Create a custom pedalboard

Use virtual guitar pedals in GarageBand to give your guitar a unique new sound


Guitar pedals have been used to create a variety of unique effects to an electric guitar. By feeding the guitar through a pedal, or series of pedals, you can modify the output of your instrument to make it sound exactly how you want. In GarageBand’s latest update you can access a whole range of different virtual pedals that can be arranged to create your own custom pedalboard.

Add some distortion with the Grit pedal or use the Flange Factory pedal to add a bit of wabble to your sound. With over 40 pedals to choose from, each with their own dials and settings, you are in complete control of the kind of sound you want to create. Follow along with these steps and learn how to build your own.


1. Create a project

Select Empty Project from the New Project window. Click the details and next to Audio Input, select your input settings. This is how you’ll connect your guitar. Click Choose.


2. Guitar setup

In the next window select the Guitar and Bass option. Under the Details tab you can also select the input mode, as well as turning on monitor settings.

133. Guitar interface

By selecting Guitar and Bass, GarageBand creates a new Guitar Track. In the Library window, GarageBand will display an array of Guitar and Bass preset effects for you to use.


4. Amp presets

Select an amp, then go to View>Smart Controls (B). Here you can tweak the output settings of the amp. Record your guitar to see how the amp sounds.


5. Build a pedalboard

In the top-right of the Smart Controls window click the Stompbox icon. You’ll see the pedals that are being used. Click and drag upward or downward on a pedal’s dials to adjust it.


6. Select your pedals

Drag active pedals out of the pedalboard to remove them. Double-click on a pedal to add it to your board. Click on the Show All dropdown menu to filter pedal types.


7. Preset pedals

Click the Manual menu above your pedalboard. Go to Complete Pedalboards to select preset pedalboards. You can tweak individual pedals or add new ones.


8. Save your board

Once you’re happy with your arrangement, click on the Manual drop-down menu again and click Save As. Your board is saved to the Pedalboard folder. Click Save.


9. Find your board

Now when you create a new Guitar track you can open the Pedalboard window and click on the drop-down menu to find your custom pedalboards. Select it to activate it.