Global Automation in GarageBand

October 13, 2012

Garageband Tutorial

Amongst other things, you can automate global changes in Garageband via the master track.  This could range from simple volume fades to complex filter sweeps.  Rather than drawing in automation for each track in your arrangement, there are times when you can consolidate changes by working with the master track.

Today we’ll learn how to program a global volume fade for a song outro.

Step 1 – Pull up your master track.

By default, your master track is hidden.  Click on Track > Show Master Track.

Your master track should pop up at the bottom of your arrangement.

Activate your master volume.

Step 2 – Draw in your volume envelope.

Create two hit points on your automation line to create a gradual fade out.  Lower your second hit point as much as Garageband will allow.  As you can see by the envelope below, our fade occurs over the course of 4 bars.

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Summary

While this is a simple example of global automation, you can see how it saves us time.  The alternative would be to draw in automation fades for each individual track in your arrangement, which would take substantially longer.

Experiment with some of the other automation parameters available.  You can automate things like pitch and tempo to give your tracks an added boost of character when need be.

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