Musical Typing – GarageBand Tutorial

Delving into the instrument sounds accessible to you is as simple as opening another Software Instrument track and picking a Patch from the Library sheet, however shouldn’t something be said about really playing your picked instrument? In a perfect world you could connect a USB keyboard or controller to your Mac, yet perhaps you’re simply beginning with Garageband and don’t have access to one? Or, on the other hand possibly you’re moving and didn’t have space to pack your keyboard/controller?

Luckily Garageband has an ingenious built in solution – Musical Typing.

It allows you to use the keys on your Mac’s keyboard to play notes, chords and melodies.

Here’s how it works:

To open Musical Typing, first click on “Window” in the toolbar at the top of your screen.

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Next, click on “Show Musical Typing” (Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut ⌘+K)

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Done! Now, the Musical Typing window will appear!

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Here’s a summary of the components:

Pitch Bend: You can use the 1+2 keys to adjust the pitch of whatever note/s you are playing in real time.

Modulation: Keys 3 through 8 will add a set amount of modulation to the note/s played. The effect will differ depending on the instrument you have selected.

Sustain: You can toggle sustain on and off with the Tab key.

Black and White Keys: These are the keys you’ll use to create your melody. Garageband presents them in a way that corresponds to a single octave (C3 to C4 by default) on a Piano keyboard.

Octave: Use the Z and X keys to shift octaves for lower or higher pitched notes.

Velocity: The C and V keys allow you to change to velocity (how hard the note is struck) of your chosen instrument sound.

All that’s left for you to do is hit record and start playing! It can take a bit of getting used to, but you’ll soon get the hang of it.

If  you have countless projects in your Garageband project, using a considerable measure of modules or are running an older machine, you may discover the notes you’re recording utilizing Musical Typing don’t generally enlist as they ought to – leaving some notes sounding out of time with the rest of your project.

This issue (known as latency) is created by your Mac attempting to do an excessive number of things without a moment’s delay and while there are steps you can take before recording your execution to limit it, you can likewise have Garageband naturally settle timing issues for you.

It’s called quantization and here’s the means by which it works in Garageband:

  • With the track you’d like to quantize selected, click on the Editor icon in the top right corner of the Garageband window (or use the keyboard short cut E).
  • In the Editor window, click on the ‘Time Quantize’ drop down menu and select the note value you want to use (if you’re not sure which note value to use, try a few different ones out – there will almost certainly be a value that will ‘fit’).

The notes that you’ve recorded will snap into the timing of the note value you chose and fixing any timing or latency errors!

Since you know how to utilize Musical Typing in GarageBand all that is left to do is get stuck in and begin experimenting…

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