MacMost Now 313: Making a Simple Music Loop with GarageBand

Learn how to make a simple music loop using GarageBand in this excerpt from the Guide to Switching to the Mac by Gary Rosenzweig. You can use simple loops in photo slideshows, videos and other projects.

Video Transcript
HI this is gary with MacMost Now on todays episode lets take a look at how to create simple looping music in garage band. So today lets take a look at an excerpt from my book the guide to switching to the mac chapter 20 is about garage band and starts off by teaching you how to create some simple looping music. the most basic use for garage band is to use the built in music loops to make a piece of music you'llyou'll do this by over laying different loops drums bass guitar and so on. when you first launch garageband you'll given some choices as to how to start. Choose loops in the project window loop to right for the loop browser it should be a collection of buttons if you dont see it you can choose control show loop browser click on all drums to narrow it down a bit a list will now appear under the buttons scroll and find jazzy rock drums 07 and click once to preview it. click and drag jazzy rock drums 07 over to the center area of garage band this creates a track and places the music loop in it drag the loop so that it is all the way to the left. In the bottom tool bar click on the turn cycle region on or off button just to right of the play and move ahead buttons and has a symbol that looks like a circle with two arrows. now you should see a yellow bar appear at the top of the center area this represents the area that will loop you can drag it to the end of the cycle region to make it larger ar smaller. Back in the loop browser click on the reset button then click on the bass button you will now see a list of bass loops. Click the large play button at the bottom of the window or click the space bar to start the music playing you should hear the drum loop play over and over. select any bass loop in the group to hear it against the drum loop continue to try different bass loops. select cool upright bass 13. Drag it into the center area just under the drum loop it should create a second track hover your cursor over the upper right corner of the cool upright bass 13 loop in track 2 you should see the cursor change to a circle arrow. Now you click and drag the end of the loop to extend it double its link so that it is the same length as the first track. Rest the loop browser again and this time click the guitars button to see a list of guitar loops. Narrow it down further by clicking the relaxed button as well. you can click pay or click the space bar and sample the guitar loops over your current song when your done with that click and drag classic rock steel 01 to the center area below the second track to create a 3rd track. now lets put the sound levels of each track use the small volume controls on each track to raise or lower the sound. lower the sound of the bass slightly and the drums about half way. You can continue to add more loops if you like but you get the idea. You can also get more music loops buy purchasing collections from apple and from 3rd party vendors. And thats just the first four pages of the chapter the rest of it goes into more detail about how to change notes in some of the loops and how to change the sound of instruments record your own instruments and voice even do things like make ringtones using garage band. But the ability to make simple loops is very useful for things, for instance you can use these simple loops over slide shows that you create with your photos you can use it as background music for your videos you can create an i movie you can make DVDs an i dvd and its very useful to make your own loops rather than the canned ones that may sound familiar to other mac users. Hope you liked this look at chapter 20 of the book MacMost . com guide to switching to the mac its not just for switchers its for anyone who wants to get more out of there mac you can find out more at until next time this is gary Rosenzweig of MacMost Now.

Comments: 8 Responses to “MacMost Now 313: Making a Simple Music Loop with GarageBand”

    12/21/10 @ 2:37 pm

    that was helpful.

    4/12/11 @ 10:57 pm

    If I select a region of a project, copy it then paste it as an introduction to my song, then want to slow down a few notes so i know when to start singing along how do i lengthen the last two or three notes of my intro without squashing the notes following or the notes just ahead of my lengthen notes?

      4/13/11 @ 6:45 am

      Not sure what you are trying to do. If you “lengthen” a portion of the music then it would stretch the time for that section of music and your timing would be off. Not sure how that would help you “sing along”.

    4/18/11 @ 9:37 am

    I figured it out so it works quite well and there is no need to lengthen notes. I copy 1 or 2 bars (or whatever is suitable to use as an introduction), paste it to the beginning of the song then adjust the volume down on the last couple of beats of the pasted region and that gives me the indication I need that the introduction is complete and the accompaniment begins for my singing. Thank you for puzzling on this one.

    Kika Wai'Alae
    11/21/11 @ 3:05 pm

    Gary I noticed the you have a key column. I find that can be helpful for me however I donʻt have a key column. Iʻm using Garage Band 11 6.0.4 How do I turn this key option on? I only have the Beats and Fav column.


      11/21/11 @ 3:09 pm

      There is a a preference in GarageBand, Loops, Loop Browser: Display original tempo and key.

        Kika Wai'Alae
        11/21/11 @ 4:09 pm

        Ah nice! Now will it play in its original key or will it change to the master song key?


          Kika Wai'Alae
          11/21/11 @ 4:11 pm

          Ok I see, it will change to the song key that it is put into. Just tried it and alls well!

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