Deck The Halls.

It’s the evening before Christmas and all over town children are singing Christmas carols. One classic after the other. All slightly different. Snowflakes had been falling down all week long turning the city into a perfect recording studio. There is something magical about snow and sound. I wanted to record the soundscape of this moment.

I took my coat of the rack, scarf and hat on and off I went on a mission to record Christmas carols. GarageBand and Voice Recorder were my partners for the night.

The FX unlock a whole new world of possibilities for me.

Kurt Klynen

The Steps.

Here is my story:

Open GarageBand and start a new project by tapping on the plus sign.

Tap on the Sound Library to explore more Live Loops packs.  All the packs are free and don’t take up too much space on your device, so go ahead and try a few out.

Now that you have downloaded additional sounds, it’s time to choose the one you want to work with. Tap on it.

The Live Loops and instruments will appear. I strongly suggest being a child here and tapping on all of them to explore your options.

You can either tap on every sound individually or tap on the little arrows all the way below. This will play all the sounds in that section.

TIP: Tap on the FX button at the upper left hand corner. Play with all the effects. Try some out at the same time, after all your iPad is a multi touch device.

Once you have an arrangement that sounds good to your ears, tap on the red recording button and start playing.

TIP:  Make sure that the metronome is off before you start recording, unless the sound is part of your piece.

Now that you have recorded the instrumental piece, you are ready to add your voice.

First make it easy on yourself and mute all the instruments. To do this slide the little handle over were the music instruments are. This will open up the drawer with more options.

Now tap on the mute sign for all of them. Don’t forget to scroll down if you have several instruments!

Next scroll all the way down till you see a plus sign at the bottom left corner.

Tap on it and select the Audio Recorder from the instruments. More precisely Voice.

Choose Fun if you want a voice effect or Studio if you want a natural voice sound.

Before recording make sure the playhead (little white line on top of the recording) is at the start of your project.

Tap on the red button and record your song.

After recording your song, listen to the full piece. Unmute all the tracks.

Time to release your masterpiece!

Tap on My Songs to return to the menu.

Find your song and tap on it. Select the Share option from the menu bar.

Choose how you want to share your project. I went for Song.

Afterwards select the quality and a record album sleeve.

Tap on Share and hopefully it is music to your ears.

Going Further.

Now that you got the hang of it, you can create a mixtape of your songs. Or remix your version by playing the DJ.

The example below connects the carol with a cassette playing. All of this is made with Keynote. The tape coming out is an animated drawing feature.

If you are inspired to try this yourself, have a look at the resources I used:

Everyone Can Create: Teacher Guide

Everyone Can Create: Music

Apple Teacher: GarageBand for iPad Starter Guide


Have fun!