Sing Along.

Walking over the Christmas market last weekend I got sucked into one of the stalls selling old vinyl records. Records still have something magical, nostalgic to me. The warmth of the sound, the physicality of lifting the arm of the recorder player up and then gently dropping the needle on the record. Hearing those first cracks go through the speakers is like angels singing.

While flipping through the records I noticed a section called “Sing-O-Gram”. Basically all albums with messages being sung.

I won’t enjoy you with the sound of my voice (I do want you to continue reading), but talking and using a sound effect is something I can just pull off.

My partner in crime is going to be GarageBand. An often overlooked piece of wonder by the guitar on it and people saying they are not musical. As the writer of the Everyone Can Create Music book said to me “Yet, not musical yet”.

Time to learn. Pour yourself a drink and warm up your throat.

Live Loops gives me the opportunity to experiment with music and explore that part of my creativity.

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. For this example I went with Toy Box. 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: Before pressing the recording button try your song a few times, see if it feels good. In my case I went over it a few times to feel the harmony. Eventually I even wrote down the sequence.

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.

Since Christmas is coming up, I thought it would be nice to record with a chipmunk effect. Tap on Fun and confirm the message with OK.

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 message.

TIP: If you want have your text on the screen at the same time, simply slide the dock up and pull Safari, Notes or Pages out. This technique is called Slide Over and you can learn more about this in the Apple Teacher Guide. You can even go further and use the teleprompter function in Pages.

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

Your song might need some rearrangement. For mine I had to move the voice part further down in my sing-o-gram.

Tap and hold the recording and move it to the correct position in your song.

TIP: A quiet part of your song is ideal to have voice.

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.

After creating this sing-o-gram you could tie it to a spinning record using Keynote. See my example below.

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!