected to your MIDI interface device that you want to include in the configuration, repeat Steps 4 through 6.

  7. When you’re finished, choose Audio MIDI Setup→Quit Audio MIDI Setup.

Your MIDI device should now be working with GarageBand. To check, choose GarageBand→Preferences and click the Audio/MIDI button to see the Audio/MIDI pane.

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