Chapter 7. Mixing and Effects
With GarageBand, you can record and create professional-quality music. However, to make your finished songs actually sound professional, you need to understand the fine art of mixing music.
Fortunately, the GarageBand interface includes an easy-to-use Track Mixer with controls for volume level and pan position.
In Lesson 4, you arranged a song in the Timeline using basic and advanced music arrangement techniques. Your goal in this lesson is to take an arranged song to the next level to make it sound like a professional composition. To accomplish this, you'll need to apply professional mixing techniques, including balancing volume, panning, fixing timing, changing velocity, and adding effects. Along the way, you'll also learn some handy shortcuts for features you're already familiar with, such as soloing, muting, and showing cycle regions.
Understanding Basic Mixing
Mixing a song is the art of carefully blending all of the different sounds and musical textures into one cohesive, balanced piece of music. Arranging regions in separate tracks is easy once you get the hang of itin fact, you've been arranging music since you started this book. Mixing takes a little more practice. It also takes some ear training.
Ear training means being able to listen beyond the basic music to analyze the full panoramic scope of a song. Chefs train their palates so they can taste food beyond the basics. For instance, an Italian chef can taste the full array of spices in a marinara sauce, from oregano to fresh ground pepper. Some chefs can even tell you what type of tomato was used and how ripe it was. It's great to be able to taste the spaghetti sauce and know whether you like it not. It's even better if you know why.
Throughout this lesson, you'll be training your ear so that, by the end of the exercises, you too will be able to hear beyond the music and notice the subtle elements within the mix of a song.
Let's start by listening to the finished song titled Highway Brothers.