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GarageBand 101
Absolute Beginner's Guide
by: Vanacoro
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  • Student492426
    Posts: 69
    Joined: Mar 5th, 2022
    Help on getting the keyboard to play
    Hi there. A little help here please. I have my keyboard set up, but when I press 'track' and press 'create a new track,' I then press the 'software instrument' where it says 'plug in a USB MIDI keyboard......' I press that and press 'create' and so sound comes out of the piano when I play the keys. Can anyone direct me here, and help me out? Thanks in advance!
    Reply
  • Student492426
    Posts: 69
    Joined: Mar 5th, 2022
    Re: Help on getting the keyboard to play
    I pressed 'new track' then pressed the 'audio' button where it says 'connect a guitar or bass.....' then selected input 3+4 which is for the piano, and still no sound is coming from the keys on the piano. What am I doing wrong? Please help!
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  • Student492426
    Posts: 69
    Joined: Mar 5th, 2022
    Re: Help on getting the keyboard to play
    The only tracks that play piano are the guitar tracks, and the sound is terrible. The piano sounds have no sound at all. :/
    Reply
  • Joe A
    Posts: 1785
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Help on getting the keyboard to play
    I've attached a basic GarageBand course to this thread (More Info) -- hopefully it will clarify the difference between Software Instrument & Audio tracks, and the setup & recording of both. From your descriptions I can't really understand exactly what you're trying to do -- are you trying to record a Software Instrument track or an Audio track? If you're not familiar with the difference between MIDI (Software Instrument) and Audio then the course should help to clarify that. Whether you record your piano track as a Software Instrument or an Audio track will depend on what kind of MIDI/USB keyboard you have? Does it have its own internal sounds (Audio track) or will you be using the sounds included in GarageBand (Softtware Instrument track)? - If you're recording a Software Instrument track you have to have a MIDI keyboard plugged in to the computer. If you load a GarageBand piano into the Software Instrument track (from the Library) and select the track, when you play on the keyboard you should hear that sound from the GarageBand piano. The track will record MIDI data --the notes you play. - If you're recording an Audio track then your keyboard would have to provide the piano sound -- if your keyboard is just a MIDI controller, then it would have no sounds, and you'd have to use a Software Instrument. If you keyboard does have its own piano sound, then you'd record an audio wave. The attached GarageBand course looks like it should cover all the basics of this..
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  • Student492426
    Posts: 69
    Joined: Mar 5th, 2022
    Re: Help on getting the keyboard to play
    Hi Joe. I am using 'audio tracks,' I press on 'software instrument' When I press on 'Steinway grand piano' for example, no sound comes out of the piano that is connected. Only when I right click and press 'new audio track' does the piano play. Why is that? Is that normal? Also, I cannot access all the other sounds, only the piano plays. I do the same thing to the other sounds, and such, and nothing happens, the piano just plays. Please help The USB midi is not connected from my keyboard. It just connects with wires with the interface. Is that the reason I am having these troubles?
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 1785
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Help on getting the keyboard to play
    Hi - If you're using a GarageBand instrument like 'Steinway Grand Piano' then you're not using an Audio track, you must be using a Software Instrument track. You haven't said what keyboard you have—if your keyboard does have a USB MIDI connection, then this needs to be connected to be able to play and record Software Instrument tracks in GarageBand. It sounds like you're hearing a piano sound from the keyboard's internal sounds through an audio connection, which is why it would only be heard when you create an Audio track. But your description of the connection is vague [what kind of wires? what interface? what keyboard? what outputs from the keyboard are connected?]—it's hard to be specific without a better understanding of your setup. The course I recommended talks about all this in videos 2, 4, and 10—2 discusses the difference between Instrument and Audio tracks, 4 discusses the equipment hookup, and 10 covers recording a Software Instrument track. But if you're really brand new to working in a DAW then the best thing to do would be to go through the entire course to start with..
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  • Student492426
    Posts: 69
    Joined: Mar 5th, 2022
    thank you
    Thanks for the help, Joe. I will look into that tomorrow, and get the usb midi connection. I will have to buy the wire tomorrow at the music shop. The thing is, I am trying to record guitar on garagaband. I choose the acoustic guitar section and choose 'natural flat pick' and 'echo strum'. for some reason, when I record, the guitar sound is very poor and buzzes as well. How do I get a good sound? Does not having a usb midi connection affect the guitar sound? Because the guitar sound is not good at all. Thanks for all the help Joe.
    Reply
  • Joe A
    Posts: 1785
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Help on getting the keyboard to play
    I'm not clear on exactly what you're doing -- are you recording an acoustic guitar with a microphone into an Audio track and selecting an Audio track preset ['natural flat pick', 'echo strum']? If that's the case then USB MIDI has nothing to do with it, that only relates to Software Instrument tracks. The problem is when you say 'I choose the acoustic guitar section' its not clear exactly what you're choosing -- a Software Instrument or an Audio track preset..? Since there's no visual here it's important to use the GarageBand terminology or it won't be clear exactly what you're trying to describe.. Again, confusion between Software Instrument [MIDI] tracks and Audio tracks seems to be at the heart of your issues. Remember, with a Software Instrument track the instrument sound comes from within GarageBand, triggered by a MIDI controller/keyboard, but with an Audio track the sound comes from the external [real] instrument. I really recommend checking out the relevant videos..
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  • Student492426
    Posts: 69
    Joined: Mar 5th, 2022
    Re: Help on getting the keyboard to play
    Joe, I was using an audio track type, and choosing input 1. I then chose the acoustic guitar section in the library, and then chose echo strum and also natural flat pick. I did a few recordings and the sound isn't good at all. It buzzes and the quality is poor. I hope that will change once I get the usb sorted. Tomorrow, I will get the usb connection, in order to access the piano sounds and the other sounds too. Once I get the usb, will the quality of the guitar sounds be better? Because the guitar sounds so far have been poor.
    Reply
  • Joe A
    Posts: 1785
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Help on getting the keyboard to play
    So you are recording a real acoustic guitar into an Audio track? If that's the case then the USB/MIDI connection will have absolutely nothing to do with that. Again, I really recommend checking out the GarageBand course video[s] on the difference between MIDI/Software Instrument tracks and Audio tracks.. As to why your acoustic guitar recordings may not sound good, well that depends on the specifics of the recording.. - Are you using a microphone or plugging a cable directly from the guitar into the interface? Recording acoustic guitar with a mic will always sound much better. - If you're using a mic, what mic? How is the acoustic guitar miked up [position, distance, etc]? What are the settings on the interface mic preamp? - If you're plugging the acoustic guitar directly into the interface, which 1/4" input on the interface are you using, Line or Instrument [should be Instrument] -- if it's the wrong one that can result in poor sound quality. The presets you mention are only processing for the acoustic guitar signal -- they will not necessarily make the signal sound good if it's too poorly recorded to begin with..
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