More Loops

GarageBand comes with 1,100 loops. That should be plenty—for the first half-hour or so!

As your lust for deeper musical expression grows, though, you might find yourself wishing you had a more comprehensive sonic palette. You might have noticed, for example, that GarageBand comes with a healthy selection of rhythm parts (bass, drums, guitars, keyboards, mallet instruments), plus some strings and brass—but no solo instruments, like trumpet, clarinet, harp, or solo violin. As noted earlier, GarageBand is also heavily slanted toward music in 4/4 time.

Fortunately, expanding the possibilities is easy enough, since you can add more loops in any of these forms.


You can add almost any sound file to a GarageBand composition just by dragging it into the timeline area. That doesn’t make it a loop, however.

A true GarageBand loop comes in Apple Loop format. That’s basically a dressed-up AIFF file with built-in tags that specify its original length, key, category, and so on.

The GarageBand Jam Pack

This $100 expansion pack from Apple offers 2,000 more loops, 15 more guitar-amp simulations, 100 more audio effects, and 100 additional instrument sounds.

That’s a lot of add-on fun. It’s worth noting, though, that most of the new instruments are in the same categories as the original GarageBand set: guitars, vibraphones, drums, basses, and keyboard instruments. Many of the “100 new instrument sounds” are actually processed or combined versions of the sounds you already have. Only a few wholly ...

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