How to Fade In or Fade Out in GarageBand

There are several ways you can fade in or fade in GarageBand. For fade-outs, you can use automation or the fade-out effect. For fade-ins, you’ll need to use automation because there is no direct fade-in effect built into the app.

My name is Donovan, and I’ve been making music in one way or another since I was a kid. I have years of experience recording and producing music and have used GarageBand extensively on many different music projects. 

This post will show you how to fade in or fade out in GarageBand. I’ll show you how to perform these tasks on your computer and also provide you with the steps to make it happen on your iPhone or iPad. 

Let’s start making music. 

Key Takeaways

  • You can fade out in GarageBand by using the built-in fade-out effect or with automation. 
  • You can fade in by using automation, but the app has no fade-in effect. 
  • The process for fading in or out on an iOS device like an iPhone or iPad is somewhat different than macOS GarageBand. 

How to Fade Out on GarageBand Mac

Fading out is a helpful tool for recording, producing, and mixing music. GarageBand gives you two different ways to make this happen on your Mac. I’ll run you through all the steps in this section, so you can choose whatever makes the most sense for your preferences. 

It’s also good to know that you can fade out one particular track or the entire project. The most common fade-out involves using the Master Track, which fades out the whole project and is a common way to end a song. 

To Fade Out Using the Master Track automation, follow these steps: 

1. Open up the project in GarageBand you want to work on and add a fade-out to. 

2. Select Show Master Track from the Track drop-down menu at the top of your screen. This will open up a master track at the bottom of the track list. 

(Screenshot taken from GarageBand on my Mac)

3. Next, move your cursor over the Mix tab from the top menu and then click on Create Volume Fade Out on Main Output. This will fade out the entire project, and if you look at the master track, you’ll see the automation that occurs when you do this. 

Note: You can adjust the length of the fade-out that appears using the master track by changing the volume points that appear in the fade-out automation. Simply click on these points and drag them around the adjust. 

(Screenshot taken from GarageBand on my Mac)

To Fade Out using track automation manually without the master track, follow these steps: 

1. From the top menu in GarageBand, select the Mix tab and then scroll down and click on Show Automation. You can also just press the A key on your keyboard as a shortcut.

You’ll see the track view change to include the automation line, which is a straight yellow line (if there is currently no automation on the track).  

2. You’ll also see a parameter box appear within the track controls. Make sure that this is set to Volume before you start making any adjustments. 

3. You can now create a manual fade-out by simply clicking on that yellow line and making adjustments. Every time you click on the line, it will create a dot. You can adjust that dot to make changes in volume. 

Select the line several times to make a fade-out curve. You can adjust the length or overall volume of the fade-out on each track this way. A longer curve will be a more gradual fade, and a shorter one will be a quicker fade.  

How to Fade In on GarageBand Mac

Fading in on GarageBand for your Mac is basically the same as manually fading out. There is no automatic fade-in tool, so you’ll need to do this task manually if you want any fade-in effects in your project.

Follow these steps to fade in on GarageBand on your Mac: 

1. From the top menu, select the Mix tab and then select Show Automation. You can also press the A key on your keyboard for a shortcut. 

2. The track parameter will appear on each track in your project. Set the parameter to Volume. You’ll see a straight yellow line appear on your track. 

3. You can make a fade-in by manually adjusting this line and setting the proper volume curve. For a fade-in, the curve will start low and rise, which is the reverse of what the fade-out looks like in the previous section.

Note: You can’t fade in the entire project with a click of a button, so you’ll need to repeat these steps and create the same curve for every track in your project if you want them all to fade in together.  

How to Fade Out on GarageBand iOS

Setting a fade-out on GarageBand iOS is also pretty simple, and you can make it happen with a few taps on the screen. In GarageBand iOS, you can use the automatic fade-out or set up manual automation.

To fade out using the automatic fade-out feature, follow these steps: 

  1. With your project open, tap on the upper right side of your screen on the Settings icon. This looks like a gear, similar to the settings icon on other parts of your iPhone. 
  2. Scroll down in the settings window that appears and turn the slider for the Fade Out setting on. 
  3. Click Done, and an automatic fade-out will now appear on your project. 

To fade out by setting up manual automation, follow these steps: 

  1. Open up your project and make sure you are in the Mixer view. 
  2. Click on the track you want to add a fade-out to. Slide the track to the right to open up its details. 
  3. Tap on the icon for the track. A menu bar will appear with several options. Tap on Automation. The track will turn yellow, and the volume automation bar will appear. 
  4. In the top left of the window, turn on the Pencil icon by dragging it to the right.
  5. Now you can go through the track and build your fade-out curve by tapping on different points on the volume curve and dragging them around. 

How to Fade in on GarageBand iOS

There is no automatic fade-in feature on GarageBand iOS, so you’ll need to create a fade-in manually. 

To do this, follow the steps listed above for how to fade out by setting up manual automation. 

Once you are ready to adjust the volume automation, simply create a fade-in curve rather than a fade-out curve. The steps to make this happen are the same as the process above, but the curve is the other way around.   

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to fade in and out of GarageBand is a valuable skill that can really add a lot to your recordings. It’s a simple mixing technique that can make your tracks blend well together and make them sound more professional and polished. 

Do you have any projects you’ve done in GarageBand where you’ve used a fade-in or fade-out? Which method did you use to make this happen? Let me know in the comments below!   

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