Hangtime's Tutorials

at a glance.... | GarageBand FAQ: your questions answered |
bsqg Backstage Quickies
aag All about
Audio Units
| All about
| All about
rcg We are the Roadcrew...

to The DoorPost
The DoorPost - GarageBand tips newsletter is sent to you every three months and is full of extra tips on how to get the most out of GarageBand. It takes a more in-depth look at some important aspects of digital audio and home recording with GarageBand. Also: Links to free loops, effects and software instruments.
Your e-mail privacy matters; we will never pass your details on to other parties |
Visual markers

Hangtime's BSQs...
Visual markers

If you've ever been frustrated by looking at a region and not been able to figure out what part of the song you're looking at, here's a super simple tip for making your life easier.

Suppose you have a track with a region in it that looks like this

It's very difficult to tell, visually, where the different parts of the song are.

Now suppose you could add little visual markers that could show you where different parts of the song are so that you can move to them quickly without guessing? GarageBand (versions 1 through 3) don't directly offer this feature, but there is a hack approach one may take.

Create a software track
Visual 1

Visual 2

And drag the track to the position you want it in the timeline (I typically place it as the first track, but for large projects I may move it around, as needed so that I can always refer to it while working on any particular track)

Now here is where the fun begins! Press down the Visual key on your keyboard and click in the Software track. A new blank region is created.
Visual 4

The size of it will vary depending on the Visual zoom setting you use.

Zoom all the way out ( Visual ), and the region will be tiny

Zoom way in ( Visual ) and it will be bigger than we have room for on this web page. As well, you can stretch the region, just like any other GB region, to suit your tastes, it really only matters how much information you need to see, and how many of these "markers" you're going to need in your project. For this demo I'm going to set things somewhere in between and use full words to be most clear, but you might very well find that working with a very simple abbreviation, perhaps as small as a single letter (like "V" for verse), works well enough for you.

With the marker at a comfortable size (and remember we can change that at any time), the first thing to do is drag it into position.

Unlike most other times, precision is not important, I'm not going to zoom in to make sure the two regions start at the exact same place, just close enough by eye is good enough for us in this case.

Next, with the empty region still selected, click the Visual button to open the track editor. In that pane you'll see a field labeled "Name"

Triple-Click in it to select all the text
Visual 12

And enter a new name
Visual 13

And when we look back into our timeline we find
Visual 14

Repeat these steps as many times as needed and you'll wind up with something like this
visual 5

To the Top