There are many tutorials that show how to use SoundFonts on GarageBand. (Source)

However, when I do step 5 on this page, no dropdown menu appears (and nothing happens).

How can I install SoundFonts to GarageBand 10.2?


Ah yes, this is something Apple's been sent feedback about in terms of their user interface design for GarageBand 10. It's actually a quick fix that will hopefully get addressed in an upcoming update (changing the default setting on installation will probably do the trick for most people).

Using SoundFont (SF2) files in GarageBand v10

To get your SoundFont files to work in GarageBand 10, follow these steps:

  1. Launch GarageBand and open your project
  2. Go to GarageBand > Preferences
  3. Select the Audio/MIDI tab
  4. Within the Effects section, tick the Enable Audio Units checkbox
  5. Exit Preferences
  6. If it's not already, open the Smart Controls window
  7. Now click on the Plug-ins drop down menu and select Instrument > AU Instruments > Apple > DLSMusicDevice > Stereo (see screenshot below):

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  1. A DSLMusicDevice window will open (this may take a little while)
  2. Now click on the Sound Bank drop-down menu to select your SF2 file (see image below):

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  1. Once you've selected your file, close the DSLMusicDevice window
  2. Now press commandK to open the Musical Typing keyboard (or you can just go to Window > Show Musical Typing).

Now you can play the sounds from the SoundFont (SF2) file you selected.

Installing SoundFont files on macOS

The steps above show how to use SoundFont files within GarageBand 10. However, if you want to download/install additional SoundFont files in macOS to make them available to GarageBand and other apps, follow these steps:

  1. Download the SoundFont files you want
  2. Within the Finder, press and hold the option key
  3. Keep the option key down and click on Go > Library
  4. This will open your user's Library folder (you can let go of the option key now)
  5. Within the Library folder navigate to Audio > Sounds > Banks
  6. Press shiftcommandN to create a new folder
  7. Move your SoundFont (SF2) files into this folder

Now your SoundFont files will be available to any apps that support them.

  • First you create a software instrument
  • Open the smart controls window for that instrument
  • Open the plug-in menu, select the instrument then select AUSampler
  • Find the button with the gears next to the output text and press "Import Instrument from DLS File"
  • Select your soundfont

now it uses the soundfont good luck i hoped this worked for you

  • Welcome to Ask Different. As currently written, it's extremely difficult to follow what you're saying because it lacks punctuation and proper grammar. If you can edit your answer to add those items it will help prevent the answer from being deleted due to very low quality. - From Review
    – fsb
    Jun 23 '18 at 18:53

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