Best free GarageBand for Mac plugins | Best extensions for GarageBand 2017

GarageBand for Mac is an excellent tool for making music, and it can be made even better through free plugins that expand the sonic palette. In our roundup of the best GarageBand for Mac plugins and extensions, we've gathered together the eight finest free Audio Units you can use to make your musical aspirations a reality

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  • best free garageband plugins tyrell TyrellN6
  • best free garageband plugins mfreeeffectsbundle MFreeEffectsBundle
  • best free garageband plugin oldskoolverb Voxengo OldSkoolVerb
  • best free garageband plugins lepou LePou Guitar Amps
  • best free garageband plugins crystal Crystal
  • best free garageband plugin tal TAL-Vocoder 2
  • best free garageband plugins blue cat Blue Cat
  • best free garageband plugins soneq Sonimus SonEQ
  • best free garageband plugins amplitube4 Amplitube 4
  • best free garageband plugins drummer Superior Drummer 2.0
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Best free GarageBand for Mac plugins: TyrellN6

As the name will no doubt suggest to science fiction fans, TyrellN6 brings the futuristic synth tones of Vangelis' score from Blade Runner to GarageBand.

This cool plugin actually started out life in a German online magazine when the readers exchanged ideas about how to build a hardware synth based on the classic Roland Juno 60. The cost of creating this proved too much, but u-HE took the idea and created a software version instead.

Download TyrellN6 for free

Read next: GarageBand for Mac vs Logic Pro X | 10 alternatives to GarageBand for the Mac

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Next Prev best free garageband plugins tyrell

As the name will no doubt suggest to science fiction fans, TyrellN6 brings the futuristic synth tones of Vangelis' score from Blade Runner to GarageBand.

This cool plugin actually started out life in a German online magazine when the readers exchanged ideas about how to build a hardware synth based on the classic Roland Juno 60. The cost of creating this proved too much, but u-HE took the idea and created a software version instead.

Download TyrellN6 for free

Read next: GarageBand for Mac vs Logic Pro X | 10 alternatives to GarageBand for the Mac

 

Best free GarageBand for Mac plugins: MFreeEffectsBundle

If you're looking for a quick way to expand the capabilities of GarageBand then the MFreeEffectsBundle is just what you need. This collection of 26 different effects includes AutoPitch for correcting wayward singers, AutoPan to create wide sonic landscapes, alongside a variety of other effects and mixing tools.

There is also a paid upgrade to the bundle which increases the amount of granular control you have, but the free option is a great place to start.

Download MFreeEffectsBundle for free

 

Best free GarageBand for Mac plugins: Voxengo OldSkoolVerb

A good reverb can make all the difference when it comes to a track sounding dull or rich and alive. OldSkoolVerb is a great take on a classic stereo reverb and is perfect for vocals, piano, or synth pads that you want to really shine.

Download OldSkoolVerb for free

Read next: GarageBand for iPad & iPhone review

 

Best free GarageBand for Mac plugins: LePou Guitar Amps

While it's true that GarageBand already comes with a fine array of amps for guitarists, the LePou collection offers some great options for fans of rock and metal. The Marshall and Mesa Boogie style tones found in this suite will definitely add some grit to any recording. 

Download LePou Guitar Amplifiers for free

 

Best free GarageBand for Mac plugins: Crystal

An old stalwart of the freeware plugins is Crystal, a ridicuously powerful semi-modular synth. The makers boast that it has more than 90 different parameters that can be modulated, making it easy to create your own unique sounds. Add to this wave sequencing, granular synthesis, and program morphing that blends two sounds into one, and you've got a mightily impressive audio package.

Download Crystal for free

 

Best free GarageBand for Mac plugins: TAL-Vocoder 2

This plugin emulates the vocoders from the 1980s, and as such can instantly transform normal vocal tracks into robotic weirdness at the flick of a virtual switch. The software features an 11-track vocoder engine and harmonic control, and goes easy on the CPU while in operation.

Download TAL-Vocoder 2 for free

 

Best free GarageBand for Mac plugins: Blue Cat's Freeware Plug-ins Pack II

This is another great collection of plugins that anyone will find useful. Blue Cat Audio has bundled together a fantastic Chorus effect, flanger, spectrum analyser, phaser, EQ, and a Gain suite that allows you to automate the volume of different tracks in real time. Essential stuff.

Download Blue Cat's Freeware Plug-ins Pack II for free

 

Best free GarageBand for Mac plugins: Sonimus SonEQ

When it comes to balancing out your tracks and making sure they all sit in their relevant pockets, a good EQ goes a long way to reducing any headaches. The SonEQ is just such as thing. Taking its cues from vintage style kit, the plugin features a three-band EQ, preamp section, and cool retro styling.

Download SonEQ for free

 

Best free GarageBand for Mac plugins: IK Multimedia Amplitube 4

While the majority of plugins covered here are free, we also thought it worth including a couple of paid options too, as there are some truly premium additions to GarageBand now available. One such plugin is Amplitube 4.

The Amplitube range has long been a favourite with guitarists thanks to its excellent tones, wide choice of amps, effects, cabinets and mics, plus a built-in DAW for making quick recordings of riffs and songs. You can fine-tune almost any aspect of the tone, even down to the placement of the mics in the room.

The full Amplitube 4 package retails for around £150, but there are cheaper, signature editions available which offer the tones of artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Slash, or legendary manufacturers like Fender, Mesa Boogie and Ampeg.

Price: 179 euros (around £150)
Buy now: IK Multimedia

 

Best free GarageBand for Mac plugins: Superior Drummer 2.0

A big drum sound is the bedrock of many musical styles, but that can be hard to achieve at home with a computer. Superior Drummer 2.0 addresses this by providing a 20GB library of sampled recordings from session musicians in Avatar Studios, New York, all of which can be manipulated and programmed via the drumkit interface.

The tones are top quality and there are optional packs you can buy to hone in on any particular style you're trying to create. Superior Drummer 2.0 has won a number of awards in the few years since its release, and at a current price of around £125 it's well worth the investment.

Price: 148 euros (around £125)
Buy now: Toontrack

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