Garage Band

Some Pics -- Click to see and get

Click to see how to export PowerPoint Slides for Podcasting

We'll use Garage Band to mix audio in multiple tracks and to add still images. It comes with lots of pre-recorded musical content that you can use. You can also use it to record voice.This is the primary tool to record your voice for your own podcast. Some of the computers in IT 222 have microphones built into them or attached. IT also has a "cart" sert up that you can sign out to do recordings and to do other Garage Band work (like adding images, editing, etc.).

Garage Band allows us to use still images that are stored in the image organizing program called iPhoto or to take any jpeg image and just drop it into your podcast.

When you load the program, you'll get the menu at right. Click New Podcast Episode.

(If you've been working on a cast, you'll see it load.)

To give you an idea of what you'll create, examine the screenshot shown below from Garage Band of a finished podcast. The upper pane shows 5 tracks (only 4 are used). The right side shows the images that will show as the podcast is played. The lower section lists these images. They are called markers in podcast lingo. They can be used to mark sections or chapters of the podcast. In iTunes you can jump directly to any of these (more about this later). The Male Narrator track below has a simple test voice recording in it while Jingles and Radio Sounds have musical content from Garage Band's library. Note the Male Narrator and the Jingles trach have a "rubber-banded" audio track below (more about this later) to control volume.

Here are some steps to build a simple podcast. When you load the program as above to build a new podcast episode, Garage Band sets up 5 basic tracks as illustrated below. You can add content to these in any order. Before we start building our episode, lets explore file types used in Garage Band. Garage Band has its own proprietary format for its own files. This format ends with the extension "band" It is not readable by any other program. You should save often in case something gets cofused as in other programs. When we finish our work on our own podcast episode, we'll export a podcast that can be subscribed to by users across the Internet. This file is in a generic format called m4a. (It is the audio component of the newly emerging standard MPEG-4.) It is an upgrade to the old mp3 format which is the audio component format for MPEG-1. That one is quite old now, but still in heavy use.

If you would like, you can delete any track you do not intend to use. For example, if you are female, you might want to delete the Male Narrator track or vice-versa. To do this, click on the track in the first column (called Tracks) and then pull down Track -> Delete Track.

Voice Recording
Often, you'll start with your voice recording. This way you can time and adjust background music and image markers to key points in the recording (or use none of these). You can record multiple sections sequentially. To experiment, find a short news article to read or a poem or compose your own dialog. In the illustration below, we show the setup for a male narrator. Click the button below the track name (circled in red) to indicate you will record in this track. Check the track volume to the right (circled in green) is roughly as the displayed setting. In the lower right of this pane, check the master volume (circled in orange) is near that shown.

Talk into the microphone -- even if you don't see it, its in or on the screen. Look for the audio level sliders above the green circle below to move up and down (actually, sideways). If they do, you are ready to record. If they don't, ask for help, call the IT Hub, or go to a page about checking the audio control panel settings.

To record, click the big red button circled in blue above. When you've said your piece (or peace), click it again to stop. You will see the current time indicator (CTI) move to the right. You can drag this back and play the track to see how it sounds. (Use the controls to the right of the record button to contol playing, or just hit spacebar to start and stop. So you just need to add some "fluff" and post!

Add Music

This is the fun part in Garage Band. Garage Band is a flexible, robust sound editing system. This page only touches the surface by walking you through adding two sound tracks. You are encouraged to learn more by pulling down under Help to Garage Band Help and then in the upper right corner, click the link entitled "What is Garage Band?" For a quite thorough introduction, go to Help -> Garage Band Getting Started.

For a bit of the idea we'll explore adding content into a couple of tracks. In the illustration below, a "loop" that came with Garage Band has been added to the Jingles track. To do this, first click the button below the tracks (circled in blue) to Open Loop Browser in the lower section. This gives a listing by main and sub catagrories of built in sounds. We chose Jingles, then Orchestral, then the loop named Alliance. Then we dragged this title into the track above. You can slide the track left or right to adjust when it begins relative to the other track.

Circled in orange, are "ducking" controls. Ducking stands for setting one track to lower its volume when another track has content. This is controlled by an up and a down arrow to the right of each track name. Up meansthe "dominant" track (as in -- the narrator). Down means background (as in the track containing the Alliance loop of music). Once you've added enogh to this track to have it extend beyond the narration track, you'll notice how this works. When you play your piece, the background music will become louder when the narration ends.

Circled on the right (above) in red is a button with an i for expanded track info to the right or below. Clicking the button to the right of this turns on or off the Media Browser that lets you select sound files from iTunes or graphics from iPhoto (or movies from iMovie).

Cirecled in green is one of three buttons to control the display of loops in the Media Browser. Try the other two views.

Adjusting volumes for mixing
In addition to the built-in ducking system discussed above, you can get a volume curve, set keyframes (where the volume could start a change), and adjust volumes in a track. In our example, we did this to "smooth" the transition between the two audio loops we'd added. To access the audio level line and controls, click the triangle in the track (circled in red). Click on the level line to add keyframes. Drag these points down to lower volume and up to raise the volume. Another related control is a master volume level line. To see and adjust it, pull down under Track -> Show Master Track.

Importing other audio
Garage Band can use most types of audio files. Just locate any, say mp3, file and drag it into the garage band clear area under the existing tracks. A new track will be created with your music content.


iPhoto - pictures

Images are an important enhancement to podcasts. These can just be dragged in like sound files.

If you have more than a few images, You should import these from iPhoto (a great free image management program). This program is a lot like iTunes. It is easy and a very powerful graphics program. It is particularly easy to use for what we will do. We'll walk through a scenario where you've got some images in folder named "pics" that are from digital pictures and other sources. You want to use them in your podcast. Here are the steps:

1. Load iPhoto. The example to the right shows the program assuming you have no images in it yet. If you already have some, they would be displayed as the ones we'll see later.

2. Pull down File -> Import to Library ... Choose your folder (we use pics). Click the Import Button. All the images will be brought into iPhoto.

3. You'll see them displayed. You are done with iPhoto. Pull down File -> Quit. hat was pretty painless, but revealed little of the power of iPhoto.

You can also import images that you export from PowerPoint. Click here for instructions.

Back to Garage Band -- Enterring Images into your Podcast from a folder or iPhoto

If you have an image in a folder, just drag its file icon into the Podcast track of your podcast. You can then move it left or right or split it or whatever you wish.

For iPhoto images,iIn Garage Band, back on your file, if you click below the tracks on the right side on the button circled below in green, the panel to the right will display the Media Browser. This browser is designed to list and show icons for media available to you. Click the Photos tab as circled in red below. There are the iPhoto images including the ones you just imported.

Now just drag the pictures you want to use, one at a time into the top track named Podcast. You can move them left or right to adjust timing.

Each image has a rectangle for the time in which it will show as the sequence plays. The beginning of each shows a yellow diamond at its upper left. This is called a marker. This marks the beginning of a chapter. To see what's going on click the Track Editor button (circled in blue) below the tracks to get the display of the Podcast Track content in the lower window. Note that in the Chapter Title (circled in red), you can name each chapter (or photo). When the episode is played later by someone in iTunes, they'll get a menu of chapters and can jump to any one of them. Two columns to the right of these titles for each chapter, you can enter a URL. If someone clicks the image while playing your podcast on that chapter, a browser will open and go to that URL. The podcast will continue to play. Thus you can set up your podcast as a commentary on pretty much any web content. This is a very powerful use of multimedia!

Set up a couple of your own podcasts. use different images and effects and URL's. You'll quickly see how intuitive this system is. Finally, though, we need to export and post our episode. These steps are easy.

Export your Podcast Episode

Make sure you save your .band file now so you can do any follow-up editing later that you desire. To export your finished podcast file , pull down Share -> Export as Podcast ... Name your file (for example, you might use demo.m4a). That's it. If you pull down under Share and find that Export as Podcast isn't listed and instead, it says Export to iWeb, the preferences settings in Garage Band have been messed up. Pull down under Garage Band-> Preferences ... then click Export. Look for the control called Publish Podcast and set it to Save to Disk. Then close that window and the Share will work. Now Quit Garage Band.

Page created and by Bob Fry April 2006

Last Edited 31 Oct 06