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Forums » GarageBand Tips and Tricks » Using Loops Well

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I started using GB with the promise that I would never use loops, but now that I've heard many songs that use loops really insanely well, I'm thinking using them wouldn't be such a bad idea after all. Does anyone have any tips on how to use loops to do things that improve upon solely writing music?
Artist Page Send Message Nov 26, 2006 | 6:22 pm
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ask illuminator
Artist Page Send Message Nov 26, 2006 | 6:56 pm
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OK, I use loops alot, but some people have told me that you wouldn't know to listen to it, and many people on here think I am a great guitarist, when the truth is, I use alot of looped guitars...

Editing... The first thing I do is to try and edit my loops as much as possible... Only using small sections of them where I can rather than the whole loop... With midi loops, I like to write in differences to the midi track, just an odd note here or there, or adding a small run of notes to make each copy and pasted loop have an individual feel... It really is a case of using your ears and listening to how a few notes of a loop, that with some careful editing, could fit your track just as well as the whole loop...

Transpose: GB lets you transpose your loops, meaning you can change the pitch and key of the loop without time stretching it... I use this alot to make my tracks have more movement through chord patterns etc, etc, etc. It also allows you to take a single guitar powerchord for example and edit it and transpose it so that you can construct your own riffs...

Good luck,

Ian
Latest Song: Follow Me Collab
Artist Page Send Message Mar 14, 2007 | 10:59 am
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Making a loop.

1. I record my rythem guitar for about a minute. Making sure I'm on tempo.

2. I listen back and pick the best part I want to loop.

3. I split the part at the beginning and end of the track.

4. Now I should have loop I can drag as long as I like, but I keep getting pops and ticks at the beginning and end of the loop.

I must be missing something.
Latest Song: Forida
Artist Page Send Message Mar 17, 2007 | 1:00 pm
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preview you are doing it the right way
i would try smoothing the edges like lil fades in and fades out
something using certain effects help

like little ecchoing little tremolo lil destortion or reverbs....
you got try to see which sounds suits your taste
Artist Page Send Message Mar 17, 2007 | 1:07 pm
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I would suggest widening/lengthening the bar to see the loop to see the actual ticks you will see why your loop does not loop smoothly,

or maybe you have noise problems delete the noise somehow.
Latest Song: While The Clouds Pass
Artist Page Send Message Mar 17, 2007 | 1:23 pm
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PreviewDrag wrote:
Making a loop.

1. I record my rythem guitar for about a minute. Making sure I'm on tempo.

2. I listen back and pick the best part I want to loop.

3. I split the part at the beginning and end of the track.

4. Now I should have loop I can drag as long as I like, but I keep getting pops and ticks at the beginning and end of the loop.

I must be missing something.


You need to double click on the recorded track to open up the editor and then zoom right in. You'll see that most likely even though it sounds like you're in time, you're fractionally off and the guitar stroke starts just before the beggining of the bar where you are cutting it into a loop. You can cut a lot more precisely in the wave editor and can avoid the clicks and pops more easily.
Latest Song: Too Soon
Artist Page Send Message Mar 17, 2007 | 2:49 pm
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Thanks for the suggestions. I give them a try.
Latest Song: Forida
Artist Page Send Message Mar 17, 2007 | 3:18 pm
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I use loops almost exclusively. I think it takes just as much creativity to make a song from loops as it does to play it (but thats just me). I also use the transpose feature a lot as well as chopping loops in increments as small as 1/64th note. You can also transpose a drum loop to get interesting snare and tom effects. Good luck
Latest Song: Sinner
Artist Page Send Message Mar 17, 2007 | 9:45 pm
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I've heard some songs made entirely of loops that are miles more creative than some ones without.
Latest Song: Dragline
Artist Page Send Message Mar 31, 2007 | 1:24 pm
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I am a classically trained composer but have come to really love using loops. Since going GB, I have pieces made up of some or all loops. Still a lot of work involved chopping, shortening, expanding, and transposing - some of the same procedures Beethoven himself used in his written music.

One of my favorite loop tricks is to have a loop section begin on the first beat of the measure. When the loop returns later in the song, I might have the loop begin on a different beat or off-beat. Refreshing effect!

Jazz improvisers, a modern composer like Philip Glass and Beatles' producer George Martin have all used loop ideas in one form or other. Indonesian gamelan music is also known for using interlocking repeating cells between players.

In short looping is a legitimate procedure. The main thing is that upi really hear what you are doing and that the technique is used as a means of expression. Happy looping!
Artist Page Send Message Apr 13, 2007 | 12:02 am
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Loops serve a purpose. Making some is always fun. But we always go back to playing live with a acoustic guitar and singing live. Anything that fosters inspiration is ok. GB3 is way ledge!
Artist Page Send Message Apr 13, 2007 | 4:07 am
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I don't modify loops too much, except to perhaps move some notes so that they fit with the key.

I most always change the instrument to one of my favourites.
Latest Song: Hand and Steel
Artist Page Send Message Apr 13, 2007 | 12:12 pm
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I agree fully with all the tips here. . .I would add that once you have found a loop that works for the groove you are working on. . .(clip and snip as already mentioned), try moving the loops forward or backwards to create interesting movement w/in the time signature. Sometimes you will get what sounds like a completely different loop.

T.
Artist Page Send Message May 13, 2007 | 5:01 pm
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I realize this is kind of an old post, but I've got some tips for using and creating loops on my blog/podcast - check out installments 5 and 6:

Podcast in iTunes

Blog Version

-Cliff
Artist Page Send Message May 16, 2007 | 11:27 pm
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