Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Multipass Recording

In the last exercise, you just recorded a simple drum part in one take. To create a mixed drum part, you may wish to try multipass recording. With multipass recording, you can record into the same region over and over, adding different sounds with each pass.

Your goal in this exercise is to record a drum region that has different drum sounds. You’ll then use that region as a drum loop.

Creating a Recording Cycle Region

The first step in multipass recording is to create a cycle region for the number of measures you wish to record. For this exercise, you will set a cycle region that is two measures in length.

  1. In the transport controls, click the Cycle button to show the cycle region.

    The cycle region appears beneath the Beat Ruler at the top of the Timeline.

  2. Drag the yellow cycle region to the beginning of the 2nd measure.

    Next you’ll resize the cycle region so that it ends at bar 4.

  3. Drag the right edge of the cycle region to the beginning of the 4th measure.

    The cycle region should now start at bar 2 and end at bar 4.

Creating a New Software Instrument Track

Before you record, you’ll need to create a new Software Instrument track.

  1. Choose Track > New Track to open the New Track window.
  2. Select Software Instrument for the type of track, if it is not already selected and click Create.
  3. In the Track Info pane, select Drum Kits > Hip Hop Kit from the Software Instrument choices.
  4. Press Cmd-I to close the Track Info pane.

    A new Hip Hop Kit track appears in the Timeline.

  5. Click the first five keys (C1–E1) of the onscreen keyboard to hear the drum samples.

    The Hip Hop Kit samples are the same drums for each key you had in the Kits track, but they are now Hip Hop versions so they’ll sound a little different.

Recording a Rough Draft

Brace yourself—the first time you try multipass recording will likely be rough. Don’t worry—with the Undo command, you can always do it again.

Select one drum sound, perhaps the kick drum (C1) or the snare (E1), and play only that drum part for the first pass. Choose a second drum part for the next pass. Each time you finish recording a drum part, switch to a different sampled drum sound (a different key on the keyboard) to add a new part.

Experiment with the different drum parts to come up with one that you like. If you are having trouble coming up with a pattern, start with the pattern I describe for the kick drum and snare. Keep in mind that your drum pattern will be two measures in length, making it a total of eight beats, four per measure.

Try playing the kick drum (C1) once on the second beat and twice on the fourth beat. Then again in the next measure, record once on the second beat and twice on the fourth beat.

Now try the snare (E1) twice on the first beat, once on the second beat, twice on the third beat, and once on the fourth beat for both measures.

Keep the recording going until you have recorded a pass with all five of the different sounds.

The key (pun intended) to making this work is that you can’t stop recording. If you stop recording, the multi-take option is over. If you try to record in that region again, you’ll erase the previous recording.

One more thing: let’s slow things down a bit for this first version. Remember, if you slow down the tempo for a Software Instrument, you can always speed it up again after you record.

  1. Change the project tempo to 90 bpm.

    90 bpm is a common tempo for Hip Hop music. The metronome will change to match the new project tempo.

  2. Select the Hip Hop Kit track, if it is not already selected, and make sure the Record Enable button for that track is on.
  3. Press R, or click the Record button, to start the multipass recording.
  4. Record each instrument one at a time through each pass.
  5. When you finish, press the spacebar to stop recording.
  6. Change the project tempo to 120 to hear your recorded loop at a faster tempo.

So, how did it go? Recording drum loops takes a lot of practice and patience. Fortunately, you can always press Cmd-Z to undo the recording and start over.

If you had a rough time creating your own drum tracks, there’s good news. GarageBand includes hundreds of prerecorded drum loops from which to choose. For those of you who like creating your own beats, you now have the tools to do it.

Project Tasks

It’s time to practice your skills by recording another multipass drum loop at full tempo. If you feel like creating a really fat beat, feel free to try some of the other drum sounds (keys) within the Hip Hop Kit.

  1. Create a new Software Instrument track and select Drum Kit > Hip Hop Kit for the instrument.
  2. Select the new track and make sure the Record Enable button is on.
  3. Mute the previously recorded tracks.
  4. Turn the cycle region on and record a new drum loop using multiple drum sounds.
  5. Extend your finished region so that it loops three times in the Timeline.

Deleting a Track and Saving Your Project

Now that you’ve created three different drum loops, let’s save your work so you can come back and listen to it another time for pleasure—or torture, depending on the quality of your recordings. Also, this is a good time to delete the Grand Piano track, since it was never used in this project. To delete a track, you select the track and press Cmd-Delete, or choose Track > Delete Track.

  1. Select the Grand Piano track, then press Cmd-Delete.

    The Grand Piano track no longer exists at the top of the Timeline.

  2. Unmute the first two tracks to turn them back on.
  3. Click the Cycle button to turn off the cycle region in the Timeline.
  4. Close the onscreen keyboard.
  5. Press Cmd-S to save the project into the My GarageBand Projects folder on the Desktop.
  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive:

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020