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How to Add Loops to Music in GarageBand

GarageBand loops are professionally recorded (and royalty-free) musical snippets that supply drum beats, rhythm parts, melody lines, bass sections, and so on for your music. Apple includes more than 1,000 loops files with GarageBand, and you also add thousands more by purchasing optional $99 Jam Packs (covering Remix Tools, Rhythm Section, Symphony Orchestra, World Music, and the newest addition, Voices). To add loops to your music:

1

Click the button that looks like the famous CBS eye logo to open the loop browser.

The loop browser appears across the bottom portion of the screen. You can view the loop browser by columns, buttons (as shown in the figure), or podcast sounds.

2

Search for loops inside the browser by instrument, genre, mood, or combinations of these.

The list of loop possibilities shows up on the right side of the browser. Incompatible loop buttons are dimmed.

3

Click the loop you’d like to preview.

You can audition loops while the rest of your project is playing to hear how all the tracks blend. If you like the loop, drag it onto the timeline. Individual tracks and loops make up the rows of the timeline.

4

To add a new loop, click Reset in the loop browser and make another selection.

The musical patterns in loops repeat. You can also tug on the right edge of a loop to lay down a track for the entire song.

Loops don’t have to start at the beginning of a track; and if you want to change the mood midstream, you can add a second loop onto the same track. If you want more than one loop to play in a song (which is typical), create multiple tracks.

The beat ruler above the timeline serves as a guide; it displays beats and measures.

You can also create loops from your own performances. Select a real or software instrument in the timeline. Choose Edit→Add to Loop Library. Then type a name for the loop, choose a scale and genre (from the pop-up menus), decide whether the loop is a one-shot deal, and choose an apt Mood Descriptor. Click Create when finished.

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