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iLife '04: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Cycling (Looping)

Looping means playing a certain section of the music over and over again continuously. (That’s what musicians call it. Apple calls it cycling, because in GarageBand, the word loop has a very different meaning. You can read about loops in the next chapter.) Cycling can be very handy in a number of different situations:

  • Recording. When you’re laying down new music from a MIDI keyboard, GarageBand merges everything you play during all repetitions of the loop. So if your keyboard skills aren’t especially dazzling, you can play one hand’s part, or even one finger’s part, on each “pass” through the loop. GarageBand adds all your passes together.

  • Editing. In Chapter 26, you’ll see that you can edit the notes in Software Instruments sections—adding or deleting notes, rewriting musical lines, and so on. By cycling the section you’re editing, you can hear the effects of your edits even while you’re making them, in the context of all the other playing instruments.

  • Playing. Sometimes, it’s useful to loop a section just for the sake of listening and analyzing—when a clashing note, for example, is driving you, well, loopy.

To loop a certain section of your piece, start by clicking the Cycle button (identified in Figure 23-3). Or just press the letter C key on your Mac’s keyboard.

Drag the yellow stripe to move it elsewhere in the song. It maintains its existing length. Or drag the ends of the yellow stripe to adjust its length. Either way, you’re identifying which part of he song you want repeated endlessly.

Figure 23-3. Drag the yellow stripe to move it elsewhere in the song. It maintains its existing length. ...

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