How to Cut Music on GarageBand

You can easily cut tracks in GarageBand on your Mac or iOS device with a few clicks or taps. This is an essential aspect of the editing process and a good skill for everyone who uses the app to know how to do. 

I’ve been writing, producing, and recording music since I was a kid and have spent much of my adult life in the music industry. I’m very familiar with using GarageBand and know how to cut music and perform other common editing tasks. 

This post will show you how to cut up tracks in GarageBand. It’s a valuable skill to know how to do when editing and arranging the music you’ve created or recorded. It’s a simple process but is a little different on the macOS or iOS version of GarageBand. 

Let’s jump in. 

Initial Thoughts

Before we dive into the details here, I want to provide a bit of clarification relating to the title of the post. If you spend any time around musicians or audio engineers, you’ll often hear the phrase, “let’s cut a track.” 

This statement simply means, “let’s record a track,” and isn’t technically related to the other meaning of how to cut music on GarageBand. This article will deal with actually cutting or splitting the audio track within the app as part of the editing process. 

How to Cut Music on GarageBand iPhone

Cutting music on GarageBand on your iPhone is simple. You can start editing the track really quickly once you know how to do this. It’s important to know that in the GarageBand app for iOS, cutting is technically called a Split. 

To cut music on GarageBand for iPhone, follow these steps. 

1. Open up the GarageBand project you want to work on and edit. 

2. Tap the track or region where you want to make the cut or split. A popup menu will appear with a few editing options. 

3. Tap the Split option from this popup menu. 

(Screenshot taken from GarageBand on my iPhone)

4. Once you tap split, a slider icon with an image of a pair of Scissors will appear within the track. Slide this to the exact location in the track where you want to make the cut. 

5. Once you have the split slider in the right location, slide down through the track with your finger, dragging the icon. This will split the track, and you can continue editing however you want to.

Quick Note: This same process will work on your iPad because it applies to GarageBand on all iOS devices.  

How to Cut Music on GarageBand Mac

Cutting music on GarageBand for your Mac is also really easy and somewhat similar to the process for doing it on your iPhone or iPad. I think it’s a bit easier to do on the computer because you have more control with a mouse and cursor than just your fingers. 

And the process is also called a Split rather than a cut within the app on a Mac, which is also the same for GarageBand iOS. 

To cut music on GarageBand for Mac, follow the steps below: 

1. Open up the GarageBand project you want to make the cut in. 

2. Select the track you want to cut by clicking it with the cursor. 

3. Position the playhead at the exact spot you want to make the split. The playhead is the line that moves through the track when you hit play, indicating where the track is positioned to play from. You can move it by clicking the top of it with the mouse and dragging it. 

(Screenshot taken from GarageBand on my Mac)

4. Now you can make the split at the position of the playhead in a few different ways. 

You can simply press Command T for the shortcut to split the track. You can also Control Click the region and choose Split at Playhead. Or you can choose Edit from the main menu bar and then select Split Regions at Playhead. 

All of these options will do the same thing. I like to use the shortcut because it’s the fastest, but choose whatever option works best for your workflow.

How to Cut the End of a Song on GarageBand

Cutting the end of a song is also known as trimming. This is something you might want to do when you are editing, and there is a length of time where the track is still recording without music. Or you might just want to clean up the end of the track a bit. 

There are two ways to go about cutting the end of a song on GarageBand. 

The first way is to follow the instructions in the sections above for how to cut a track. Simply make the cut at the point where you want the song to end. After the split is made, you can select the unwanted region and delete it. 

You can also use the Resize pointer to adjust the length of a region or track. To do this, click on the track (or all the tracks) you want to trim. Then position the cursor on the bottom right corner of the track region.

You’ll see an icon that looks like a bracket appear. Click and hold to drag the track to the left. This will trim the end of the song to whatever length you want.  

How to Cut Apple Music in GarageBand 

Cutting Apple Music tracks in GarageBand involves the same process as cutting any other track. Follow the steps listed above for either the iOS or macOS versions of the app. 

An Apple Music track imported into GarageBand can be edited in the same ways as a track you record or create yourself. So trimming these up is easy as well. 

FAQs

Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions relating to cutting music on GarageBand. 

How do you edit music on GarageBand?

Editing music on GarageBand is pretty simple, and you have several tools built into the app to help you with the process. The most common edits are cutting, trimming, and automation features for adjusting volume.  

How do I cut out the middle part of an audio file?

To cut the middle part of an audio file in GarageBand, you’ll need to make cuts or trims at the beginning and end of the section you want removed from the audio file. Then you can highlight this section and delete it.  

How do I select part of a track in GarageBand? 

To select part of a track in GarageBand, all you need to do is tap that section of the track in the iOS version of GarageBand. You can also highlight the section of the track in the Mac version of the app to select only a portion of it. 

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to cut music on GarageBand is an essential editing tool that will help you have better control over the music you create. The process to split, trim, or cut a song is really easy, and the steps mentioned in this post will allow you to make it happen quickly. 

Have you used the split tool in GarageBand before, and was it easy to figure out? Have you ever heard the phrase, “let’s cut a track,” relating to recording in the studio before? Let me know in the comments below. 

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