Getting loopy with Apple's Garageband (inexpensively)
With the growing popularity of Apple's Garageband program, more and more Mac users are exploring the joy of creating their very own music with pre-recorded music loops. No need to learn how to play the guitar or to beat the drums. Everybody with a little bit of a 'musical ear' can be a music producer with programs like Apple's Garageband and its more professional cousins Soundtrack and Logic.
Apple's Garageband program comes with a solid amount of loops to get you started but you may soon run out raw material for your musical creations. Apple themselves produces a good amount of "expansion packs" for the Garageband program but these expansion packs are pricey. (More than the cost of the actual Garageband program)
But third party loops producers have quickly caught on and we find an ever growing amount of Apple loops available on the market. Many of the well established loops collections like Fatboy Slim's "Skip to my Loops" are now available for Garageband use as well.
A lot of the third party loop collections however are just as expensive as Apple's offerings but there are some real bargains out there. Like the $9.95 Apple Loops Collections found at http://www.acidmusicloops.com
This loops producer offers everything from Old School Hip Hop Drum Loops to ethnic African sounds, Acoustic and Electric Guitars and Classic Keyboards like Hammond's B-3 Definitely worth checking out at ten bucks. And if you sign up for their mailing list, you even get a generous helping a free loops to explore their offerings for yourself.
So, how to you import these third party loops into Garageband? It's really quite simple and there are two basic methods. You can simply drag any loop (even a non-apple loop) unto the timelime of your project and presto! you are ready to go. If you wish to enter an entire loops collection or loops CD to your Garageband pool at one time, you can find a detailed description at http://www.acidmusicloops.com/apple_loops_import.html
What is the difference between apple and non-apple loops? Apple loops have additional information encoded into the loop that tells Garageband the tempo and the key of the loop. The loop will automatically play in the correct key and at the correct speed.
If you own Apple's iLife and never took the time to experiment with Garageband, this may be the time to fire it up and get creative. With affordable loops now widely available it's time to explore your creative side and discover the closet musician in you with Garageband.