Are you ready for the next, and last step? Garage Band isn’t just a program that allows you to record your ideas, and put them together in a song. The programmers who made Garage Band have tried to make it a complete “unit” by also allowing you to mix your tracks into a final, polished version, complete with effects. Traditionally, this step would be done by a separate piece of software or hardware.
After you have tweaked your settings (pan, volume/levels, tuning and tempo) it’s time to export your composition. Exporting “mixes down” your song into a two-track file: a left/right stereo AIFF file. The resolution of this file is 44.1 kHz at 16 bits. This is the same as CD-quality sound. Choose “Export to iTunes” in the File menu.
iTunes creates a special playlist with all the compositions you create using Garage Band. The AIFF file Garage Band automatically imports into iTunes is large. A quality AIFF file is great for burning a CD of your own music. But what if you want to share the music digitally through e-mail or the web?
What you will need to do is convert the digital file into a smaller, compressed file. The most popular format is MP3, a model by which the sound file is compressed and made smaller. MP3 stands for MPEG-3 layer 1 standardized by the Motion Picture Experts Group as a high-quality compressed audio format.
MP3s are typically one-tenth the size of an uncompressed AIFF file, which means they’re small enough to transfer online. To convert your AIFF “original” into an MP3, follow the procedure below. To learn more about compressed audio formats, check out Digital Audio System’s webpage.
© 2005 by John G. Hendron.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.