Going loopy
January 14, 2009 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Question about Garageband loops; how to get 'em and where I can use 'em, and iLife '09.

I just discovered the simple "creativity" of creating music using GarageBand loops (I have '08).

I'm guessing, though, that even though I downloaded the 1.1GB loop pack, that most every combination of these loops have been mixed to death. So my questions are:

1) Are there places where one can download (for free) and use (for professional use) more loops that will plug into Garageband as easily as the native loops that Apple provided? I've found some loop sites but other than dragging and dropping to use just as sound clips I've not found any as user-friendly as the native ones.

2) Are the loops Apple provides free and clear for professional use and distribution?

3) When iLife '09 comes out later this month, is it likely to have more loops, different loops, etc?

posted by arniec to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
iCompositions has lots of info and free loops. You can also share your work with others.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 10:18 AM on January 14, 2009

You can make your own, with a bit of work.
posted by lekvar at 11:47 AM on January 14, 2009

In regard to #2, (and to refute your "mixed to death" speculation), Rihanna's "Umbrella" was a huge smash single, and its signature drum track is a stock GarageBand Loop. Apple has also offered up Apple Loops in the past for purchase, and two of those combined together form nearly the entire musical background of Usher's "Love In This Club".

And for #3 yep, pretty much every new version of GarageBand has had at least a few new loops.
posted by anildash at 12:23 PM on January 14, 2009

A few places I have used in the past (I principally build loops in Audition, but any audio editor, incl. Audacity (free) will work. I highly recommend building a few of your own first. If you dig looping, you will learn volumes the first few you build. But, a few links include:




Frankly dude, just Google "free loops". Any mp3 or wav loop will go into Garageband. Note: just because a loop is out there does not mean it is a) free to use - some sharers have cut loops from copyrighted material, or b) a good cut. Put the mp3 into your editor and loop play a few times. Listen. If it sounds right, fine. If it seems to stutter, even just a hair, as the loop repeats, trim it. It is hair-splitting work, but fun when you get it right.

Tips on looping:

Don't be afraid to look for a longer loop in a tune if what you are using can't cut well. (one measure or two may be too "busy". go for 4 measures or 8, usually an even number)

Look for the same loop at other spots in the same song if the one you are trimming doesn't cut clean (cymbal overlaps measure cut, etc)

Your best loops are found at the beginning of the song 90% of the time. After that, they start layering in the other instruments.

If you are really sold on having a loop that you can't seem to cut cleanly, use some other bit of obfuscation to cover the break, such as another cymbal crash or other sound. Do not use this repeatedly for short loops. The idea is for your loop not to *sound* like a looped snip.

Experiment with freeware drum machines and sequencers (Google for a few). Learn how to work the grid and build a basic "four on the floor" loop to start. Export it and start looping.

Once you get the hang of looping, you are poised to start remixing entire songs. It's the same principles, just on a larger scale. TONS of fun!
posted by skypieces at 4:46 PM on January 14, 2009

Response by poster: Thank you for all that, skypieces. It is helpful. But, IANARL (I am not a rap lawyer) but for commercial purposes, which is why I am using this, snippets from published, copyrighted music cannot be used, correct?
posted by arniec at 6:18 AM on January 15, 2009

Not without paying for them.


Check out the whole Harry Fox site for a comprehensive breakdown of those "rap lawyer" issues.
posted by skypieces at 9:16 AM on January 17, 2009

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