Garageband for Vista Charter School for Performing Arts

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Garageband is an amazing tool on the Mac that is unmatched on the PC at the same price and feature set. It’s a full featured audio recording studio – you can mix up a song by using a wide array of loops, by recording your own virtual or real instruments or a combination of both! It’s also a great podcast creation tool.

If you’d like to go beyond what I was able to present to you today, take a look at the Garageband Lessons and Help page. There is a full tutorial/lesson you can use and adapt from Stanford, as well as an entire Curriculum for Digital Media Creation from Apple (PDF).

What sorts of learning projects and activities can you with audio and podcasting? Here are a few ideas from my training site:

  • Tutorial – describe a step-by-step process.
  • Reporting – describe how a problem was identified and solved
  • Descriptive – paint a picture with words about a place, memory, or image
  • Biographical – capture the history of the “Old Timer’s” with interviews about their life
  • Autobiographical – relate some of your own life story and discuss your family history
  • Tour Guide – make an audio tour of a local museum, describing the background of the exhibits as the patrons walk around
  • Reactionary – record your thoughts as you experience something for the first time
  • Conversational – gather a group together to discuss a topic of interest and record
  • Serial Storytelling – a series of classes each make up and record a chapter of a story
  • Screencast – Capture sound and screen shots as a process is explained on the computer about a piece of software or whats on the screen
  • Book Trailers – Instead of creating a movie trailer, have students create an interesting trailer for a book that has been read in class.
  • More podcasting resources and information at

Other helpful Garageband resources I found ‘Out There’:

Getting Started with Building Music from Loops

  • Launch Garageband, and choose New Project –> Loops. Give it a name, and save it where you can find it.
  • Tour the Interface: Add new track, edit tracks, show/hide loops, track info, and media browser, play/pause controls and metronome
  • View the Loops browser, and browse for the loops you’ll use with the filter buttons. Click ‘Reset’ to choose a new type of loop.
  • To add a loop, just click and drag it into the Tracks area.
    • Don’t combine loops from different instruments on the same track!
  • Start with a beat, and build from there!
  • Extend a loop  – hover over the top right corner of the loop ‘bubble’ to see the circular arrow cursor. Click and drag until the loop is as long as you’d like.
  • When your masterpiece is complete, save your work, and then use the Share menu to save your track as an AAC or MP3 in iTunes or Export as a stand-alone file

Creating Podcasts with Garageband

  • File –> New, New Project –> Podcasts. Give it a name, and Create
  • Need inspiration? You can find sample radio scripts here and here.
  • You are presented with some default tracks:
    • The Podcast track will allow you to insert images to create an ‘Enhanced Podcast’ – sort of like a narrated slide show
    • Male Voice and Female Voice are used for recording the respective voices with a microphone
    • The Jingles track is where you can bring in included sound effects, jingles and stingers to give the podcast some color, or to add some ambiance to your story.
  • Edit recordings – useful with voice recordings
    • Click the edit button – scissors button – to show an expanded waveform of the recording
    • A tale of two halves – top half ‘squishes’ waveform and mutes audio, bottom half you can select and crop/delete the audio from the track entirely.
    • Pitch can be adjusted, as well as AutoTune your audio.
  • Want to create a video podcast? Here’s how.

Not enough microphones? Use Audioboo on about any mobile device to act as a mobile recording studio. Audioboo will save the recordings, make them available online, and even create a podcast RSS or iTunes feed. Subscribe to your own feed in iTunes, and you have access to all of the recorded video to use in Garageband.

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