Using the GarageBand Editor Button

What is the Editor Button?

Press the Editor button to edit individual tracks and regions. It also allows you to make detailed edits and manipulate the content.

You can edit the details by pressing the scissors symbol in (1) or double-clicking on the region.

piano roll editor

The Piano Roll Editor displays software instruments, external MIDI instruments, and MIDI instruments for the selected track.

Here, you can work with MIDI and set the length of MIDI notes (notes), as well as the strength and weakness of the notes.

Let’s take a look at how to use it.

Before manipulating a region

GarageBand regions are indispensable for DTMers.

When you hear the word “region,” you may think, “I don’t understand all that jargon.” But by understanding regions, you will be able to edit quickly.

There are three types of regions: audio regions, MIDI regions, and drummer regions.

You can record instrumental performances, edit MIDI notes, change drum patterns, and perform many other things, and by learning how to edit, you can be creative in creating music.

Let’s take a look at what you can do with this region editing together.

Select a Region

To edit a region, you must select a region.

Selected regions are displayed a little brighter, so you can tell at a glance which region has been selected.

You can select one or multiple regions, so you can choose the one you need to edit and adjust it each time.

The first method is to select all the regions in the track, then left-click and hold to select the entire region.

Another method is to use keyboard shortcut keys.

The shortcut key is “command⌘+A” to select all regions.

Solo or mute a region

Soloing or muting a region makes the soloed track easier to hear and edit.

You can also mute unwanted tracks so that you can listen to them by removing the region from the song.

Mute by region in GarageBand

GarageBand does not allow you to mute by region.

If you want to mute a track region by region, move the track you want to mute to another track and use the per-track mute function to mute the sound. This is the fastest way to mute the sound, although it is time-consuming.

Let’s hope this will be changed in an update.

Swap regions track by track.

Regions can be swapped track by track. By doing this, you can change the order of the tracks and customize the screen for easier viewing.

Click and drag the track to the place where you want to swap it.

When a region is locked

When an audio file with video is loaded into GarageBand, the region is locked and the audio data cannot be moved. (A key icon will appear in the upper left corner of the region.)

This phenomenon is called SMPTE lock, and GarageBand automatically applies the lock to prevent the image and audio from being misaligned.

While this is a nice feature because it prevents audio and video from being misaligned, there are times when you want to move the audio regions.

In such cases, you will need to unlock the SMPTE lock, and we will show you how to do so.

1. Click on the SMPTE-locked region and “right-click”.

2. Click “Copy” from the pop-up menu.

3. Select a new audio track.

4. Press Create.

5. Select the created track, right-click, and select “Paste” in the pop-up menu.

6. A region is created that is copied to the new track.

This region is SMPTE unlocked and can be moved freely.

Editing MIDI Regions

Double-click on the MIDI region to open the MIDI editor window.

Although you can type into a MIDI region with a mouse, we recommend using a MIDI keyboard.

Using a MIDI keyboard allows you to type quickly, which considerably improves your work efficiency.

Native instrument keyboards are recommended because they are easy to handle and have a wide variety of sound sources.

Duplicate MIDI Region

You can duplicate a MIDI region by hovering over this location in the region.

You can duplicate a region by dragging it to the right.

The same region is created, and when the source region is changed, the contents of the duplicated region are also changed in the same way, making duplication very easy.

Stretching and shrinking regions

You can stretch or shrink a region by dragging the lower right corner of the region and moving it left or right.

You can cut off unwanted parts or extend the length of the region to its original length.

Changing the length of MIDI notes

Drag the end of a MIDI note and move it left or right to change the length of the note.

Changing the velocity (strength of sound) of MIDI notes

Velocity (strength of sound) can be applied to a note by selecting the note in ① and moving the velocity slide bar in ② to the left or right.

To see the strength of the note, see the image below.

The note above is in a state of strong velocity. The line in the note extends to the right edge. If the velocity is increased, the line extends to the right end (top note), and if the velocity is decreased, the line becomes shorter (bottom note). (lower note)

Using Quantize

If a MIDI note is slightly off, you can quantize the MIDI note to match the note to the measure

Select the note in ① and use Quantize in ②.

For details, see “Applying Quantize in GarageBand”.

Using the transpose function

Transpose is a very convenient function that allows you to change the pitch of notes while leaving the MIDI notes of the selected MIDI region unchanged.

If you raise the note “C” by +2, it becomes the note “D”. Counting from ”C”, +2 means ”D”.

+Raising the note +5 will produce the note ”F”. The same concept applies to the “-” (minus) direction.

Thus, only the pitch of the notes can be changed without changing the arrangement of the notes, which can be useful if you want to change the key or the tune when you see it sung.

Playback head tracking button

Pressing this button causes the playback head to follow.

If you do not need to follow, uncheck this button and change its color to gray.

automation button

By pressing the automation button, the volume, panning (position) volume, etc. of various knobs can be changed automatically. This is called automation.

To use, press the Automation button in ①.

(2) is the automation on/off function. When it is on, it lights up blue. When off, it turns gray.

Select the automation you want to change at (3). You can select each channel of smart control, volume, pan, sustain, etc. Sustain is the reverberation from the time a key is played until the note breaks off.

(4) is the button for switching automation. If pan and volume are set, this button can be used to switch from pan to volume, pan to volume, and so on.

⑤ is the automation that is currently applied.

Drag the circle to move it and set it at the desired position.

You can also click on an empty spot on the line to set the pointer. You may want to use automation to expand the range of your music and see what you can do.

Editing Audio Regions

Next, we will edit audio regions. Audio regions have the same functions as MIDI regions, but I will explain the functions that are unique to audio regions.

flex button

By pressing the flex button, the position of the audio waveform can be changed. By changing the position of the sound, you can make it play in a slightly different pattern.

Be careful not to use it too much, however, or the sound will become strange.

Press the Flex button in ①.

Press ②Follow tempo and pitch.

(3) A dotted line will appear in the audio region, and the waveform can be adjusted.

You can now use flex time.

When this button appears and is clicked, the dotted line changes to a white line and the position of the waveform can be changed.

By selecting the white line and dragging it left or right, the waveform can be brought to the desired position.

reverse video

Checking the “Reverse Playback” checkbox will play the regions in reverse. This can be used to play cymbal sounds, etc. in reverse for a reverse effect.

This is a very interesting function, so please try it out.

Mouse Adjustment

Set up your mouse so that it is easy to use the right and left clicks.

First, if pressing the right mouse button in a region does not bring up any menu, change the settings on the Mac itself.

Open “System Preferences” in the Apple icon.

Open the “Mouse” menu.

Set the main button to “left” or “right”.

If the main mouse button is ‘left’, you can select a region and ‘right click’ to open the region’s menu.

If you are having trouble opening the menu, you may want to review your mouse settings.

Summary of GarageBand Editor Button Usage

Today we have seen the editor function. This function is used to edit regions, but if you use it too much, the waveform will be corrupted and the sound will be strange.

The higher-end version of Logic Pro has many features that are not available in GarageBand, so waveform editing and other editing can be done with high quality.

If you are used to editing in GarageBand, you may want to switch to Logic Pro.

See you soon.


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