Creating a Simple Song With Loops In GarageBand

You can use GarageBand to create music with its built-in loops. By combining various loops, you can create a unique song to use in videos, presentations and elsewhere. Loops can be carried throughout the song, or appear only at certain times.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Let me show you how to make a song in GarageBand.

I'm using GarageBand 10 to create a simple song using Loops. We're going to do that by starting with an Empty Project.

Choose that Empty Project and then I'm going to choose Software Instrument from the left. I'm not actually going to use any software instruments in here and it comes up with the software instrument panel. I'm just going to close that, close the left sidebar, and then use this space to add some loops.

To add some loops I'm going to click on the Loop button right here and it is going to bring up the Loop browser. I can browse through all these different loops in many different ways. For instance I can select some of the tags here like say Piano and Jazz together and even do something like Clean.

It will give me the results here at the bottom of everything that fits that criteria. I can reset it and decide I want to do guitars and I want to do Grooving and Intense. I get some loops here as well. You can also just search here at the top for loops or you can deselect all the criteria and basically just go through each one of them.

To Preview a loop, let's do a bass loop here, and let's do something Urban and to preview a loop you just basically click it. To add one of these we simply drag it into our song here.

So our song is going to start off with one track that is classic electric piano. We'll select that. Command Delete deletes it. We have this one track here that we dragged in. We're going to take this one loop here and we're going to loop it by dragging the right side. But it has to have this little loop cursor there. Once you do that you can see that it repeats the loop over and over again. You can see how many times it repeats it. It is pretty straight forward. If you play it it will just repeat that loop. These are all created in such a way that they loop very cleanly.

So let's add another loop. This time we'll do drums here. We'll select something rock. Notice here that we have two different types of loops. We have these green ones here. They are musical notes that are played by using an instrument. You can edit those a little bit more or change the instrument. For instance we can select this one here and change the drum kit.

These blue ones here are recorded audio. So it is just basically going to play back recorded track and you can't change the drum kit from that.

Let's drag and drop this one in here. There we go. Then we'll loop it a bunch of times to make these match. Now if we were to play this we would be playing both of these tracks together. We can adjust some things here. For instance we can adjust the volume for each one of these pretty easily. All you need to do for that is to slide one of these back and forth. So we can bring the bass way down and play it. We can even do it live.

So you can preview these sounds here while this is playing. So I can rewind this to the beginning and say I'm going to select a rock guitar part here. So let me play this. Then I will click on one of these to start listening to that over it. So you can see how I switched between them. This is a really quick way to find something that is going to mesh with what you've got.

Let's say let's add this one here. You don't have to add it at the very beginning here. You can add it two measures in and have it loop from there. So now we've got it where we will start playing it and then the guitar will come in.

Let's move the loops aside so we have more room to work here. I can stretch these loops as long as I like and I don't have to just have them in one set here. For instance I can take this loop right here, make sure I am in this track, copy it and then move to another section here and paste it in and then move this part around. So there is a lot you can do there. You can have this part come in and then come out. Have a different guitar part come in here. Then of course you can add another track here where you can record vocals or another instrument to add.

So you can use loops by themselves to create a song or you can use loops as a kind of backing for a song that has other parts that you record. There is all sorts of different things you can do. Just keep adding. You can have as many of these tracks as you want. Bring in all sorts of different things into it to play.

So play around. Try different things. Experiment and have fun. That is the whole point is using GarageBand is to have a lot of fun here and maybe create some of your own music. This is ideal for presentations or videos and you don't want to use canned music you can combine these loops in nearly infinite ways. So you can really create your own unique background music for your presentations.

When you are done all you need to do is go to Share and then Export Song to Disk or you can do it to iTunes. Either way. You can bring it into iMovie or Keynote and other apps for use there.

Comments: 3 Responses to “Creating a Simple Song With Loops In GarageBand”

    Larry Carver
    2/27/14 @ 12:18 pm

    Will you create one of these for GarageBand 11? I use your videos to expand my knowledge of the Apple apps and really like your GarageBand vids. But I couldn’t follow your GB10 with my GB11. Thanks.

      2/27/14 @ 2:26 pm

      I only make new videos for the latest versions of software. Keep in mind that GarageBand 10 is the latest version. You are probably referring to GarageBand ’11 (as in 2011), which was the previous version. I did do a video like this one for GarageBand ’09 (as in 2009) if you want to go back and look at that one. It is episode 313.

    Andrea
    2/27/14 @ 8:56 pm

    This was so much fun, and after watching the video once I got the hang of it. Although I have ton of royalty free music I use for my Youtube videos, it’s nice to put something together myself. As always, even a 75 year-old – like me, can follow you.

Comments Closed.