Garageband 10 AU Plug In Fix

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AU Plug In Fix


Since the release of Garageband 10, there’s one problem that’s plagued new users and old hands alike. It’s one of the most frequently asked questions on the Apple support Garageband thread and definitely among the top 3 questions I get asked nowadays…


You guessed it – “How the hell do I use AU plug ins in Garageband 10?”


For some strange reason, when designing the user interface for Garageband 10 (and Logic X, i suppose) Apple decided to hide the Audio Unit interface in the submenu of a submenu’s submenu. Someone also thought it would be a good idea to allow users to toggle the ability to use AU plug ins on or off – not a bad idea in itself (having them disabled saves processing power). What was a bad idea was having them switched off by default…


Cue much confusion, anger and teeth grinding for the Apple music making community…


Anyway, have a gander at the video below. In it, i’ll show you how to activate Audio Unit plug in functionality and where you need to go to use them.




Hopefully that’ll sort any problems you were having locating and using your AU plug ins… now if we could just use all of our 32 bit plug ins too…


Leave a comment and let me know what you think, or twit me a tweet on Twitter, if that’s your thing. 😉





  1. This was such a headache in the beginning. Getting AU’s to work. Now knowing to stay away from the 32bit plugins has helped but i still find it is a bit touch and go. I love using the psp plugs and have the vintage warmers and the oldtimer which I couldn’t record without. But some of the other psp plugs still won’t work even after deleting the cache file to re-scan the au’s in gb. I had the same problems with slate drums and some focusrite plugs. Thankfully that was resolved with their tech team over weeks of trouble shooting and eventually authorizing them in reaper to get them to work in gb. Long story but all in all as much as I am amazed and love working in the new GB (especially with drummer, mindblowing!!!) the au’s are sill my one and only concern..But hopefully future updates will smooth this out. Still love the new GB!!!!

    • Glad to hear you’re not letting some of the more annoying aspects of GB 10 stop you from jumping in and getting creative Ryan!

      • How do I use my vst sf2 drum kits in garage band

        • Hey Ahmad. Garageband only supports Audio Unit plug ins and effects.

  2. Actually can’t beleive all I had to do was resize the f@#$ing window. Thanks for this.

    • I know – how did Apple get THAT wrong?

  3. Patrick,
    Are you producing a guide for the IPad version of garageband? What is the latest version for the Ipad called? I do not have an Apple Computer- only the new IPad.
    Is there any chance that Apple would include a 5 string banjo in the range of instruments available?

    • I’m not currently working on a guide for the iPad version John – is that something you’d like to see?

      I’m actually surprised that Apple haven’t introduced a wider range of instruments in the iOS version of Garageband. Love the idea of a banjo – personally i’d like to see a ukelele instrument added!

  4. Thanks for all you do

    • Thank YOU, Frank!

  5. Hey Patrick, thanks for all the great emails and your new video as well. I just upgraded to GB 10 last wk.
    I have to say I am loving it. It is much more intuitive . Also the helper that hovers over the area you point to is a great help.
    I was wondering if you can help me out by telling me where the keyboard shortcuts are n GB10 I was trying to use the latest shortcuts download yesterday and they did not work.
    Thanks again, Jim.

  6. Like James Finlay says, I cannot believe that all you have to do is resize the window to see the plug-in facility. Incredible! Apple have made a mistake here.

  7. Hi Patrick, I have downloaded the free BC chorus (GB 10) However when I go to use it I get a window that pops up and it says “Use of the requested audio unit(s) require lowering the security settings for Garage Band. Are you sure you want to proceed? This is my first down load re: audio units into garage band, I have only used theirs so is a standard warning and should I accept “Lower the Security Settings? Please let me know.
    Thank you

    • Hey Mike – you can definitely go ahead and lower the security settings – OSX Mavericks automatically has them set to only allow Apple programs and apps to be run. You can change this at any time from your Mac’s settings (look for the security tab).

      • Hi Patrick, how do you do that? I wan’t to revert the Garageband security settings back to higher, but I can’t find a way to do this. Can you please provide detailed instructions? Thanks in advance.

  8. Patrick, thanks for a great site.
    As a Music Teacher introducing Music Technology to 11-18 year olds, I’ve loved Garageband since the day it came out. However, I find some of the design decisions really odd considering Apple love to big themselves up as supporting education.

    Simple mistakes such as the one you point out here regarding the hiding of AUs, resizing windows before items appear, losing the old right hand track inspector means there’s now no way to use the built in effects in quite the same way as before, as we’re stuck with effects hard-wired to instruments, and that choice has been made by the designer for us. I could go on….

    My youngsters love making Podcasts, searching for photos on their favourite topic, researching the facts before recording their commentary, getting to grips with audio recording, and so on. As you can imagine, Podcasts are a fun way to learn and practise several disciplines.

    Thanks Apple – no Podcast Projects in GB10 (or MagicGarageband for the v. younger users)

    If I’d wanted to teach them Logic Express, I would have installed that instead. (And btw, I teach Logic Pro to the A level students, but it’s too complex for younger students) This change to GB just ups the complexity which is not helpful when there are 30 youngsters to be taught simultaneously in one room)

  9. Thanks! The interface on GB10.0.2 is a bit different from what I see in your video but the idea is the same. I have just purchased an Arturia minilab, which comes with a great classic synth emulator called Analog Lab. I really like it because it reminds me some classics like Jarre’s Oxigene and others. Sadly it can not be used yet with GB 10, only with GB6.0.5 which remained in my Mac after getting the newer version. When loading the Audio Unit garage band complains and says it can not be used. Tried your trick of the user library but it didn’t work.

    The Arturia guys says is something about inter process permissions or so…

    • Just trying to figure out this problem now. It’s a shame all those plug ins are out of reach. Arturia suggested deleting a cache as it’s a bug but to no avail at the mo.

  10. Thanks so much, Patrick. Thanks to you, I’ve discovered that there are about two dozen AU plug-ins built in to GarageBand that I did not even know about.

    • Apple really did a good job of hiding them away, huh?

  11. Thanks for the Garageband QuickStart Guide ! It is very well written, clear

    to understand and I am glad that You maintain the website as well

    I used Garageband V 10.0.2 on a iMac , (plus the $4.99 in app purchase)

    but the app as well as OSX 10.9Maverick were no charge so cool.

    I did download the free iOS version of Garageband and version 2 as eel

    I did not purchase the in app items as with a 16GB 4th Generation iPad

    which I really like it takes up to much space and once You create > space

    Unless export ( their are nice apps for iOS not as good as Garageband )

    but free as well Focusrites Tape + a few more (and my Audio Interface is OSX -PC only not iOS and can not (now) justify the extra expense (it would be redundant (imo) but maybe some day

    Their are A/I that are Mac and iOS Tascam, ? Focusrite +> I would imagine

    Thanks Again for Your Great Book

    (You could sell it! , please don’t 🙂

    David in Ohio

  12. At last, I’ve found a site which seems very helpful. Don’t know if you’ve done a guide for the iPad but I’m trying to get GB to accept midi input on the new iPad Air. Can’t seem to find any menus to help. I’ve got an irig connector and it works with the irig app. Any help appreciated.

  13. Awesome Pat! This really helps get rid of some of the frustration with GB 10. I am having one really annoying problem though still. I have an Amplitube plugin that I use in garageband. In the old garageband before this update I could load the presets from the Amplitube plugin in Garageband. In the updated version if I try to load a preset from Amplitube there are no presets available to load. I have no idea why they won’t load there but they will in the older Garageband.

    • hey vinni did you find a solution? im having the same problem

  14. THANK YOU SO FUCK*** MUCH! I was searching for about an hour right now.

  15. Hi there. I just sow your video and it was very helpful. However I still can’t use my amplitude plug-in. I already have it installed in my computer with some new presets and amps such as Slash model amp. But when i opened it on garage band it saids tha my amplitude software is expired and i have to update it. What should I do?

  16. Thanks so much Patrick. Spent two hours looking for the Klanhelm plugin. Just ready to give up when I revisited your compressor review. TBH if the GB interface was easier to read it would help. Grey on black! Who though of that?!!
    Thanks again John

  17. Hello Pat,

    Thank you for you great videos. My problem is with the Audio unit window. Whenever I reach the Audio FX box the only choice I have is Audio Unit whereas I believe I would need to see Audio instruments in order to use EZDRUMMER2 that I install. All I have is the Audio Units fonction and a No Plug In mentioned checked above audio unit. Does that mean EAZYDRUMMER was installed wrong?

    Hope this was clear enough. Too some it up I cannot see Audio Instruments.


    • how do i get to my ez drummer plugin?

  18. Thank you! This was a total mystery to me until I found your video–I thought they had ruined garageband. I think they made a terrible design choice. I’m happy I found your site!

  19. Thank you for your advice with Garageband 10.0! I’ll be visiting you again…

    • Thanks for your great advice Patrick.
      Here’s something that’s stumping me and maybe it’s designed so that I can’t do this but with 3rd party plug-ins, or even Apple’s AU plug-ins, I can only access them through new tracks that are software instruments. If I record a vocal track the only plugins available are the built in blue compressor and EQ. Is it me or is this all I can do?

  20. Nice, concise video, professional and to the point. Nice work!

  21. This did not work for me (now VERY frustrated)
    The audio plugin box in preferences is checked but there is no list when I pull up the window

  22. Hi Patrick, hope you can help me……i’m running garageband on a macbook pro and am pretty new to macs/daw’s…
    I use a focus rite scarlett 2i4 and today downloaded the scarlett plugins, my problem is i can’t seem to open them in garageband? what do i need to do to see them in garageband? i have plug ins enabled as your video states but still can only see the garageband plug ins. focus rite state i need to open them in garageband in order to activate them but they are not there when i open garageband…. please help, so frustrating….

  23. I have a lab of older Korg K61’s in a school setting on ‘new this year’ iMacs (system 10.9.5) and can’t seem to find the trick to getting GarageBand 10 to ‘see’ them. The frustrating thing is – some machines see them and some don’t. I want my kids to be able to play the keyboard in GarageBand. Any help would be appreciated.

  24. Hi Patrick. I didn everything you said in your video and when I resize the windows there is not appear the audio unit choice. So I don´t know what to do. Is it a problem with my Garage Band?
    Thank you

  25. Hi Patrick!

    I have a brand new 13″ retina mbp, with 10.10.2 on it, and two different user profiles: one for work and one for my music projects. My problem is the third party au plugins I’m using (Realstrat, RealLPC and RealGuitar) are working in garageband on my work profile, but can’t be used on my ‘music’-profile. They’re not even available in the plugins-list in garageband. I’ve tried removing the ‘music’-profile and creating a new one, but even that won’t help. What the hell am I doing wrong? Is there some kind of workaround?

    Thank you in advance 🙂

  26. Fascinating article, helped a lot.

    I am trying (for several days now) to install the 64 Bit TX16W sampler from for use in Garage Band 10.0.3. on Mavericks. The installer runs with no errors, however I cannot find the sampler in Garage Band or any files, anywhere on the Mac. Has anyone got a solution or had the same problem? Other AU’s such as Zebralette etc. work fine under the Legacy section in GB.

    Thanks in advance.


  27. The champion. Thank you, I’ve been scouring all over for this fix. For some reason people are referring to older versions of GarageBand and it just won’t cut it. I just recently got a Mac, and from what I hear many Apps like GarageBand, Pages, KeyNote, etc. are all “dumbing down” and making way to become more touch friendly. By the great storms of poseidon, why is Apple following in the muddy footsteps of Microsoft trying to move their desktop OS into a touch-friendly OS? It may be the future, but we get the stick on features sometimes. Thank you!

    • I think we’re safe from the ‘dumbing’ down effect when it comes to music production on Mac Tyler – Apple created Garageband iOS specifically for use on iPad/iPhone after all. By Zeus’ beard, new Pages sucks though…

  28. Patrick, Thanks so much for caring about a problem like this. I’m late to the party, for sure. I didn’t have the $$ for the new GB, and was quite happy with the old one. Then my hard drive failed and the computer was still under warranty, so Apple put in a new one with all the new software, including the new GB.

    I’ve gone through all the steps you describe above (Preferences > Audio Midi > Check Audio Units Box > open smart control, enlarge smart control), but try as I might, no matter how big I make the window, I never see a space at left for the Audio Units. There’s nothing there. What am I doing wrong? Please help…I just want me some compression, man!! Thanks again…

  29. Hi,
    Has anybody had success playing back from Garrison instrument plug-ins in GarageBand on Yosemite? I’m getting as much help as is available from Garritan tech support, but we have not resolved the issue. If there is a solution, I’d be happy to hear it and share it back with the Garritan group for everyone else.

  30. Patrick thank you for the video but I’m still having problems. I downloaded and installed the SPAN AU and VST files and installed them to the correct locations and made sure I had Audio Units checked in the preferences.

    However I still don’t see the “Audio Units” section in the Smart Controls area when the “i” is clicked. Currently with the “i” clicked I see two sections: “Recording Settings” and “Plug-ins”. Also if I click the drop-down in a track the “Smart Contorls” and “Plug-ins” selections are disabled.

    I’m trying create voice tracks and have the ability to add more voice effects (like the “Telephone” effect that comes by default with GB, also maybe synthesizer voice). Probably my main dumb question is are AU and VST effects not available for Vocal tracks?

    Thanks in advance for any help! I should add that this is my intro to GB as of this moment I’ve used it for a couple of days.



  31. I apologize if you’ve already covered this. When I created a new Software track, I can select Amplitude as an FX. However, I get no sound. If I do the same with Reaper, it works fine. Is there something in GB I need to do that I’m missing?

    Awesome website by the way!!!

  32. Hi Patrick ! The blog has been helping me a lot as i am a beginner on the GarageBand and recording world. I’ve succeeded on use Amplitube through the GB, but there is one “small” detail bugging me … I still heraring the “raw” signal from my guitar along with the distorted tone from Amplitube. I’ve tried everything but the double signal still going. What am i doing wrong ?

    Thanks !!! Cheers from Brazil !

  33. fabulous help!! Thank you. I’ii be back for more.

  34. Hi Patric,
    Is there a possibility to keep more the one AU plugin visible at the same time?
    Once I change to another plugin the current plugin window disappers.
    Often it would be very helpful to see two or more plugin windows in parallel (e.g. gain and loudness analyser)
    Thx Markus

    • It’s just one at a time right now i’m afraid Markus.


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