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Jan 26, 2013

GarageBand: How to create your own custom loops in minutes

by Freddie Harrison

Follow our simple, step-by-step guide and find out how to escape the limitations of GarageBand’s loop selection by making your own. Your songs will sound great.

GarageBand Tutorial - Custom Loops - SidebarGarageBand Tutorial - Custom Loops - FeaturedIf ever an Apple app was underestimated, it’s the brilliant GarageBand. Billed as an app aimed at beginners, this music- making marvel is actually only marginally less able than its professional sibling, Logic. Inside the simplistic interface are a ton of advanced features, including the ability to create your own loops. The benefit of creating a loop is that you can call on it at any time from the Loop browser, like any other loop, but you can also gain all of the other benefits of loops like the ability to add effects, change the BPM and add it to any number of songs. So, if you’ve created the ultimate drum fill, piano part or boombastic bass line, then save it as a loop and call on it at any time. It’s a great way to expand your loop library.

GarageBand Tutorial - Custom Loops - Step-by-Step

GarageBand Tutorial - Custom Loops - Step 1

Step 1: New project

Load up a new project using the Software instrument setting. You can of course open a previous file that has a great song part in and use that as your loop.

GarageBand Tutorial - Custom Loops - Step 2

Step 2: Super saver

Make sure you save the file somewhere handy so that it’s easy to find in future. Hit the Save button when you’ve named and placed the file.

GarageBand Tutorial - Custom Loops - Step 3


Step 3: Blank canvass

A blank GarageBand window is always a bit daunting. Use the plus button to create the tracks you want to build loops from.

GarageBand Tutorial - Custom Loops - Step 4

Step 4: Software time

Pick the software instrument track each time. Plug in your USB keyboard if you have one. Or bring up the musical typing window (Shift+Apple+K).

GarageBand Tutorial - Custom Loops - Step 4

Step 5: Pick an instrument

Now use the instrument finder on the right to pick an instrument type and then the instrument itself. Click on it and then hit a few keys to test it out.

GarageBand Tutorial - Custom Loops - Step 6

Step 6: Record, re-record

When you are ready to go, hit the record button and play your track. You can use the delete key to remove poor takes. Repeat until you are happy with the take.

GarageBand Tutorial - Custom Loops - Step 7

Step 7: Cheat a bit

Once your part is recorded you can double-click on it to bring up the midi data. Here you can tweak each note to make sure it is in perfect time.

GarageBand Tutorial - Custom Loops - Step 8

Step 8: Add it up

When you are happy with your loop, head to the Edit menu at the top of your screen and then select Add to Loop Library. A new dialogue box will appear.

GarageBand Tutorial - Custom Loops - Step 9

Step 9: Name that tune

You can now name and place your loop so it can be used time and time again as part of any other tracks you make in future.

Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations.

GarageBand Tutorial - Custom Loops - Annotated


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    • Daequan

      dis crazy, imma make it in da rap game

    • Fabrice Ducouret

      i followed your steps, thank you. But the loop that ends up being created only has one instrument track in it, all the other instruments of the loop file are gone?

    • TwanistA

      it going well?

    • Johny5134234

      This is a great tutorial. In the latest version of GarageBand though, to post it you need to go to File, not edit. Great work!