View Full Version : Problem Mixing in Garageband

Mar 2, 2010, 02:08 PM
I’m having several problems mixing a track in Garageband ’09 (I’m tracking into a Mac Pro with tonnes of hardware and memory).

I put down a track with virtual keyboards, a modified drum loop, and some guitar, bass and vocal tracks.

Problem 1: when I mix the drums to what sounds like a good volume, and then burn the stereo .WAV file to CD, the mix sounds as though it is ‘pumping’.

Specifically, the vocals, and an eighth note ‘chugging’ guitar track (playing only on the bass strings), sound as though they are being rhythmically pushed ‘back’ after each bass drum kick.

Problem 2: if I lower the volume of the drum track to stop the ‘pumping’/compressed sound, the kick drum disappears (as does the ‘pumping’ sound).

Problem 3: the drum track is consistently visually clipping – strangely, I can’t hear the clipping even when I solo the track. And if I lower the track to the level where the clipping light is not lit, I can hardly hear the drum track as a whole.

Other considerations: the only tracks on which I have used a compression effect on are two handclap tracks – so nothing else, including the master track, is compressed. One of the things I did do with the drum track, though, was to boost the bass and midrange EQ to get the kind of sound I want. Maybe the meters can’t handle that and maybe that accounts for the ‘pumping’ sound appearing above a certain volume.

I would be grateful for any thoughts and help with this.


Mar 2, 2010, 05:50 PM
Did you try changing the "normalize audio on export setting? (Don't remember exactly if it's called that...)

Mar 2, 2010, 07:25 PM
it might be easier to say if you posted some clips. from your description, it sounds like everything is up too high. try dropping each track 30 dB and seeing if the issues you describe go away.

just turn up your volume knob to your normal listening level.

Mar 4, 2010, 12:59 PM
Hi Jackerin and zimv20,
Thanks very much for your replies.

The 'Auto normalize' in Garageband is off, and I know that I had turned off a normalize setting in iTunes when I was exporting to mp3. However, I can't find a similar setting for .WAV's - is there one?

zimv20, I had thought that everything was up to high; but I have dropped everything significantly.

Where would I post my file for you to listen to? I could upload it to one of the file share sites, I suppose.