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May 14, 2012

How to create a musical bed for your podcast in GarageBand

by Freddie Harrison

GarageBand has plenty of tools to help you make your podcasts more entertaining and sound even better than ever – here’s how to make your own podcast bed

GarageBand Tutorial - Podcast Bed - SidebarGarageBand Tutorial - Podcast Bed - MainEvery podcast you listen to will have a number of elements that can set it out and make it sound more professional than the rest. One of those elements is a bed, a loop or track of music that plays underneath presenters’ voices during spoken elements of an episode. Beds can be used to convey the mood of a specific part of a podcast, or set the pace of the episode as a whole. While not every podcast has or needs a bed, your one may well benefit from one, so it’s useful to make your own and try them out to see what works. Making your own podcast beds in GarageBand is fairly easy, especially considering the number of pre-loaded loops and tracks that it has to offer, so fire it up and follow these simple steps to make your podcast that little bit better.

GarageBand Tutorial - Podcast Bed - Step-By-Step

GarageBand Tutorial - Podcast Bed - Step 1

Step 1: Pick a project

Create a new project and choose Loops from the template selection. This brings up the loops browser and a clear track window to drop them into.

GarageBand Tutorial - Podcast Bed - Step 2

Step 2: Find a theme

GarageBand’s loops browser allows you to view loops by instrument, genre or mood. Click on the search item to choose from hundreds of great loops.

GarageBand Tutorial - Podcast Bed - Step 3

Step 3: Click and preview

Click on the icon next to the loop name to preview it prior to dragging it into the track view. This is useful when you have a lot of loops in your project.

GarageBand Tutorial - Podcast Bed - Step 4

Step 4: Drag it over

Once you’ve found a loop or sample you’re happy with (the longer the better), drag it into the track view. GarageBand will automatically create a new track for it.

GarageBand Tutorial - Podcast Bed - Step5

Step 5: Up close and personal

Drag the slide on the bottom-left of GarageBand’s window to zoom in towards the end of the loop or sample and find the final note.

GarageBand Tutorial - Podcast Bed - Step 6

Step 6: Cut the loop

Drag the playhead to the point in the loop just before the last note, then choose Split from the Edit menu to separate the two parts ready to create a loop.

GarageBand Tutorial - Podcast Bed - Step 7

Step 7: Copy and paste

Copy the first part of the split loop; this will form the looped section that will play throughout your bed. Paste that back in but don’t overwrite the second part.

GarageBand Tutorial - Podcast Bed - Step 8

Step 8: Repeat the paste

While making sure that the second part of the split loop is clear of where you’re pasting, paste in the first part of your loop repeatedly until your bed is the right length.

GarageBand Tutorial - Podcast Bed - Step 9

Step 9: Joining up

Highlight all of the repeated sections (including the second part of the original split clip) and join them using the Join command in the Edit menu to finish up.

Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations.

GarageBand Tutorial - Podcast Bed - Annotated

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