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Opening a midi file (.mid) in GarageBand is the easiest thing ever, but how do I go the other direction? I want to take a piece I recorded as a midi performance in GarageBand and turn it into a midi file. How can this be done?


Background:

  • I have GarageBand 10.1.6
  • I record midi performances all the time in GarageBand and can easily export them as an MP3
  • I want to save/export them as midi files so that I can open them in Synthesia (Synthesia only opens midi files)
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From Scott Troyer: Export MIDI from GarageBand*:

One of the biggest drawbacks [of GarageBand] is the lack of built-in support for exporting MIDI data.

(...)

However, a nice guy named Lars Kobbe has put together a workaround/hack that extracts MIDI data from the reluctant clutches of GarageBand. You can download his GB2MIDI Apple droplet script from his site: MIDI-Export in Apples Garageband. Here’s the direct download: GB2MIDI.ZIP

Once you have downloaded GB2MIDI and you have your MIDI performance in GarageBand, you may create a MIDI file (.mid) using the following steps:

  1. Join the regions of the track you want as a MIDI file (command + J)
  2. Convert that region to a loop (File > Add Region to Loop Library or drag-and-drop into loops area)
  3. Find that loop (.aif) file you just created in your hard drive
    • /Users/User'sName/Library/Audio/Apple Loops/User Loops/SingleFiles
  4. Put the loop thru GB2MIDI converter by simply dragging-and-dropping it onto the icon for the GB2MIDI converter
  5. Click "Run" when the GB2MIDI prompt pops up
  6. Grab the freshly extracted .mid file (now found in the same folder where the .aif loop was)

Now use the MIDI file for whatever you wanted. In my case, I'd open the MIDI file in Synthesia. Thanks to this process, I can make videos like this one.


*See the sourced article for additional details and/or troubleshooting if needed. So far, these steps have worked great for me. :)

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Unfortunately, Garageband doesn't support MIDI export.

However, you could consider buying Apple's Logic Pro X, which is the "pro version" of GarageBand. It is quite pricey and might be overkill if you are just dealing with simple MIDI projects but it offers a great deal of features.

With Logic you can open your Garageband projects and export your tracks as MIDI files.

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