One may be the loneliest number, but that’s how most people use GarageBand – sitting alone in front of their Mac, playing along with loops, and building songs track by track. While this method works well for solo artists, it can be time-consuming when you’re working with a band. See also: GarageBand 11 review.

Recording the guitarist, bass player, and keyboardist separately can take three times as long as recording them together, not to mention sucking the spontaneity out of a performance as musicians twiddle their thumbs patiently waiting their turn to lay down a track.

Multitrack recording

With multitracking, GarageBand allows you to record up to eight real instruments and one software instrument simultaneously – more than enough tracks to record an entire band of musicians all playing their instruments at once.

Use the Track menu to enable multitrack recording which makes a new button appear to the right of each track’s instrument icon

To do so is relatively easy. You’ll need GarageBand, an interface that allows multiple inputs, some instruments to attach, and some musicians to play them. With all of that lined up, you’re ready to make a multitrack recording.

1. The first step is to launch GarageBand and select New Project.

2. Next, enable the multitracking feature by clicking the Track menu and choosing Enable Multitrack Recording.

3. Once you’ve enabled the multitracking feature, you’ll see a new round button appear just to the right of each track’s instrument icon. Clicking any of these buttons will set the respective tracks up for recording.

4. Once you’ve armed the tracks you want to record, either press the R key on your keyboard or click the red Record button on the toolbar at the bottom of the GarageBand window. The tracks you selected will turn red, and GarageBand will begin recording.

That’s really all there is to it. Unfortunately, we don’t have any tips on how to get your bass player to show up on time.

Record vocals last

A guide vocal track can be helpful when you’re recording a song – it gives cues for changes from verse to chorus. You can lay down a guide vocal track while playing a guitar or another instrument, but the vocal mic will pick up outside noise, making the track unsuitable for the final mix. Go back and record your final vocals, while wearing headphones, after the music tracks have been recorded.

Mic your drums

If you’re recording live drums, microphone placement is key. If you’re using one mic to record a whole kit and decide later that the cymbals are too loud or the kick drum too quiet, it’s too late. Try to experiment with mic placement, use multiple microphones to record one drum kit, or consider overhead microphones. Using multiple microphones on multiple tracks lets you control the levels between kick, snare, and cymbals.  MW