Get creative and make music with the built-in loops in GarageBand '09!

Take Control of
Making Music with GarageBand ’09

Seattle musician Jeff Tolbert’s step-by-step instructions and audio examples guide you through creating songs with the built-in loops in GarageBand ’09. You’ll learn how to plan a song, get the most out of Magic GarageBand, edit loops using both graphical and notation view, create exciting mixes, and export.

This product has been discontinued.

Seattle composer Jeff Tolbert’s step-by-step instructions guide beginning and intermediate users through using GarageBand’s built-in loops to create three songs, explaining not only how to use GarageBand’s editing and mixing features but also how to be playful and creative while composing tunes that please the ear. You’ll learn how to plan a song, get the most out of Magic GarageBand, edit and arrange Real Instrument and Software Instrument loops in numerous ways, create exciting mixes, and export your masterpieces.

The book also covers how to change track volume, tempo, and panning dynamically, and how to work with GarageBand’s effects. Plus, it includes seven suggestions for solving performance problems.

Bonus! Linked-in audio lets you listen to examples while you read about them, and a five-page glossary helps you quickly learn about music-related terms.

Questions you’ll find answers to include:

  • What’s the arrange track used for?
  • How can I use the stock GarageBand loops to make a cool song?
  • How do I edit Software Instrument loops?
  • I don’t read music. Why do I care about Notation view?
  • How do I change the tempo in different sections of my tune?
  • How do I make my mixes more dynamic and interesting?
  • How can I customize a Magic GarageBand song so it doesn’t sound like everyone else’s?
  • How do I make a killer drum break out of GarageBand loops?
  • How can I make a ringtone for my iPhone?

"I had a tough time getting started with GarageBand until I bought Take Control of Making Music with GarageBand."
    -Lyle H.

What’s New in the GarageBand ’09 Edition

This book is a new edition of Take Control of Making Music with GarageBand, which I first wrote for GarageBand version 1.0. I’ve updated the book for each major new version of GarageBand so far. For this edition, I updated the book to cover new features in GarageBand ’09, also known as version 5.

Here’s what’s new in this edition:

  • When you create a GarageBand project, you now get a host of new options in the initial dialog. Most of them aren’t relevant to this book, but I cover those that are, namely Loops (for all the projects I create that use loops) and iPhone Ringtone (a special option for that purpose; see Create a Ringtone, p. 101).
  • GarageBand’s Track Info pane has been redesigned, making it much prettier and easier to use. I walk you through its use in several places.
  • Notation View also sports a new look and feel, which I talk about in Create a Track in Notation View .
  • GarageBand ’09 has numerous other interface changes, which I cover throughout the book (and many screen shots have been updated to reflect these changes).

Does this ebook talk about the GarageBand app that runs on the iPad?

Sorry, it does not. Although the two programs share some features, this ebook has nothing particular in it about the iPad app.

I have an old version of GarageBand and don't want to update right now. Can I get a previous edition of this ebook?

You can read about old versions of GarageBand as follows:

GarageBand '08 (version 4):

GarageBand '06 (version 3):

GarageBand 1 or 2: From either of the above-listed ebooks for GarageBand '06, you can download free copies of still-earlier editions that cover GarageBand 1 and 2. Instructions are on the second page of Take Control of Making Music with GarageBand 3.

  • Read Me First
  • Introduction
  • Making Music with GarageBand Quick Start
  • Configure GarageBand
  • Make Your First Tune
  • Make a Great Song
  • Transform a Magic GarageBand Song
  • Learn More Loop Techniques
  • Export Your Song
  • Learn More
  • Appendix A: Improving Performance
  • Glossary
  • About This Book
  • April 2011 -- We don't plan to update this ebook about GarageBand 5/'09 again. However, we did create a new edition of the ebook to explain music making in GarageBand 6/'11—Take Control of Making Music with GarageBand '11.

    I read Jeff Tolbert's books Take Control of Making Music with Garageband '09 and after that Take Control of Recording with Garageband '09. Being a foreigner myself (Dutch) and a complete beginner in music making and recording, I was surprised to understand every word, description, explanation, technical detail, and humorous remark in both books. Mr. Tolbert must be a born teacher, connecting all the time with the level of thinking of the beginning student in a most positive, even enthusiastic way.

    In short, a big compliment!

    Kind regards, Rob F.