Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Convert Orange Regions to Purple Ones with this Undocumented GarageBand Keyboard Shortcut

GarageBand has always used color coding to indicate what types of regions its tracks contain. Green regions are software instrument regions containing MIDI data. Blue regions are real instrument regions containing audio from Apple Loops. Purple regions are real instrument regions containing audio that you've recorded.

The spectacular GarageBand 2 introduced a new color to the region rainbow: orange. When you import an audio file into a GarageBand project, it's displayed as an orange region.

GarageBand 2 introduced the ability to shift the tempo and pitch of regions that you record. But this capability doesn't extend to regions that you import. When you record a region, GarageBand "stamps" it with your project's tempo and key information, but imported regions lack this data.

Thus, you canít shift the tempo of orange audio regions, nor can you transpose them. At least not without a little trickery. If you know your songís tempo and key match those of the orange region (or if you donít care -- maybe you just want to slow down a solo to figure it out), hereís the secret: select the orange region, press Control-Option-G, and then click elsewhere in the timeline.

GarageBand stamps the region with your project's key and tempo settings and turns the orange region into a purple one. Now you can transpose it and stretch its tempo. This is great for doing remixes of tracks from your iTunes library.

Incidentally, if you open a project created in GarageBand 1.x, its once-purple regions will be orange. Use the Control-Option-G trick to convert them, too.

Tip: To calculate a songís tempo, check out iTunes-BPM Inspector.

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