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iLife '04: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Chapter 24. Loops

Apple claims that GarageBand can be a blast even if your mastery of music never even progressed to the “Chopsticks” stage. And it’s true: GarageBand lets you create authentic-sounding, studio-quality music even if you can’t carry a tune, let alone a tuba. This chapter, dear nonmusicians, is sure to be one of your favorites.

That’s because GarageBand comes with over 1,100 loops —short, prerecorded snippets performed in recording studios by professionals who most certainly do know their instruments. According to Apple, some of GarageBand’s Motown drum loops, in fact, were played by the original studio musicians who recorded classic Motown hits like “My Girl” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.”

Loops are only a few seconds long, but they’re designed to repeat seamlessly for as long as you specify. That’s a serious help when you want to create a drum part, for example.

Using some extremely advanced technological mojo, GarageBand manages to make every loop sound good with almost any other. So all you have to do is choose the drum beat, bass line, and guitar noodling you like (for example), and trust GarageBand to make them all sound like they were recorded in perfect sync. As you’ll see, it’s all about dragging and dropping.

Starting a New GarageBand Project

The first time you open GarageBand—or whenever you choose File New—you get the dialog box shown in Figure 24-1.

If you do know a little bit about music or the Mac, you can use this dialog box to specify details ...

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