Editing, Timing & Pitch

How to Use Multiple Tempos in GarageBand

Written By : Andrew Siemon

Setting up multiple tempos in GarageBand is a straightforward process.

Use the keyboard shortcut (Shift + Command + T) to access the tempo track, and then you can set several automation points on the grid-line to adjust the tempo at different points of the track.

How to Set Up Multiple Tempos in GarageBand (Step-By-Step)

1) Use (Shift + Command + T) to Bring Up the Tempo Track

(Shift + Command + T) - How to Have Multiple Tempos
I prefer using the keyboard shortcut to bring it up because it’s much faster.

The result is the same though.

2) Add Automation Points by Clicking the Blue Line

Adding Automation Lines - Tempo Track
Click on the blue line to add your automation points as shown here.

The one difference between the automation of the tempo track and regular automation is that you won’t need to drop an additional 2 points.

For regular automation, it often makes sense to use 4, at least if you wanted to decrease the volume, for example, for a moment.

For tempo automation, it’s best to use two points.

3) Drag the Line Up for Tempo Increase (Down for Decrease)

3) Drag the Line Up for Tempo Increase (Down for Decrease) - Tempo Track
It’s also possible to curve the automation as well, which I’ll show you how to do in a second.

5 Tips for Setting Up the Tempo Track in GarageBand

1) Click the Little Ball to Create a Tempo Curve

1) Click the Little Ball to Create a Tempo Curve - Tempo Track in GarageBand
Click on the ball on the top left or right of the automation corners to turn it into the ball as shown here.

This will allow you to curve or make the tempo adjustments more gradual. Keep in mind there is somewhat of a learning curve to using the tempo track in this way. Be patient.

2) Zoom In with the Slider to Get More Precise

2) Zoom In with the Slider to Get More Precise
Zoom in on your tracks with the zooming slider shown on the top right.

This will allow you to get much closer to your tracks for more precision. If you don’t zoom in, visibility and clarity will be an issue.

3) Click the Grey Interface to Leave the Automation Line

Click on the Grey to Unselect the Tempo Track
Pay attention to how certain lines are highlighted when they’re selected.

To avoid unintended adjustments, click away from the tempo track to reset your selection.

This will allow you to reset which points you’re trying to adjust. I chose the grey interface, but you can click away in another area.

4) There’s Also A Tempo Track in the Smart Controls

Tempo Track in Smart Controls
I personally don’t use the one in the Smart Controls, but it’s available if you’re interested.

5) You Can Use Track > Show Tempo Track As Well

Track - Show Tempo Track
Also, take note that you can display your tempo track by clicking “Track > Show Tempo Track.”

Do you have any comments, questions, or concerns? You can let me know in the comments section below.

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Andrew Siemon is the principal creator of ProducerSociety.com, a website dedicated to all things music, including music production, music theory, recording, and how to use the most popular DAWs. Starting out as a metal guitarist, Andrew has since moved into other areas of music production including hip-hop and fusion

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