I have some old GarageBand projects that include electric guitar parts I played with my MIDI keyboard using GarageBand’s software instruments. I now have GarageBand ’09 and would like to use the new guitar amps and stomp boxes with these tracks. Is there a way to convert these tracks so I can use them with the new amps and stomp boxes? See also: GarageBand 11 review.
Glenn Henderson

Apple’s GarageBand ’09 doesn’t provide an obvious way to do it, but yes, it’s possible. Select the track you want to convert in GarageBand, and choose Edit?Add To Loop Library. In the sheet that appears, name the track, assign to it any descriptors you like – Guitars, Electric Guitar and Grooving, for example – and then click on Create. The track will be added to GarageBand’s collection of loops.

Click on the plus-sign (+) button in the lower left corner of the GarageBand window to add a new track, select Electric Guitar in the resulting sheet, and click on Create to create a new Electric Guitar track. Choose Control?Show Loop Browser to expose GarageBand’s loops. In the Search field at the bottom of the browser, enter the name of the track you added to the loop library. Drag this track into the new Electric Guitar track. When you do, it will be converted to a real instrument (digital audio) track. Once you’re in the Electric Guitar track, you can apply amps and stomp boxes to it.

You must convert software instrument tracks into real instrument tracks before you can use Garageband '09's guitar amps and effects.

If you have a real instrument track to begin with rather than a software instrument, create a new Electric Guitar track, select the contents of that real instrument track, and then alt-drag them to the empty Electric Guitar track to copy those contents to the new track.