103 DIY Music Tracks: Loops and Virtual Instruments

10:45 AM - 11:45 AM Wednesday, September 30

Instructional Design


Many eLearning developers neglect to use a soundtrack in eLearning programs. Music is used in film and television to set the mood, convey emotions, and provide transition cues yet many avoid using music in eLearning because of a perceived cost, lack of musical skills, possible copyright issues, or simply no recording space. Fortunately there are many tools and sources available for us to quickly build music tracks that can connect emotionally and enhance the learning.

In this session you will learn about building loop-based music and “playing” virtual instruments to enhance the program’s soundtrack through creating background tracks and transitional music. You will see a demonstration of Apple’s Garageband and Cockos Reaper digital audio workstations as the basics of loop-based music production. Additionally we will discuss available free or low-cost Windows applications.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to place loops to build a music track
  • How to create music with virtual instruments
  • How to output your music mix
  • Where to get inspiration, free loops, and resources

Novice designers and developers who have basic understanding of computer-based audio production and audio file formats.

Technology discussed in this session:
Apple’s Garageband and the cross-platform Cockos Reaper on a Macbook Pro. Soundation.com and EarSketch, two web-based DAW solutions will also be demonstrated.

Don Bolen


dBolen & Associates

Don Bolen, the principal of dBolen & Associates, provides project management for large-scale learning and HR initiatives, learning design, development, delivery, media production, and learning strategy. Formerly at Delta Air Lines, Don has managed video services, eLearning development, and corporate learning strategy. He also led the selection and implementation of Delta’s enterprise LMS. Don was responsible for multiple learning organization re-engineering initiatives that delivered positive business impact. Don holds an MA in mass communications and journalism and is a project management professional and certified scrum master. He is active in ASTD and PMI and has presented at a number of conferences.

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