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How to edit sheet music in GarageBand with Score Editor

GarageBand's Score Editor is the perfect feature for those that prefer to edit MIDI parts in a traditional stave layout

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MainWhen it comes to editing MIDI parts in GarageBand, the Piano Roll editor is usually the most popular choice. Common to most music production software, this type of editing feature has become the go-to environment for tidying up the timing, length, pitch and velocity of the notes in your MIDI regions. If you know a thing or two about music theory, however, there exists an equally viable alternative that may have passed you by, and that’s the Score Editor. This displays MIDI regions as traditional music notation and enables you to change the attributes of the notes directly from the stave. So in this tutorial we’ll highlight how to use the Score Editor to remedy a few of the more common problems encountered when editing a MIDI performance.

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Step 1

1 Set up

Carefully enter the correct key and time signatures, either when you first create a new project or by clicking the Project display of the transport bar’s LCD panel.

Step 2

2 Open Editor

Double-click a MIDI region or click the scissors button in the toolbar. Switch the display to the Score Editor by clicking the Score button at the top of the window.

Step 3

3 Choose note value

Click the Notes tab in the Inspector panel on the left to turn it blue. Choose the required note length value from the Insert pop-up menu that appears to continue.

Step 4

4 Insert notes

To insert a new note, all you need to do is hold down the Command key and click in the stave at the point you want to add the new note. It’s as simple as that.

Step 5

5 Delete unwanted notes

Delete unwanted notes by selecting them and pressing the Backspace key. Select multiple notes by drawing a rubber band around them with your cursor.

Step 6

6 Copy and move

Simply drag notes left or right to move them to a new time position in your composition, shown numerically in the black box. Hold down the Option key as you do so to copy notes.

Step 7

7 Change note length

The duration of a selected note is shown as a green horizontal bar attached to the head of the note. Drag the right edge outwards to adjust the note’s length.

Step 8

8 Alter velocity

The second note in this run has been played too hard, resulting in an overly high velocity value. Click on the note and adjust its velocity using the slider.

Step 9

9 Correct wrong notes

The first in this run of notes should be a D1, not a C1. Select it and hold down the Option key, then use the up/down arrow keys to nudge it to the correct pitch.

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