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Audio Interface - A device used to get sound into and out of your computer. An audio interface converts analog signals (from microphones or musical instruments, for example) into digital audio data that can be processed by your computer, and, in the other direction, converts digital audio data from your computer into analog signals that speakers can broadcast.

Apple Loops/Sample - Prerecorded audio files (either audio or MIDI regions) that can shift in pitch or tempo and that are designed to play repeatedly. GarageBand includes a large library of Apple Loops that you can add to your projects. You can search for and preview loops in the Loop Browser, then add the ones you want to the Tracks area of your project. See also loop.

Automation - A feature that lets you create changes over time in a project. GarageBand includes automation curves for each track, including the master track. You automate volume, pan, tempo, and other settings by adding automation points to an automation curve and then dragging the automation points to change the value of the settings over time.

Bar - A regular group of beats, heard together as a larger rhythmic pulse of a piece of music. The time signature of a project shows the number of beats in each bar and the note value of each beat. In music notation, vertical lines separate bars of music.


Beat - The regular, repeating rhythmic pulse of a piece of music. The time signature of a project shows the number of beats in each bar and the note value of each beat. See also a bar.


BPM - ​​Abbreviation for beats per minute. Bpm is used to indicate the tempo of a piece of music. See also tempo.


Chord - ​​A set of notes played together. Chords can be major or minor, and can also have a seventh (7th) or other added notes. When you play a chord on a software instrument track, the chord name appears on the LCD.

Compressor - ​​An effect that smoothes out the difference between the loudest and softest parts of a song or track for a more even sound. Compression can make a track sound more focused or “punchy,” and make the song sound better when played on equipment with a narrow dynamic range

Decibel (dB) - ​​A way to measure the volume or loudness of a sound. On the decibel scale, 1 dB is approximately the smallest change in volume that human ears can detect.

Distortion - ​(1) A rough or sharp sound, usually produced when the volume level exceeds what the sound equipment can clearly reproduce. (2) An effect used to make sounds rougher and louder, similar to overdrive.

EQ - ​​Abbreviation for equalizer or equalization. EQ is a widely used effect that lets you shape specific frequencies of a sound. You can use EQ for both subtle and dramatic changes in the quality of a track or song.

Gain - ​Similar to volume, but more specifically refers to an increase in the level of an electronic audio signal. You can adjust the gain on an amp in an Electric Guitar track to make the sound lighter and clearer, or louder and more distorted.

Master Track - ​A track that controls the overall sound of a project. You can show the master track in the Tracks area, and edit the master volume, pitch, and tempo automation curves in the master track. You can add and edit effects for the master track in the Master Track tab of the Smart Controls pane.

Metronome -  A device that marks regular intervals of time, such as musical beats, by sounding a click. In GarageBand, you use the metronome while recording or playing a project. You can also have a count-in that starts one bar before playback starts.

Pitch - ​The perceived highness or lowness of a sound. In music, the pitch of a sound is expressed as a musical note. Scientifically, pitch corresponds to the sound’s frequency, usually expressed in cycles per second.

Playhead - ​​A vertical line in the Tracks area that shows what part of the project is currently playing, or where playback starts when you click the Play button. The playhead extends from the top to the bottom of the Tracks area. The triangle at the top of the playhead shows its current position in the ruler.

Region - A rectangular segment in the Tracks area that represents your recordings, loops, and imported media files.

Track - ​The horizontal rows in the Tracks area you use to organize your music and control the sound of the recordings, loops, and other material in a project.


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