I’ve been having more thoughts about how to best approach the Immersion Composition Society’s 20-Song-Game on Friday.
Here’s a few more ideas I’ve come up with.
Create Templates For Each Genre
When you startup garageband, you can choose from a few templates:
That “test template” (the one with no image) is one that I created. GB doesn’t give you a way to create templates in the interface, but by using this post I was able to go into the file system and create my own.
When you select a template, it opens a project that has a bunch of things preloaded. It, effectively, is the same as opening an existing project and renaming it. Except you don’t have to go hunting around the file system for wherever those live. And there’s no chance of accidentally overwriting it.
I’m going to create a project loaded with things I might use. I’ll make one for each genre I am considering for the project: country, world, experimental, and electronic.
Download More Loops and More Instruments Using Mainstage
When I upgraded from one Mac to another years ago I was disappointed that the Apple “Jam Packs” did not carry over into the new version. In fact, Apple had stopped offering them altogether. Jam Packs were genre-specific loops and samples and instruments that you could buy for garageband. I was dismayed that the new version of GB was leaning way more electronic/hiphop and I had lost a lot of the other stuff.
But after a lot of research I found out here that you can buy Mainstage from Apple and get loads of these sounds I had lost. Plus a ton more. Mainstage is made for live performances and I never use it for what it was intended. BUT, if you buy it it loads all the sounds, loops and instruments into GB and you can use them there.
(Edit 11/29/2020: During the Game I found that some of the sounds were unloadable. I’m not sure the reason. Many of them were fine, however).
Save Instruments Into Folders to Better Organize Them
You can create your own instrument patches and save them. However you can also just save off copies of the existing patches to folders in order to facilitate your creative process better.
Just select a track that uses the instrument you want to save and then click “Save…” at the bottom right of the library browser. You’ll be prompted as to where you want to save it and you can create a folder to put it in. (You an also change the name if you like)
The copied patches can then be found under User Patches. Here we are looking at User Patches>Singularity Now:
Not only does this help you get right to the ones you want, you don’t fall down the “research rabbit hole” where you just listen to loads of patches for your own enjoyment instead of actually getting something recorded.
Reading through and testing out the keyboard shortcuts is a good way to expand what you know about an application. And, obviously, reduce some friction.
Here’s some shortcuts I found useful:
- Preview editor (saves time muting and unmuting stuff) – Option-Space
- Loop selected region until end of song OR next region – L
- Move one measure up or back – Comma and Period
- Start playback from selection Shift-Space bar
- Zoom Command-Left Arrow (or Right Arrow)
- Create a new audio track Option-Command-A
- Create a new software instrument track Option-Command-S
- Copy arrangement column – Hold option and drag.