How to Add a New Track in Mac's GarageBand - dummies

How to Add a New Track in Mac’s GarageBand

By Edward C. Baig

Mastering GarageBand on your Mac is much about getting comfortable with tracks and loops. Most musical compositions consist of several tracks, or layers of individual parts recorded by different instruments.

You can connect instruments to your Mac or you can take advantage of numerous digitally sampled software instruments, heard as you play one of the aforementioned miniature onscreen keyboards. You can choose a wide variety of software instruments in all the major families. You may have to download some instruments from the Internet. Besides the software instrument tracks, you can choose audio tracks or automatically generated drummer tracks.

Follow these steps to add a new track:

  1. Click the New Track (+) button in the upper-left corner of the program, choose Track→New Track, or press the keyboard combination Alt/Option+cmd+N.

    A window slides into view.


  2. Select Software Instrument.

    Click an instrument name in the library to change the instrument so that when you click the faux piano keyboard or musical typing keyboard, the audio that emerges sounds just like the new instrument you’ve selected.

    A new track shows up in the Tracks list, accompanied in the header by its icon, name (Classic Electric Piano until you change it), and several tiny controls. Among other functions, these controls let you mute the track, make it a solo, set volume levels, and more.

You can add or change an instrument now. In the Library pane, choose an instrument category from the left column of the Track Info pane and a software instrument in the right column. You also get to see an illustration of your chosen instrument. If you can’t immediately find a new instrument to use, use the Search Library field to search for the music-maker you have in mind.

If the name of an instrument appears dimmed, you don’t have access to that instrument on your Mac.

Apple sells, as an in-app purchase, a complete GarageBand package that includes 150 sounds, 1,500 loops, and 38 basic piano and guitar lessons for $4.99. Make sure you have sufficient storage on your computer. The downloaded content claims 9.5GB of space.