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How to Make Rap Beats on Garageband

gobuybeats | October 25, 2022
how to make rap beats on garageband

How to Make Rap Beats on GarageBand

Kanye West and Dr. Dre are two of the most successful rap beats producers in history. They both started out by making beats in their bedrooms, gradually building up a following until they produced mainstream hits.


If you want to follow in their footsteps, starting out by learning the basics is essential. Garageband is an excellent program for beginners, as it’s easy to use and has a wide range of features.


This article will give you a crash course in making rap beats on Garageband. We’ll cover the basics of the program, how to create and edit samples, and how to add effects to your tracks. By the end, you’ll be able to develop professional-sounding rap beats that are ready for release.


What Is GarageBand?

Garageband is a digital audio workstation (DAW) developed by Apple and included in their iLife suite of software programs. It allows users to create, edit, and mix music on their Mac or iOS devices. 

The program consists of built-in instruments, sound effects, and the ability to record live audio via an external microphone. It also allows users to connect external MIDI instruments and create loops or samples using Apple’s Loop Library.

Garageband is not available on windows; however, a workaround involves creating a Mac virtual machine or emulator.  We won’t be going into the details in this article. We will focus on using Garageband on an Apple device.

Producing Rap Beats on GarageBand

These steps will guide you through the process of making rap beats on Garageband.

Step 1: Create a New Project

create garageband project

Open the Garageband app and click the “+” button in the top right corner. From there, select “New Project” and give it a title.

Step 2: Create a Tempo and Time Signature

rap beat tempo bpm

Go to the control bar at the top of the screen and select “Tempo.” You can manually type in or adjust your beat’s BPM (beats per minute). For instance, a slower hip-hop beat may have a BPM of 80, while a faster rap beat may have a BPM of 100 or more. 

You can also set the time signature by clicking on the “Time Signature” button next to Tempo and selecting the desired number of beats per measure.

Step 3; Choose Your Track Type

garageband track type

In the top menu bar, select “Track” and click on “New Track.” This will bring up a pop-up where you can choose whether you want to record a real instrument or use a software instrument. Select your desired instrument from the drop-down menu and click “Create.”

Step 4; Select Loop

hip hop beat loops garageband

In the top menu bar, select “Controls,” then click on “Show Loop Browser.” This will bring up a menu of pre-made loops for you to use in your beat. In the search bar, search for “hip hop” to find loops that fit your rap beat. Select a loop and drag it onto your track.

Step 4; Add Any Additional Tracks or Loops

Start by creating a new track for any additional instruments or vocals you want to include. For example, if you have a bassline in mind, create a new track and select the “bass” option under the “real instrument” selection. Then, record or use loops to add in your desired sounds.

Step 5; Edit and Arrange Your Track

garageband edit arrange track

After laying down initial tracks, use Garageband’s editing and arrangement tools to polish your beat. This may involve adjusting the levels and EQ of each instrument or sound, adding transitions between sections, or rearranging parts of the track. Experiment with different arrangements to find what sounds best for your track.

Step 5: Export

Once satisfied with your beat, export it as a high-quality audio file to share with others or use in your projects.

Exploring Different Features on GarageBand

When making rap beats on Garageband, ensure you utilize the key features in the built-in sound library. This includes a variety of instruments and sounds that can add depth and texture to your beat.

Drummer Management

One of the critical elements in making an excellent rap beat is having tight drum patterns. In GarageBand, you can easily customize your drums by using the drummer feature. The drum sounds natural and has many drum kits and designs.

To access the drummer feature, click on the “+” sign at the top left corner of your screen and select “Drummer.” You can also find it under “Smart Instruments” in the track header.

Once you have selected a drummer, you can customize their sound by selecting different drum kits and patterns. You can also adjust their playing style, dynamics, and fills to fit the vibe of your beat.

To record the Drummer track, hit the “record” button and play with the drummer in real-time or use the step-input feature to lay down each drum hit individually.

Loops Management

Loops management means organizing and managing the audio loops or samples you use in your beat. To access Loop Management, click the Loop Browser button at the screen’s top right corner. 

From there, you can browse through and select a variety of premade loops to add to your beat. To create your rhythm, you can adjust the volume and length of each loop and rearrange their order within the track. 

Audio Recording

When creating rap beats, it is essential to have clean and clear audio recordings. GarageBand allows for audio recording through a microphone or an external instrument such as a keyboard or guitar.

To start recording, select the desired track and hit the red record button at the top of the screen. From here, adjust the input levels to ensure precise audio and begin recording.

Audio can also be edited and manipulated through features such as trimming, splitting, and fading in Garageband. Utilizing these audio recording features will result in professional-sounding rap beats.

In addition, consider using the noise gate and equalizer effects to fine-tune your recordings for the best sound quality.

MIDI Instruments

Producers can also record their sounds by connecting a MIDI keyboard or controller to their computer and recording directly into GarageBand. Using MIDI instruments adds an organic element to beats and allows for more creativity in sound selection.

To access it, click on the “Audio” tab at the top of the screen and select “Open MIDI Studio.” Then, connect your MIDI device to your computer and set it as your input source. Try experimenting with different sounds and recording them into separate tracks for added layering and depth.

Another option is to use the built-in virtual instruments found under the “Smart Controls” tab. These include pianos, drums, strings, and more traditional instruments.

Tips on Adding Elements Like Basslines, Vocals, and Sound Effects

  • Experiment with different instruments and sounds in the Library tab to find the perfect bassline for your beat.
  • Use the built-in microphone, connect an external one to record vocals, or use pre-recorded samples from the Library.
  • Don’t be afraid to add sound effects, like claps and snaps, to add texture and depth to your beat.
  • Use the Automation tool to create dynamic changes in volume, panning, and more for added interest.
  • Play around with layering different elements and adjusting their levels to achieve the desired sound.


Making rap beats on GarageBand can be a fun and creative process. GarageBand is a user-friendly program that allows for endless possibilities in beat-making. By utilizing different instruments, effects, and beats, you can create unique and catchy rap beats. Your skills as a beat producer will only improve as you continue to practice and experiment with GarageBand.

So, how do you sell your beats once you’ve made them? One option is to use GoBuyBeats, where artists and producers can create an account and list their beats for sale. Our site also allows for accessible communication and collaboration between musicians. 

Selling your beats online opens up opportunities for networking and gaining recognition in the music industry. So start crafting those sick beats and sell them to up-and-coming artists looking for killer instrumentals.


Is Garageband Good for Making Rap Beats?

Yes, it is. Many successful producers have used Garageband to make beats in various genres, including rap. It has all the necessary tools and features for creating professional-sounding beats.

Is Garageband Professional Quality?

Yes, it is. Often, beatmakers are skeptical about using Garageband for their rap beats because it is a free and simple program. However, don’t let its simplicity fool you.  Garageband was used to develop hit songs like Umbrella by Rihanna and Cross by Justin.

Can You Sell Beats Made in Garageband?

Yes, you can sell beats made in Garageband. Several professional producers use Garageband to create and sell their beats. The most crucial factor in selling your beats is the quality of the beat itself, not the program or equipment used to make it.


Written by gobuybeats


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