The Loop Browser is your Apple Loops sound palette. It comes stocked with hundreds of Apple Loops in both Logic Express and Logic Pro, and you can quickly add new Apple Loop collections to the Loop Browser at any time. It's easy to expand your Apple Loops arsenal by, for example, adding Apple's Jam Packs or downloading Apple Loops from Web sites such as appleLoops.com.
Choose Audio > Loop Browser.
The Loop Browser opens.
Browsing Apple Loops
The Loop Browser is designed to make finding the right loop a simple and intuitive process. In its default view, the Loop Browser uses a matrix to show 54 categories of Apple Loops. You can further refine your search by using the search field in the Loop Browser's top right corner, or by switching to the traditional hierarchical view to locate loops by genre, instrument, or mood.
In the top left of the Loop Browser, click the Hierarchical View button.
Click the Matrix View button to return to the matrix view.
Click a category button.
The loops in that category are displayed in the list at the bottom of the Loop Browser.
The loop list itself is divided into columns, with each column displaying loop properties, including tempo, key, and beats. You can click the column heads to sort loops according to a column's property.
Click the Tempo column head.
The Apple Loops are listed according to tempo.
To customize the matrix view's category buttons, Ctrl-click the category button you wish to change. A hierarchical shortcut menu lets you choose a new category to assign to the button.
Add GarageBand Jam Packs 1, 2, and 3 to your system and you will have thousands of Apple Loops in your arsenal. With all those loops to juggle, finding the correct loop when you need it becomes a challenge. At times like this, the Loop Browser's Favorites category can really come in handy!
The Loop Browser's list has a Fav (Favorites) column that has a check box for every displayed loop. When you check this box, the loop is automatically added to the Favorites category, located in the top left corner of the Loop Browser's matrix view. As you audition loops, it's a good idea to tag the ones you like so you can quickly find them again later, when needed.
Adding New Apple Loops Collections
With the continuing proliferation of the Apple Loops format into Apple's audio and video editing applications, many third-party loop producers are beginning to create Apple Loops collections (try www.appleLoops.com, or search the Web for free Apple Loops and check out any of the dozens of hits that result). Even Apple has entered the fray, offering three Apple Loops Jam Packs. The Jam Packs are designed for GarageBand, but Logic can do everything GarageBand does (and a whole lot more), so the Jam Packs work just as well in Logic. For more information visit the Jam Packs Web page at www.apple.com/ilife/garageband/jampacks/.
Wherever you find your aftermarket Apple Loops, one thing is certain: Logic must first index all new Apple Loops before you can use them, and you must load them into the Loop Browser before they will be available to your Logic songs. The loops themselves can be in any directory on any hard disk connected to your system. However, it's up to you to tell Logic where they are.
A subset of the Apple Loops contained in Jam Pack 2: Remix Tools has been included with this book's DVD. Specifically, the sample Apple Loops include a construction set used to create house music (a form of electronic music using a steady, four-on-the-floor beat in the bpm range of 115 to 130). You can find these Apple Loops in the Lesson 5 Project Files > Apple Loops > Jam Pack 2 Sampler folder. Let's add these Apple Loops to the Loop Browser now.
If you are using Soundtrack, you need to add the Soundtrack Apple Loops collection to the Loop Browser to use them in your songs. By default, the Soundtrack Apple Loops collection is located in your startup disk > Documents > Soundtrack Loops folder.
Open a Finder window above Logic.
For best results, open a new Finder window over Logic by clicking the Dock's Finder icon. If you don't, the Loop Browser may disappear.
From this book's companion DVD files, navigate to the Song Files > Lesson 5 Project Files > Apple Loops > Jam Pack 2 Sampler folder, and take a quick look inside. The folder contains Apple Loops that all begin with the word House.
Drag the Jam Pack 2 Sampler folder out of the Finder window, and drop it on the Loop Browser. The Loop Browser indexes all of the loops contained in the folder. When Logic finishes, these loops will be available to all of your Logic songs, directly from the Loop Browser.
In the Finder window, navigate to your Startup Disk > Library > Application Support > GarageBand folder. This folder has two important subfolders: Apple Loops, and Apple Loops Index.
Select the Apple Loops folder. Notice that Logic has added an alias to this folder that refers back to your Apple Loops in their current place on your hard disk(s). This is important to keep in mind, because if you delete this book's companion files after you've finished the lessons, the Jam Pack 2 Sampler loops will also be deleted.
The Apple Loops that were installed along with Logic are all contained in the Apple Loops for GarageBand folder.
Select the Apple Loops Index folder. These are Logic's index files. Do not delete these files! If you do, the Loop Browser will not be able to find or display any of your system's Apple Loops (however, you can reindex them following the steps above, so all is not lost).
Close the Finder window
Switch back to Logic.
If the loop Browser has closed, choose Audio > Loop Browser to open the Loop Browser again.
Now that you have some new loops to play with, let's audition some of them to see what they sound like.
Auditioning Apple Loops
The Loop Browser makes choosing loops a very aural processit plays Apple Loops as you click them!
In the step above you added more than 100 House Apple Loops to the Loop Browser. The song you are working on already has a classic four-on-the-floor house beat (the audio loops in the folder), and the Bongo line is pretty good as a house rhythm. Let's search through these new House Apple Loops and find a few to add to the song.
In the Loop Browser's Search field, type House and press Return.
The loop list updates to show all Apple Loops with the word House in their name.
As you audition the House Apple Loops, don't forget to tag the ones you like as Favorites so that you can easily find them when it comes time to add Apple Loops to your arrangement.
Click a loop that you wish to audition.
The icon to the left of the loop's name turns into a speaker, and the loop begins to play.
Use the up and down arrow keys to move the Selection range up and down the loop list.
As you select new loops, they automatically play. But that's not all; they play at the same tempo and in the same key as your song. In fact, if the song itself is playing, the Apple Loops will play over your arrangement, letting you hear how the loop fits with the song!
Press the spacebar to start the song playback.
From the Loop Browser's list, select a new Apple Loop.
The selected loop plays at the same tempo as the song. As you can see, the Loop Browser makes finding Apple Loops a cinch.
Directly above the loop list on the right edge of the Loop Browser, there is a volume slider you can use to adjust the Loop Browser's playback volume as you audition Apple Loops.
Use the volume slider to adjust the Loop Browser's playback.
Continue auditioning House loops until you find several that sound good with the beat. Tag the loops you like as Favorites.
Press the spacebar to stop playback.
To stop the Loop Browser playback, you can also click the playing Apple Loop a second time.
Adding Apple Loops to Your Song
When you've found the loop you're looking for, it's time to add it to your song. This is a simple process: Just drag the loop from the Loop Browser, and drop it into an Arrange window track.
You already have a Bass track in the Arrange window. Let's drop one of the House Bass Apple Loops into this track now.
You don't have to use the House Apple Loops. The remaining lessons in this part of the book are designed to work with any Apple Loops you want. If house isn't your genre, feel free to experiment with other Apple Loops until you find a groove you like. We're making music here, and music is a very individual thing! The important thing is to have fun and pump out some great beats.
Use the Loop Browser to find a House Bass Apple Loop that sounds good.
Drag the Bass Apple Loop from the Loop Browser and drop it into the Bass track at the top of the Arrange window. The loop is added as an Audio Region to the Bass track.
Loop the new Audio Region to bar 25.
Grab the bottom right corner of the Cycle range and drag until the Cycle range spans from bar 1 to bar 25.
This arrangement is coming along. Before adding any more loops, let's take a look at one of the coolest features of Apple Loops in Logic: green Audio Instrument Apple Loops.
Exploring Green Apple Loops
If you take a close look at the left edge of the Loop Browser's loop list, you'll notice that some Apple Loops have a blue icon, while others have a green icon with a note. While both types of loops can be added to audio tracks in the Arrange window, Apple Loops with a green icon hide a special trick: When you add an Apple Loop with a green icon to an empty Audio Instrument track, Logic automatically loads a software instrument and all the effects needed to reproduce the loop, and also adds a MIDI Region to the track to play the Audio Instrument. This is an amazing feature with endless possibilities. Let's look at it now.
Green Apple Loops are called Audio Instrument loops. When you add an Audio Instrument loop to an audio track (instead of an Audio Instrument track), Logic quickly renders a new audio file and creates an Audio Region you can edit.
In the Arrange window, select the track named Inst 1. Notice that this is an empty Audio Instrument track. There is no Audio Instrument assigned to the track's inputs. Additionally, no effects have been added to the track's inserts.
In the Loop Browser, search through the House Apple Loops until you find a pad loop with a green icon that sounds good with the other loops in your arrangement (we choose the House Solitary Pad).
Drag the green Apple Loop over the track named Inst 1, and drop it at 1 1 1 1. Several things happen. First, Logic loads a software instrument to produce the green Audio Instrument loop's sound. Second, Logic loads several DSP (digital signal processing) effects. And finally, Logic adds a MIDI Region to the track.
Loop the new MIDI Region to bar 25.
One of the best things about green Audio Instrument loops is that once they are added to an instrument track, you can change the Audio Instrument producing the sound! Not only is this a great way to customize the sound of your song, it's a quick way to instantly build an entire Arrange window full of new instruments. Give it a try.