GarageBand Tip: In cycling mode, double-click on beat ruler to play song starting from position of double-click

Posted by Pierre Igot in: GarageBand
June 9th, 2005 • 12:32 am

GarageBand has two basic playing modes: normal and cycling. In normal mode, when you press the Space bar or click on the “Play” button, GarageBand plays the song starting from where the playhead currently is.

In cycling (or looping) mode, a specific section of the song is highlighted in yellow in the beat ruler and, when you press the Space bar or click on the “Play” button, GarageBand always starts playing from the beginning of the cycling section, regardless of where the playhead is. (The cycling mode is activated/deactivated by using the “Cycle” button.)

There is a way, however, to force GarageBand to start playing from another position, even when the cycling mode is on. In order to do this, all you need to do is use the mouse to double-click in the beat ruler on the exact point where you want GarageBand to start playing the music, in the graduated area with the beat markers and measure numbers.

When you double-click on a specific point, GarageBand makes the playhead jump to that point and starts playing from there — regardless of whether you are in cycling mode and whether you are double-clicking inside the cycling section or not.

What’s more, when cycling mode is on, if you double-click on the yellow stripe itself, GarageBand resumes play from where the playhead is, instead of jumping back to the beginning of the cycling region.

This effectively gives you much more flexibility than you thought you had when you first tried the cycling mode.

Now the only thing that’s missing is a keyboard shortcut to resume play in cycling mode without jumping back to the beginning of the cycling section. I would suggest shift-Space. Unfortunately, you can only customize the keyboard shortcuts for commands that are included in GarageBand’s menus — and this is not one of them.

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