Garage Band for iPad to the rescue!

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This week began the crazy week or two (or sometimes three) that belongs to the official delivery and recording of the Individual Oral Commentary for Diploma students (and their teachers!) in the International Baccalaureate programme.

This is typically a scheduling nightmare to get 2 – 3 classes of students through the process during the school day. The scheduling challenge has also been implemented… by only one sound booth being equipped properly to do this task. So, all of the language teachers are in competition for time. Oh, and don’t forget that the sound booth is part of the school auditorium which is very often booked with concert rehearsals, assemblies, assembly rehearsals, etc. Last year, the school even went to the extent of creating a 2nd sound proof space equipped for recording.

This year we’ve had a slight change in practice. Adobe Audition recording software was installed on classroom/office computers to allow for flexibility and to avoid various auditorium scheduling conflicts.

Day 1 of IOC week arrived and, lo and behold, Adobe Audition and microphones were not cooperating. Tech support was able to get the system up and running. But, as fate would have it, the tech support guy leaves the room and the system no longer works. So, what were our options at this point with only 15 minutes before our first students were scheduled to record? We had previously worked with Evernote with our students (which I blogged about here). However, the sound quality for this type of recording was of concern. I reached for my iPad and opened the Garage Band app and, as luck would have it, discovered that it would suit our needs. There were several challenges along the way and a lot of learning. Here is how I did it…

  • Open the Garage Band app
  • Tap “Audio Recorder”

  • Alter settings to Metronome off, Count-In off

I consulted the Music teachers to help with recording length issue that turned out to be related to Tempo adjustments on the Settings menu.

  • Tap Tempo  to change the default setting from 110 to the suggested setting of 60 (impressive music mathematics went into figuring this out)

Some very impressive music mathematics were used to determine how many seconds/minutes would be available in 320 measures (the maximum allowed) at a tempo of 60. As it turned out, more than enough! For a longer recording it was suggested to take the tempo down to as low as 30.

  • Change Song Sections (puzzle piece icon) by Tapping “Section A” Slide “Automatic” to OFF in order to have more than 8 measures recorded. I discovered the need for this setting the hard way when my first student IOC stopped recording after barely getting started.

Initially Garage Band was installed on our school iPad app collection based on a request from the Arts department; however, like so many other apps, Garage Band is serving a cross-departmental purpose.


One thought on “Garage Band for iPad to the rescue!

    Garage Band & IB DP Oral Exams | te(a)ch french said:
    March 17, 2014 at 10:10 am

    […] Christina (our curriculum coordinator) for the details. After a brief chat and checking out her blog post from her experience a couple years ago, I was […]

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