How to Add Reverb in GarageBand

You can add reverb to any track or project in GarageBand using the Master Reverb slider or by adding a reverb plugin in the Smart Controls window. In GarageBand iOS, you add reverb by accessing the Master Effects in the Controls window. 

I’m a lifelong musician with a strong passion for recording and producing music. I have years of experience using GarageBand and other audio production apps and know how to use features like reverb to improve the quality of my projects. 

This post will show you how to add reverb in GarageBand. I’ll give you step-by-step directions to put reverb on your music projects in the Mac and iOS versions of the app and provide some other related information to help you out along the way. 

Let’s get started. 

Key Takeaways

  • Reverb is a commonly used effect that helps vocal tracks and other recorded audio sound better in the mix. 
  • You can add reverb to your projects in GarageBand for Mac and iPhone, but the macOS version of the app gives you more options and control. 
  • Reverb is an adjustable element to your mix, so you can use as much or as little of it as you want.

How to Add Reverb in GarageBand Mac

Adding reverb is pretty simple in GarageBand on your Mac. If you know how to use Smart Controls, you already know how to access the reverb features in the app. But let’s take a closer look at it with the detailed instructions below. 

To add reverb in GarageBand on your Mac, follow these steps. 

1. Open the GarageBand app on your Mac. 

2. Open the project to which you want to add reverb or start a new project. If you start a new project, it’s a good idea to record a track so you can hear what the reverb adjustments sound like as you create the project. 

3. Click the track you want to add reverb on to highlight it. 

4. Click the Smart Controls button on the top left side of the project window. This icon looks like a control knob and is just to the left of the Editor’s Button that looks like a pair of scissors.

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

5. The Smart Controls window will now appear at the bottom of your project, and there are a few different ways to add reverb to the track. Scroll to the bottom of the Smart Controls window, and you’ll see the Master Reverb checkbox and slider. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

6. Click the Master Reverb checkbox to turn the reverb on for the track you have highlighted. Then adjust the slider for as much reverb as you want. Sliding to the right adds more reverb, and sliding to the left adds less.

How to Add a Reverb Plugin in GarageBand

You also have the option to add a reverb plug-in to the track. Using the reverb plug-in in addition to or instead of the master reverb will give you more control over how the reverb sounds on your track.  To use a reverb plug-in in GarageBand, follow these steps. 

1. Follow steps 1-4 in the section above. 

2. Click on an empty plug-in box in the Smart Controls window below the Plug-Ins heading. You might already have some effects in place here, but you can add more when you click on an empty slot. 

3. A list of options will appear. Scroll down until you see Reverb

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

4. You can choose from four different reverb plug-ins that come with the GarageBand app. These are EnVerb, PlatinumVerb, SilverVerb, and Space Designer. Click on whatever option your want to use. 

5. Once you select the reverb plug-in, a control window will pop up where you can make adjustments to the reverb you selected. This allows you to fine-tune the sound of the reverb effect to match your project. 

6. With a reverb plug-in installed on your track, you can turn the effect on and off as you record by using the button next to the plug-in name in the Smart Controls window. 

Each of the reverb plug-ins has its unique sound and effect on your recorded track. If you have never used any of these before, I recommend exploring them all so you can see what type of reverb you like the best for your track. 

I like the Space Designer reverb because you can use it to simulate the natural reverb found in different recording spaces you might be used to. But all the options can be effective. It just depends on your preferences and project.  

How to Add Reverb in GarageBand iPhone

You can also add reverb to GarageBand iOS, which is the mobile version of the app that works with your iPhone and iPad. The process for adding reverb on your iPhone is slightly different than on your Mac, but it’s still very accessible. 

Follow these steps to add reverb in GarageBand on your iPhone. 

1. Open the GarageBand app on your iPhone. 

2. Open the project you want to add reverb to or start a new project. If you create a new project, record the audio to which you want to add reverb. 

3. Tap the track you want to add reverb to. 

4. Tap the Controls icon to access the controls for the track. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my iPhone)

5. You’ll see the Reverb Slider under the Master Effects slider, and you can adjust the amount of reverb on the track here. Click the Master Effect tab for more options on what type of reverb to use. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my iPhone)

6. Select one of the various reverb options in this window, or keep the setting as default if you don’t want to make any changes. 

7. Tap the back arrow to go back to the track controls window. 

8. Tap the Plug-Ins & EQ heading to access more reverb options. 

9. Tap the TRACK REVERB heading. A drop-down menu will appear where you can make advanced adjustments to the reverb settings on the track. This gives you precise control over how the reverb sounds. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my iPhone)

How to Add Reverb to Drums in GarageBand

You can add reverb to drums in GarageBand through the same steps mentioned in the sections above.

If you are using a drum kit software instrument, you can add reverb directly to the track, and it will apply to the entire kit. If you record each drum individually with different mics, you’ll need to go through the steps to add reverb to each track. 

How to Add Reverb to Vocals in GarageBand

Reverb can be added to any vocal track in GarageBand by following the steps mentioned above for Mac or iPhone. Vocals are probably the most common type of recorded audio to put reverb on, and it’s rare to have dry vocals in a finished mix. 

It’s also a good idea to think about natural reverb when you are recording your vocals in the first place. If you record them in a larger room, you will likely have more natural reverb and a boomy sound. If you record vocals in a smaller space, there will be less natural reverb.  

Final Thoughts

Reverb is a commonly used audio effect in nearly every recording you listen to. It can really add a lot of depth to vocals, instruments, and drums to make them sound richer and fit better within the mix. 

By using the reverb features and effects in GarageBand for your Mac or iPhone, you can improve the quality and consistency of your projects. If you take the time to learn how to use reverb appropriately, you’ll become a better producer!

Do you have a favorite reverb setting in GarageBand? What do you like about it, and how do you apply the effect to your projects? Let me know in the comments below.

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