Automation: Garageband X Tutorial

In today's episode we're going to explore the Automation features in Garageband 10.

Automation (verb)

  • The automatic adjustment of output parameters over time in an audio recording (e.g. volume or pan)


1. Open the Automation options with the left icon on the top of the track list.

2. Select the track you wish to Automate then select an option from the drop down menu.

As you can see, there are several other options to choose from in addition to Volume & Pan. You can adjust any of the Effects in the Smart Controls for that track; from the frequency of the EQ,  to Compression, as well as the Reverb.

In our first example, we've selected Pan.

Pan (verb) /pan/

  • The distribution/movement of audio between the left & right speaker.

3. Click several points along the automation line, then drag those points left or right in the mix. This will create an interesting sweeping effect for the track you've chosen to edit. Experiment with different patterns in the automation line to see how it affects your sound.

*Please note that in order for the automation lines to be active for the track you wish to edit, the automation icon needs to be highlighted.

In our next example we've selected to automate the volume. Click points along the automation line & adjust them to raise & lower the volume of the track. Create dynamic effects by lowering the volume at certain points & raising them in others.

Dynamics (noun)

  • The varying levels of volume of sound in different parts of a musical performance.

Experiment with the other Automation options for the Smart Control settings such as the EQ, Compression & Reverb. Click points along the automation lines & adjust the points to your desired sound.

I'd love to hear from you! What are some creative ways you've been able to use automation in your project. Leave a comment in the section below.

Talk to you soon! - Drew @diygarageband