How to Use Standalone Software Synth in GarageBand

How to Use Standalone Software Synth in Garageband


Garageband is a popular music production software that allows users to create and edit music on their computers. While Garageband comes with a wide range of built-in instruments and sounds, many musicians prefer to use standalone software synths to expand their sonic palette. In this article, we will explore how to use standalone software synths in Garageband on your Windows PC.

What is a Standalone Software Synth?

A standalone software synth, also known as a virtual instrument, is a software-based synthesizer that can be used independently or as a plugin within a digital audio workstation (DAW) like Garageband. These synths emulate the sounds and functionalities of traditional hardware synthesizers, allowing musicians to create a wide variety of sounds and textures.

Why Use Standalone Software Synths in Garageband?

While Garageband offers a decent selection of built-in instruments, standalone software synths provide a greater level of customization and flexibility. These synths often come with a wide range of presets and sound libraries, allowing musicians to explore different genres and styles. Additionally, standalone software synths offer advanced features like modulation, filtering, and effects that can enhance the overall sound of your music.

Step 1: Download and Install a Standalone Software Synth

To use a standalone software synth in Garageband, you first need to download and install the synth on your Windows PC. There are several popular standalone software synths available in the market, such as Serum, Massive, and Sylenth1. Visit the official website of the synth you want to use and follow the instructions to download and install it on your computer.

Step 2: Open Garageband and Create a New Project

Once you have installed the standalone software synth, open Garageband on your Windows PC. Click on File and select New Project to create a new project. Choose the desired settings for your project, such as the tempo and key, and click Create.

Step 3: Add the Standalone Software Synth as a Plugin

In Garageband, click on the Track menu and select New Track. Choose the Software Instrument option and click Create. This will open the instrument library. Scroll through the list of available instruments and locate the standalone software synth you installed. Select the synth and click Create.

Step 4: Configure the Standalone Software Synth

Once you have added the standalone software synth as a plugin, you can configure its settings to create the desired sound. Most standalone software synths have a user-friendly interface that allows you to adjust parameters like oscillators, filters, envelopes, and effects. Experiment with different settings to find the sound you are looking for.

Step 5: Record and Edit MIDI Data

To play the standalone software synth in Garageband, you need to record and edit MIDI data. MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface and is a protocol that allows electronic musical instruments, computers, and other devices to communicate and synchronize with each other. In Garageband, you can use a MIDI keyboard or draw MIDI notes directly in the piano roll editor to create melodies and chords.

Step 6: Mix and Master Your Music

Once you have recorded and edited your MIDI data, it’s time to mix and master your music. Garageband offers a range of mixing and mastering tools that allow you to adjust the volume, panning, and effects of each track. Experiment with different settings to achieve the desired balance and clarity in your mix.


Using standalone software synths in Garageband can greatly enhance your music production capabilities. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can unlock a world of sonic possibilities and create unique and professional-sounding tracks. So go ahead, download your favorite standalone software synth, and start making music on your Windows PC with Garageband.

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