How to make Beats in GarageBand

Beats are the smallest, repeating bit of audio in your recording and give the music or track you are creating the groove, tempo or rhythm to define itself. Various hook beats make the track catchy and easier to recognise. Beats of a certain type classify your music as Hip-Hop, EDM, rock etc. and these can easily be made in Apple’s GarageBand app that is the ultimate workstation for those wishing to start out in their recording and mixing journeys as well as music professionals who want an easy, dynamic sound-composition and editing application.

GarageBand offers its users a range of tempo settings and loops to use in their tracks, whether you are starting from an empty record or if you are using a template that the app offers. For creating beats using either of these, you must make sure two basic things –

  • The Sound Library must be updated by choosing the Download All Available Sounds in the GarageBand Preferences toolbar.
  • Under the Advanced section in the same toolbar, select ‘Auto Normalize – Export Projects At Full Volume’ to make sure the volume of your tracks remains desirable when you export them. 


  • Open the GarageBand app and choose the empty project option to start afresh. 
  • It will divide your screen into various sections which include on the left-hand side- the Sound Library (consisting of a variety of instruments like Bass, Drum Kits, Synth, Vintage Organ, Chinese Traditional, etc.), in the middle- a recording tab that will show you the blueprint of your composition, and on the top- buttons and tabs for volume management, play, pause, tempo range, EQ adjuster, etc. 
  • The screen will open on Classic Electric Piano but you can choose different real instruments to start with. Click the ‘+’ button in the lower-left corner to choose from the options.
  • You can use Command+K on your Mac keyboard to operate the instruments, especially those such as piano keys, and see a virtual keyboard on your screen to map your progression.
  • Add loops from the ‘Loops browser’ of your choice. You can use more than one Loop to add complexity to your beat without overcrowding the sound. 
  • You must remember to fix the volume and number of beats to a particular bit of recording so that it falls in green and at max, the yellow portion of the indicator bar that is displayed beneath the instrument, effect, or loop you are using. 
  • If it starts to come towards the red portion, your beat will get distorted and the quality will be reduced. In case of volume, it might be too loud or too low so remember to set the specifics for each of these beforehand. 

  • Making beats is a unique creative process and differs for each artist. The best way to approach this process comes from using a major melody with the help of lighter loop sounds and instruments you know and like playing.

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