Fun With the iOS GarageBand Beat Sequencer

There are many different ways to start a song in Garageband on the iPad. The Beat Sequencer is fun to play with all by itself, and can create a unique beat for your own song. You can set the location for each hit of each drum along a timeline, easily turning them on or off and adjusting the details if you want to get more specific.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Fun With the iOS GarageBand Beat Sequencer.

One of the most fun apps to use on your iPad or iPhone, but particularly on your iPad, is GarageBand. It's a free app from Apple and if you like music at all it's just so much fun to play around with the different aspects of GarageBand. It's easy to overlook some of them. For instance, I'm going to show you today this part of GarageBand called a Beat Sequencer.

Now you can move around and see all sorts of different ways to start a song when you want to create a new one. If you look at the Sound Library you can see there's a bunch of different stuff you can download because when you get GarageBand it doesn't include all the different modules. You'll see one that's called Beat Sequencer. You can see I've already downloaded this.

Then when you go over to the Drums section here there's different ways, like for instance you can tap Acoustic Drums there and have a drum kit that you can actually tap on the screen. But there's also the Beat Sequencer. The Beat Sequencer is a pretty simple idea. It's basically this timeline with these different instruments and you check off boxes where you want there to be a sound. So, for instance, for this drum here I can put it right there and I get that drum played exactly where those filled in boxes are.

I can add in other ones as well. I can tap and drag. I can do all sorts of things to create this beat and then just keep editing it and playing around with it. If I get something I like and I want to use this as a basis for starting a song I simply hit the record button and it will record it and I'll hit Stop after it gets, say, four measures here. Now when I go look at the song, I'm going to tap the button there at the upper left corner to actually go and look at my tracks here. There's that track and I can tap and shrink this down to those four measures there.

I'm just going to double tap it there and switch it to a loop and have it loop through the entire thing to see how it plays. Now I can add other things to it. I can record instruments. I can record my voice. I'm just going to add some Apple loops here so just add some sort of interesting thing. I'll add that to it and continue to add things to it to create songs. But it all starts using that Beat Sequencer which is super fun to play with just by itself.

So if I double tap here on the instrument on the left I can go back into it and continue to edit. There's a lot on the bottom here. Right now I've got it set to the On or Off for each thing. I can change it to Velocity and I can actually adjust the velocity for each one. No repeat so I can tap and kind of have one note be a bunch of different notes by dragging up and down. There's all sorts of different things I can do. I can even change the loop length for it. There you go. So I can make this one, say, a shorter loop if I want or a longer loop.

I have the ability here to change the instrument so it could be a different drum kit. I can choose from some predefined patterns to start with. There's a whole bunch of them. I can even hit the little Random button there at the bottom and it creates a random pattern for me. So I can just play around with that until I get some sort of a random pattern as a starting point. So a lot of fun that you can have here playing around with the Beat Sequencer.