28 June 2009

Stubborn GarageBand

I'm no professional musician but I do appreciate GarageBand; that is if goofing around with Musical Typing is considered a form of appreciation for this app. So one day, I decided I wanted to goof around, this time with the MacBook Mini (I've the MacBook Wind connected permanently to a View Sonic LCD which setup I use often when at home). I launch GarageBand and after selecting New Project just to get started, the moment of slight bewilderment strikes:

Where are the controls at the bottom of the window?

As I've said earlier, I'm no musician who's enthusiastic enough to actually mix loops and consequently find the need for the aforementioned controls. However, I definitely couldn't deny that I see them when using the Wind that's connected to an LCD. So I click on the green + button which I always did with iLife apps back to '08 and what-not to make them fit in the screen when the windows are cut off at the bottom because of the netbooks shorter vertical real estate which, granted, is less than standard 768 pixels.

But now, nothing happens when I do that.

GarageBand stubbornly sticks to its default dimensions. There's nothing I could do to fit this whole chop on the 1024 x 600 screen.

I took a screenshot of the window using Shift+Cmd+4+Spacebar to get all the details that went beyond what the Mini's resolution could handle.

All the other iLife '09 fit in the screen after clicking on the green + button (maximize):

So off I fly to the forums, and learn about scaling. One of the best thing about Mac OS X is that it's got graphics elements deeply integrated in it (I'm a geek, but not that geek enough to remember what exactly the feature does or means). In summary, the user can just specify a scale factor and OS X does the calculation off the bat for him and redraw what should be displayed on the screen to follow that scale.

There are two ways to do this:

1) In Terminal, type the ff. command:

$ defaults write com.apple.GarageBand AppleDisplayScaleFactor .8

where "com.apple.GarageBand" can be replaced with the .plist of any chosen app and ".8" is the scale factor which by default is set to "1". Here, I was trying to shrink GarageBand to 80% of its normal size.


2) Launch PrefSetter and search for the appropriate .plist to open it and change the AppleDisplayScaleFactor entry. Close and save changes.

And for the life of me, I do not get it why GarageBand's menubar and the texts in it just get smaller but the whole window remains cut off at the bottom. And nope, clicking on the green + button still doesn't help things.

I may have to resort to going back to GarageBand '08 just to get that window fit 1024 x 600. Here we go obsessive-compulsive again - uh-oh! ;)


skeet said...

I am having the exact same problem..
Tried the .8 thing and still nothing..
Have you found a resolution to this?
I actually am a musician and it would be very nice to be able to use garageband :)

LeMaurien19 said...

I've never found a way to make the window fit the 1024x600 screen no matter what scale factor I use.

What I do think can be a solution is to pan on the screen. For this I think you can use SwitchResX. Install the prefpane/application.

Then go to Sys Pref > Display and set your resolution to a more conventional 1024x768. The dock would "disappear" but you should be able to pan down when you move the cursor to the bottom part of the screen.

Good luck with that!

Heather said...

All the .8 res did for me was shrink the menus and text and such to a tiny size, but it didn't make the window fit properly. I couldn't access the bottom of the window, so forget recording tracks.
I went back to GarageBand '08 at regular resolution and it works great. Using the green maximize button or Cmd-L show all parts of the screen when you need them.
From what I hear, GB '09 isn't all that great - I'm happy with '08.
Good luck!

LeMaurien19 said...

^True. On my Mini 1000, I'd skip GarageBand 09 altogether and stick with 08.
I'm on GarageBand 09 now on my Mini 311 - simply because it's part of iLife 09 (too lazy to customize install ;D ) and it fits in the 1366x768 screen, other than that, personally, I don't feel GarageBand 09 is any superior to 08.

Anonymous said...

I thought the solution was getting garageband '08. I got a copy and it worked just as poorly as '09 did. I don't know what you guys are doing differently. The bottom is just as cut off as '09, there green maximize button doesn't do anything different. I even had a GarageBand 3 (which is older) on to see if that would work. Nope, none of them work at 1024x600. Anyway, other issues with Garageband in a hackintosh (Eee pc 900 16gb win xp, 1gb ram) is that when you place a note on the bottom panel, you can't move it by half-steps. You have to move it as a whole step, and it's really annoying.