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How To Make Audio To Midi Groove Templates – Part Two

In part one, we looked at extracting a groove template from a record.

We’ll look at another great source for groove templates : your Apple Loop collection. Most, if not all, MIDI loops in there (the green ones) have been either programmed or quantized, so their timing is not that interesting – unless you like everything tight of course. But then you probably won’t be needing groove templates. Most of the blue loops have been played live, and you can use these as a source for your groove templates too. Let’s see what we’ll encounter.


Above, the three loops I used in part one of this post. I set Quantize to ‘off’, Flex View is on, it’s on Rhythmic mode. All loops will be played with their original timing. Tempo is set at around 77 BPM, which was taken from the Bill Withers loop.

I picked ‘Pop Groove Drumset 13’ from the Loop Browser. This is a one bar loop, and we have two bars to fill. We’ll want the length of the groove template to match the length of our loops, so we can either:

  • Use the one bar loop twice, by copying and merging it into a new file,
  • Put another one bar loop behind it with a similar feel to get to two bars, then merge these,
  • Extract the groove from the one bar loop, and extend the resulting midi region into a 2 bar loop by copying and merging.

Or I could have picked a two bar loop from the browser…

I’ll drag in ‘Pop Groove Drumset 13’, an 80 BPM loop, into the Arrange Window:

So far so good. Even though the project’s tempo is set at 77, the region is one bar long. Ah, The joy of Apple Loops.

Doubleclick it to open it in the Sample Editor:

Whoops. See that? The Sample Editor is displaying an 80 BPM loop in a 77 BPM project. It’s off. It’s early. Something for the developers to fix, if you ask me. I’ll tag this post with ‘dev wish’. Extracting the groove from this mess would be like having your stuff played by 4 year olds (but not Igor Falecki!).

So, when using live Apple Loops as groove templates, temporarily set the project tempo to the tempo of the Apple Loop. If you don’t want to do that, hit ctrl+B to bounce the Apple Loop in place. Don’t forget, you can use your own MIDI material as groove templates, and you can put groove templates on Apple’s MIDI regions too. So bring back some life into those stiff green loops.

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