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GarageBand Tutorial: How to use Flex Time to fix your tracks

Follow our step-by-step guide to fixing timing issues in GarageBand using its powerful editing feature, Flex Time. Missed beats will be a thing of the past!

GarageBand - Fix Timing Issues - Featured
GarageBand - Fix Timing Issues - Sidebar
Scratch the surface of Apple’s entry-level DAW and you’ll find that GarageBand is actually an extremely versatile and powerful bit of kit, especially considering that it comes free on every new Mac.
One of the more advanced features found lurking under the hood is the Flex time functionality, borrowed from GarageBand’s sibling app, Logic. This essentially lets you treat audio files, or ‘Real Instrument’ regions, as if they were MIDI regions, so you can separate, pick up, move, and stretch sections of audio waveforms in much the same way that you can edit MIDI notes. Along with Groove Matching, which lets you select one master track to automatically align the timing of everything else in your project to, GarageBand’s Flex functionality makes it a breeze to fix wayward timing issues when editing your projects. Here’s a basic rundown….

GarageBand - Fix Timing Issues - Step-by-Step

 

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Step 1: Select target region

Double-click the region you want to edit in the Timeline to view it in the waveform edit pane. Our example shows a vocal phrase.

 

 

 

 

 

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Step 2: Adjust placement

In the Control menu, turn off the Snap to Grid function and adjust the position of the region until the first word of the phrase is on the correct beat.

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Step 3: Point of no return

Position the cursor in the upper-half of the region in the edit pane and it transforms into the Flex pointer. Click on the first part of the waveform you want to edit.

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Step 4: Flexitime

You’ll probably be asked to enable that track’s Follow Tempo & Pitch feature. Click Continue and GarageBand will analyse the audio in the project for you.

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Step 5: Flex of gold

A flex marker should now appear. The areas around the marker change colour to indicate which parts of the waveform will be stretched or compressed.

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Step 6: A nice example

Drag the marker left or right to adjust the position of the waveform. Here, we’re moving the third word in the phrase so that it falls on the second beat of the bar.

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Step 7: Flex in effect

Use the pointer to insert additional markers to adjust the positioning of adjacent parts of the waveform, gradually shaping the phrase to fit the project tempo.

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Step 8: Star performance

Select the track you want to align the timing of everything to, and click the star in the box that appears when you hover over the left-edge of a track’s header.

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Step 9: Match of the day

Click Continue, then tick the checkboxes in the headers of the tracks that you want to align to the groove master and watch the waveforms snap into line.

Click the image below to zoom in and view the annotations.

GarageBand - Fix Timing Issues - Annotated

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