How to Search for a Loop in GarageBand in iLife ’11

GarageBand '11 is supplied with loops that sound great when repeated. GarageBand in iLife includes thousands of these prerecorded Apple Loops and a Loop Browser that categorizes them so that you can find the loop you want for a particular mood or genre. The Loop Browser lets you search for loops by instrument; for each instrument, you can narrow the search by genre, mood, or type.

Follow these steps to search for and select a loop:

  1. Click the Apple Loop Browser button (the Eye icon) or choose Control→Show Loop Browser.

  2. Click the Musical Notation icon in the center of the row of view icons to the left of the Scale pop-up menu in the upper left corner of the Loop Browser (if it isn’t already selected).

    Choose an instrument type or genre for a loop, and refine your search by clicking more buttons.
    Choose an instrument type or genre for a loop, and refine your search by clicking more buttons.
  3. Click a keyword button on the grid of buttons at the top of the Loop Browser.

    When you click an instrument such as All Drums, all drum loops then appear in the scrolling results list below the grid.

  4. Scroll the list of loops and click a loop’s name to hear it.

    The loop repeats until you click the loop again to stop it, or until you click another loop to hear what that loop sounds like.

You can adjust the volume of playback by dragging the Volume slider in the lower left corner of the Loop Browser.

The grid of keyword buttons helps you refine your search by breaking the loops into categories, reducing the number of loops in the resulting scrolling list. After you click a button for an instrument category, the Loop Browser highlights more buttons in the grid that you can click to narrow your search by genre, mood, or type. To reset the grid to show all buttons, click Reset in the upper left corner of the grid.

To browse loops in Column view, click the Columns icon to the left of the Musical Notation icon in the row of view buttons in the upper left corner of the Loop Browser window. After clicking a keyword in the left column, you have a choice of matching categories in the middle column. Click a category in the middle column to show matching keywords in the right column. Click a keyword in the right column to show matching loops in the results list.

Next to the columns icon is the Musical Notation icon, which changes Loop Browser view to a grid of buttons, and the Broadcast icon, which changes it to show sound effects and jingles.

In the list of loops, you can see the loop’s tempo, key, and number of beats. The icon to the left of the loop’s name is a waveform for Real Instrument loops, or a musical notation symbol for Software Instrument loops.

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