Tutorials / 4 August 2020

Five ways to manipulate loops and make them your own

Our sample library of over 5000 free loops is absolutely kicking with all the sounds you need to create a full track in most genres and styles. From Neo Soul Jams to Trap Hits and House Classics, we’ve got it all. It’s stored in the cloud so whether you’re on the go or on tour, producing music anywhere straight from your laptop is easy. With loops, it’s really easy to get a track that sounds full and professional in minutes by just dragging and dropping.

Making the sounds your own can take a little more work. Here are five quick edits you can do to give the loops some personal touches and get on the road to creating your first hit.

Slice and delay the loops

BandLab mix editor slice loops

Drop a 16-bar loop onto the timeline and get your scissors at the ready. Chop at different points on the timeline to make a new sound out of the loop.

Add some delay to fill the gaps you’ve chopped out to give the sound a completely different texture. Shortcut: Hit ‘S’ to slice.

Reverse the loops

BandLab mix editor reverse loops

Popularised by electronic music producers, using reverse on the last kick in a loop will add texture and variety to your sound. Drop in a kick loop and slice the loop just before the last beat.

Right-click and reverse the last beat. Chop the reversed kick up again and add it in more times to add a bit of variation to the kicks through your track.

Add a stutter effect

BandLab mix editor stutter

To create a stutter effect, you can do this simply by selecting the point you want to stutter and copying this over a number of beats.

Tip: This usually sounds best if you do it at the end of a 16-bar loop. Here you can see we’ve done it with a bassline but this can work well with any instrument tracks.

Pan the trackBandLab mix editor pan

If you’re looking to add some texture and width, you can try duplicating a track, reducing the volume and panning hard left and hard right. This works well on sweeping sounds and can also work very nicely on backing vocals.

Try creating simple backing vocals to your track by duplicating the lead vocal twice and panning hard left and right.

Re-pitch the loops

BandLab mix editor pitch

BandLab has built-in technology that allows you to change the pitch of a sound without changing the speed or affecting its quality. All you need to do is right-click the loop, select AudioStretch to change the semitone, or select more to adjust anywhere up to a full octave up or down.

Tip: Try layering duplicate vocals over multiple tracks and AudioStretching each to different semitones for some really interesting effects.

There are loads you can do with loops and this is just the start. Whatever level of production you are at, loops are a great way to get creative and make music without too much prior knowledge.

Give some of these a try today and do hit us up if you have any awesome techniques.

Discover Loops on BandLab

Read more: Six creative ways to use loops and samples

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