How to Use Audio Unit Effects
in GarageBand


It can be a little tricky to figure out how to access Audio Unit effects in GarageBand. The following illustrated tutorial should help.

To instantiate SFX Machine (or other AU plug-ins) in GarageBand:

  1. In the track you want to edit, double-click on the Tracks or Mixer rectangle to bring up the Track Info window. (If you double-click on the timeline you'll get an editable audio waveform, not the Track Info window.)

  2. Open the "Details..." triangle if it's not already open to display the effects area in the bottom half of the Track Info window.

  3. In the bottom half of the Track Info window, select one of the Effects pop-up menus in the left column. In the image above, the pop-up menus "Amp Simulation" and "None" can be turned into different Audio Unit effects. Select the effect you want to change to a different Audio Unit effect; for example, click on "Amp Simulation":

  4. In the resulting pop-up window, scroll all the way past "GarageBand Effects" and look for "SFX Machine" (or other desired Audio Unit plug-in) in the "Audio Unit Effects" section.

  5. Select the preset you want from the next pop-up menu:

  6. If you want to tweak the effect, click the button with the diagonal "edit pencil" to get the plug-in's interface to pop up:


The GarageBand user manual has additional information regarding how to use Audio Unit plug-ins.

If you have other questions, please see our Frequently Asked Questions pages for:

Thanks to Andy Tubbesing and David Lackey for help with this article!

GarageBand is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.

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