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Working with Apple loops

From: iPad Music Production: GarageBand

Video: Working with Apple loops

Now that we've set up our song, let's start adding some tracks to it. My personal preference is to start with the drums or percussion in a song. Now as we know, there are number of different ways we can approach this. I could open up the Drums instrument and start playing out a pattern, I could open up the Smart Drums and start programming a pattern, but in this case I want to introduce some Apple Loops. Now to get to the Apple Loops I am going to have to switch to the Track View. And as you can see that pops up the Apple Loops button here in the interface, I'll tap that. Apple Loops are great to use if you're in a hurry or you just can't find the sound or instrument you're looking for. You can browse through the available loops, find a pattern you like, drag it into your song and just have it loop over and over or as long as you like to fill out your song.

Working with Apple loops

Now that we've set up our song, let's start adding some tracks to it. My personal preference is to start with the drums or percussion in a song. Now as we know, there are number of different ways we can approach this. I could open up the Drums instrument and start playing out a pattern, I could open up the Smart Drums and start programming a pattern, but in this case I want to introduce some Apple Loops. Now to get to the Apple Loops I am going to have to switch to the Track View. And as you can see that pops up the Apple Loops button here in the interface, I'll tap that. Apple Loops are great to use if you're in a hurry or you just can't find the sound or instrument you're looking for. You can browse through the available loops, find a pattern you like, drag it into your song and just have it loop over and over or as long as you like to fill out your song.

So you can see here I can browse through 270 different loops, but that might not be the best way to find the loop you're looking for. So we can narrow them down using these keywords here. I can start by may be narrowing it down to an instrument, for example if I wanted to search for a guitar part, I could tap Guitars, now I am looking at 46 different items. I can browse through here. If I find a title that looks intriguing, I can tap it to give it a listen. (music playing) Continue browsing through. (music playing) You can see an indication of how many bars each loop is.

(music playing) Just tap a loop to stop listening to it. If I am looking for some other type of instrument I can tap instruments again. Maybe I just want to find some variation on the tambourine. Here I can listen to several Tambourine samples. (music playing) You can also use the Genre or the Descriptors keywords to narrow down your search. So again, maybe I'll just go back to say the Bass and I want to find a bass that fits the description of Jazz.

That narrows it down to three that I can sample from. (music playing) If I want to clear that keyword I can simply come back and uncheck that, so I have full access to all the samples again. I can also go to Descriptors, maybe I am looking for something Grooving. Now that still only gives me 13 out of the 14 loops that are available for bass. I can further narrow it down by adding another Descriptor, maybe I want Grooving and Intense.

That narrows it down to three. (music playing) So you can see we have a wide variety of different loops available here. Now to get back to everything I just tap Reset Keywords and I can see I am back to my 270 different loops. So let's find some drums to start the song out with. And go back to Instrument, I'll select All Drums, and again we can just sort of browse through and if we see anything that looks interesting to us we can just tap to sample.

(music playing) I kind of like that Funked Out Drumset 02. Now I want to use that for the verse of my song. Now because I set up my song previously with several sections, I'm currently looking at the C Section of my song, Section C. I want to make sure I drag this into my verse. I am just going to make sure I am looking at all sections, so again we have A, B, and C as well as D set up here.

So I'll go back to Loops now that I am looking at the entire timeline. I'll find that loop I was looking at, which I believe was Funked Out Drumset 02. (music playing) And again, I want to use that for my verse which starts at measure 2 in this song, so I am going to grab that, drag it in my song. You can see that GarageBand automatically creates a new track for me. I am just going to line that up to measure 2. Now even though this is only a two bar loop you can see that GarageBand has repeated it or looped it all the way until the end of my song because I'm looking at the entire song. But in this case I only want the drums to last for the verse, or at least this particular loop.

So I am going to select the region, you can see that puts a highlight around it and now I can drag the right side in to the end of measure 9, which is the end of the verse and that's all I want do with this loop for this particular example. I'll just take the playhead back so you can hear what this sounds like. You hear the metronome, then it comes it on measure 2. (music playing) So there is one loop and that comes back to the beginning. Here is the next one, and one more.

And it just ends there. So I am pretty satisfied with that loop for the verse part of my song. Although I do think it starts a little bit abruptly. I think what I would like is to have some sort of drum fill or intro into that part, which is why I have that first measure of the song set aside. So let's go back and listen to Loops again. And once you know there's something here called a Funked Out Fill let's listen to that. (music playing) That's only 1 bar. So I kind of like those two snare hits right at the end of that loop, that rapid one two.

(music playing) So let's start by grabbing that loop, dragging it into measure 1 on the same track, and let me just expand that by pinching out a bit, and I'll just take my playhead back to the beginning, let's listen once. (music playing) So you can see the waveform of those two hits that I want to keep there. So I want to get rid of everything else. So to trim that out of there I am going to select the region, then I am going to hold down on the left-handle and you can see that it expands out the loop to fill out my entire screen, now I can just drag that trim handle to the left, so I only see those last two hits, right about there.

And now I have this. (music playing) So if you find a loop where you only like maybe the beginning or the end of that loop, you can always trim out the parts you don't want by first dragging the region into your project and then just trimming out those parts. All right, so I've got this nice little intro, I've got the verse, now I just need to find a drum part for the chorus. Let's go back to Loops. So I am going to try to keep this in the same Funked Out family, just keep listening to a couple more of these. (music playing) Okay, so Drumset 08 has a louder, more open sound. I think I am going to use that for the chorus.

So again I just select it and I'll just drag that into the same track right here at measure 10, there it is and let's just listen to that transition. (music playing) Okay, so I think that will be pretty good for my chorus. Now I want to fill this out may be just a little but more, so maybe I'll add some tambourine in this case. I'm going to switch my instrument, select Tambourine and we'll listen to a few these.

(music playing) Actually Tambourine 1 sounds pretty good to me, so I'm going to drag this onto its own track just by dragging it out, right there so it's going to start the same time as the chorus, let's listen. (music playing) It's actually pretty good but you know maybe I want to sort of use the tambourine to lead into the chorus, so I am just going to select that region, maybe I'll have it start at measure 9 to lead-in from the tail end of the verse into the chorus.

(music playing) Okay, I am pretty happy with that. Now because I drag that region, if I go to the tail end of the song now, you can see I've lost the measure here at the end of the tambourine, but I can easily just drag that out and loop out one more measure. So if I pinch in, you can see now I have two full tracks of loops and now I've a really good foundation for the start of my song.

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iPad Music Production: GarageBand

30 video lessons · 10360 viewers

Garrick Chow
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