Building Song Grooves with the Loop Explorer View

Last updated on 3/31/2016

Did you know that with the Loop Explorer view you can simultaneously preview multiple loops, effectively building grooves on the fly? Did you know that you can easily insert pitch changes for loop clips to follow along with as your project plays back? This tip will show you how to quickly build tracks using the Loop Explorer. For users of SONAR, Home Studio 2002, Music Creator 2002, and Plasma.

Get Your Groove On

If you've used SONAR (or the other programs mentioned) for awhile, you probably know that you can preview loops by using the Loop Explorer view. A really powerful, but often overlooked feature in this view is the ability to preview multiple loops simultaneously.  All you have to do is hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard while clicking on loops. If you have Auto Preview enabled, the loops will play together simultaneously.  If you do not have Auto Preview enabled, you will have to hit the play button in the view to hear the loops. If you don't like how a selected loop sounds with your other loops, keep the CTRL key pressed down and click on the loop again.  The loop will deselect, and it will stop playing with the selected loops.

This is a great way to quickly build layers of tracks.  Once you find the selection of Loops that fit the feel you are going for, simply click and drag the files into the Track view. The loops will all be placed together in time on separate tracks for each loop.


Now that you have your grooves laid out, it's time to insert some pitch changes to reflect the key changes of your song.

First you'll want to set the default project pitch.

  1. If necessary display the Markers toolbar by selecting View|Toolbars to open the Toolbars dialog. Click Markers and then OK.
  2. In the Markers Toolbar, click the Default Project Pitch dropdown menu (the one on the right) and select a pitch.

Now you can insert the pitch changes that you want into your project. 

  1. Set the Now time to the point where you want your first Pitch change to occur.
  2. Hit F11, press the Insert New Marker button on the Markers Toolbar, or right click on the Time Ruler and select Insert Marker.
  3. The Markers dialog box will open. Select the Pitch you want from the Groove-Clip Pitch drop down menu.
  4. Repeat these steps to create as many pitch changes as your song requires.

Now when you play back your project, your Groove Clips should follow the pitch changes that you have specified.  If you find that specific loops are not changing pitch, open the Loop Construction view by double clicking on the clip, and enable "Follow Project Pitch."

Give the Drummer Some

For a unique effect try enabling follow project pitch for your drum and percussion clips.

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