The Best Accessories For Garageband Users

One of the greatest things about making music is the equipment, and thankfully, there is a lot of it out there. There’s so much to choose from, and what I’ve included here is just scratching the surface. Either way, each item listed below is either extremely useful, convenient, or just mad cool.

Here is a list of some of the best accessories for Garageband users:

1) iRig HD 2
2) KRK RP5 Rokit 5 G4
3) AKAI MPD 226
4) Samson Q2U Microphone
5) Melodyne 5 – Studio
6) Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO
7) Seagate Backup Plus 1TB
8) Acorn Masterkey 49
9) iPhone Pro Max 11

Each product description below includes a link to where to buy them online, and also another link that takes you to a more in-depth review.

Without further ado, let’s explore each item.

1) iRig HD 2

Gear iRig HD2 Products (Edited)

The iRig HD 2 (from Amazon) is a great audio interface for guitar players, mostly because of how small and compact it is.

On account of these two factors in addition to its overall quality in sound, the iRig HD 2 is one of the most commonly suggested audio interfaces.

I would argue that it’s one of the better tools for guitarists, despite some of its drawbacks, including the fact that it’s made out of plastic which is a pet peeve of mine but truthfully, it might not be one of yours.

The iRig HD 2 makes playing and recording guitar incredibly easy, because all you need to do is hook it up to your computer and you have at your disposal an entire studio with Garageband but also an amplifier modeler and many effects.

I don’t even use a traditional amp-cab combination anymore because of how much I like to just use my computer and an audio interface such as this one. It makes recording simpler and it’s just a great set-up (which I’ve stated before in my dedicated review of it).

2) KRK RP5 Rokit 5 G4

At some point, you’re going to need to pick up a pair of monitors for music production and recording, and you won’t go wrong with KRK’s RP5 Rockit 5 G4 studio monitors from Amazon. These are commonly recommended computer speakers. As I’ve explained before in my guide all about them, they’re practically an industry standard at this point.

If you’ve ever paid attention to the gear that music producers and musicians have in their Instagram and YouTube videos, you’ve likely seen these bad boys before due to their popularity. They almost always have the immediately recognizable yellow cones.

Studio Monitors are a must for a home studio, not only for recording, mixing, mastering, and general music production but also for your own listening purposes. It’s worth mentioning that if you want to use a pair of monitors, you’re going to need a proper audio interface as well to connect them to your computer (my guide on audio interfaces).

3) AKAI MPD 226

MPD226

A drum pad is one of the must-have accessories for any music producer out there, especially for those of us who are more visceral and hands-on. Essentially, a drum-pad is a programmable piece of equipment where you can assign different drum-kit sounds to each pad.

I bet I wouldn’t be far off from the truth if I were to suggest that the vast majority of music producers were the type of people who would pencil drum during class. It almost seems like drum pads were designed with these people in mind because it allows you to take that very same skill and use it for an actual creative process.

And there are a ton of them out there, but the AKAI MPD226 (also on Amazon) is one of the best on the market. Everybody knows about AKAI – they produce some of the most popular gear for music production. In addition to looking extremely cool, the AKAI MPD226 is a great drum-pad that is a lot of fun to use.

If you want to read more about it, check out my more comprehensive article on the topic. The review also includes a basic tutorial to get started.

4) Samson Q2U Microphone

Samson-Q2U-Edited

When it comes to purchasing a microphone for your home studio, the options are neverending, with each one serving a different purpose. However, I would argue that the Samson Q2U USB-XLR (on Amazon) is one of the most versatile for one key reason:

The fact that it’s capable of using an XLR and USB connection makes it incredibly useful for people that need an all-around microphone, however, there are a few other things that make it great which I’ve discussed before.

Admittedly, this isn’t the best mic in the world (although, it does sound pretty great), but if you’re the type of person who just needs a microphone and you don’t want to purchase an audio interface, this is a great option for you. If you intend to minimize the amount of equipment and the time it takes to set up your rig, then this is the right choice.

I use this microphone when I want to record audio for my YouTube videos but I don’t want to hook up all of my gear, like my audio interface and so on and so forth. At some point, however, there may come a time when you want a more serious mic to, for example, record an acoustic guitar (my guide on this) or high-quality vocals.

5) Melodyne 5 – Studio

Celemony’s Melodyne 5 – Studio from Plugin Boutique is the only plug-in that I’ve included on this list. It’s a pitch-correction/auto-tune software that allows one to make a variety of changes to an audio recording, many of which are not possible with Garageband’s default pitch correction plug-in.

If you’re really serious about music editing and recording, this is a great investment because it will surely serve you well due to its variety of parameters and functions, including its ability for pitch-correcting music in a way that retains the sound’s natural human quality.

Moreover, this thing comes with many other features and functions that make it a serious contender for this list. There are several different versions of it. You have: Essential, Assistant, Editor, and Studio.

As I said in my review of it, I would opt for either going full-ham and grabbing the Studio Version which means you’ll get every single function that it has to offer, or the Assistant (which is the most value for the price). If you choose to get the Essential plug-in, know that you’re not going to get all of the features that make it such a great little program to use.

6) Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

DT 990 PRO-Edited-copy

Beyerdynamic’s DT 990 PRO headphones from Amazon are easily the best headphones I own currently. They’re even better than the Audio Technica ATH-M50x, especially when coupled with a headphone amplifier like the Fiio E10k (also on Amazon).

If you are going to pick these headphones up – which I strongly recommend – it’s essential to either have a headphone amplifier or use an audio interface like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. It’s important to note that these are studio headphones.

They’re meant for your home studio, and not for casual listening, so if you need a pair of cans for your commute to work every day, the DT 990 PROs are a bad move. Not only is the sound quality of the DT 990s superb but they’re extremely comfortable and great for listening over a long period of time (my review of them). You could wear these for four hours at a time straight and your ears probably wouldn’t get sore.

7) Seagate Backup Plus 1TB

External Hardrive Products (Edited)

This seems like a random suggestion to make, but my Seagate Backup Plus 1TB from Amazon has been instrumental in creating music, due to the fact that many of these computer manufacturers are moving away from hardware that includes memory and space on their products.

Of course, you could grab a computer or laptop with all of the necessary requirements, but in case you haven’t done this like me, an external hard drive is going to be a must. I use this thing for nearly all of my files, including old project files, videos that I’ve used for my YouTube channel, photos, and so on and so forth.

This external hard drive has proven immensely useful for me, and I would suggest getting one for more than one reason. Keeping the large files off of your computer is going to keep it functioning fast, and you also don’t have to worry about losing anything.

In many cases, I’ve run out of space on my computer while making a YouTube video, literally as I’m doing the video, which is incredibly annoying. However, these days, I just make sure that I have at least 15GB of space on the computer at all times so I avoid this.

8) Acorn Masterkey-49

Acorn Masterkey (Edited) Gear

This isn’t the best MIDI keyboard for Garageband users but it’s easily one of the cheapest and most convenient . For that reason, I often recommend it to people who are in the market for a MIDI keyboard who don’t want to spend a lot of money but want a decent amount of range (however, it’s no longer available on Amazon, and I now recommend getting the Arturia KeyLab 88 from ZZounds instead).

The number one reason why I chose this keyboard over others is because of the fact it’s inexpensive and it has 49 keys. That was the main reason why I bought it, and I haven’t had any problems with it yet. It has tactile velocity-sensitive keys, four pots, one volume fader, and a pitch and modulation wheel.

Like I mentioned above and in my review of it, it’s not the best MIDI keyboard on the market, but it’s going to work perfectly for beginner producers who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars. Coupled with PianoForAll – the best way to learn piano for music production – and you’re in a great position to really take advantage of the piano as a creative tool.

9) iPhone Pro MAX 11

This is an odd inclusion on this list, but truthfully, the iPhone 11 Pro MAX from Amazon is a great accessory for Garageband users because it also comes with the iOS version, and the compatibility between your computer and phone will make taking your files with you super easy and non-complicated.

I haven’t explored the iOS version of Garageband that much, but I know it’s very easy to use, including for the way in which you can easily transfer your iTunes library from your computer to your phone. This is great for sampling. In terms of what iPhone you should get, I would always opt for the one that has more space and processing speed, that way you’re not going to run out of space whenever you’ve created a bunch of tracks on your phone.

YouTube Video Tutorial

The Best Accessories For Garageband Users

Conclusion

All-in-all, every inclusion on this list is very useful for music producers. One of the great things about being into music is not only the creative process itself, but also the sheer amount of gear available to us. If you’re unhappy with any of the brands and models, you can try out competing manufacturers.