How to Change the Key of a Song in GarageBand

To change the key of a song in GarageBand on your Mac, select the Beats & Project option from the LCD at the top of the window. The key adjustment will appear, and you can change the song to any key you want from here. 

My name is Donovan, and I’ve been making music for decades. I have a lot of experience working in GarageBand and other audio production apps, and I know how to use all of its tools and features to help my projects sound great. 

This post will show you how to change the key of a song in GarageBand. I’ll give you detailed instructions on how to make this happen so you can quickly adjust the key of a song whenever you want or need to. 

Let’s get started. 

Key Takeaways

  • Use the LCD to change the key of the song in GarageBand quickly. This display gives you a drop-down menu with all of the keys, and you can choose whichever option you want.
  • You can also change the key of a song in GarageBand on your iPhone or iPad by going into the settings menu of a particular track or project. 
  • Changing the key of a song can drastically alter how it sounds, so be careful not to mess up your projects by using this feature. 

How to Change Key in GarageBand Mac

Changing the key in GarageBand on your Mac is simple, and you can use the LCD in the main project window to do this. It’s a good feature to know how to access and can come in useful when mixing, editing, or even writing a song. 

Follow these steps to change the key of a song in GarageBand on your Mac. 

1. Open the GarageBand app on your Mac. 

2. Open the project you want to change the key of. 

3. Click on the arrow on the right-hand side of the LCD. 

4. Select Beats & Project from the menu. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

5. You’ll see the Time Signature and Key icons displayed on the LCD. Click on this to access the changes. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

6. Once you click on the Key, another menu will pop up displaying all of the keys. Choose the key you want to change the song to from this list. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

How to Change Key in GarageBand iPhone

You can also change the key of a song in GarageBand on your iPhone, but the process is a bit different than on Mac. There isn’t an LCD on the iOS version of the app, so you need to access these changes by using the settings menu. 

Follow these steps to change the key of a song in GarageBand on your iPhone. 

1. Open the GarageBand app on your iPhone. 

2. Open the project with the song you want to change the key of. 

3. Tap the track of the song. 

4. Tap the track again to pull up a list of options. 

5. Tap Settings. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my iPhone)

6. In the settings menu, scroll down until you see Key Signature. Tap the arrow on the right-hand side of the line of this tab. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my iPhone)

7. A new window will open with all of the key signatures. Choose the key you want to change the song to. You can click on any key and then move the slider to adjust to a major or minor key. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my iPhone)

Quick Tip: You can switch off the Follow Song Key button if you want to try out different keys in your track or project without altering the key of any software instruments you have set up in the project. 

How to Change Key of MP3 in GarageBand 

Changing the key of an MP3 or any other type of recorded music or instrument is also possible in GarageBand. You might want to do this if you are working on a mashup of songs or are a DJ looking to put together a playlist.

The first step to changing the key of an entire piece of recorded music is to import that song into GarageBand. You need to pull the audio file into the app and have it be a new track in a new or existing project. 

Locate the audio file on your Mac by using the Finder. Your song library is a good place to start and probably the location where most of your music is stored. If you can’t find the file, it might not be downloaded onto your computer. 

Once you have the song file located, simply drag and drop it into your GarageBand project. You’ll need to have GarageBand open and an empty track created. But once you drop the song into the app, you’ll see it as a waveform track, just like any other element of your project. 

When the song is imported into your GarageBand project, follow the steps in the sections above to change its key. GarageBand doesn’t differentiate between a song you recorded or one you imported, so you can use all of the same features.

How to Change Key in GarageBand without Transposing

If you didn’t set the proper key of your song in GarageBand when you first started recording, you might run into issues when you try to change it later. But you can change the key without transposing software instruments and loops to help fix this. 

Be sure to save your project before following these instructions, just in case anything gets lost during the process. Then select all of the tracks and regions you want to change the key of and press delete. 

Now go to the LCD and change the key to the proper one for your song. And then paste all of your tracks back into the project. Your project will now be assigned the correct key signature without transposing the tracks you already recorded. 

FAQs

Here are a few quick answers to some of the most frequently asked questions relating to how to change the key of a song in GarageBand. 

How do I transpose a song in GarageBand? 

Transposing a song is essentially the same as changing the key. You can do this by using the LCD in the main project window or by using the track inspector and then adjusting the transpose slider. Either of these options will allow you to transpose a song in GarageBand quickly. 

Can you lower key in GarageBand? 

Yes, you can lower the key of any song or track in GarageBand. You can also raise the key or make minor pitch adjustments as well. Even though GarageBand is a free app, it still comes with many great tools you can use to edit and alter your music. 

Final Thoughts 

GarageBand allows you to quickly and easily change the key of a song by using the LCD in the Mac version of the app or the Settings menu in the iOS version. You can select any key you want to work on within your project. 

You can change the key of any tracks you have already recorded or a prerecorded song that you import into GarageBand. The process for doing these is the same, and following the steps mentioned in this post will show you how to do it easily. 

Do you have a favorite key that you like to work with in your GarageBand projects? Let me know in the comments below.

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