Free AU Plug-Ins For Garageband, Logic

Maxim Digital Audio (MDA) has a collection of free Audio Unit plug-ins that can be used in Garageband, Logic and other apps that support AU’s. They’ve been available for a while, but we hadn’t highlighted them here yet and they are definitely worth checking out.

The plug-ins are Mac versions of plug-ins that are also available in VST format.

The free AU plug-ins include:

  • Combo – Amp & speaker simulator
  • Degrade – Sample quality reduction
  • Detune – Simple up/down pitch shifting thickener
  • DubDelay – Delay with feedback saturation and time/pitch modulation
  • Dynamics – Compressor / Limiter / Gate
  • Leslie – Rotary speaker simulator
  • Re-Psycho! – Drum loop pitch changer
  • RingMod – Simple ring modulator
  • RoundPan – 3D panner
  • Shepard – Continuously rising/falling tone generator
  • Talkbox – High resolution vocoder
  • TestTone – Signal generator with pink and white noise, 1/3 octaves and sweeps
  • Tracker – Pitch tracking oscillator, or pitch tracking EQ

We especially like Detune, which can create effects ranging from the mild chorus to bizarro detuning and tracker, which can be used to turn audio files into strange synth melodies.

Unfortunately, Talkbox opens in Garageband, but doesn’t work.

Here’s how you can install the plugins.

Installing

There have been a lot of questions in the comments about installing this, so here’s a quick how-to:

  • Download the MDA plugins to your Mac.
  • Move the mda.component file to Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components.
  • Now, when you go to apply effects, you’ll have a lot more options.
  • For example, in Garageband, select details, click on an effect slot and look for the new effects.

68 thoughts on “Free AU Plug-Ins For Garageband, Logic

  1. I’m having some trouble opening the plugins in Garageband. The download page says to put it into the plug-ins etc folders but garage band doesn’t come with those from what I can see.

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  2. I have only recently started using garageband and I am wondering how do I import AU plugins to garageband. I would be grateful if you could help me out with this situation. Thank you very much.

    John

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  3. Thomas & John

    For au plugins that don’t come with installer, you copy them to this folder:
    Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components

    Then open up Garageband and check them out!

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  4. Hi synthhead. I found my way to this page because I’ve downloaded daHornet and it won’t, just will not, install. The .components file is in the right place but GB never picks it up. Can you offer any suggestions? Thanks.

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    1. For those using an intel mac (and who isn't, now?) wanting to use it in Garageband or otherwise having trouble with the free download, the NuSofting site says of daHornet:

      'The Universal Binary version for intel Macs and an optimized update for XP and Vista (32 and 64 bit) are available for a minimum donation of 9 USD, the more you donate the more daHornet will be supported with new updates. Thanks'

      Go to: http://www.nusofting.liqihsynth.com/download.html to donate via Paypal

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
    2. For those using an intel mac (and who isn't, now?) wanting to use it in Garageband or otherwise having trouble with the free download, the NuSofting site says of daHornet:

      'The Universal Binary version for intel Macs and an optimized update for XP and Vista (32 and 64 bit) are available for a minimum donation of 9 USD, the more you donate the more daHornet will be supported with new updates. Thanks'

      Go to: http://www.nusofting.liqihsynth.com/download.html to donate via Paypal

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
    3. For those using an intel mac (and who isn't, now?) wanting to use it in Garageband or otherwise having trouble with the free download, the NuSofting site says of daHornet:

      'The Universal Binary version for intel Macs and an optimized update for XP and Vista (32 and 64 bit) are available for a minimum donation of 9 USD, the more you donate the more daHornet will be supported with new updates. Thanks'

      Go to: http://www.nusofting.liqihsynth.com/download.html to donate via Paypal

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
    4. For those using an intel mac (and who isn't, now?) wanting to use it in Garageband or otherwise having trouble with the free download, the NuSofting site says of daHornet:

      'The Universal Binary version for intel Macs and an optimized update for XP and Vista (32 and 64 bit) are available for a minimum donation of 9 USD, the more you donate the more daHornet will be supported with new updates. Thanks'

      Go to: http://www.nusofting.liqihsynth.com/download.html to donate via Paypal

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
    5. For those using an intel mac (and who isn't, now?) wanting to use it in Garageband or otherwise having trouble with the free download, the NuSofting site says of daHornet:

      'The Universal Binary version for intel Macs and an optimized update for XP and Vista (32 and 64 bit) are available for a minimum donation of 9 USD, the more you donate the more daHornet will be supported with new updates. Thanks'

      Go to: http://www.nusofting.liqihsynth.com/download.html to donate via Paypal

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
    6. For those using an intel mac (and who isn't, now?) wanting to use it in Garageband or otherwise having trouble with the free download, the NuSofting site says of daHornet:

      'The Universal Binary version for intel Macs and an optimized update for XP and Vista (32 and 64 bit) are available for a minimum donation of 9 USD, the more you donate the more daHornet will be supported with new updates. Thanks'

      Go to: http://www.nusofting.liqihsynth.com/download.html to donate via Paypal

      Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  5. whisperycat – looks like the problem is with daHornet – not you.

    I gave this a try and had the same exact problem.

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  6. i’ve put these in the components folder in the library. how do you access them using garageband?

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  7. nigel –

    Once you’ve got them installed, go to the instrument you want to put the effect on, and click on that instrument and then select Track – Show Track Info.

    In the track info pane, open up Details and then click on an open effects slot. Scroll down to the Audio Units Effects, and the free plugins should show up.

    Let me know if that doesn’t solve your problem!

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  8. Dragged the package to above mentioned folder, nothing happens. Cannot see any plugins in my list…checked if i used the right folder etc…i just dont understand…

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  9. Knobexploit – make sure you put the component to Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components.

    Then go to the instrument you want to put the effect on, and click on that instrument and then select Track – Show Track Info.

    In the track info pane, open up Details and then click on an open effects slot. Scroll down to the Audio Units Effects, and the free plugins should show up.

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  10. I did put them in the designated folder lib/Audio/plug/comp

    Bu they just dont show in my Garageband FX list when i pull it down…

    All there is to see is the standard Garageband FX nothing more..

    Whats wrong???

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  11. i figured it out everyone! i had the same problem! after i restarted by Mac and open Garage Band again they were there!

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  12. knobexploit – you may want to try contacting the MDA people. It could be that your Mac is not compatible with the current version of the effects.

    Good luck with this!

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  13. knobexploit – which ‘effects’ are you pulling down?

    If you’re looking at the one in the top rh side of the window, that’s not it (that’s where I thought they went)

    You have to go to detail, located in the lower rh side where there’s several pull=downs, including the standard compressor, gate, echo, and reverb. The plug-ins you’ve added will appear beneath the standard GarageBand plug-ins but you’ll have to scroll down in the pull-down to see them.

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  14. P.S. that might be as clear as I thought…

    If you set the instrument effects (top rh side) to No Effect, each user selectable pull-down in the lower rh side will read None.

    Where each one of those “None” entries appears, you should find the list I’m referring to (in the above post) when you click on any one of them.

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  15. I’m having the same problem. I’ve tried restarting and everything and I can’t get any AU plugins to show up in GB (MDA and others).

    Are they not compatible with GB 8?

    Any insight would help, I’ve got some tracks I need to dub out!!!

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  16. Hey guys!

    I am wondering if there is a similar thing that you can get in cubase for logic called a chopper.

    Or is there a part of logic 8 that can do this??

    Any help would be fantastic!!

    Matt

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  17. I have a simple but baffling question for me – How do I delete a song from Garageband `08 ?

    I have tried all the methods I know of to delete… even importing into iTunes in hopes that the file would leave my project list… but nothing… I know I’m old school, but this is ridiculous not being able to take the garbage out of the garage – YIKES!

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  18. James – just select your hard drive from the finder and browse it. You’ll see a Garageband folder with your tracks in it. You can delete them from there.

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  19. be sure to download the AU format. Its there if you scroll down further in the download page. Unzip it and you'll see the 'component' file he's talking about.

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  20. you probably downloaded the wrong file (VST). scroll down a little bit further on the download page to the file AU. Then you get the proper file with the right names as mentioned. It realy works I just did it.

    succes!

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  21. it took me around 1 hour to get the plug in to get going , but i think the trick was to leave it in the folder then shut everything down & re start!!!!!

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  22. Hi Guys –

    In logic, the plugings were located here:

    On a track, open up 'Mixer', click and hold on one of the effect boxes underneath and EQ box, scroll down to Audio Units, then 'mda' – they are hiding in there!

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  23. i have the effects loaded up, but i cant here the talk box through my headphones when i speak through my microphone, just my voice with no effect???

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  24. Can anybody help. I'm at the end of the road. I've downloaded a pro 53 and finally got it to work as a standalone on my mac drive, but can't get it into garageband. I've done the 'components' folder to death with a variety of options – the latest was put the pro 53 components file in there.

    It's a horrible saga, but if anybody can tell me there is some obvious thing I'm not doing I'd really appreciate it. Let's say NI didn't reply! And the retailer doesn't have an idea (they sold me the pro 53 as a link via windows…)

    Like the forum.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  25. Can anybody help. I'm at the end of the road. I've downloaded a pro 53 and finally got it to work as a standalone on my mac drive, but can't get it into garageband. I've done the 'components' folder to death with a variety of options – the latest was put the pro 53 components file in there.

    It's a horrible saga, but if anybody can tell me there is some obvious thing I'm not doing I'd really appreciate it. Let's say NI didn't reply! And the retailer doesn't have an idea (they sold me the pro 53 as a link via windows…)

    Like the forum.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  26. Thanks synthhead for the reply. Well, the download was for a mac and there is no file extension for a vst in the files. Does that help?

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  27. I could be of more help here. The file is described as component, rather than vst, but in the info under Kind: Application (PowerPC). Is that the problem?

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  28. Alexander – not sure what you got, but you only want the PowerPC version if your Mac is a PowerPC Mac, which they stopped making a few years ago. If you've got a newer Intel Mac, you'll want to see if you can get the Intel version of the plugin or a Universal Binary.

    Have you checked back with the people you bought this from?

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  29. Alexander – not sure what you got, but you only want the PowerPC version if your Mac is a PowerPC Mac, which they stopped making a few years ago. If you've got a newer Intel Mac, you'll want to see if you can get the Intel version of the plugin or a Universal Binary.

    Have you checked back with the people you bought this from?

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  30. Thanks. I think that is as far as I can go. I've got a mini mac 10.6 osx which only works with universal binary. I think the main conundrum is how it plays as standalone but doesn't appear in garageband. is that possible?

    The retailer has no expertise in this, but I'm asking questions as I would have preferred the disk version not a link which is causing extra hassle.

    don't want to take up any more of your time (or anyone else's!). Thanks.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  31. Thanks. I think that is as far as I can go. I've got a mini mac 10.6 osx which only works with universal binary. I think the main conundrum is how it plays as standalone but doesn't appear in garageband. is that possible?

    The retailer has no expertise in this, but I'm asking questions as I would have preferred the disk version not a link which is causing extra hassle.

    don't want to take up any more of your time (or anyone else's!). Thanks.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  32. hey synthhead
    you seem to really know what's up with this stuff so i was wondering if you could help me with a problem i had as well
    i just got ezdrummer but logic and garageband aren't recognizing it, idk why, something about installing in AU and all that stuff
    can you help me out???

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  33. hey synthhead
    you seem to really know what's up with this stuff so i was wondering if you could help me with a problem i had as well
    i just got ezdrummer but logic and garageband aren't recognizing it, idk why, something about installing in AU and all that stuff
    can you help me out???

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 0
  34. I've moved them to the specified folder and can't access them in Logic 9 Pro!??!?! They all come as a .vst file and not as a complete component file? It might just be me being stupid but help please?

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  35. Yo… Only about half of the effects are showing up. The 'Leslie' effect I was really wanting is among the effects that is not showing up. I'm using GB not Logic. Am I doing something wrong or maybe some only work in Logic or what??

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  36. Hi guys im having bother with this. I downloaded the above file. it saved to my desktop as a folder called mda_vst_ub. I tried moving it into Audio/plugins/components and the plugins dont show in GB AU effects. I tried removing the individual plugins form mda_vst_ub folder and put them individually into Audio/plugins/components. I think the problem is that there is no mda.component file in the downloaded folder. ????
    Any ideas guys??

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  37. D'oh. I've sussed it. Sorry guys! i downloaded the VST files, its a little confusing as the AU download is at the bottom of the download page. So i got the AU download found the .component file, stuck it in the plugins component folder, opened GB and hey presto! Job done.

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  38. Hi, I’ve done everything that’s been suggested on this page but still only some of the effects are showing up… I want to use the ring modulator effect but I can’t seem to make it work.

    I’ve downloaded both the au and vst files and put them in the components folder but neither will work. Any ideas?

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  39. Having trouble getting the AU version to work in Logic 7 on Powerbook g4 osx 10.4.11.
    Seemed that they worked on a previous install???/
    I have dragged them to the components folder and opened Logic and they do not appear.
    Any ideas?
    Thanks
    RJ

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