September 14, 2009 7:46 PM

Cover of the 2004 song by SF indie-rockers The Invisible Cities. My first ukulele recording.

Experiments here: recording the ukulele. Trying to play GarageBand drums through a keyboard MIDI controller. All advice on drums in GarageBand for nondrummers very welcome. When I use loops all the way through it sounds robotic. When I try to play it through with a MIDI controller, as here, it sounds -- well -- not like drums.

posted by escabeche (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Ya the MIDI way is tough. There's always some lag on Garageband.
I rarely do MIDI but when I do, I go the labour intensive route. I see your 132bpm tag, so I assume you're playing to a click. So play the drums via MIDI, like you did, and then just go back and zoom in on your timeline. Then you can do two things. You can highlight the part of your region that's off-time, open the region editor (looks like a pair of scissors, at the bottom) and click on the "Enhance Timing" slider for how rigid you want to be, and you can adjust it for 1/16th notes, 1/4 notes, etc. Sometimes it's a bit wonky so you can also go in and manually edit the drum hits that are off, right in your timeline by lining them up with the grid lines that correspond with your beats-er-minute. (You have to have "snap to grid" checked in the top menu and have your timeline in "Bars and Beats" mode.) I usually end up doing the latter method, which takes longer but sounds more natural.
Does that make any sense?

Great song, by the way. Sort of like a Buzzcocks on electric ukelele, by way of The Who.
posted by chococat at 10:18 AM on September 15, 2009

I love that very mini-guitar soloing at the end. I'm afraid I do not have much advice about looped drums.
posted by Corduroy at 9:01 AM on September 16, 2009

Ukulele, not guitar! But yeah, as you can see, I've just picked up the uke and so far the only manner in which I know how to play it is "pretend it's a guitar with two fewer strings."

Chococat, thanks for the advice -- actually, I did a little of the manual moving for some of the very worst-placed cymbal crashes. But I didn't know you could do "Enhance timing" just on a region -- I'll try that next!
posted by escabeche at 10:08 AM on September 16, 2009

Here's the Invisible Cities original of "Instaglo," by the way, and here's their website.
posted by escabeche at 10:15 AM on September 16, 2009

Oops, here's their website.
posted by escabeche at 10:15 AM on September 16, 2009

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