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iLife '04: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Effect Modules

See the flippy triangle next to Details? As noted earlier, clicking it makes the Track Info dialog box expand. You’ve just revealed a set of building-block effects like Gate, Compressor, Reverb, and so on (Figure 28-3). These are the components of the instrument-named presets in the lists above.

Now, if you’ve spent the prime years of your life hanging around recording studios, terms like Gate, Compressor, and Equalizer may already be familiar to you.

If you’re anyone else, well, resign yourself to the fact that reading about effects is not a very good way to learn about them. The fact is, their names are little more than puny human attempts to describe sounds that are, in many cases, otherworldly and indescribable.

Still, the prose that follows may be helpful if you read it while performing any of these three self-guided exercises:

  • Play with the tutorial file called “06—Effects” (on the GarageBand Examples CD described on page 474). It’s a project whose tracks are already set up with various processing effects. To compare them, all you have to do is solo one track at a time (click it and type the letter S key) and play it back.

  • As a convenient software quirk, the Track Info dialog box behaves more like a separate program than a true dialog box. That is, even when it’s in front of the main GarageBand window, you have full access to GarageBand’s controls. You can start and stop playback, add loops, edit notes, and so on.

    Tip

    You can even click a different track without first ...

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