Sam Soffes

Using GarageBand as a Guitar Pedal

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The other day I figured out how to use Apple’s GarageBand 3 as a guitar pedal. When I was first playing around with it, I didn’t think that I would be able to use it live on stage, but I figured out how! I saved $250 (Line6 Delay) and $70 (Electro Harmonix Phaser) on pedals but the possibilities are unlimited. Those are just the two I made in the few minutes before chapel started last Thursday.

It’s really easy to setup. All you need is a guitar (or bass), an amp, a Mac with audio in/out (I use a 12-inch PowerBook), and a preamp of some sort. The best would be an M-Box or a FireWire Solo (also by M-Audio) which run from $200-$400. I use a $30 DJ mixer that I bought in seventh grade. I put my guitar in the mic in and put the output into the line-in on my PowerBook. Now in GarageBand, create a real instrument track and setup whatever effects you want on that track. You could add some delay, phaser, chorus, EQ, etc. Now make sure that the monitor option is turned on. Now plug your Mac into your amp or pedal board and there you go! I have my PowerBook first in line with all my pedals after it. It’s fun to play around with. E-mail me if you have questions.