You know me – I love a freebie. Almost as much as I love having a fiddle with some brand spanking new plug-ins in Garageband!
For this post i’ve searched far and wide for the very best free Garageband plug-in bundles that not only come packaged with a generous and useful set of plug-ins that you can use in Garageband, but are also completely free of charge!
Melda Productions Free Effects Bundle
First up we have the MFreeEffectsBundle from Melda Productions – a free suite of 26 plug-ins. Melda Productions mention that “Their features are limited, compared to other commercial plug-ins, but still extraordinary when compared to most plug-ins on the market.”
You’ll find all sorts of goodies in here – from a super useful Compressor, to an Oscillator, Tremolo and more. The very first edition of my Mixing Guide featured the MCompressor from this very bundle, before Apple decided to include an actual useable built in Compressor in the version 10.0.3 update last year.
A quick note on installing these plug-ins: While the bundle comes with it’s own installer (super handy) You’ll need to select the MFreeEffectsBundle option when installing to ensure you get the whole package (not so handy).
You’re getting a whole lot of shiny new plug-ins here for free and while they’re definitely a bit trickier to get to grips with than Garageband’s built in Smart Controls, they’re very flexible and sound fantastic!
You can get hold of them here: Melda Free Effects Bundle
LePou Guitar Amplifiers
Garageband’s built in Amp Designer is fantastic, but if you fancy trying something a bit different (or are looking for some truly heavy guitar tones) the selection of virtual amplifiers available in this free pack are definitely worth a look.
Ranging from an incredibly close approximation of Marshall’s JCM series to a completely original (and satisfyingly heavy) take on high gain, there’s guaranteed to be something you’ll like here.
The LePou Amp plug-ins are the only ones in this list that don’t come with an installer, meaning you’ll need to manually drag and drop the individual .component files into your Library folder. If you’re not sure how to do this, I put together a tutorial on the ins and outs of the process a while back:
There’s nothing else out there for free that sound anywhere close to as good as these Amp sims do. I’d definitely recommend that you Garageband guitarists give them a try!
Get them here – Click on the “Mac AU (universal binary)” option: LePou Plug ins
Blue Cat’s FreeWare Plug-Ins Pack II
If you’ve joined The Garageband Guide community, there’s a good chance you’ve received an email from me letting you know just how much I love Blue Cat’s Freeware Plug-Ins Pack.
Of the 6 plug-ins featured in the bundle, the modulation effects really shine. In fact, I put a video together a few years back outlining how to use the Chorus plug-in from this very pack:
Not only do all of Blue Cat’s plug-ins sound great and come in very handy (the frequency analyzer is particularly fantastic), you’ll also receive a full PDF manual for each as well as a bunch of presets and even GUI skins! Crazy!
The pack comes with it’s own installer, which makes getting set up a breeze.
You can get them here: Blue Cat’s Freeware Plug-In Pack II (Make sure you select the ‘MAC AU” option in the sidebar on the right of the site.)
There you have it – over 30 free plug-ins in total for you to get your teeth into. Have you used any of the plug-ins in these bundles? What do you think of them?