Adding new instruments

One of the first things you will want to consider adding to your GarageBand experience is new instruments There are many "killer" sounds out there, and the GarageDoor will keep listing and reviewing the best sound libraries.

Two of the most popular sources for new instruments are Jampacks (see below) and SoundPacks from AMG (Advanced Media Group)

Add more Instruments and Effects

Yes, you can add many more instruments and effects. They have to be in the AUDIO UNITS format for GarageBand to recognize them.
Audio Units is Apple's audio plug-in technology that allows you to create audio effects and virtual instruments for Apple applications such as GarageBand and Logic. It is similar to the popular VST plug-ins. GarageBand does not accept VST instruments and effects, but a converter is available from Fxpansion . Try a Google search for audio units and you will find free AU plug-ins among the many commercially available ones.

Instruments and Effects can be bought from 3d party software instrument makers like AMG , Atmosphere, Native Instruments (Kontakt, Battery) and others.
Over a hundred packs from different manufacturers are available in the zzounds.com "software instruments" category

A great example of AU effects is the award winning SFX machine , an original and very powerful sound design tool.
Also check out www.kvraudio.com , for reports on new releases, product announcements and product updates for all VST Plugins, DirectX Plugins and Audio Units Plugins.

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Finding the Audio Units in GarageBand

Select a new Software Instrument, or choose "Track Info" from the menu, and go to Details . Instruments will then show up under Details: "generator" , and effects show up as "Audio Unit Effects" just below that, in the effect selection bar. You can add as many instruments and effects to GarageBand as you like.

Audio Unit plug-ins are added to your Mac's Mac HD/Library/Audio/Plugins/Components.

What are Audio Units?

Audio Units are an open standard of modern audio architecture in MacOSX. Plug-ins include a wide variety of instruments and effects, written by Apple, E-magic and third party developers.
Because Audio Units are a single, open standard, they can be shared by different applications across the OSX platform. For example, the famous music notation program Sibelius (sibelius.com) uses a selection of Kontakt software instruments - and these same instruments are available to GarageBand users.

For more on Audio Units, see our special Hangtime AU Tutorial


JamPack 1 (discontinued) Jam Pack 1 is no longer available. It had 2,000 loops including many for hip-hop and electronica; over 100 additional software instruments, including a concert grand piano and 12 string guitars; over 100 additional pro-quality effects presets; and 15 additional guitar amps, including surf, grunge, heavy blues, and atmospheric.
The Jam Pack 1 sounds: The 22 guitar amps: The Jam Pack 1 effects:

Jam Pack : Remix Tools

Jam Pack : Remix Tools contains: *Dance-floor grooves (beats, bass lines, synth hooks and keyboard riffs). * Over 2000 loops. Vintage Roland drum machine sounds from the TR-606, TR-808, TR-909 and CR-78. * Drum kits in over 20 styles (hip-hop, R&B, electroclash, house, trance, downtempo, 2-step and more). * Synths, basses, pads, filters and sweeps, turntable effects (scratching and needle drops)


Jam Pack: Rhythm Section

Jam Pack: Rhythm Section contains: *Core rhythm track elements from modern rock beats to country shuffles and world grooves. *More than 1,000 drum beats and fills and more than 1,000 bass lines, chord progressions, guitar and keyboard riffs. Software drum kits from jazz brushes to modern rock . *Percussion sounds: congas, bongos, shakers , etc. * Acoustic and electric basses in studio styles from Motown to unplugged rock.
(source: Thor)

Jam Pack: Symphony Orchestra

Jam Pack: Symphony Orchestra contains over 2000 loops and more than 30 of the most important orchestral Software Instruments.
These are the 1226 unique loop names in this JamPack; variations bring the total number of loops to 2203.

Overview of contents, arranged in groups:
  • Strings.
    • first and second violins
    • violas
    • cellos
    • double basses
    • a concert harp.
    • you can control the dynamics and expression of each instrument and articulations like staccato, tremolo and trills.
  • Brass & Winds.
    • flutes
    • oboes
    • French horns
    • trumpets
    • trombones
    • tubas
    • You can control the playing style of individual instruments.
  • Percussion.
    • bass, snare and field drum
    • cymbals, gong and bells
    • woodblock and others.
    • pitched percussion instruments, including timpani, celesta, xylophone, marimba and the glockenspiel.
  • Keyboard.
    • Steinway grand piano
    • harpsichord
    • church organ.

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