Mac OS X GarageBand Tips

Combining Two Garageband Projects

I have been working with Garageband since it first came out and have seen it evolve into a pretty powerful audio editing program. I primarily use Garageband for my Podcasting but have used it to create ring tones and music. To help in my podcast production process I started using a “template” that I set up that included my intro music and my primary voice-over. I had this saved to my desktop and when ever I wanted to create a new podcast I simply duplicated it. Recently I discovered an easier way of doing this that has been available since Garageband 3.0! You can simply combine two songs into one by importing one project, or a part of a project, into the one you are working on. Before you get started make sure you store your GarageBand projects or their Alias are located in GarageBand’s default location ~users/Music/GarageBand/. Otherwise you will not be able to access them within the Media Browser. I have mine within a project file and created an Alias by selecting the Folder and hold down the Command+L and placing that within the default folder. Next:

  1. Launch GarageBand
  2. Open the Media Browser located in the bottom right hand corner of your window.
  3. GarageBand Media Browser

    GarageBand Media Browser

  4. Select the Audio tab at the top of the Media Browser inspector.
  5. Navigate to where you have your GarageBand files stored. NOTE: By default it is your user’s ~/Music/GarageBand folder.
  6. Select and Double-click the project you want to import. NOTE: If you haven’t opened it from within the Media Browser before, GarageBand will most likely warn you that project was not saved with an iLife preview. You will get a dialog asking you to open it in GarageBand so that you can save it with an iLife preview.
  7. Click ‘Yes’
  8. Close the project you just opened and re-open the original song.
  9. Re-open the Media Browser again and drag the song you just converted into the current project.

GarageBand Media Browser

Drag-and-drop the song you just converted into the current project

The newly imported song appears in an orange track with a small guitar icon next to its name in the timeline. The orange color indicates it’s an imported project. If you need to further edit the song you just imported, do the following:

  1. Double-click the imported track in the timeline. This opens up the Track Editor.
  2. Click ‘Open Original’ in the Track Editor.
  3. Make the changes you want to the imported project, then save and close it.
  4. GarageBand re-opens the project you started with and informs you that the imported project has been modified. A dialog will ask you if you want to update the imported region. Click ‘Update Region’ button.

That’s pretty much it. The process is a bit of a back-and-forth requiring you to make frequent changes to both projects. I found however that if the track you are importing is mostly complete and ready to go you are just focusing on the track you are importing to. In my case my intro is pretty standard what comes after that is what I tweak! Working this way this technique works pretty well.

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