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iLife '04: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Chapter 28. Effects, Guitar Amps, and Instrument Modules

GarageBand is more than a MIDI sequencer, more than a loop-based music construction set, even more than a multitrack tape recorder. It’s also the equivalent of a six-foot-tall, $100,000 rack of studio processing equipment and a room full of guitar amplifiers.

The point is to give you exactly the same professional edge that recording artists have. If your singing sounds a little dry, you can “sweeten” the track with a little reverb. If you’re looking for a distinctive keyboard sound for the indie post-grunge trash music you’re trying to record, you can bleach out all of the low frequencies and add some stereo tremolo. And if you’re a guitarist, GarageBand is pleased to offer you a music store’s worth of amplifiers from every decade since 1960.

You can apply these effects to both Real and Software Instruments. You can also apply them on a track-by-track basis (when you’re trying to fine-tune one instrument’s sound) or to the entire mix at once (when you want to tweak the acoustics of your “garage” space).

Instrument-Named Presets

Whenever you double-click a track’s header, its Track Info dialog box appears. At the top of it, GarageBand presents a list of what appear to be instrument names (Figure 28-1).

At first glance, these instrument names may seem to have completely different functions for the two kinds of tracks in GarageBand:

  • If you’ve opened a blue Real Instrument track, these instrument names don’t refer to instrument sounds; ...

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