Scoring in GarageBand

If you own iMovie, you also own GarageBand, which is a sophisticated program for creating your own polished-sounding musical compositions. Even if you can’t carry a tune, you can still drag and drop bits of prerecorded snippets (GarageBand comes with thousands of them, played on all different instruments), guaranteed that they’ll all sound good together. And if you know something about music, you can use GarageBand as a digital recorder that lets you record and edit live performances from musical instruments or MIDI instruments (like synthesizers).

All of this has always been true of GarageBand. What a crime, then, that iLife included one program for editing movies, and another perfectly suited to creating movie soundtracks—with no way to use them together!

In iLife ’06, GarageBand can import your iMovie masterpiece and play it right on the screen while you build your composition. It’s a junior version of the system used by composers of Hollywood soundtracks.

Using this technique, you can tailor the background music precisely to the finished movie, making the volume swell at just the right moments, adding crescendos or cymbal crashes to match the visuals, building up to the punch line in the dialogue, and so on. Because the movie plays right on the screen, you’re no longer shooting blind, hoping that the musical moments will line up with the visual ones.

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