The Midi Track Editor

Fix Timing                    all together now

Unless you have the timing of a top drummer (and not many of us do), it is likely that whatever you have recorded live is a bit off with the beat. It is very common to rush a little in parts, to play a few notes late or early, etc. GarageBand allows you to fix the timing of MIDI notes, a technique called "quantizing," by moving them to a particular grid.
Double click your recorded track to bring up the Track Editor.
  • Click the grid button in the top right corner and determine which grid is right for your track.
  • It may be helpful to use the 1/8 Note setting as your starting point. Most basic rock and pop rhythms can be nailed with it. It sounds like 1&2&3&4&.
  • If you have fast fingers, or are into more funky grooves, 1/16 is for you. It sounds like 1banana 2banana 3banana 4banana, very fruity.
  • If you are good enough to play 32nd notes, you don't need to ask............
  • The 1/8 and 1/16 Triplet settings have many uses, from Classical to Blues. They sound like 1&a 2&a 3&a 4&a. Think Georgia, uh uh uh Georgia.......
  • Swing sounds so much better than long-short, but that's basically what it is. Four pairs of long-short notes in 1/8 Swing, eight pairs in 1/16 Swing.

  • Now hit Fix Timing, and GarageBand fixes your timing. If you chose correctly, you now sound like a pro. If not, you will hardly recognize the result. Undo with Command-Z.
  • If the result was good except for a few notes, move these by hand by clicking and dragging them to the next place on the grid. Make sure "Snap to Grid" is on for this manual operation.
Ah yes, and the Automatic setting. Now wouldn't that be nice - GarageBand reading your musical mind? If only. "Automatic" simply adjusts the grid setting according to how far you zoom in with the slider in the lower left corner.
"Fix Timing" works whether "Snap to Grid" is on or not.

MIDI note editing

Copy notes quickly                    it's a drag
A very handy feature of the MIDI Track Editor is the ability to copy notes or groups of notes using the OPTION key:
Select a note, and drag while holding the option key down. The new note will have the same velocity and duration as the original.
If you have a group of notes - a riff, a melody, a bass line - simply draw a box around them, and option drag to a new location and pitch, or type "command A" to select all.

MIDI Light                    incoming....

You can check that your MIDI connection is working:

A little light will flash in the Time Display, just to the left of "Tempo" when GarageBand is receiving MIDI data. If there is no Midi status light, it pays to check your MIDI connection in the Audio MIDI setup window - which you can find in the OS X Applications | Utilities folder
The GarageBand keyboard                    touchy..

is touch sensitive, in a way: for louder note, click closer to the front edge, and for softer notes click towards the back. In some instruments you will notice a change in sound when playing louder:
the acoustic guitar, for example, has a finger slide upwards that is not there at lower velocities.

You can edit the recorded velocities later, by selecting the note and using the velocity slider. Watch the color of the block change.
Fine time editing                    snap

When you want to cut and paste sections, GB will snap them to a grid and won't let you do fine tweaking of the timing ....... unless you turn off "Snap to Grid" in the Control menu.

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