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How to record/play along and nail the start?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by infragreen, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. infragreen


    Jan 19, 2016
    This is a newb question but if I want to play along with a song and record my playing to learn how good/bad it is, how can I set things up so I know when to come in so I can nail the start?
    Tools at my disposal are iOS Garageband, Audacity, and Ableton Live lite (though I’d rather not plug into my laptop as it’s distracting!).
    So far I’ve imported some songs into Garageband and there is the metronome with a count-in feature but I can’t figure out how to make it sync up with the track.
  2. Malcolm35


    Aug 7, 2018
    Perhaps someone will have the answer, but, yes that is one of the problems we face. I find the beat several ways. First if you have some sheet music on the song the "time signature, i.e. 3/4, 4/4, etc. is the first clue. Hopefully the tempo, bpm, will also be given. Second just listen to the song and hear the beat. This is harder than it sounds, excuse the pun, and will take some time just listening to a lot of songs.

    Once you find the nod your head to that beat, now start the recording over, ready 1 and 2 and 3...The metronome is a great tool, however, trying to get everything into sync is a bitch.

    Have fun.
  3. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    I don't know Garage Band so I don't know if it gives you a visual editor. If it does, the easiest way is to import the song into the visual editor, line the beginning of the music up with the fifth beat, and use the metronome to count in from the first beat.
  4. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Load the song into your DAW, insert a track to record a tempo with any instrument (even tapping the beat on the strings). Move the “tempo” track to the front, lining up the fifth “tap” with the start of the song. Boom. Four count.
    LBS-bass and Kro like this.
  5. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    There are a few ways to figure this out. I'm not too familiar with Garageband, but some programs will have an automatic tempo finder.... to the Googles...

    Nope, it looks like using the tap tempo function is your best bet. Do that to find the tempo, and then set your project accordingly.

    Next slide the audio portion back a bit from the start, and turn on the metronome, or included a few measures of click before the song starts, and you should be set!
  6. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    This would also work. Feel free to even maybe do eight. ;)
    Bodeanly and LBS-bass like this.
  7. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Jeez. If you can see the waveform, you can see when the song starts. Start when the line gets there.
  8. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    I don't know about other DAWs, but Cubase 4.0 LE (and I'm sure newer versions) counts one measure before the recording starts. I would have a hard time punching in without that.

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