I'm having more fun with Garageband 10 than with any of the previous versions. I love the new interface, which is huge step forward both visually and functionally. The new Drummer is a blast. I can't resist tweaking the Smart Controls every time I load up a patch. And the new track EQ is a massive improvement.
At first it may seem as though the app is more limited than before. Unfortunately that may be true for podcasters and I really hope that Apple restores the tools you guys need. If you're making music, however, the following enhancements will give you infinitely more flexibility and creative power. Some are free and those that aren't are a bargain considering what you'll get.
Apple Mainstage – More Content Than You Can Possibly Use
For less than thirty bucks, you can download all of the content that comes with Logic Pro. 1000's upon 1000's of loops, synths, sampler intruments, and effects, nearly all of which are accessible within Garageband 10. http://www.apple.com/mainstage/
Incredible Free AU Plugins
This new series of recommendations by IIpo at Resound may be all you'll ever need. I've installed many of them in GB and nearly every one meets the new 64bit compatibility requirement. Personal favorites so far are the Zebralette synth from u-he, the OldSkoolVerb from Voxengo, and the Rough Rider compressor from Audio Damage which will give you massively smashed drums among many other things.
IIpo has published two of the three articles so far so you might want to subscribe to his mailing list to make sure you don't miss the third. http://www.resoundsound.com/25-best-free-vst-au-plugins-pc-mac-2013-part-1/
Spectacular Free and Paid Plugins from Klanghelm
Tony Frenzel of Klanghelm is publishing two of the world's best plugins (IMO). The DC8C is the compressor you've always wanted and the only one you'll ever need. Power and beauty as one. The new SDRR saturation chameleon, as Tony puts it, "was built to satisfy almost all of your saturation desires". He isn't kidding. I've just started playing with it and it will warm up, spice up, or mess up any track beautifully.
Fortunately, Tony offers free "baby" versions of both products. Even if you never spring for the paid versions, you'll find plenty of uses for the free ones. Not to be missed at http://www.klanghelm.com. And I forgot to mention how visually stunning these are.
Killer Settings for the AU Matrix Reverb
If you haven't tried the AU Matrix Reverb from Apple, you really should. It's been around for years and it still sound great. Open the Smart Control window, click the "I" info button, make sure to pull the top of the window up until you see the AU plugin area. Click in that area and you should see a menu. The AUMatrixReverb can be found at Audio Units > Apple, right in the middle of the list.
Thankfully, someone else has done the heavy lifting and programmed a set of amazing presets for this ambience powerhouse. Read all about it here http://www.macosxaudio.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=18237&start=45 and download the presets here http://fucanay.fischerworks.com/presets/AUMatrixReverb.zip.
Follow the installation steps, then relaunch Garageband. If everything works as it should, you'll see the presets listed within folders accessible from the pulldown menu at the top of the plugin. Note that every one of them defaults to a 100% wet mix, presumably for use on an effect send or master. If you're using them in a track you'll want to adjust the very first slider. Try 30% first and tweak from there.
Now that you've discovered Apple's own AU plugins, check out the Dynamics Processor, Multiband Compressor, and Peak Limiter. Very useful.
That's All for Now
Have any favorite plugins? By all means, share them with the rest of us!