How to Copy and Paste in GarageBand

To copy and paste in GarageBand on Mac, select the tracks or regions you want to copy and hit Command C to copy and Command V to paste. On GarageBand iOS, you can do the commands by tapping selected tracks or regions and selecting copy or paste

I’m Donovan, and I’ve been a musician and producer for over a decade. I’ve learned how to use GarageBand and other audio production apps and have a lot of experience working with them. I know how to use GarageBand’s many great tools and features effectively. 

This post will show you how to copy and paste in GarageBand. I’ll highlight the steps to make this happen quickly and provide instructions on how to copy and paste on your Mac and iPhone. My goal is to help speed up your workflow and unlock the potential of your musical creations. 

Let’s get to it. 

Key Takeaways

  • The process to copy and paste in GarageBand is very similar to any other app you might already be familiar with. 
  • The shortcut key commands to use this feature on your Mac are Command C for copy and Command V for paste. 
  • You can copy and paste in GarageBand on your iPhone by tapping the regions or tracks you want to copy or paste and accessing the features from the pop-up menus. 
  • Knowing how to trim or split tracks is a good skill to use in addition to copying and pasting as part of the editing or music creation process. 

How to Copy and Paste in GarageBand Mac

The copy and paste feature in GarageBand on your Mac is pretty simple. And it’s just like the copy and paste you might already be familiar with using a word processing document or even an internet browser. 

Before we dive into the step-by-step directions, I want to provide you with the shortcut key commands for copy and paste. Knowing these will speed up your workflow and allow you to take advantage of the feature quickly. 

The copy shortcut is Command C.

The paste shortcut is Command V

You can also access the copy and paste commands through the Edit tab from the main menu in GarageBand, but I almost always use the shortcuts because it’s so much faster. 

Follow these steps to copy and paste in GarageBand on your Mac. 

1. Open the GarageBand app on your Mac. 

2. Open the project with the sections you want to copy and paste or start a new project and make any recordings. 

3. Select the track or region you want to copy (I’ll provide further instructions on copying multiple tracks and copying a part of a track in the sections below). 

4. Hit Command C or select Copy from the Edit tab of the main menu. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

5. Make a new track or position the playhead on the current track where you want to paste the selected audio track or region. Make sure to click on that track first to paste in the correct position. 

6. Hit Command V or select Paste from the Edit tab of the main menu to paste the copied selection into the new track or specified section of the project.   

How to Copy and Paste in GarageBand for iPad or iPhone

To copy and paste in GarageBand for your iPad or iPhone, you won’t be able to use the quick commands. This is because the iOS version of the app works on mobile devices where you don’t usually use a keyboard. 

But it’s still very easy to copy and paste in GarageBand for your iPhone or iPad by following these steps.

1. Open the GarageBand app on your iPad or iPhone. 

2. Open the project with the track or region you want to copy. 

3. Tap on the track or region you want to copy to select it. 

4. Tap on the track or region again to see a list of menu options. 

5. Select Copy from the available options. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my iPhone)

6. Tap the track or region in a track where you want to paste the copied section. 

7. Position the playhead at the correct position where you want to paste the copied audio. 

8. Tap the spot where you want to make the paste. 

9. Select Paste from the pop-up options. 

How to Copy and Paste Multiple Tracks in GarageBand

You can easily copy and paste multiple tracks in GarageBand on both the Mac and iOS versions of the app. This can be useful when you want to move many aspects of a project or share the tracks with others. 

All you need to do to copy and paste multiple tracks is select all the tracks you want to be copied and then follow the instructions in the sections above.

You can select multiple tracks on your Mac using the cursor to click and drag over every track you want to be copied. You can also select multiple tracks and regions by holding the Shift key and selecting each track and region with your cursor. 

After you copy all selected tracks, simply paste them into whatever track or location you want, whether in this project or another one. 

Quick Tip: You can open a new empty project and copy and paste all of the tracks from an existing project to that one by following the steps here. Make sure you have a new empty project open with the same number of tracks.   

How to Copy and Paste Section of a Track in GarageBand

You can also copy and paste a specific section of a track in GarageBand. This is a great tool to help you when editing or producing. You can copy specific sounds and paste them into different regions rather than make a brand new recording. 

Knowing how to trim or split tracks is really useful to copy and paste a section of a track. So make sure you know how to perform that task before trying the steps below. 

To copy and paste a section of a track in GarageBand, follow these steps. 

1. Open up the GarageBand project with the section you want to copy and paste. 

2. Trim the section into its own region. 

3. Select the trimmed region by clicking on it with the cursor or tapping it in the iOS version. 

5. Follow the steps above to copy and paste. 

FAQs

Here are a few quick answers to some of the most frequently asked questions relating to how to copy and paste in GarageBand. 

How do you repeat and copy on GarageBand?

The repeat and copy feature on GarageBand is also known as the Duplicate or Loop feature. You can simply drag the end of a track or region to copy the entire track or a section of it. This feature looks like a not quite complete circular arrow at the end of a track.   

How do I select part of a track in GarageBand?

You can use the cursor to select part of a track in GarageBand. You click and drag over the section you want to work with to highlight a specific region of a track. You can also cut or split the region of a track to more precisely select and edit it. 

Final Thoughts

Copy and paste are some of those essential tasks that can really make your life easier when working in GarageBand. This feature helps with workflow and will considerably speed up the editing and creation process. 

Whether you want to copy a single track, multiple tracks, or a section of a track, the process for copying and pasting is essentially the same. And if you use GarageBand often, knowing how to do all these will help you a lot as you create a project. 

How do you use copy and paste in your GarageBand projects? Let me know in the comments below.

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