For acoustic guitarists, all you will need to get started is a microphone. Any microphone that macOS can see, GarageBand can see, be it a dedicated USB mic or even the built-in iSight camera found on iMacs and MacBook Pros.
I quite like recording in GarageBand because all the guitar parts are recorded clean; without any effects applied. This offers great flexibility in the editing process because amps and pedals can be freely modified. I can audition different presets by opening the library, and any preset can be modified such as replacing one pedal for another.
If you're looking to capture your guitar's unplugged sounds, or you're recording your guitar through an amp, the first method is for you. This is perfect for acoustic guitars, electro-acoustic guitars (unplugged or via an amp), and electric guitars (via an amp).
This second method is perfect if you've got an electro-acoustic guitar or electric guitar and want to easily experiment with a wide range of virtual amps and presets, giving you more control over customizing your guitar track. This method is also a lot quieter than playing via a physical amp, meaning you won't have to worry as much about disturbing anyone.
If you're unsure where to begin, check out our guide on how to record your acoustic and electro-acoustic guitar (this also works for recording electric guitar if you follow the "electro-acoustic guitar" section), where we outline each method and how they differ from one another, as well as some good mic positions if you're using a microphone or two.
If you're using two USB mics to stereo-record your guitar, GarageBand won't immediately recognize them both. Fortunately, with a little tweaking, you can still use more than one USB mic on GarageBand.
Your Sound Library should be located on the left-hand side, and you can show or hide it by pressing Y. From here, you can select a wide array of presets for your guitar track. Simply click one of the tabs and begin!
Selecting one of these presets will give your guitar track a different EQ which you can also tweak from the corresponding Smart Controls area that appears below your track. You can also show or hide this by pressing B.
If you're recording your guitar with one or more microphones, it's best to stick to the presets under Acoustic Guitar which will work with your microphones to give you the best sound.
Using the sounds under Electric Guitar and Bass will generate a plethora of virtual amps and pedals for you to try out. What's more is that you can customize these presets with GarageBand's fantastic Amp Designer and Pedalboard plugins, located at the top-right corner of your Smart Controls area.
Playing notes, chords, and strumming patterns with the guitar is as simple as strumming a guitar. You can choose from a variety of acoustic and electric guitar sounds, as well as use stompbox effects to customize them.
The TyrellN6 is a virtual synthesizer that emulates the sounds of classic analog synthesizers.It features two oscillators, each with its own sub-oscillator, and a wide range of modulation options.The oscillators can be synced or ring modulated, and there are also several different filter types to choose from.
The Tunefish4 is a virtual synthesizer that allows users to create a wide range of sounds.It features two oscillators, noise generators, an envelope generator, and a low-pass filter.The oscillators can be used to create both basic waveforms and more complex sounds, while the noise generator can be used to add realism or create effects.The envelope generator can be used to shape the sound, while the low-pass filter can be used to remove unwanted frequencies.
The Monster Guitar is a great tool to help you create professional-sounding guitar tracks.The plugin can be used with any DAW or host software and is very easy to use.Simply load the plugin into Garageband, select the desired guitar sound, and start playing.
The Labs Electric Guitars plugin is a virtual guitar instrument that emulates the sound of electric guitars. It is available as a free download for Windows and Mac OS X.The plugin features various guitar sounds, from clean, bright tones to distorted, overdriven sounds.It also provides a wide range of tools for customizing your sound, including EQ, reverb, and delay. The plugin is easy to use and can be a great way to add some realism to your music.
The Spitfire Audio Labs Strings is a free virtual string software instrument that can be used in Garageband.It features a simple interface with controls for volume, panning, and reverb. The main window consists of a virtual keyboard and a fretboard.The keyboard can be played with the mouse or with a MIDI controller.
Helm is a free, open-source polyphonic synthesizer that runs as a virtual instrument plugin.Vintage analog synthesizers heavily influence its sound, and it features a wide range of tone-shaping options.In addition to being capable of creating classic synth sounds, Helm also has unique features that set it apart from other audio units.Its interface is designed to be simple and easy to use, and its sound is full of character and attitude.
This plug-in is brought to you by Big Fish Audio and it is personally one of my favorites. Electri6ity is relatively easy to use and it comes with 8 different virtual guitars that are out of this world.
I recently stumbled upon this option and I was pretty surprised that it was a free option. If you watch Youtube videos and compare, the tones that you get with this free guitar VST are pretty great. I personally would describe the tones as brutal in a good way.
Electric guitar VST plugins are being added to the producer arsenal all over the industry. The days where musicians had to learn every instrument is over guys! And what better way to maximize your production skills than by using these rather affordable VSTs.
I have to say that from the early versions of Amp Sim software of 15 years plus ago, the software has come a long way to getting very close at capturing the sound of a tube amp. The early versions of amp sim software sounded too thin and fizzy to me when it came to heavier tones. That really has changed in the recent couple of years. I still love my actual tube heads, but with the Satch Amplitube plugin, I can really get some good tones fast with just plugging directly in to my audio interface, without needing to use any loadboxes or IR loaders if I need to get some guitar tracked in a hurry.
If I wanted to still be able to practice/record with my guitar and pedalboard, what else would I need to have to be able to get similar sounds that I get from my amp (el34 based amp, similar to a Vox ac 15)
hi rob ,I have played loud with my band and buddies , I got a big red marshall , and a boss gt 10 , the rhythm guitarist has a marshall head with a different cab , sounds fantastic cranked up to 8 or 9 , perfect for blending with a heavy rock drummer and lung launching vocal screamer, 600 watt pa system .however its late at night , I live in a flat and I want to record or create some music. geez ,don the headphones and ampsim it is , I love amplitube for the more melodic and crunchie sounds , gtr from waves is good for heavier sounds ,but my boss gt10 is just fun ,and it can be connected with a usb, no need for audio device ,its got one built in . like you said ,they are all tools and have a specific purpose to fit our every needs , one size fits all cant work in a diverse world of music ,individual preferences demand as many different tools as our imagination can figure out a place to use them.p s reason 9.5 softube amps (lovely for clean guitar)and guitar sims in Cubase ,all have a place . utilize what you got and write some awesome tunes is what I say .
Rob mentioned using a DI box instead of just plugging straight into the interface. Can anyone recommend a decent, affordable one? I find that even with vintage style, passive pickups and my interface gain set as low as it can go, I still need to roll down on my guitar volume to give enough headroom. Will a DI box solve this issue?
With Re-Guitar, you can emulate many kinds of guitar tones (electric or acoustic), regardless of the solid body guitar model used for recording: keep playing your own guitar and get all the sounds that you like, and more!
The built-in pickup simulator lets you emulate many types of electric guitar pickups without the need to modify your favorite instrument: choose from a selection of popular guitar pickups or create your own.
In addition to the brightness and gain adjustements, the virtual tone and volume pots let you tweak the tone in details. They can even be automated to follow the performance.
"Does it really make a Les Paul sound like a Strat? Well...no, because it can't change your guitar's body, scale length, fingerboard, fret material, and the like. But what it can do is nail the correct vibe. If you've recorded a Les Paul track and wish you had used a Strat instead, Re-Guitar will do the job for you with a couple of clicks, instead of having to re-record the part. All but the most discerning listeners won't be able to tell the difference." - Craig Anderton - [Read full review].
"The tone possibilities are basically endless. This could replace hours of work trying to find ideal pickups for a recording or tweaking gain and EQ trying to change the tone of the guitars you have available. This plugin feels like having 50+ years worth of guitar history right at your fingertips." - Audio Geek 11 - [full review].
" This might be one of those rare things that comes along and becomes a complete game changer for me. It completely exceeded my expectations.[...] This is hands down the most convincing thing I've ever heard for acoustic tones. [...] It sounds better than a lot of acoustic guitars I've heard! [...] Pickup emulations: really, really, really useful tones for any situation I can think of in there.[...] @Blue Cat Audio Well done!" - metropolis_4 on The Gear Page - [full review]. 2b1af7f3a8