Saving Your Song

Saving Your Song

Now that you have successfully recorded a Software Instrument region, it's a good idea to save the changes you've made to the song.

You can also Save As to save a new version of the song with a different name. Let's try that for this exercise.

To Save As, you can either press Shift-Cmd-S, or choose File > Save As.


Choose File > Save As.

A Save As window appears so you can change the song name and location.


Change the name to Alaska Sunrise (delete the 2-1) in the Name field.

If you have been working with 1-1 Alaska Sunrise from Lesson 1, change the name to Alaska Sunrise also.


Click the blue downward-pointing arrow to the right of the Save As field for an expanded view of the Save As window (if it is not already expanded).

The window extends to show the expanded view. If you were already looking at the expanded view, clicking the upward-pointing arrow takes you back to the minimized view. Click the downward-pointing arrow again to see the full window.


Select the My GarageBand Projects folder on your computer's Desktop as the destination for your files.


Creating the My GarageBand Projects folder was part of the last exercise in Lesson 1. If you didn't complete Lesson 1 and don't have a My GarageBand Projects folder, click the Desktop in the sidebar, then click the New Folder button at the bottom of the Save As window and create the folder.

GarageBand offers several additional save options. The first save option is to Save as Archive, which saves all of the media for a project into the project, including the movie and all loops, so that you can move it to another Mac and continue working. Saving a file as an archive is only necessary at the end of a project, or if you're moving it. So you can leave this option deselected until needed.

The Compact Project option, new in GarageBand 3, lets you reduce the size of a project to make it easy for sharing. You'll work with this feature in Lesson 10. For now, leave this option deselected as well.


Make sure the Hide Extension option is selected. If it isn't, select it now.

Now the .band extension will be hidden from your saved project.


The .band extension is useful if you are copying your projects to a computer or server that may not have the application installed. The .band extension makes it easier for the new computer to recognize or maintain the GarageBand file format. However, since you will be using one computer for the lessons in this book, let's leave the Hide Extension option selected to hide the extension on all the files you save as GarageBand projects. (Note that the default setting for GarageBand is to hide the .band extension.) Hiding the extension is not the same as deleting the extension. You never want to delete a file extension from a filename because then applications won't recognize or open the file.


Click Save to save the song into the My GarageBand Projects folder.

Creating a Cycle Region

You've finished recording and saving a new wind chime region. Next, you'll need to decide if it is an improvement for the song. If so, you can delete the Chime region that was originally recorded in the Chime and Timpani track. To make the process easier, we'll set up a cycle region in the Timeline.

A cycle region is a specific portion of the Timeline that you want to repeat (cycle) over and over. Cycle regions are very useful for tasks such as auditioning, or evaluating parts so you don't have to keep stopping and resetting the playhead every time the song ends.


In the transport controls, click the Cycle button.

The Beat Ruler extends to reveal the Cycle Region Ruler.

To select a specific part of the Timeline to cycle, click and drag in the Cycle Region Ruler below the Beat Ruler. The cycle region appears as a yellow bar. You can move a cycle region by clicking in the middle of the yellow bar and dragging forward or backward in the Cycle Region Ruler. You can extend or shorten the cycle region by dragging the left or right edge of the yellow bar.


Press the spacebar to begin playback of the cycle region.

Notice that only the (yellow) cycle region plays and repeats (cycles).

Now let's create a new cycle region. First, let's zoom in to the Timeline for a clear view of the 9th through the 14th measures and the chime regions. This is the area of the Timeline where you'll create the cycle region.


Move the playhead to the beginning of the 9th measure (bar 9).


Press Ctrl-right arrow to zoom in until you clearly see the 9th through the 14th measures in the middle of the Beat Ruler.


Click and hold the cycle area below the Beat Ruler at the beginning of the 9th measure. Don't release the mouse.

This is two measures before the break in the piano part of the song.


While holding down the mouse button, drag through the Cycle Region Ruler to the 14th measure. Release the mouse.

A new yellow cycle region appears from the 9th to the 14th measures.

You can only have one cycle region at at time. By creating a new cycle region later in the Timeline, the original cycle region at the beginning of the Timeline disappears.


Play the new cycle region.

The playhead will play only the portion of the song marked by the yellow cycle region. The cycle region is played over and over until you stop playback.


Stop playback.


Click the Mute button on the Jazz Kit track with your recording, and unmute the Chime and Timpani track.


Play the cycle region, and listen to the original chime part with the song.

What do you think of the first recording now? It's a nice chime recording, but it feels more like rain than a delicate chime, and I still think it's too intense for the beginning of this song.


Unmute the Jazz Kit track, and mute the Chime and Timpani track.


If the volume level of the Jazz Kit with your recorded chime is too low, feel free to adjust the track's Volume slider.


Repeat the muting and unmuting steps until you have successfully evaluated both chime recordings. Then pause playback. What do you think of the new chime recording?


Click the Cycle button to close the cycle region, then turn off all Mute buttons.