Getting a MIDI output from Garageband

For all you Mac guys that might like to create drum tracks in Garageband but have discovered the the Mac native software does not allow for saving / exporting from GB in a MIDI format (like is needed in BB to create a new song); here is how to do it rather simply and effectively. Keep in mind -This is not a tutorial on how to use GB to make drum tracks - just how to get them out of GB into MIDI and use them in BB.
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. Then comes the neat part - a fellow from abroad (Sweden maybe?) has created a cool little script app named GB2MIDI (see attached excerpt from his website with link to get free app) which will change the .aiff file into a .mid file which will then go right into your BB new song - where you put fills, chorus etc in the corresponding BB slot and - shazam! you have a new BB drum song created from GB.
Here is the link to the website for the app and further instructions if needed:
Lars Kobbe • 9 months ago
Hi, I’ve just updated my little app GB2MIDI to the newest Garageband version. It generates a MIDI file from the exported .aif (following the export loop approach) and works with several files at once. Either drag & drop onto the icon, or run the script and select files. The resulting files will be saved in the the folder /User/Library/Audio/Apple Loops/User Loops/SingleFiles/ with the same name but a .mid suffix. In OS X Lion and newer, remember to unhide the user library to see this folder in Finder. You can download the script from

So all you GB / Mac guys - have fun making new BB songs on your Mac - enjoy!

1 Like

Das ist unreadable, sheize…

Maybe this is a more appropriate link?

The short English translation in the middle of the page is sufficient for most people. Going to the extent of translating the entire page to English is unnecessary - unless you just have nothing more important to do like make drum tracks. The important thing is getting the app. Have a blast Macmen!

Not all scripts are safe. Actually, I’d go on to say that only a small fraction of all scripts are ever safe. So being able to at least read what you are being offered is pretty crucial safety-wise, unless you completely rely either on your antivirus software you are using or on your own ability to reinstall the operating system if some nasty viruses ruined it for you.

[SIZE=19px][FONT=UICTFontTextStyleBody][COLOR=rgb(69, 69, 69)]That’s brilliant! Thanks guys…
95% there!
I’ve been trying to create a simple delicate waltz rhythm for a song I’ve written & even “gig basics” didn’t have anything straightforward enough.
So I built it in GarageBand, exported as a loop above, downloaded gb2midi, converted and dropped the midi into Beatbuddy & created a song around it.
It works and keeps time, but it’s lost the original sounds… Just gives me a click and a pop for hi-hat & kick drum respectively.

Obviously it’s lost the link to the chosen samples. I’m entirely new to midi, and presumed everything was embedded.
I have plenty of individual samples I can drop into Beatbuddy manager (so I don’t need to go rooting through GarageBand to locate the originals) but how do I re-link the midi to proper samples?[/FONT][/SIZE]

The samples are in the beatbuddy itself. The midi file controls when and what samples are triggered. If you post a copy of your converted midi file here I can check it. It may be that the notes you are triggering are wrong. Eg the hihat needs to be midi note 42 and the bass drum 36. You may be triggering rim shot which is note 37 for your hihat. Maybe a read through my thread my help you. Towards the bottom of the first post it has Midi mappings for different drum sounds.

Really appreciate that… I’m a midi virgin. I’ll certainly have a look at your post.
In the meantime here are the files, very basic I know.
The bass one is kick drum on the 1 beat, then 2 closed hi-hat, 2 & 3.
The hi-hat one is slightly open hi-hat on the 1 beat, then 2 closed hi-hat, 2 & 3.

Thanks again

Brilliant, comprehensive article.
All sounds pretty complex, although it’ll make far more sense when I download mutools and work though it gradually.
What I can’t figure Is how to reattribute those midi numbers you talk about.
And once you sort that, does it only use the samples already in the Beatbuddy, or can I add my own?

Once I have mutools will I be able to edit existing beats with new samples, as nearly every chorus beat is almost unusable as their idea of a ride cymbal is useless. The soft sound just doesn’t cut through like the “ping” of a proper ride cymbal.

You might want to check out the drumset editor in the beatbuddy manager. In there you can increase the volume of individual instruments, Add instruments, change samples etc. This video from psalm40 might help you understand how the drumsets and samples work in beatbuddy. It can be a bit of work to wrap your head around it but once learned it makes sense.

I find the ride is always a bit quiet and I make my ride velocitys high when making a beat.

[SIZE=19px][FONT=UICTFontTextStyleBody][COLOR=rgb(69, 69, 69)]Thanks Guitar Stu, great advice!
I’ve been though all of psalm40s videos and can now edit drum kits like a pro. All my kits now have a sweet-singing Zildjian ride cymbal and sound so much more lively for choruses.
The place I’m stuck at is editing those original 2 rhythms I attached, which aren’t triggering the correct samples.
I can see how to edit kits, so the sample has the correct midi number to trigger the appropriate “instrument” (36 for bass drum etc).
But I can’t work out how to edit a midi sample (converted from the GarageBand loop) so the “notes” are given the correct midi numbers.
I’m on a Mac, can those numbers be edited in the Beatbuddy drum editor, or do I need some separate midi-editing software?[/FONT][/SIZE]

I have tried that garage band to the app to make a midi file. I am still having trouble . It does not change the file to midi. Any suggestions

I have loop created in garage band. Downloaded app to change it to midi.I can’t seem to get app to change loop to midi file. Any words of wisdom

Welcome, bigly. It might be easier to use Aria Maestosa than Garageband.
If you want a better option, you can try Reaper for Mac. I would try Aria Maestosa first and see what you think.

Thanks, I will try that