MacMost Now 834: Using GarageBand for iPad Part 1: Drums

GarageBand for iPad is a fun and useful app where you can build your own music. In this episode, we'll look at the two ways you can create drum loops. You can build them with a grid using the Smart Drums function. You can also play a virtual set of drums and record the session. Afterward, you can edit the drums beat for beat.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 834: Using GarageBand for iPad Part 1: Drums.

Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. Today's episode is a first in a series where I will teach you how to make your own music with GarageBand for iPad. On today's episode let's look at creating the drum track.

So let's launch GarageBand and start by creating a new song. Now there are two different ways to add a drum track. You can use the Drums or if you flip through you can use SmartDrums. Let's start with looking at SmartDrums.

What SmartDrums does is it presents you with this grid and it presents you with buttons on the left and right. So on the left you can choose the type of drum that you want. So let's start with say a classic studio kit. That determines what buttons you see on the right. So the buttons on the right, they are really icons. You can click and drag, tap and drag over into the grid. You can see the grid vertically represents the volume for the beat. Left to right changes the variation on it.

For instance if we wanted to do say just a snare drum. Put it in here; we can put it all the way to the left and it will be very simple and we can hear it just basically ticking away. Whereas if I moved the drum over a couple, it gets a little more complex. A little harder there. Put it over here and now you can hear there is actually three different hits to it each time around. It gets even more complex if you go all the way to the right.

So now the idea is to drag various icons over. Place them wherever you want on the grid and you can adjust it. Say if I wanted it to be a little bit louder. The tambourine in but very quietly simply. It is very easy just to basically drag these around and create countless number of different loops. You can drag anyone you want off like that. You can also hit the randomized button there at the bottom left just to create a different one.

Reset take everything away. You can also shut it off by hitting the little power button to the left and that allows you to drag things in and then kind of quiet it down for a second while you plan your next move.

Now once you like what you've got you can simple hit the record button at the top of the screen and that will record what is going on. You can make changes live while this is happening or just let it record what you've got there so far. Hit the stop button at the top to stop it and now that green area there is the area that you have recorded.

At the top you've got the little drum icon and then your tracks icon. You go to the tracks icon and it goes there and you can see there at the drums the section you have recorded right there and that is how you get it into a song so you can add other instruments.

Now let's select that track here and delete it and record drums the other way which is to use the regular Drums here. This gives you what looks like a drum kit and you can tap on anything you want and it even makes different sounds depending on where on the instrument that you hit.

So we can change the type of kit. You can see some of them are a selection of buttons and others are like visual drum kits that you can play. Now you can record here and record what you want. Now that you've got that you can play it back and when you go to look at your song you see that your recorded track is in there.

One thing I do want to show you is that you can actually edit this. Tap on it and it gives you a bunch of options here. You can hit edit and in there you can actually see the different drum hits and you can actually stretch them out or shorten them. Take them out or move them so you can really have a lot of control over what you want. Basically, painstakingly build a beat exactly.

So if you are looking to actually create your own music, say for background to videos or something else you can actually use this very simple technique to create kind of a drum loop. It will be unique and it could be yours and then you could share it out of GarageBand into iTunes and then use it elsewhere.

Later on we will be looking how to add guitars, keyboards, and other instruments to your song.

Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 4 Responses to “MacMost Now 834: Using GarageBand for iPad Part 1: Drums”

    6 years ago

    Glad you are doing a series on GarageBand, which has always been intriguing but too complicated for casual use. Look forward to the rest of the series.

      6 years ago

      Agreed! Powerful program I have not yet fully used. Looking forward to the series.

    6 years ago

    Thanks, Gary. That was amazing. I had no idea.

    6 years ago

    Thanks, Gary!!! This is what I have been looking for!

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