Garageband to Logic: How to save $500 with a version upgrade ‘workaround’

I was so excited when I arrived at my buddy’s front door yesterday.

Flash drive in hand, I was ready to give Charlie our first three Kirtan chants to work on. Last summer, Cheryl and I tracked guitar and vocals to a ‘dummy’ drum loop track that I knew we wouldn’t be keeping. But it was a great placeholder. And better than a simple click track.

He came back from his studio into the living room with a concerned look on his face… turns out that while Garageband files CAN, INDEED be loaded into Logic (but not the other way around), in THIS case, he got a pop-up message informing him that he needed to upgrade to the latest version of Logic before he could continue with this function.

Cost for upgrade: $499.00.

Had it been forty or fifty bucks, I’d have split it with him and we’d have moved on. But this was a bit pricey for an unexpected purchase. And it was threatening to slow down our plans to create.

This morning while shaving, a workaround idea hit me:

1) In Garageband, I unlocked all tracks and then selected all tracks, moving everything ‘downstream’ 8 bars.

2) I then deselected everything, then selected only the dummy drum loop track. Applied that drum loop to the first 8 bars, and ENDED it at the beginning of Bar 9, where all other tracks now started. This now meant there was NO percussion after the first 8 bars.

3) Share/send to iTunes (mixdown). Saved as AIFF. (*Note: in the name of the file, I included the Beats Per Minute –“BPM”– for each song to make Charlie’s job easier.)

4) Saved to thumb drive, delivered to Charlie. He then loaded the AIFF into Logic (no problem).

5) Now the AIFF track he loaded into Logic becomes Track 1 of his project. He has the BPM, the first 8 bars, then our original vocals/guitars/etc. beneath which to place as many percussion tracks as he likes. Of critical importance, he’ll leave the length of the entire track exactly the same so that we’ll have matching Start Points.

6) When he’s done and ready to mix down, he’ll MUTE the original AIFF track that I provided, so that only his additions will be audible. He’ll then provide me with an AIFF file of the mixed-down percussion tracks.

7) I’ll fly those back into GarageBand, where I’ll simply line it up with the original vocals and guitars, then mix the final product. At this point, I can trim out those first 8 bars of reference (“dummy”) drums. And if I’m interested in gaining some sort of pan control over the percussion, I can simply duplicate the mixed-down percussion track and pan one left (maybe 11 o’clock) and one right (maybe 1 o’clock).

8) Final mixdown.

Just saved $500.

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