Rhythm Recording Project

Summary

For this project, I played around with tools in GarageBand to understand more about recording drum beats and timing. I made a new drum pattern to go with the one given to me. I also controlled the timing of other tracks so they would match up with the groove track.

Recording Techniques

Control Timing with Groove Tracks

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In this section of the project, I used many tools in GarageBand to control the timing with groove tracks. By matching all the tracks with the groove track, all of the timing and the way the beat sounds is matching with the groove track. First, I right-clicked on the SoCal track header and chose Track Header Components. From there, I chose Show Groove Track. After that, I hovered the mouse over the left edge of the header until the groove track control pops up. I selected the star next to the SoCal track to make that the groove track. All of the other tracks should have a checked checkbox next to them so now they are all in time with the groove track.

Follow the Rhythm of Another Track

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By following the rhythm of another track, it changes the drum portion of the beat so it matches up with the bass track. The drum pattern will change as you have it follow and unfollow the bass track. I selected the Follow Rhythm checkbox to hear the kick and snare change in pattern. In the presets list, you can change the preset beat to hear and see the different ways the kick and snare follow the bass track as well as how the pattern changes.

Record Multipass Drum Beats

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The keyboard in this section of the project is used to make and record new notes and sounds and add them to the beat. Before I started recording a new drum beat, I experimented with the letters A and S on the keyboard with made kick and snare sounds. I got the timing ready and pressed R to record. After I was done recording, I pressed the spacebar to stop my recording then listened to my new drum beat.

Record Arpeggiated Drum Machine Beats

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Using the Smart Controls pane can change how much of a certain sound you want to hear. For example, if you turn the knob on the cymbal then the volume will either be lower or higher. I had to dig a little deeper and see what other sounds the keyboard made. I turned cycle mode on through measures 1 to 3 and started recording new beats and notes each time I cycled through. I held a few notes out for a whole measure and other notes I didn’t but after I was satisfied with my beat, I saved the project.

Make Recorded MIDI Regions Loop Ready

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For this section of the project, I had to make the MIDI regions loop ready to listen and work with. In order to have fixed timing, I set the time to 1/16 note. From there, I dragged the flex markers throughout the entire waveform of the beat until they all matched up with a grid line. Finally, I selected the audio regions and moved them until they were all merged together.

Make Recorded Audio Regions Loop-Ready

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This part was very simple. To make the regions of the beat merge together, I selected Choose Edit then Join Regions. I clicked the create button above so now my regions would be merged successfully.

Add Regions to the Loop Library

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Here I added new regions to the loop library. For each of the regions I made, I chose an instrument I wanted to use. Next, I picked which moods I wanted the region to have and what it would sound like.

Work with the Tempo of a Track

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Lastly, I worked with the tempo of the track. I changed the tempo of the track towards the end to 65 bpm by pressing Control-Option-Command then clicked the curve at bar 28. Next I clicked the upper control point at bar 28 to turn it into a curve handle. This slowly changes the tempo from one onto the next.

Terms and Concepts

  • Meter- the rhythmic structure of music, like the “heart beat” of the song.
  • Pacing- Similar to tempo, more of the “feeling” then actually speed
  • Tempo- The number of beats per minute in a song. The “speed” of the song
  • Beat- An accent used to keep tempo
  • Hip Hop- a genre of music that features rapping, with an electronic background
  • Out of the Pocket- Not on beat
  • Quantize- The process of putting notes not on beat, on beat
  • Single Take- When you only do one recording
  • Multipass Recording- Doing multiple takes and then choosing pieces that you want from those takes to make a single take
  • Overdub- When you record over another recording, or track
  • C1 Octave Range- A range of notes starting with C1, ending at C2
  • Cowbell- A percussive instrument used in many songs form the 1970’s
  • Drum Kit- A set of percussive drums and other instruments
  • Kick Drum- the big, lowest sounding drum on a drum kit that you kick with a pedal
  • Snare Drum- A drum with special metal components that cause it to”rattle”
  • Cymbal MIDI- The electronic recording, or computer generated sound of a cymbal, to be used on computers
  • Drum Machine (808)- One of the first nice sounding drum machines, an electronic drum device
  • Loop- a sound that “loops” or is repeated after it has finished seamlessly like it never ended. Usually a few beats or measures long
  • Arpeggiation- playing the notes in a chord in succession
  • Sound Effects- Sounds made artificially to be used in movies, songs, etc.
  • One Shot Sound- A type of loop or sound, that isn’t meant to loop. Which is why it’s called a “one”-shot

What I Learned

By doing this project, I learned how to make my own drum beats and how to control the timing of a track based off of another track. I had no problems what so ever while doing this project but some of my classmates did and I successfully helped them solve their problems.

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