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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.
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All about......
Moving Regions

Have you ever wished to move a region from one track to another, perhaps to reduce your track count, but found that every time you moved it, no matter how careful you were, the moved region was no longer in perfect time?

Absolutely! It can actually be done without messing up the timing at all, and it's pretty easy.

{Grumble} Hey, look you made it through Repairing Permissions, didn't you? Yes. And that was easy, right? I guess. Okay then.

So how is it done? It's a simple little trick based on the fact that GarageBand's edits are "Non-Destructive"

Huh? That means that your original recordings are not altered in any way by standard GB edits. GB just takes note of what you did and performs the proper action when you play back the file. In other words, if you cut out a section, you're not really cutting anything out of your file, GB just memorizes where you cut the chunk from, and no longer displays or plays that portion.

Oh, I get it. Great, then we're ready to get to the nitty gritty.

Suppose we were recording on track 1 and our singer made a mistake at the end.
Region 17

The first thing we can do is drag the bottom right corner of that region towards the left so that the mistake is no longer played
Region 1

Next we create a new track and start recording a bit before the mistake so we can get in the groove and keep our timing. You can start from as far back as you want and need.
Region 9
Our new recording is right on the money, but we face two problems if we want that second region moved into the first track:

1) Our shaky uncomputerized hands are not going to let us drag it up without slight variations left or right, thus throwing the timing off.

2) If we just drag it up and drop in the first track, it's going to erase part of the region that's already there The first problem is solved with the Snap to Grid function that's built in to GarageBand. Make sure it is turned on
Region 11
Next make sure the beginning of the region is directly on a grid line. I like to make mine right on the beat if I can, so I drag the bottom left corner of the track towards the right and let it snap right to the "2" count
Region 12

Now when I drag the track up, it sticks perfectly to the beginning of the second measure, no variation Left or Right.
Region 13

But as you can see the problem is that we cut off a bit of the region that was already there. Remember, nothing is actually deleted, so we can drag the bottom right edge of that first region to restore what was cut off
Region 14

And voila! We have perfection.

Well, maybe for you. This is true, but with a little practice it can be true for you as well.

So why not just always have the Snap function turned on? Ahhh, good question. Suppose you wanted to make just a small adjustment to a region. With Snap turned on, it would force it onto the beat, while you might have a region that's off just a tiny fraction of a beat.

I don't quite follow. Right then, let's explore another way we could have fixed that flaw of the vocal line coming in too soon. If we use the zoom slider to take a closer look
Region 15

We can see how off time the singer actually was
Region 16

So what we can do is use another GarageBand feature, the Split region function, to isolate this part from the rest of the region which is all perfectly on time.

First we turn off the Snap To Grid by choosing it from the PullDown menu again. Then we move the playhead to a position before the start of her singing
Region 2

And choose the Split MenuItem
Region 3

Which turns our single region into two regions (I moved the playhead out of the way so you could see the split better)
Region 4

In this case, there's nothing after the mistake, but let's pretend there is so you'll know how to deal with that. We'd move the playhead to the end of the bit we want isolated, and again do a split. Now the off time bit is a completely separate region all its own.
Region 5

And with Snap to Grid turned off, we can slide that part over so it's right on the money!

First I Shift-Click the region I want, to deselect it
Region 6

Then I click on it again, only without the ShiftKey to select only it (This is a great little trick because it can be done in a split second without having to move the mouse around)
Region 7

Now we can click in the middle of the region and slide it over (I like to zoom in ALL the way for this)
Region 8

And voila, again, perfection!

Again, for you. Well yes.

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