Using GarageBand to transpose music tracks

My fellow liblogarian, Von Totanes, aka Filipino Librarian emailed me to ask if I knew how to use GarageBand to transpose an imported MP3 from F key to E key. He’s new to GarageBand and said he tried searching for help but couldn’t “make heads or tails of what’s being said”.

I’m curious what were the instructions that he has referred to :)

Von, I know of two ways to do it in GarageBand: using the “AUPitch” effect or the “Vocal Transformer” effect.

My GB version is iLife ’08. If you’re using a later version, the user interface may be slightly different but the effects should be the same.

BTW, I presume you’ve already imported the MP3 to GarageBand. Once that’s done, select that track and apply either one (but not both) of these effects:

#1 – Using the “AUPitch” effect
GarageBand Effects menu

AU Pitch

AUPitch
[I don't think the numbers represent the pitch, because how much you adjust depends on your original pitch. So you'll have to experiment. Like, play a note on the piano or a song with a known pitch.]

#2- Using the “Vocal Transformer” effect
Vocal Transformer effect

Vocal Transformer

Let me know if this helps, Von.

[28 Aug 09] Update: To access the above panels, open up your Track Info panel, i.e. TRACK > SHOW TRACK INFO. Then click on the Details.
Track Info panel

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3 thoughts on “Using GarageBand to transpose music tracks

  1. Pingback: Using GarageBand to transpose music tracks « GarageBand Meetup Singapore

    • RE: the AUPitch method. The scale from -2400 to +2400 represents “cents”, which are 1/100 of a half step. So 2400 cents = 12 half steps, or semitones, which is the same as one octave. If you want to adjust the pitch up or down one full step, use AUPitch and adjust the slider to +200 or -200.

      RE: the Vocal Transformer. It didn’t work for me as well, because Garageband played the unmodified pitch before sliding it up to the modified pitch. Very noisy and confused sounding.

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