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Get your groove on with GarageBand loops

Christopher Breen | Jan. 17, 2014
In last week's Let's Create a Ringtone lesson, I attempted to show you that even musical novices can get value from GarageBand. And many of you grudgingly gave it a go. This week we're going to create a rockin' little multi-instrument groove. And yes, if you can click and drag, this is also well within your grasp.

Play the track and adjust the Reverb Send knob so that it's pointing at the 1 o'clock position. Let's also make the bass drum a little more pronounced by adjusting the Kick knob so that it points to 3 o'clock. The Hi-Hat could be a bit more forward in the mix as well, so adjust that knob to the 2 o'clock position.

Bigger yes? To hear how much bigger, click the Compare button near the top left of the Smart Controls pane. This turns off your adjustments and plays the unaltered track.

Now select and solo the bass track and unsolo the drum track. Move the bass track's Low EQ knob to the 3 o'clock position. Unsolo the bass track so you can hear all of your tracks.

In the track list select the guitar track and twiddle its pan knob to the left so that it points to 10 o'clock. Now select the power station track and adjust its pan to the 2 o'clock position. You've added a bit more "space" to your groove by changing the position of these tracks in the stereo field.

Finally, use the volume sliders within each track to mix the four tracks to your satisfaction. Keep an eye on each track's meters. If they show red on the far right side nearly all the time, the track is too loud and could distort. Back off the volume on all the other tracks and try again so that the loudest tracks very rarely shows red. Then check the master volume meter within the control bar. Again, you want this to show yellow but rarely red.

And that just about does it. Feel free to continue to tweak your tracks as much as you like. Add or subtract reverb, play with the smart control settings, and add other loops. Now that you know how to assemble a groove entirely from loops, you're well on your way to creating your own dynamic tunes.


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