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  1. #16
    Here's an example of what I'm after from you for Garage Band instructions.

    Opening and adjusting an MP3 file using Audacity.

    Download from https://www.audacityteam.org/ Install and launch.

    Go to iTunes and find your problem file. Control-click the file, and choose "Show in Finder". Drag the file to the Audacity icon in the dock, it will open.

    Click the Effects menu, select "Normalize". From the next window click the check-box for Normalize to Maximum, and enter -1dB. Click OK.

    Click File, Save As, pick a new filename and location.

    Drag the new file to iTunes.

    Now...how do I do that in Garage Band?

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by usagora View Post
    Look, dc2bluelight, if the OP requests a tutorial, I'll be happy to take all the time needed to help them. It sounds to me like you're just trying to "prove" how supposedly "difficult" GaraBand is to use (which of course I disagree with). If you're truly interested for your own sake on how to import an mp3 file into a track, I'll be happy to record me doing that tonight and PM you a link. Send me a PM if you want me to do that. I'm sorry if you didn't deem my posts helpful, but I think they were. As I said, if more details is requested by the OP, I'll be happy to take the time. Otherwise, I'm done here.
    Just thinking of the other (self included) frustrated potential Garage Band users here that what to do this. If you post useful info, we'll all be happy. I just posted Audacity instructions, assuming a user doesn't even have it installed. It was 5 simple steps. I could find nothing quickly in Apples GB instructions from your link that even addresses the task. I didn't dig much, but shouldn't have to either.

    Can't you post simple instructions to accomplish the OP's goal?

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by dc2bluelight View Post
    Just thinking of the other (self included) frustrated potential Garage Band users here that what to do this. If you post useful info, we'll all be happy. I just posted Audacity instructions, assuming a user doesn't even have it installed. It was 5 simple steps. I could find nothing quickly in Apples GB instructions from your link that even addresses the task. I didn't dig much, but shouldn't have to either.

    Can't you post simple instructions to accomplish the OP's goal?
    PM sent.

    EDIT: Here you are

    GarageBand Importing & Editing Basics
    https://www.mac-forums.com/macos-app...ng-basics.html
    Last edited by usagora; 01-30-2019 at 10:38 PM.
    -Jonathan
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  4. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by usagora View Post
    Look, dc2bluelight, if the OP requests a tutorial, I'll be happy to take all the time needed to help them.
    The OP is not the only one reading this thread, nor is he/she the only one with the issue that might benefit from your expertise.
    Quote Originally Posted by usagora View Post
    It sounds to me like you're just trying to "prove" how supposedly "difficult" GaraBand is to use (which of course I disagree with).
    I've related my experience honestly. I feel that when possible, Apple software should be used. I'm not trying to prove anything, but I do like using the best tools that make the job quick, easy and done right. All I've proven is my own Garage Band ignorance, and stated my preference for other methods. I welcome hearing how to productively use GB.
    Quote Originally Posted by usagora View Post
    If you're truly interested for your own sake on how to import an mp3 file into a track, I'll be happy to record me doing that tonight and PM you a link. Send me a PM if you want me to do that.
    I appreciate your offer, but this is a public forum. Others would certainly benefit from your instructions. Please don't record a video or anything for me, and don't send me to any video links. I'd be interested in concise instructions, as I think most people would.
    Quote Originally Posted by usagora View Post
    I'm sorry if you didn't deem my posts helpful, but I think they were. As I said, if more details is requested by the OP, I'll be happy to take the time. Otherwise, I'm done here.
    I read your post, tried GB, and failed to accomplish the goal, so the help you gave was good to the point where it got me to try GB again after abandoning it long ago. It seems like we could use just a bit more depth and detail to be really helpful.

    I realize I'm perhaps not the typical forum member here because I work professionally in pro audio/video and have for an embarrassingly long time. The problem with that is, I come from the days pre-software, the razor blades and tape era, and then the days of very simply software. The days when the Apple's philosophy of "fun to use, and discoverable" were priorities. Those days are gone, but the need for that is still present. I use very complex software every day, things like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Audition, Logic, Photoshop, QuarkXpress, etc., none of which is particularly user-friendly, certainly limited in how "discoverable" they are. But I get along just fine with those pro apps. I'm quite disturbed that I can't figure out how to do something simple in the entry level free Apple app!

    I'm also all about helping others. If you look at my posts you'll see I mostly offer information. I give more than I get here. It's about sharing the knowledge, publicly, and not with just one. So if anyone else has information to share, I encourage them to do so.

  5. #20
    How can I boost the volume of a song before adding it to my iTunes library?
    IWT's Avatar
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    After 19 posts, and many, well meant, well presented and thoughtful suggestions from caring members, I return to the point I made in post #2 - you need to return to the original source and recopy it.

    No amount of electronic manoeuvring can emulate a good quality original. Small changes can certainly be achieved, but from what the OP said, some of these music tracks are barely audible at the highest volume setting.

    Ian
    Ian

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by IWT View Post
    After 19 posts, and many, well meant, well presented and thoughtful suggestions from caring members, I return to the point I made in post #2 - you need to return to the original source and recopy it.
    I agree, a better recording would be the best way, but it's also probably the most demanding in time and effort. It takes seconds to try the other solutions. If the result is not satisfactory, then re-recording is the solution.
    Quote Originally Posted by IWT View Post
    No amount of electronic manoeuvring can emulate a good quality original. Small changes can certainly be achieved, but from what the OP said, some of these music tracks are barely audible at the highest volume setting.

    Ian
    Yeah, well, way too many undefined quantities in that one, so I'm afraid I'll have to respectfully disagree. "Good quality" is not defined, and if it's a vinyl rip the original is below 16/44 quality anyway, with a high noise floor, distortion, etc. So a digital gain change may be fairly innocuous. Then we have "small changes"... I don't know what "small" means here, but I can easily demonstrate at +20dB gain change without perceivable quality degradation. A recording 20dB low might be termed "barely audible" relative to a modern loudness-war-processed track. 20dB is a pretty big change, but not even the greatest change possible. During digital mixing we regularly make changes anywhere from a few dB to 50dB+, or more during a fade-out. No issues there.

    So I'd have to say that "electronic maneuvering" may have limits, and may not make something wonderful out of something awful, but the possibilities are not nearly as limited as implied here either. You'd be surprised at the degree of maneuvering that goes on in the typical pop tune these days.

  7. #22
    How can I boost the volume of a song before adding it to my iTunes library?

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    Thanks everyone for the wide variety of suggestions made here. And especially to dc2bluelight for the great explanation between normalization and SoundCheck/Replay Gain.

    Although I've worked in audio myself, I doubt I'll use Garage Band because it's a bit like using an air hammer when a screwdriver is needed. I've used Garage Band before but for other (more expected) types of uses. I agree with what was said about Apple wanting people to use the programs in a manner as they envisioned them to be used. I've had this same situation with a variety of Apple programs/products of all types and usually asking myself, "Why can't it work this way instead?'

    Re-Recording the tracks in question here is unlikely. I chose to ask my friend to do this for me based on he was the only person I know who possessed this obscure record and I grossly overestimated his 'tech abilities' - the was the 2nd go-round at digitizing these tracks; the first pass was, well... really sub-standard and pretty bad. His 2nd attempt was much better but with the level problems I mentioned in my original post. However, I really appreciated that he took to time and effort to do this. Anyway, he borrowed some equipment to make this digitization, he was probably very unfamiliar with it and I don't think he's likely to repeat his very frustrating experience.

    I think I'll try some of the ideas of things that are already present in my iMac, iTunes first and if not satisfactory, I'll probably download Audacity.

    So, thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

    Bob M.

  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob M. View Post
    Thanks everyone for the wide variety of suggestions made here. And especially to dc2bluelight for the great explanation between normalization and SoundCheck/Replay Gain.

    Although I've worked in audio myself, I doubt I'll use Garage Band because it's a bit like using an air hammer when a screwdriver is needed. I've used Garage Band before but for other (more expected) types of uses. I agree with what was said about Apple wanting people to use the programs in a manner as they envisioned them to be used. I've had this same situation with a variety of Apple programs/products of all types and usually asking myself, "Why can't it work this way instead?'

    Re-Recording the tracks in question here is unlikely. I chose to ask my friend to do this for me based on he was the only person I know who possessed this obscure record and I grossly overestimated his 'tech abilities' - the was the 2nd go-round at digitizing these tracks; the first pass was, well... really sub-standard and pretty bad. His 2nd attempt was much better but with the level problems I mentioned in my original post. However, I really appreciated that he took to time and effort to do this. Anyway, he borrowed some equipment to make this digitization, he was probably very unfamiliar with it and I don't think he's likely to repeat his very frustrating experience.

    I think I'll try some of the ideas of things that are already present in my iMac, iTunes first and if not satisfactory, I'll probably download Audacity.

    So, thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

    Bob M.
    Yes, use whatever you're most comfortable with, of course. I've used GarageBand many many times for simple audio edits with great results, which is why I suggested it. YMMV of course. Good luck!
    -Jonathan
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  9. #24
    How can I boost the volume of a song before adding it to my iTunes library?

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    Thanks for all of your replies.
    I fooled with Sound Check a little bit but I couldn't get it to do what I wanted. I did come across the graphic EQ (within the iTunes program) and by manipulating the faders of the various frequencies plus there is an overall level control, I was able to get about exactly what I was after. However, it seemed to work only on the playback of a track.

    My question: can I re-save with my preferred EQ and level and have that become part of the saved track. It other words, to have to those EQ and level changes be a permanent part of the saved track. That's what I'm looking for. Unfortunately, I have to do this pretty much on a track by track basis because one setting does not seem to work for all situations.

    Thanks again,

    Bob M.

  10. #25
    How can I boost the volume of a song before adding it to my iTunes library?
    IWT's Avatar
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    Hi Bob,

    can I re-save with my preferred EQ and level and have that become part of the saved track.
    Yes. Well, more or less; not quite all.

    This what you can do. Select a track. Then use Command + I to Get Info. Then select Options. There you can adjust the Volume and Click on Equaliser and select the very best option for that track. Then select OK. That will retain these settings for that specific track/song.

    Not perfect, but it works to a degree.

    There is another way that lets you select precisely the Preamp and the Equaliser to a much more accurate setting and save that - BUT - that seems to be for all songs. So you're better off just following the path I described above because that is saved on a per-song basis.

    Ian
    Ian

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by IWT View Post
    Hi Bob,



    Yes. Well, more or less; not quite all.

    This what you can do. Select a track. Then use Command + I to Get Info. Then select Options. There you can adjust the Volume and Click on Equaliser and select the very best option for that track. Then select OK. That will retain these settings for that specific track/song.

    Not perfect, but it works to a degree.
    You can do this with a selection of multiple tracks too...BUT...in Apple's infinite wisdom they've made the "volume" control a linear control. That means their so-named "+100%" position all the way to the right is a gain of +6dB (called +100% because its a doubling of output voltage), not even enough to perceptually double the volume. On the other hand, -100% is essentially off, making that an useless position! Mid-position between "none" and "-100%" is about a -10dB change and about half way between there and -100% is a -20dB change. So for ever incremental slider movement you get a different amount of volume change.

    Volume controls out in the real world have an audio/log taper, meaning for equal increment movement you get an approximately equal volume change in dB. This ain't that, so it's stupid. Now, if all you need is a +6dB gain, you're fine. I'm betting that's not enough.

    Then there's the Equalizer within the Get Info > Options pane. Wow. Talk about dumbing something down. You get a hand full of presets, settings something thinks are correct for music types and genres, none of which is likely to be "right" because there is no such thing as equalizing for a genre! But there are no actual equalizer controls. Bad choice on Apple's part, and bad choice for the user too.

    So yeah, "not perfect", sort of an understatement. And Apple does know better.
    Quote Originally Posted by IWT View Post
    There is another way that lets you select precisely the Preamp and the Equaliser to a much more accurate setting and save that - BUT - that seems to be for all songs. So you're better off just following the path I described above because that is saved on a per-song basis.

    Ian
    Correct, the Equalizer (Window > Equalizer) is a global playback setting, affects everything through iTunes equally. Again, fairly useless. I'm not sure why Apple doesn't include a "detail" or "pro" equalizer mode that lets you tune bands, but they don't. It's not a question of resources, it's what they think we need, or that we're all too stupid to deal with something better.

    If you can't get adequate results from Sound Check/Replay Gain, likely because the needed correction is out of range, the only option is to open the track in another audio application that can process it and make the required changes. Then, since these are permanent changes, use the app's Save As or Export functions to get the corrected track saved to a new file without over-writing the old.

    Several apps have been suggested.

    If you've read this far, I should clarify that when I bash Apple, it's not done as a hater, but a wisher. I've been an Apple user and supporter since the Apple ][ Plus through to current products of all sorts, and I know they could be doing SO much better. In fact, they have. They have some really powerfully smart people there. If you want to hear me bash something as a hater, get me started on Windows (or should I say "start me up").

  12. #27
    How can I boost the volume of a song before adding it to my iTunes library?
    Rod's Avatar
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    Way back when, at a time when i was importing my old vinyl, cassette and CD collection to my computer, and note I do not say iTunes but to my computer. I played around with Garage Band and although it was entertaining it was not as helpful as Audible.

    As an aside the reason I say I saved my music to the computer rather than to iTunes is that over the years I have seen iTunes simply loose music. There is no explanation for this I can find, although there are plenty of articles about it. Fortunately all my collection is in a Folder rather than the iTunes Library. But this is a completely different topic.

    I took me quite some time to learn how to use Audible properly, a lot of trial and error but I did come to one conclusion. Its much easier to get a good result if the recorded source is as good as possible.

    In other words it's much better to tweak the frequency levels and gain at the import (recording) stage than it is to doctor them up after the fact. I'm reminded of the old adage, "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear".
    So going back to my original post, the easiest way to fix the OP's issue would be to re record the source at the desired levels at the start.
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Sprague View Post
    Way back when, at a time when i was importing my old vinyl, cassette and CD collection to my computer, and note I do not say iTunes but to my computer. I played around with Garage Band and although it was entertaining it was not as helpful as Audible.
    Audible? Don't you mean....something else? I'm fairly sure Audible is an audio book service.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Sprague View Post
    As an aside the reason I say I saved my music to the computer rather than to iTunes is that over the years I have seen iTunes simply loose music. There is no explanation for this I can find, although there are plenty of articles about it. Fortunately all my collection is in a Folder rather than the iTunes Library. But this is a completely different topic.

    I took me quite some time to learn how to use Audible properly, a lot of trial and error but I did come to one conclusion. Its much easier to get a good result if the recorded source is as good as possible.

    In other words it's much better to tweak the frequency levels and gain at the import (recording) stage than it is to doctor them up after the fact. I'm reminded of the old adage, "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear".
    So going back to my original post, the easiest way to fix the OP's issue would be to re record the source at the desired levels at the start.
    Well, yes, it's nice to get it right when you record the original, but it's not a disaster if you need to tweak it later. Nothing will be damaged in the process. The noise floor and max peal level of a vinyl rip is established by the vinyl, not the digital medium, even if it's been recorded substantially too low.

    Realize, that even Audacity (the free app) uses an internal 32 bit floating point data structure that makes resampling and DSP functions like simple level adjustment, or complex functions like multiband dynamics processing entirely possible without side effects other than the process itself. As I posted earlier, it's easy to demonstrate that changing level by 20dB (that's a 1:10 change) can be done without any audible deterioration, and in fact, is done every day in digital mixing. In the old days of 16 bit fixed, I'd have agreed with the above. Heck, we couldn't pull of a smooth digital fade out at the end of a tune. But those days have been over for quite some time. Audition, Pro Tools, etc., are all using 64 bit floating point math, for the reason of facilitating extensive digital signal processing without detriment. It's a done deal.

    If the OP can't re-record, just run it through any modern digital audio program and bump the level up where you need it.

    If anyone using iTunes is not backing up the actual media (not just the iTunes database), they're exposed to all manor of corruption. Not just iTunes, pretty much any music player that also manages a media library. iTunes keeps a database AND a media library of nested folders and files, and that's not unique to iTunes. Either one, or both, can become corrupted. The only cure is a good backup strategy.

  14. #29
    How can I boost the volume of a song before adding it to my iTunes library?
    Groovetube's Avatar
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    hey did I miss a good audio chat?

    Im a heavy logic/mostly pro tools user for a living... I'll agree with dc2bluelight on the tools, I often use audacity because its the best tool to edit mono/stereo files with a little issue possible. Sometimes I get sent samples/back tracks I have to use live and they're MP3s and I need to level the gains with other ones. I could use pro tools since it's often open but I don't bother. Audacity, brilliant.

    As for the improving the gain on the file, redoing the source always is best, if you wish to, but its very common practice to boost the gains on files, even in pro recording, I do it regularly, it just depends on the end result, sometimes its great, and if the file is super compressed, it can get ugly. Use your ears

    Some of us have that one audio program we know really well and we just use that.

  15. #30
    How can I boost the volume of a song before adding it to my iTunes library?

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    Hi all, and thanks for all the really varied suggestions to my problem.

    I tried 'Sound Check' but it wasn't good/useful for my particular problem.

    DianeVan suggested something promising (She said: iTunes has a volume slider under Info/Options.) but I was unable to find Info/Options in my version of iTunes (12.6.1.25) and I wasn't able to find the said volume slider. Maybe if I had more explicit instructions about finding this feature, I could try that.

    I did locate the graphic EQ within iTunes (10 band with +/- 12db boost or attenuate but) it seems good for only playback of a track but it was the right tool for my low-level track problem. I'm now wondering if I could re-record a track using this graphic EQ and having the EQ changes I apply become a permanent part of the re-recorded track??? is that possible; has anyone done that before?

    I did download Audacity but it looks pretty complex - like howitzer when a screwdriver is needed. But I'll eventually learn how to use that, in time.

    Unfortunately, having the tracks done over again, re-digitizing them, is not an option. This was the 2nd attempt (the first was really, really bad) and my friend, although I did really appreciate his efforts, was sorely overmatched and his technical skills peter-principaled out. He's returned the borrowed equipment already and is not likely to revisit his folly. It was not his finest moment and I'm not inclined to re-embarrass my friend.

    I intend to get into Garage Band in future but to use it in a more expected way - to record a song/demo or something like that.

    Thanks for all your help,

    Bob M.

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