Quantizing A Recording To Improve Rhythm (Online Course Homework)

If you have ever performed music for a recording session, you have probably had more than your fill of “let’s try another take” and “let’s punch (replace a short part of a recording with another) that note.” However, if you are recording tracks with a software instrument that sends MIDI signals instead of audio sounds, you can edit the MIDI notes inside of the digital audio workstation (DAW) that records the tracks, thus potentially saving an almost-perfect take.

Here’s a video I made for this week’s online Production course homework teaching how to use the Quantize function in GarageBand to make notes that were not played quite on the beat line up more closely (and in a future post I will tell you how I made this screen-capture video!):

How To Record An Acoustic Instrument (Online Course Homework)

[Note: As I mentioned in this post I’m taking a free online Berklee course in Music Production. It includes weekly assignments that must be posted so that they may be peer reviewed by another class member. Since they require teaching one of the topics covered in the week’s lessons I will be posting them here so you may see as well – hence the slightly odd format required by the course.]

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Create Your Own GarageBand Loops

Today’s post is rather geeky! Since for this year’s RPM Challenge I am working with a musical partner for the first time we decided to do our recording projects using Apple’s GarageBand. GB is fairly easy to use and at this point has been improved and cross-pollinated from Apple’s pro Logic app sufficiently to get decent results.

One of the functions that makes GB easy is Apple Loops. GB comes with a large collection of pre-recorded/programmed live and electronic (MIDI) snippets that can be dropped into your song project and then “dragged” with your mouse to duplicate as many times as you wish.In the screen shot below (click to enlarge) I have dragged the loop “club beat 001” from the list of loops at the¬†bottom¬†right into the track area in the middle, and when this was captured I was using my mouse to drag from left to right on the loop to cause it to start copying itself:

Gb loop


But suppose you want to create your own loops? First, a legal caveat: do NOT use music you did not create yourself unless you have obtained the rights to sample it! (Apple’s built-in loops are royalty-free for commercial use).

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