Hal Leonard has introduced a line of TrackPaks, Apple Loops versions of classic songs.
These loop collections are very different than any others that we’ve seen previously. Instead of being royalty-free collections, like most loop libraries, these are faithfully recorded loop-based versions of classic tunes. That means that you can’t take these loops and use them in music that you intend to distribute, without arranging for licensing.
What You Get
Hal Leonard sent us the Classic Rock TrackPak, which has loops and GarageBand arrangements from 12 classic rock songs.
Each song includes full tracks for each instrument: bass, guitar, drums, keyboards and other instruments. Individual loops are provided, along with fully mixed projects. The Pak also includes a book with complete music notation and tablature for each loop, as well as lyrics for each song.
The loops are very nicely recorded, and do a great job of matching the original sounds. The mixed tracks sound very much like the original versions, minus the vocals.
The publisher suggests that the loops can be used “as a play-along or sing-along, remix your own version, use the loops in your own projects, and even change the tempo or key.”
This may confuse some users, because the loops aren’t royalty-free.
On the other hand, these would be great tools for anybody wanting to learn how to play classic tracks, learn about the arrangements of classic tracks, or interested in creating their own arrangements. For example, you could take the GarageBand arrangement, extend a section to allow for a couple of solos, and then export versions with the bass muted, guitar muted, or keyboards muted – sort of like Music Minus One practice tracks that you can customize.
It’s easy to see how this would be a great investment for anyone interested in learning these tracks.
We were able to create customized arrangements within a few minutes and export them to iTunes, and then sync them to an iPod. This was all very fast and easy, and this could make an iPod a great way to learn tracks. Because the arrangements are loop-based, it would also be easy to speed up or slow down the arrangement.
The one reservation we have about the TrackPak is its presentation. The packaging looks very similar to the packaging for Apple’s loop libraries, and we’d bet that there are a lot of users that may buy these packages thinking that they can use the riff from Another One Bites the Dust or Walk This Way in their next track or remix project.
In fact, the package states “The only limit is your creativity!” Only in the tiny type does it mention that the loops are from copyright-protected tracks and could require licensing from the copyright owner.
We’d prefer that Hal Leonard would create a unique identity for this type of product, which has the potential to be a new category of music libraries, and make sure that it was clear that there are limitations to how these loops can be used.
The Classic Rock TrackPak is a really interesting use of loops and GarageBand. It’s a very nicely done tool for learning and arranging classic rock tracks. Other TrackPaks are available for other styles of music.
We’d like Hal Leonard to make it clear that these loops are not for tracks that will be distributed. As long as that’s not your interest, the TrackPaks are a great deal at their list price of $29.95.
- Another One Bites the Dust
- Born to be Wild
- Brown-Eyed Girl
- Day Tripper
- Smoke on the Water
- Sunshine of Your Love
- Sweet home Alabama
- Takin’ Care of Business
- Walk This Way
- You Really Got Me