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Create a bespoke loop with Drummer

Generate an organic percussion track featuring an original twist

GarageBand fans will already appreciate the power of its Drummerfeature. Borrowing familiar elements from iOS’s Smart Drums to intelligently generate rhythms, Drummer delivers virtual session players into your projects. Keyed off project tempo and indeed other tracks, this roster of kit bashers each has their own style and technique.

Whether it’s Pop, R’n’B, Swing, Rock or Jazz, there’s something awesome for everybody. So in just a few clicks,Drummer can provide an incredible breadth of drum patterns.

The key thing here, though, is in maximising originality and there are certain advanced tricks to make your Drummer tracks more unique. In this guide we’ll look more closely at those ideas.


1. Tempo & time

With a new Drummer track added, we’ll begin by changing project tempo and time. In the main Control Bar set the Tempo display to 130 bpm and the Time Signature to 2/4.


2. Switch drummer

We’ll create a heavy Rock loop, so from the Drummer overview panel switch to Anders. You can switch kits in the library panel to the left but we’ll stick with Heavy.


3. Resize regions

Regions within the Drummer track can be resized to form multiple patterns. Here we’ll resize the first to 8 bars and the second to 16 bars, making it 24 bars in length.


4. Simpler beats

Select the first region only and in the Track Editor, change the Preset to Sticks and Stones. Simplify this ‘intro’ part using the X/Y pad, moving the puck into position.


5. Percussion and fills

Click the tambourine icon and move the Percussion slider to max (3), before setting Hi-Hat to 3, with Kick & Snare to 1. Set the Fills dial to halfway, or 12 o’clock.


6. Second region

Now click the second region and choose Crimson from the pattern presets. From here we’ll move the X/Y puck towards the top-right corner for a louder, complex rhythm.


7. Extra embellishments

Add hand claps with the Percussion slider set to 2, before clicking the kit cymbals and raising them to 3. Set Kick & Snare to 3 and rotate the Fills dial to past halfway.


8. Unique timing

The Swing dial gives patterns a looser and jazzier feel to timing. The 8th and 16th buttons relate to the beats of the swing cycle and here we’ll apply a small amount.


9. Smart controls

Click the Drummer track header and view Smart Controls. Here drum levels, compression and effects can be raised as desired to achieve a more unique sound.