How to Cut and Autotune in GarageBand

Autotune is generally frowned upon by the music industry as excessive electronic tempering to make your voice or use of instruments sound like what it isn’t allows for a scope in plagiarism and honestly, makes it sound robotic as opposed to the organic and exciting feel of good music. But use of auto tune in places it can work its magic to help elevate your tracks is recommended- to finesse your rhythm or to give it a higher or lower tempo than what you can play or sing at; it can help you in making an original fit for music charts. 

GarageBand is used by many worldwide artists to fine-tune their tracks and many even use the option of cutting and remixing their compositions close to the autotuning feature. It is very easy to use this feature in GarageBand by the help of ‘Enhanced Tuning’ option in the app. This feature helps you correct the pitch of your tracks to the key it’s supposed to be in, which is what autotune is supposed to carry out when used correctly. Artists who do not understand the basics of auto tuning their work often end up using the technique in disastrous ways whereas those who learn to work within the limits of the technique end up creating gold masterpieces. 

Steps to cut and tune your track are listed below:

  • Open the GarageBand app on your device and open the track you want to edit. 

  • Make sure you have set the preferred volume, ‘Key’ and beats per minute (bpm) you would like the song to be in, from the top-middle portion in the app that has the options to change these. If you don’t know the exact key or bpm to be put, you can just hum it into the microphone and the app will recognize and set it accordingly. 

  • You can also check by repeating the same process on free websites (like audiokeychain.com), to determine these specifications.  

  • From the top left corner of the window, press the scissor icon. This will open a new panel of editing tabs in the bottom half of your screen.

  • On the left side of the panel, you will see the option for Track and Region. When you’re working on the Track portion, it will show an option for ‘Pitch Correction’ which is used to cut and autotune in this app.

  • You can change the intensity of the pitch in the bar below this option according to the level you want the app to auto-tune your track. Newcomers can set this to 80-90% whereas veterans of the field generally use around 50-60% so as to keep the recording as natural as possible.

  • Now check the ‘Limit to Key’ option under the ‘Pitch Correction’ tab to obtain results of auto-tuning in the same key you want the song to be in.

  • If the whole of your song is not in the same key, you can just select those portions of the song on the equalizer screen and turn the ‘Pitch Correction’ feature to zero. This will help maintain the feel of your song by not mechanically fluctuating it in unnecessary places.

The Enhanced Tuning of GarageBand helps artists review their songs to help them record better and with more precision and helps tune out the minor problems with your track. However, it  is important that you do not use this feature to completely revert the feel and process of your record and stay true to your process.

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