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Cutting an Entire Bar Out of a Garageband Song

  • Click the “+” at the top of the App Window just below the “Mixer” heading to create an “Arrange Region”
  • I think it defaults to 4 bars, but you can take your cursor and make the arrange region any size you want
  • Click the region to highlight it in blue and then hit your delete key.

This does a Delete + Move function so the area you want to get rid of dissappears and moves the entire rest of the song, including each track’s “meta” data, neatly together. Moving the meta data is important if you’ve created customized volume or panning sliders for individual tracks. Just moving the tracks themselves by dragging them doesn’t do this.

This can be done anywhere in a song, but it occurred to me that usually when I make a recording I’ll have one or two bars at the opening of the song thats filled with silence or noise from getting ready to cut the take. And then when I’m done, I may have eight or nine tracks that need to be moved, along with their data to the actual beginning of the timeline or else when I exported it, the export would take that silence/noise with it. I needed a way to move all the tracks simultaneously, which is a terrible pain to do individually especially if, as is usually the case, many of the tracks aren’t “joined” and even then, there’s the problem of the meta data. I guess I wouldn’t have this problem if I did a count in, but even then, I think a count in is only one bar, and I usually need two before I’m ready to record.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments.

Update 4/30/10I just realized when I made “Quiet Town” today and needed to do the same thing that that little “+” below where it says “Mixer” at the top may not show up depending on your settings. If that’s the case you need to go to Track>>Show Arrange Track and click that, and then it will show up.

Update 4/9/11 – What I’m doing now for my Garageband projects is using a program for Mac called Wiretap Studio. What this program does is record into a .wav file (that you can easily convert to .mp3) directly from the Mac Core Audio itself. You end up getting better results because when you export via Garageband usually one of two things happen. If you’ve selected “normalize” things sound fine, but usually the volume is way to low. And if you don’t select “normalize” you get the loudness, but at the expense of quality. A lot of clipping. Wiretap gives you the loudness of a contemporary CD, but with the clarity of how it actually sounds in Garageband itself. Also with this solution, I don’t have to worry about moving the tracks to the beginning of the garageband interface. I simply move the playhead to where I want to start the recording. Then I click record on Wiretap. Then I start the playhead. The few extra seconds in the Wiretap file can be cropped to give you better control over the beginnings and endings of songs.






5 responses to “Cutting an Entire Bar Out of a Garageband Song”

  1. Kyra Styner Avatar
    Kyra Styner

    Thank you! This was super helpful. Every other thing I’ve found has just said to move the tracks and paid no regard to the meta data. You are wonderful 🙂

  2. Kurt Avatar

    The only “+” signs I see, do not fit the description—of course, I am writing this in 2016 and I assume a bit has changed. What can I do? It’s too complex a song to drag each little part individually—I’ll go crazy, and I don’t have the time.

    1. Stephen Pickering Avatar

      Hey Kurt,
      Thanks for the comment. Yeah, you’re right, this post is almost six years old now. And I haven’t used Garageband in a while. I’ve switched to Logic Pro X. I’m opening up the current GB on my iMac as I write this, to see if I can look at it. Actually, now that I look at it, I don’t think I even have the latest GB on this Mac. I have GB ’11. I’m going to have see if I can download the latest version of GB later. I thought I did, because I thought I had the latest OSX. But anyway, I’ve wanted to get back into Garageband and I have noticed at a glance that it looks almost exactly like Logic Pro X.
      In the meantime, in the menu bar is there still a “Track” label that you can click, and underneath that a sub heading of “Show Arrangement Track”? If it still has that option is there no + icon? Even if it doesn’t, surely there must still be a way to add an Arrange Region. That’s the key. To add a new Arrange Region over the bit you want to delete, and then hit the delete key. Although I have noticed at least in this Garageband 11 I have to hit the delete key twice. The first delete just deletes the data, and the second delete actually moves the tracks to the beginning.
      Well, thanks for commenting. I’ll try to download the latest GB and see if I can find a more formal response. Of course, I know its probably too late for what you need to do.
      Sorry I couldn’t help!

  3. Joe Avatar

    Cutting an Entire Bar Out of a Garageband Song……..Finally!!!
    Since I got my mac i’ve been cutting sections(beginnings) selecting all and moving them to the front of the dead air. Of course in the process, all of my levels painstakingly set were then out of sync because the levels don’t move as well. I knew there was a way to do this I just didn’t know how to go about it. What a time saver.


    1. Stephen Pickering Avatar

      Oh your welcome, and thanks for the comment. I had to re read this post to remind myself. You know since then, I moved to Logic Pro, but I got to tell you, I really miss the “approachability” of Garageband. Logic feels like work and is intimidating, whereas Garageband felt like fun. Seems like I was making some good creative progress in my Garageband days that I couldn’t, for whatever, keep moving in Logic. I may have to consider going back. All my best to you. Glad I could help in any small way. 🙂

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