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iLife '04: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Chapter 29. Mixing and Publishing

By this time, you may have mastered GarageBand. Perhaps you’ve dialed up your own effects, masterfully combined loops with live audio, honed your mastery of musical arrangements and orchestration, and even added a little mod-wheel tweak here and there. At this point, you may even have the next “Oops, I Did It Again” right there on your screen.

But it’s not doing anyone much good sitting in GarageBand. For most people, the whole point of making music is sharing it with others.

This chapter describes how to wrap up your workflow in GarageBand and present it to a wider audience. It’s all about fine-tuning your piece, mixing the tracks (adjusting their relative volume levels), and finally handing the whole thing off to iTunes. From there, you can convert the song to any common music file format (like MP3), burn it to a CD, load it onto an iPod, or post it online for your screaming fans to discover.

Mixing Tracks

Next time you listen to the radio, notice how each song ends. A few of them end with a dramatic climactic stopping chord, but most gradually fade out.

GarageBand not only lets you create convincing fade-outs for your songs, but even lets you adjust the volume graph for individual tracks along their lengths. For example, you can make the piano part loud during the introduction of the piece, and then pull back to a softer level when your singing begins.

This business of adjusting the relative volume levels of a song’s tracks is called mixing. It’s both ...

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