Get Started with the Magic GarageBand in iLife ’11

By Tony Bove

Are you ready to kick out the jams with the iLife Magic GarageBand? The Magic GarageBand feature sets up a band for you and plays a song so that you can play along with it. It’s a fun way to practice, sing along, and mix and match tracks to create your own songs. You can assign instruments and styles for the positions of guitarist, bassist, drummer, and keyboard player or shuffle instrument selections randomly to try new ideas with your band.

You don’t need any real-life instruments or playing ability — you can use the Mac keyboard to play along, or you can sing along using the built-in microphone. After rehearsing, click the red Record button to record your contribution.

If you have a real instrument, such as a USB keyboard, guitar, or microphone, you can connect it to your Mac.

Follow these steps to get started with Magic GarageBand:

  1. Start up GarageBand and click Magic GarageBand.

  2. Click a Genre icon on the right side of the dialog, and click the Preview button in the Genre icon to hear a song preview representing that genre.

    Select a genre for the Magic GarageBand.
    Select a genre for the Magic GarageBand.
  3. While the genre is still selected (or after clicking another Genre icon), click Choose to pick the selected genre.

    The stage appears on your screen, with My Instrument highlighted front and center on the stage and a pop-up bubble with controls for muting, soloing, and controlling the instrument’s volume.

  4. To play the song, click the Play button (the triangle) in the lower center part of the window, next to the red Record button.

    The stage is set for the Magic GarageBand and your instrument.
    The stage is set for the Magic GarageBand and your instrument.
  5. Play along using your keyboard or USB-linked instrument!