Creating midi drum tracks in garage band

Does anyone know if I can create my own drum tracks in garage band and then import them into the BBManager and sync with the pedal? If this is possible will it use the beat buddy sounds?


Welcome to the “wonderful” world of GarageBand, where you can import MIDI files but can’t export them. There are some hacks, but probably better/easier to just use another DAW.

Once you have a MIDI file in the BeatBuddy, you can play it using any of your loaded drumkits (assuming proper mapping of MIDI note #s to the kit).

Hey Thanks for the reply Ive gotten to this point and I’m stuck.

So - First you create your drum tracks for chorus, fills, transition, intro, outro etc. in GB. Use the GB commands to combine the separate instrument tracks into one track as necessary (see GB help if needed here). Once you have each track created as you like them, you need to save each one separately into the GB loop library (see GB help here if necessary) and can name them appropriately at this point for future use in making your new BB song. Then use the export command from GB to individually save the loops which will be in a (.aiff format) and will go to User/Library/Audio/Apple Loops/User Loops/Single files directory of your Mac. Be sure to turn on the “show library” box in the Mac users directory (for some reason it is a default hidden file on the Mac) so you can access it.

When I go to Share this comes up

It gives me the option to export as an AIFF so I chose that but I saved it to the desktop, I’m not sure what this part of the instructions means “User/Library/Audio/Apple Loops/User Loops/Single files directory of your Mac.” And I don’t know how to navigate there. Thanks for your help

Sorry, I don’t have a Mac, so I’ve given up on GarageBand since there is no way to extract a MIDI file using a Windows machine from a GarageBand project created on iOS.

I’m assuming that there is a hidden file created alongside the AIFF file that contains the actual MIDI data? If that’s the case, you’ll have to change some setting to be able to view it.

I was disappointed at the steady decline of garageband. Once I had learned it a while back, I used it to master our multitrack live recordings, and even my home recordings on my VS2000. Forget trying to use it with BeatBuddy, because there is no midi export.

However, all is not lost. I spent time looking around at mac midi editors and found the following:

There is a guy on this forum that created BeatBuilder. It is a decent midi editor for simple beats, but you can’t do anything with any instrument he hasn’t chosen for you, at least not as far as I can find. (I only do beats “with bass”, so I need the extra "instruments’)

Aria Maestosa is a decent yet simple midi editor. What I like best about it is that it will play a midi without having to do any kind of sound setup. Also, it’s not bad for chopping out verses, choruses, intros, and outros, etc. What it won’t do (that I need for bass) is merge tracks.

Which leads to Reaper, which is a super powerful DAW that can basically do anything. Which, of course, means it has the highest learning curve. You also have to find a few plugins. It comes with a few simple ones, but someone pointed me to a good bass plugin, and a good drum plugin, so that was enough for what I needed.

I have done several posts with various tutorials on how to use these, so they are searchable, I’m sure.

Hope this helps!

Thanks I’ll check into those, I have the beat builder and I’ve composed some beats for songs that I do but I can’t figure out how to get it into the Beat buddy manager software

Hi Kr…once you have created the section of the BB song with Beat Builder (intro, verse,fills, outdo…whatever) save them to your user midi resources folder. Then you can open BBmanager and pick a song close to what you want to do…and replace the song components with the ones you have made. Then export the whole song to your user songs folder. You can then import the new song to your own folder that you create in the project files list left of screen. Synch with your BB…and you are ready to go. I’ve been doing this since I got the BB and happy with it so far. Hope that is clear enough. It helps to check out the excellent “how to” videos by psalm41… in this forum. They are very clear and easy to follow…all the best.

Thanks! One more question, I like the idea of using the pedal to transition between parts rather than having full songs that just play straight through. Do I need to save my song sections seperately? For example intro saved, then verse saved, then chorus bridge etc… Thanks for your help I’m looking forward to trying it out.

Hi Kr. Some advice I might give is to download some user created songs and import them into beatbuddy. You can then get a bit of an Idea at how they have constructed their songs. You can use fills, intro’s outro’s and transitions in creative ways. You can also export any part of any song you downloaded to midi files and modify them as you wish. You can mix and match parts from different songs to create your own. Once you work out how to use beatbuddy Manager you’ll be amazed at what you can do.


Hi Kr…I agree with Stu…the more you play around with the BB and the BBManager the better you will understand the whole thing. BB “songs” don’t play straight thru…well, it plays straight thru the intro and moves to the first ‘verse’ section. But then you have full control over where it goes after that. Getting used to using the BB and playing at the same time is a practice thing, but when you have the song control it is very satisfying. Check out those videos man…they are great help.

Stu is right. Once you see how several songs are put together it will all be obvious. Go check out some of the ones I built, and check out the pdf cheat sheets I have for each. That way you can easily tell what part/section does what, and more importantly, how you got there. I invented my own “beatbuddy command” notation that I use in the cheat sheets.

Also, I believe you can take a song I did, and extract the midi, and change it, or just use my parts to create your own new rendition as you see fit!

For instance, some people like to trigger a “chorus” as a fill… others prefer the chorus to be a transition to another main loop. This line not make sense? It will once you see it in action :slight_smile:

Thanks, Guys. I can’t find the videos that y’all are talking about though, Ive been searching this forum for 45 minutes and still don’t see any sort of instructions on the beat builder. Can someone send a link?

There aren’t any but it is a very simple program, read the blurb on its thread to give you the details you need.

I understand how to use the program to created songs but I can’t get them into the manager software. I still don’t see any instruction on that subject. Is that available somewhere?

The tutorial videos are above in Psalm 40’s post, but they are about how to create songs and drumkits using the bb manager. (But these assume you already have the midi)

Ok apologies, I didn’t make it all that clear. My original reply was about using BB Manager. The videos are about creating songs and drum kits after you have the midi files. Once you create a midi file in Beat Builder, save them to your ‘user’ midi resource folder and then you can replace existing parts of a song with your own files.