Recording Basic Beats in Garageband

About one week ago I made my first ever beat in Garageband. It was a simple homage to a friend of mine who also produces beats in Garageband, with a early hip hop era beat complete with a bass and handclap, a la 1982. I am using Alesis MULTIMIX4 USB mixer as an interface for the vocals and used an aggressive hall delay. Listening to the vox, I can tell that they need to be smoothed out a bit into the mix, but this was my very first beat and I was basically messing around, experimenting. One thing I was proud of is the fade out at the end. Although I am not sure if this affects the normalizing of the beat when you export it. It is hard to adjust the normalizing feature in Garageband, as I think it automatically normalizes the track on export as long as you set it up in the applications preferences.  You can hear this simple, crude and somewhat humorous beat here.

For the second beat, I got a little more serious. I added reverb to the bass and snare and only used those two drums to create a sort of Joy Division-esque, simple beat simply by playing the drums with my computer keyboard. In Garageband, by pressing Command K on a Mac you can pull up the virtual piano and manipulate the sound of the instrument you selected. I was really stoked about a pad I found in the program called the Warm Arp Pad. The arpeggiated pattern it creates is very Bladerunner-ish and the notes I used are C and B flat  and C an octave higher in tandem and D Flat and A Flat and still hold the same higher C note as the previous pattern.

The piano sound used on this track was Steinway Grand Piano. As you can see from illustration 1.3, I tweaked the settings a bit and added some moderate reverb and echo to the piano’s default setting. The piano notes played are C C-octave-up A-Flat B-Flat G. I feel this piano sound gives it the classic NIN feel with a simple melody and lots of sustain.

For the bass, I simply used a sub bass setting and played an A note an octave apart. I did not tweak the bass settings. I also used a sort of arp bass when the grand piano comes in called a Tube Bass.

All in all, I am pretty satisfied with this being my first serious beat in Garageband. The next beat I create I will attempt to demystify how complex drum patterns are created. I am not sure how complex drum patterns can get in Garageband, but I will see what I can come up with. Eventually I will upgrade to Logic Pro, which is a more complex derivative of Garageband, with better plugins and overall sounds. I will say that I am pretty impressed so far with Garageband as a free Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). It is definitely a good DAW for the hobbyist, or a beginner who wants to start simple and see if making beats is something he or she would like to eventually take more seriously.

Garageband setup with virtual keyboard 1.1GbandSetup.png

Drum Reverb 1.2LiverPoolReverb.png

Piano Setup 1.3




Getting into Music Producing

By trade, I am a Web Developer. However, I am also a musician and own a company called Kylmyys Media. According to some, including Jesse at MusicMakesCash, there is an abundance of money to be made by licensing your music for television, radio, movies and commercials—an abundance. As part of the music act Kylmyys, I have been involved in recording ambient/electronic music for nearly five years, although three of those years, 2013 – 2016, were a bit inactive as these were the years I went back to school. However, after taking a year to contemplate life a bit after the death of my father in March of 2016, including a trip to Cambodia with my girl friend, I have narrowed down my interest to four things, which will probably be my focus for the rest of my time on this planet: Web Developing, Web Design, Music Production, Music Performance.

Out of those vocations, only one, Music Production, is something I have very little experience in. I have recorded guitar tracks by myself for various projects, and programmed simple drum parts using Acoustica Beatcraft, but that is about as far as my experience goes. I know what normalizing is, and how to record live guitar properly.

Not too long ago, I thought it was sacrilege to record music without live instruments, especially drums. But with the advent of Digital Audio Workstations, DAWS, such as LOGIC PRO and Digital Performer, my opinion about using computer generated sounds has changed quite a bit: Gone are the days of the cheesy Casio keyboard drum loops, today synthesized sounds can sound very organic, often analog, and soothing to the ear.

This is one of the reasons why big name production companies such as FOX and the Discovery Channel are buying their underscores and other music featured in their shows from independent artists: Independent artists can now offer high quality production music for much cheaper than large music production companies and/or composers. much much cheaper. The bonus for the musician/producer is that after getting music licensed, the musician can make decent money from royalties. In fact, Jesse from MusicMakesCash claims that he and literally thousands of other independent music producers are making up to a six-figure, yearly income solely by licensing their music for T.V. , film and radio. Of course it took Jesse almost 10 years to get to that point and he had to have both the audacity and especially the tenacity to become such a success in the music licensing business.

However, let’s back up a bit: Kylmyys has just entered into the music licensing business and this is exciting for us. I decided that in order to increase our chances of getting music licensed, that I should learn how to produce music myself, using one of those DAW thingamajigs. Oh man, I am not going to lie: My ego is very vulnerable right now, but I know that I have a decent ear for music. I am hoping my technical prowess will not fail me and more importantly, my passion for music will not falter as I enter into the world of music production. I have signed up for an online course to speed things along and will document my progress on my soundcloud page. I am very excited about this, not only for the potential to express myself musically using a plethora of sounds available on a plethora of audio recording computer programs, but also the potential to perhaps make some extra money. Money that will keep paying me through royalties. It definitely applies to the idea that in order to make money, you don’t work for money, you make the money work for you. Oh snap, that reminds me, I have to check my stocks and bonds today, Whelp, gotta run! Until next time, be well! –BK