How to Lower Pitch in GarageBand

To lower the pitch of a track or region in GarageBand, you can use the Pitch Shifter plugin on your Mac. In the iOS version of the app, you can lower the pitch by utilizing the Transposition options in the Track Settings menu. 

My name is Donovan, and I love to make music. I have years of experience writing, recording, and producing, and I’m very familiar with GarageBand and several other audio production apps and software. 

This post will show you how to lower pitch in GarageBand. I’ll show you every step needed to make this happen quickly and provide some other helpful information to think about when altering the pitch of a song or project. 

Let’s get mixing. 

Key Takeaways

  • There are several ways to lower pitch in GarageBand, including using the Pitch Shifter plug-in and the transposition slider.
  • The process for lowering pitch is different for the Mac and iOS versions of GarageBand, but both are easy to accomplish. 
  • Lowering a track’s pitch can drastically affect how your project sounds, so you don’t always want to lower the pitch significantly.  

How to Lower Pitch in GarageBand iOS

Lowering the pitch in GarageBand iOS is a good skill to have when you are making recordings and other projects within the app. It can be useful if you want to change the feel of a song or get it to sound better with specific instruments. 

Follow these steps to lower pitch in GarageBand iOS, which applies to your iPhone and iPad. 

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

2. Open the project with the track or tracks you want to lower in pitch. 

3. Tap a track you want to lower in pitch to highlight it. 

4. Tap the Mixer icon to the left of the FX icon at the top of the project window. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my iPhone)

5. Tap the TRACK SETTINGS tab. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my iPhone)

6. Tap the TRANSPOSITION tab. You’ll see a dropdown menu appear listing Octaves and Semitones. 

7. Tap the down arrow on the Octaves or Semitones options to lower the pitch. Semitones will lower the pitch slightly, and octaves will lower the pitch by a full octave or more. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my iPhone)

You can access the transposition option whenever you want to make changes to the pitch. It will lower and raise the pitch of a track, and you can make minor or major adjustments right as you see fit for your project. 

How to Lower Pitch in GarageBand Mac

The Mac version of GarageBand gives you a few more options for lowering and adjusting the pitch. You can use these to lower the pitch of a song, a track, a recorded instrument, or just about any other type of sound recording. 

If you plan on doing a lot of editing to your projects and want better control over the final product, GarageBand for Mac will give you more tools and features to work with than the iOS version.

There are two quick and easy ways to lower pitch in GarageBand for Mac. You can use the Pitch Shifter plug-in or the Transposition slider. I’ll walk you through the steps for each below.

How to Lower Pitch in GarageBand Mac via Pitch Shifter

Follow these steps to lower pitch in GarageBand on your Mac using the Pitch Shifter plug-in. 

1. Open the GarageBand app on your Mac. 

2. Open the project with the track or tracks you want to lower the pitch of. 

3. Click the track you want to lower the pitch of to highlight it. 

4. Click the Smart Controls button on the upper left side of the project window. This icon looks like a control knob.

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

5. You’ll see the track settings window appear at the bottom of the screen. Make sure the Track tab is selected. 

6. Scroll down in the window until you see the Plug-Ins option. Click on an empty plug-in slot to pull up the window of available plug-ins. 

7. Scroll down until you see the Pitch option and move the cursor over this option. 

8. Select Pitch Shifter

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

9. The Pitch Shifter plug-in will now be applied to the track you have highlighted. You can lower the pitch by adjusting the semitones with the slider or arrows. You can access this adjustment window by clicking on the Pitch Shifter plug-in slot. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

How to Lower Pitch in GarageBand Mac via Transpose Slider

Follow these steps to lower the pitch in GarageBand by using the Transpose Slider

1. Open the GarageBand app on your Mac. 

2. Open the project with the track or tracks you want to lower the pitch of.

3. Double click the track you want to lower the pitch of. This opens up the Track Inspector window at the bottom of the screen. You can also click the Editor’s Button, which looks like a pair of scissors, at the top of the project window to access the Track Inspector. 

4. Make sure that the Regions tab is selected in the Track Inspector. 

5. Scroll down in the window until you see the Transpose Slider. 

6. Click on the slider and drag it to the left to lower the pitch. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

7. Repeat as necessary for any other tracks within the project that you want to lower the pitch of. 

Quick Tip: You can also lower the pitch of a specific region of a track if you trim it and then follow the steps above. Check out my post on how to split a track for detailed instructions on doing this. 

FAQs

Here are a few quick answers to some of the most frequently asked questions relating to how to lower pitch in GarageBand. 

Where is pitch control in GarageBand? 

The easiest and quickest way to control the pitch in GarageBand is by using the Transpose slider found in the Track Inspector window. If you double-click on a specific track in GarageBand on Mac, the Track Inspector window will open, and you’ll see the Transpose slider. 

How do you change the pitch of a drum in GarageBand? 

You can change the pitch of a drum in GarageBand the same way you would change the pitch of any other track. You can use the Pitch Shifter plug-in or the Transpose slider within the track settings or track inspector windows. 

Can you change tuning in GarageBand? 

Changing the tuning in GarageBand is basically the same as adjusting the pitch, so you can do this using the Pitch Control or Transpose features in GarageBand for Mac. A tuner is also built into the app if you want to tune an instrument before recording it. 

Final Thoughts

Lowering the pitch in GarageBand can help you alter the sound of a track or project to fit in your mix. You can use several tools in the app to make this happen, and they are all easy to access. 

I think using the Mac version of GarageBand is better than the iOS version when doing more complex edits, such as altering the pitch. But you can still perform these edits on your iPhone; you just don’t have as many tools to use. 

Have you ever lowered the pitch of a project in GarageBand? Why did you want to do this, and what method did you use? Let me know in the comments below.

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