Getting loopy

I had a lovely Christmas day - morning time with my Dad and brother, then a small road trip to go be with my sweetie. I had a great dinner and evening with her and her family. I hope that you've had a great holiday season, too!

I had a bit of downtime today, and figured out a work-around to get GarageBand to read the Brazilian Drums loops from Celso Alberti, available through The Loop Loft. Celso is an excellent musician and sound engineer from Curitiba in Southern Brazil. Fortunately for me and other Brazilian music enthusiasts in the San Francisco Bay Area, he lives around here. He's taught at California Brazil Camp, and I've attended workshops he's done. I've also been fortunate enough to play some gigs with him! I can tell you, if anyone is qualified to create a great set of Brazilian drum loops for practice or recording, it's Celso!

So, when the set came out, I went ahead and downloaded them. I went with the WAV format option, since it seems to be the most universally readable format they had available. Being a novice at working with loops, though, I wasn't quite sure how to use them. The Apple Loops that GarageBand uses are in CAF format, and GB doesn't seem to be able to read any other file formats in its Loop Library. How to get to a readable format?

The labor-intensive work-around that I came up with was to import the WAV loops into my iTunes library, from which I can import files from the Media Browser in GB. I was then able to add the loop from there into a track (using the full length of one single loop), then go Edit>Add To Loop Library. Voila, now I have a GarageBand-readable loop I can use in quick projects.

"Wow, that's great, John! You've found a slow, complicated way to get some beats!" Yeah, ok. The whole Brazilian Drum Loops library is pretty large, containing, I dunno...lots of loops! It's unlikely that I will sit here and do this conversion on every single one of them, but if there's a particular Samba or Partido Alto or something I want for a project, it doesn't take that long to do a couple of them. And cut me some slack - I'm happy to have done something useful today! I'm sure someone has already figured out how to do this - likely not a pioneering discovery. But I didn't know, and now I can make use of these excellent drum beats!

Happy Holidays!

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