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iLife '04: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Spot Recording (Punch In/Punch Out)

If you’re able to record an entire song perfectly the first time, with no mistakes—well, congratulations. Sony Records is standing by.

Most people, though, wind up wishing they could redo at least part of the recording. Usually, you played most of it fine, but botched a few parts here and there.

In the professional recording business, patching over the muffed parts is so commonplace, it’s a standard part of the studio ritual. Clever studio software tools can play back the track right up until the problem section, seamlessly slip into Record mode while the player replays it, and then turn off Record mode when it reaches the end of the problem part, all without missing a beat. Recording engineers call this punching in and out.

Believe it or not, even humble GarageBand lets you punch in and punch out. Once you master this technique, you’ll be very grateful.

Here’s how it goes:

  1. Turn on cycling.

    Page 475 describes cycling in the context of playing a section of music over and over again. For recording, the steps are much the same (see Figure 26-5). In this case, though, the beginning and end of the yellow Cycle bar designate your punch-in and punch-out points—the part you’re going to rerecord.

  2. Set up your metronome and tempo. Turn on the Count In command (in the Control menu).

    In this case, Count In is very important; it makes GarageBand play the one measure of music that precedes your punch-in point. (You don’t have to position the Play-head for this ...

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