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In Depth: Apple GarageBand Jam Pack

One of the most frequently asked questions by current or prospective GarageBand users is whether the add-on collection of loops, software instruments and effects called Jam Pack is worth the $99 asking price. In this article, we take the most in-depth look ever at the Jam Pack add-on, with an extensive listing of the included files, as well as analysis of what's included and whether it will be worth the selling price for you. Read on for the full details and to explore Jam Pack -- in depth.
Apple's own marketing literature on Jam Pack is quite sparse as to what exactly is included. Apple's list of Jam Pack inclusions is as follows:

>Over new 2,000 loops
>Over 100 Software Instruments
>Over 100 audio effects presets
>15 new guitar amp settings

Now, let's dig into the Jam Pack offering and see what's really inside the box!

The actual Jam Pack package is a thin box containing only the Jam Pack DVD and a very thin installation booklet. Below are some images of the packaging:

Now, get ready for a whole lot of detail. Jam Pack is advertised as containing over 2,000 additional loops. We can verify that this is the case. In fact, Jam Pack contains exactly 2,046 new loops, and we've listed each of these loops by name, below (get ready for some scrolling!). You'll notice that a lot of the loops are similarly named to those found with the default GarageBand set. This is true because Apple has generally included the first one or two loops of a "family" with GarageBand's default collection and then put the rest in the Jam Pack. Without further ado, here are all of the Jam Pack loops by name:

<i>Special thanks to Peter J. Hill for condensing the Jam Pack listings. The number in parenthesis represents the number of additional loops Jam Pack adds to the respective series.</i>

(9) 12 String Dream
(1) 70s Ballad Piano
(84) 70s Electric Piano
(61) 70s Rock Piano
(18) 80s Dance Bass Synth
(7) 80s Pop Beat
(157) Abstract Atmosphere
(7) Acoustic Noodling
(12) Acoustic Picking
(3) Acoustic Slide
(27) Acoustic Vamp
(95) Analog Drum Machine
(12) Ancient Didjeridoo
(15) Asian Gamelan
(2) Authentic Dudka
(7) Blue Jazz Organ Riff
(17) Blues Harmonica
(16) Burning Rock Organ
(1) Car Start Loop
(2) Cash Register Sounds
(4) Chilled Beats
(13) Classic Funk Synth
(9) Classic Rock Bass
(5) Classic Rock Beat
(4) Classic Rock Fretless
(3) Classic Rock Guitar
(1) Classic Rock Organ
(7) Classic Rock Piano
(7) Classic Rock Steel
(1) Claypot Percussion
(156) Club Dance Beat
(21) Contemplative Synth
(11) Cop Show Clav
(2) Cricket Sound Effects
(2) Crowd Applause
(2) Deep Electric Piano
(10) Deep House Bass
(1) Deep House Bells
(2) Deep House Dance Beat
(1) Deep Pad
(7) Delicate Piano
(4) Distorted Finger Bass
(1) Dreamy Electric Piano
(9) Dreamy Guitar Pattern
(1) Drive By Sound Effect
(2) Eastern Santoor
(16) Echo Electric Piano
(11) Echo Guitar
(1) Echo Vibes
(21) Edgy Rock Bass
(24) Effected Drum Kit
(15) Electric Slap
(3) Emotional Piano
(1) Ethnic Shake Loop
(11) Exotic Beat
(21) Folk Mandolin
(3) Fretless Groove
(1) Funk Tambourine
(31) Funky Electric Piano
(17) Funky Latin Drums
(1) Funky Muted Bass
(6) Funky Pop Bass
(16) Funky Pop Drum
(3) Funky Pop Drums
(3) Funky Pop Synth
(7) Fusion Electric Piano
(1) Glass Breaking Loop
(15) Groovy Electric Bass
(25) Hip Hop Beat
(1) Hip Hop Low Bass
(4) Hip Hop Piano
(1) Hip Hop Shaker
(4) Hip Hop Strings
(2) House Chords
(1) House Conga
(1) House Organ Riff
(1) House Shaker
(47) Instrumental Shorts
(4) Island Reggae Bass
(1) Island Reggae Organ
(55) Jazz Piano Bar
(4) Jazz Vibraphone
(3) Jazzy Rock Bass
(13) Jazzy Rock Drums
(7) Latin Lounge Piano
(8) Latin Nylon Guitar
(1) Latin Percussion
(1) Light House Bass
(17) Live Edgy Drums
(9) Lounge Jazz Drums
(35) Lounge Vibes
(1) Mellow Latin Conga
(5) Middle Eastern Lute
(7) Middle Eastern Oud
(8) Moody Electric Piano
(8) Motown Bass
(7) Motown Beat
(4) Motown Drummer
(5) Muted Rock Bass
(7) Natural Drum Kit
(4) Nordic Keyed Fiddle
(5) Old School Funk Line
(4) Orchestra Brass
(78) Orchestra Strings
(5) Orchestral Woodwinds
(44) Percussion Combo
(1) Phase Synth
(1) Phone Sound Effect
(1) Pluck Synth
(24) Plucked Balalaika
(3) Pop Bass
(1) Pop Piano
(1) Pop Triangle
(1) Ride Cymbal Solo
(2) RnB Bass
(9) RnB Beat
(2) RnB Electric Piano
(34) RnB Horn Section
(9) RnB Muted Guitar
(25) Rock Bass
(2) Rock Beat
(3) Rock Clav
(17) Rock Steady Bass
(4) Rock Steady Beat
(6) Rock Steady Organ
(5) Rock Steady Sax
(2) Rock Steady Synth
(3) Round Funk Bass
(15) Round Latin Bass
(28) Rural Banjo
(4) Sabahar Riff
(12) Sci Fi Texture
(1) Shaker
(1) Simple Electric Piano
(3) Simple Funk Drums
(6) Slap Bass
(2) Slow Rock Beats
(1) Slow Sub Bass
(5) Smooth Fretless Bass
(10) Smooth Jazz Piano
(2) Smooth Synth Lead
(1) Soda Can Sound Effect
(1) SongBird Sound Effect
(5) Southern Bass
(3) Southern Beat
(7) Southern Rock Bass
(1) Southern Rock Guitar
(10) Southern Rock Piano
(4) Spacey Electric Piano
(3) Steel String Slide
(4) Straight Up Beat
(15) Strummed Acoustic
(1) Swirling Pad
(15) Swirly Filter
(42) Synth Array
(2) Synth Bass Pulse
(2) Synth Swirl
(4) Synth Tone Bass
(17) Synthesizer Bass
(1) Tech House Beat
(5) Techno Beat
(1) Techno Synth
(1) Thick House Bass
(9) Thumpy Hip Hop Bass
(11) Tonewheel Organ
(1) Triangle Combo
(1) Triangle Loop
(10) Turkish Saz Riff
(4) Upbeat Electric Piano
(6) Upbeat Funk Drums
(33) Upright Funk Bass
(7) Upright Hip Hop Bass
(7) Vintage Funk Kit
(19) Vinyl Scratch
(7) Walking Upright Bass
(9) Woody Latin Bass
(4) World Bongo
(8) World Conga
(1) World Electric Piano
(1) World Maraca
(9) World Muted Guitar
(2) World Tribal Dance
(2) Wow Bass

So, what else is in Jam Pack? As the advertising literature says, there are many new software instruments and several new guitar amplifiers included. Let's have a look.

First, it is helpful to understand the architecture of GarageBand's many support files. In fact, even if you are not interested in Jam Pack, you might be wondering where GarageBand stores its files. The answer is that GarageBand's loops and instruments are stored in your system Library at /Library/Application Support/GarageBand. In this folder, you'll see three folders: Apple Loops, Apple Loops Index, and Instrument Library. As you might imagine the Apple Loops folder contains loops, the Loop Index folder contains the file that list your available loops for GarageBand browsing, and the Instrument Library, despit its name, contains not only Software Instrument files, but also the vast array of instrument pre-settings, guitar amplifiers, and other plug-in information that GarageBand uses to offer you many different instrument sounds. Below is an image showing the contents of the GarageBand application support file and the contents of the Instrument Library file:

Unlike the loops that come with the Jam Pack, the software instruments and guitar amps that come with Jam Pack are not stored in their own folders -- they are co-mingled with the default GarageBand files. Thus, in our file listings below, you will see what would be in the your folders if you had Jam Pack installed in addition to the default GarageBand files.

Perhaps most misleading about the Jam Pack, with regard to Software Instruments, is that there are not really 100 additional actualy, unique, solo instruments. Instead, Apple has apparently included in its figure "instruments" that are the combination of other single-voice instruments and/or the result of different effect pre-settings. Below is the list of actual, solo instruments that you will have at your disposal with Jam Pack installed over the default GarageBand collection (note there are only 44 total items):

12 String Acoustic Chords
12 String Acoustic Guitar
Alto Sax
Arco Strings
Ballad Electric Bass
Baritone Sax
Classical Acoustic Guitar
Classical Flute
Classical Piano
Clean Electric Guitar
Dance Kit
Electro Kit
Fingerstyle Electric Bass
Fretless Electric Bass
Funk Horn Section
Grand Piano
Hip Hop Kit
Jazz Kit
Mixed Choir
Muted Electric Bass
Muted Electric Guitar
Percussion Kit
Picked Electric Bass
Pop Brass Section
Pop Flute
Pop Kit
RnB Kit
Rock Kit
Rotary Vibraphone
Roundback Acoustic Guitar
Slapped Electric Bass
Soprano Sax
Steel String Acoustic Guitar
String Ensemble
Techno Kit
Tenor Sax
Tribal Kit
Upright Ballad Bass
Upright Jazz Bass

By combining instruments, adding various effects, and otherwise modifying the core instruments above, Apple is able to bring the Jam Pack user's total Software Instrument count to 209 voices. These 209 voices are:

12 String Acoustic.cst
12 String Chords.cst
Alien Tempo.cst
All Swell.cst
Alto Sax.cst
Ambient Synth Piano.cst
Analog Swell.cst
Android Engine.cst
Android Kit.cst
Angelic Organ.cst
Aquatic Sunbeam.cst
Arctic Wind.cst
Arena Run.cst
Atmosphere Artifacts.cst
Auditorium Acoustic.cst
Aurora Bell.cst
Ballad Acoustic.cst
Ballad Electric Bass.cst
Baritone Sax.cst
Basking Glow.cst
Big Electric Lead.cst
Blip Side.cst
Bright Arco Strings.cst
Bubble Gum Brass.cst
Caffeine Trance.cst
Caribbean Vibraphone.cst
Cathedral Organ.cst
Chain Saw Bass.cst
Cheerful Trance.cst
Chime Synth.cst
Chirp Synth Bass.cst
Chorus Roundback.cst
Chorused Electric Piano.cst
Church Bell.cst
Cinematic Silhouette.cst
Circuit Dialog.cst
Circus Organ.cst
Classic Rock Organ.cst
Classical Acoustic.cst
Classical Flute.cst
Classical Piano.cst
Clean Electric.cst
Cloud Break.cst
Cosmic Reflection.cst
Cybernetic Bulkhead.cst
Dance Kit.cst
Dark Clav.cst
Deep & Hard Bass.cst
Deep Round Synth Bass.cst
Delicate Echoes.cst
Digital Brass.cst
Dramatic Moment.cst
Dreamy Bells.cst
Driving Synth Bass.cst
Dub Horns.cst
Echo Piano.cst
Edgy Muted.cst
Eighties Pop Synth Bass.cst
Eighties Sci Fi.cst
Electric Piano.cst
Electric Slumber.cst
Electric Tremolo.cst
Electric Upright Jazz.cst
Electro Kit.cst
Electron Collisions.cst
Elven Breath.cst
Escape Velocity.cst
Falling Star.cst
Fifth Moon.cst
Filter Wah Synth Bass.cst
Fingerstyle Electric Bass.cst
Fretless Electric Bass.cst
Fretless Solo Bass.cst
Funk City.cst
Funk Horn Section.cst
Funky Filter Bass.cst
Funky Octavia.cst
Funky Wah.cst
Future Flute.cst
Fuzz Clav.cst
Gospel Organ.cst
Grand Piano.cst
Hammer Synth Bass.cst
Heavenly Glass.cst
Heavy Metal Organ.cst
Hip Hop Kit.cst
Hollywood Strings.cst
Icy Whirlpool.cst
Jazz Kit.cst
Jazz Organ.cst
Laser Kit.cst
Lightning Rod.cst
Liquid Oxygen.cst
Live Classical Piano.cst
Live Funk Horns.cst
Live Grand Piano.cst
Live Pop Horns.cst
Looking Glass.cst
Lost in Trance.cst
Lounge Organ.cst
Lunar Strings.cst
Martian Lounge.cst
Mercury Wash.cst
Mixed Choir.cst
Modern Prophecy.cst
Modulating Synth Organ.cst
Moody Grand Piano.cst
Music Box.cst
Muted Electric Bass.cst
Muted Electric.cst
Nasty Synth Bass.cst
Neutrino Pulse.cst
Old Radio Organ.cst
Olympus Voices.cst
Ominous Dancefloor.cst
Orchestral Arco Strings.cst
Orchestral Strings.cst
Percussive Organ.cst
Phased Clav.cst
Piano and Bass.cst
Piano and Strings.cst
Picked Electric Bass.cst
Pop Flute.cst
Pop Horn Section.cst
Pop Kit.cst
Pop Organ.cst
Pressured Air.cst
Pulse Synth Bass.cst
Radio Horns.cst
Riffy Fifths.cst
RnB Kit.cst
Rock Kit.cst
Rock Organ.cst
Romulan Raindrops.cst
Rotary Vibraphone.cst
Roundback Acoustic.cst
Satellite Strings.cst
Sequence Element 1.cst
Sequence Element 2.cst
Sequence Element 3.cst
Sequence Element 4.cst
Sequence Element 5.cst
Sequence Element 6.cst
Sequence Element 7.cst
Sequence Element 8.cst
Seventies Electric Piano.cst
Silicon Strings.cst
Slapped Electric Bass.cst
Smokey Clav.cst
Smooth Clav.cst
Smooth Dance Organ.cst
Solar Flare.cst
Solo Vibraphone.cst
Soprano Sax.cst
Soul Organ.cst
Space Harpsicord.cst
Space Organ.cst
Space Vibraphone.cst
Sparkling Organ.cst
Square Wave Synth Bass.cst
Star Sweeper.cst
Steel String Acoustic.cst
Sub Synth Bass.cst
Swirling Electric Piano.cst
Synchro Nice.cst
Synth Horn Section.cst
Techno Chirper.cst
Techno Kit.cst
Telephone Kit.cst
Tenor Sax.cst
Textural Electric.cst
Tight Synth Bass.cst
Toy Organ.cst
Tranquil Horizon.cst
Tremolo Whirly.cst
Tribal Kit.cst
Twang Kit.cst
UFO Cycler.cst
Underground Synth Bass.cst
Underwater Turnstyle.cst
Upright Ballad Bass.cst
Upright Jazz Bass.cst
Vibraphone and Bass.cst
Vocoder Synth Organ.cst
Wah Horns.cst

So you play the guitar. What does the Jam Pack Guitar Amp repetoir look like once Jam Pack is installed? Easy. Here is the total list of Guitar Amps available for your jamming delight, once Jam Pack is installed (22 total):

No Effects.cst
Arena Rock.cst
Barroom Lead.cst
Bright Country.cst
British Invasion.cst
Classic Rock.cst
Clean Jazz.cst
Dreamy Shimmer.cst
Eighties Pop.cst
Funky Rhythm.cst
Heavy Blues.cst
Indie Rock.cst
Liverpool Clean.cst
Modern Rock.cst
Scorching Solo.cst
Seventies Rhythm.cst
Summer Sounds.cst
Texas Blues.cst
Ultra Clean.cst

And finally, there are in fact many more "real-instrument" (vocal, percussion, etc.) effects and pre-sets that come with Jam Pack. However, the primary reason for buying Jam Pack are those items listed above.

After playing with the Jam Pack for some time, it seems to be well worth the expense. Very compelling are the nifty new guitar amps, which allow you to make some truly cool sounds. And, you don't even need a guitar to get them -- any instrument capable of outputting an analog sound can be run through GarageBand's guitar amplifier to get a very convincing guitar sound. We've experimented with several such setups, including running our Yamaha P-80 piano synthesizer sound out through the guitar amp. Others have tried inputting vocals through the guitar amp, or just whistling. There is a whole lot of cool experimentation that can be achieved with Jam Pack.

And, of course, adding over 2,000 loops to your collection greatly decreases the possibility that your songs will sound like everyone else's. Finally, the software instruments (though, as referenced above, probably not as numerous in terms of original, single-voice instruments as you might have thought) are a welcome addition for those with keyboard controllers that rely on GarageBand for all sound output.

Looking to buy GarageBand? Why not support our efforts and purchase it at Amazon, using the link on the left side of our site pages. Shipping is FREE and the price is slightly lower than Apple's.

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