Mac OS X 10.6 iLife '11

Do you know what a Click Track is?

Sure, it's the sound a train makes as it rolls by. 

Ummm, no

Well, duh!  If I knew what it was I wouldn't be reading this article.  What is a click track? 

Glad you asked... since I was about to tell you anyway.  In the Real World it's very difficult for a human to keep perfect time unless they use a metronome.

Metro-gnome?  Is that like a miniature subway? With a silly hat?  And pointy Boots?

No, a metronome is a device that "ticks" in perfect time.  A classic Metronome might look like this:

The arm that swings back and forth has a weight in the middle of it.  Sliding this weight up or down varies the speed (tempo) in which it ticks.  GarageBand has an electronic version that makes the "tick" sound, built in.  You've probably heard it, as a new project has it turned on by default, however many of us find it insufficient for recording.

How is it insufficient? 

The biggest drawback for me, as a drummer, is that it's difficult to hear while I'm playing/recording.  Additionally, even guitarists have complained that they can not change the volume of the metronome without changing the Master volume, thus raising the level of everything.

Ewwww. 

Yeah.  Fortunately the solution is pretty simple

You always say that and then you throw this technical stuph at me. 

This is real easy, don't panic.

The solution is to create a Click Track

Oh yeah, you mentioned that up ^^ there somewhere. 

Right, and a click track is simply a drum loop placed on its own track, thus allowing you to set its volume any way you want in your mix.

Any drum loop?  Well technically, yes, any drum loop.  In reality you want the most simple loop possible, just one that's going to help you keep time.  And to do that I've made it extra simple for you by creating 7 simple 4/4 drum loops for you to use in a Click Track.

I thought you said I only needed one? 

Yes, you only need to use one, I'm providing seven so you have a little choice.  You might find that one of them fits your style better

So, ummm, how do I get them in to GarageBand? 

I'm glad you asked, it's easy

Here we go again! 

No really it is.  Don't panic.  First Download HTs 7 Click Track Loops

Unless you've changed some settings the file should automatically unpack itself in whatever folder you use for downloads, and you'll find a folder called "HTs 7 Click Track Loops".  If it hasn't unpacked itself, and you find a file named "HTs7ClickTrackLoops.zip" instead, double click it and Finder will unpack it.

Once you have the folder, open GarageBand and click on the button to open the Loop Browser, then drag the folder of loops from the Finder over the browser and drop it:
GB5 Drag File

You've just installed 7 Loops that you can use for a Click Track any time you wish, Yay for you.

Yay for me!  Now how do I find them? 

The same way you find any other loop, really.  There are several different methods people use to find loops depending on how they like to do things, and how many loops they have. One method is to use the Search field,  simply typing "HT Click" in the search field will bring them all up:
GB5 HT's Loops

Woo Woo! 

Don't you mean w00t

No, I was doing my impression of a Train on its click track. 

::sigh::  Have fun.

Yay for me!

 



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