Importing Loops


Making your own loops from imported audio data
How do you convert AIF or WAV loops from CDs or downloaded from the Internet so GarageBand can use them?

Drag the original AIF or Wav file to GarageBand's main window and edit the track or tracks as you like. GarageBand lets you make loops directly from any region in these tracks.

Your edited piece is now a Real Instrument region which you can save as Apple Loops. When you save a region as an Apple Loop, it is added to the loop library and appears in the loop browser, so you can use it in other songs.

Apple Loops you create from recorded regions match the tempo and key of any song you add them to, just like the Apple Loops included with GarageBand.
  1. Select the region in the timeline.
  2. Choose Edit > Add To Loop Library, or drag the region over the loop browser.
  3. In the Add Loop dialog:

    Type a name for the loop.

    Choose the scale and genre from the pop-up menus.

    Choose an instrument category from the list on the left.

    Choose an instrument name from the list on the right.

    Click the appropriate mood buttons to add mood descriptors for easy searching.
  4. Click Create.

The loop is added to the loop browser, and becomes blue to indicate that it is an Apple Loop. You can find and audition it using the keyword buttons, menus, or by typing the name in the Search field.

Where to find loops?
There are lots of sources for loops available on the internet. Most can be converted to Apple Loops uses the method above.
For free loops see the GarageDoor: Loop Collections & Free Loops (Apple Loops) or sites like and (other formats).
A great source for commercial Apple Loops is
bitshift loops
Converting loops
one and all
You can improve GarageBand's performance by converting Software Instrument Loops to Real Instrument Loops. A purple Audio track is less demanding on computer power than the track containing the midi Apple Loops.
Why are not all loops in Real Instrument form then, you may ask? Well, remember that Software Instruments are Midi data, not sound, and thus much more editable. You can change pitch, tempo and individual notes, you can change major to minor, you can even change the instrument itself (Compare different basses, or: what does that guitar riff sound like played on a trumpet?).

How do you convert?
  • In the Preferences: Advanced pop-up window, check "Convert to Real Instruments". Now, when you drag any loop to the track window, it will show up as a purple Real Instrument track.
  • You can still drag a Software Instrument unchanged to the track window by holding down the Option key.
Loop Browser
just browsing
To show and hide the Loop browser, it is handy to use the keyboard shortcutCommand-L
Other quick window commands:
  • Show track mixer Command-R
  • Show track inspector Command-I
  • Show track editor Command-E
  • Show onscreen keyboard Command-S
For a full list of GarageBand shortcuts, click here: The GarageDoor | GarageBand Shortcuts

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