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Part: 1 Getting Music into GarageBand > Working with Songs - Pg. 22

22 Chapter 2. Working with Songs The song is the unit of creation in GarageBand. Whether you've expended hours of blood, sweat, and tears giving voice to your singular inspiration, or whether you're just noodling around with no specific goal in mind, a song is your finished product. Whenever GarageBand is running, there is one song open: no more, no less. This helps to keep things simple. This chapter covers the basics of dealing with songs, including: · · · · Opening, saving, and playing songs. Starting a new song from scratch and choosing its tempo, time signature, and key. Setting a song's length. Undoing your work when you realize you've made a mistake. About Songs You build your song in the timeline, creating tracks to contain the various chunks of audio data that go into your song. (The GarageBand interface uses the word project from time to time rather than song, but it means the same thing.) You add Apple Loops (that use either Real or Software Instru- ments) and import MIDI and audio files to your song by dragging them to tracks. You record Real Instruments and Software Instruments into tracks. See Chapter 3 for more about tracks. Each item that you've added to your song, whether it's a loop or 30 seconds of recorded sound, is called a region in GarageBand-speak. You refine the overall shape of your creation by arranging these regions (which I'll discuss in Chapter 8). Regions can be lengthened or shortened; looped, split, or joined; and moved around within a track or moved from one track to another. The track editor, a more advanced feature of GarageBand, allows you to edit the fundamental char- acteristics of regions (more about this in Chapters 9 and 10). Using the track editor, you can trans- pose a region to another key (except for Real Instrument regions that consist of audio you imported from the Finder). You can tweak the tuning or timing of Real Instrument regions. You can even edit the individual notes of Software Instrument regions. Finally, you refine your song's mix , setting each track's volume and stereo position and adding effects (see Chapter 11) and adjusting the overall volume level of the song (see Chapter 12). Then you're ready to share your magnum opus with the world. Use the Export to iTunes command (see Chapter 13) to consolidate all of your tracks into a single audio file, which is output to your iTunes library. From there, you can burn your song to a CD, post it to a Web site, or copy it to your iPod. Opening a Song