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.


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. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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?

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