How to Convert Midi File Instruments in Garageband

The Midi file format may not be what you find in your iTunes library, but it has a long history in the world of digital sound. The Midi file format has been important in the world of computer music since the 1980’s. While you may think of the Midi file format as being antiquated format, best saved for bad cell phone ring tones, the Midi file format can still be of use in some applications, and they are popular in home brewed video games, or for low memory use sounds in presentations.

That does not mean that all Midis are perfect just the way that they are. Let’s say that you found the right track, but it is the wrong type of sound. Should you go onto the next file, and keep looking for the perfect sound, or should you alter what you have to make it perfect?

If that clang of a bell should be the pulling of a violin string, then you will want to consider alteration, since it will generally be much quicker, and you will be able to do it with this free piece of software. Just follow these steps and you will be able to change instruments for your Midi file in Garageband.

Find Your Target File

If you do not already have your file, the get your midi file. If you are still searching for your file, there is a wide-range of different sites where you can download Midi files for free, at least for this one time. Find a site that has what you need and download your file.


Download Your Editing Software – if you need to

If your file is not a Midi, or it is not compatible with your system, we can simply convert it. The software we are using to convert it today is Professional Audio Editing Software for Mac OS x. You will find it at The software is not free, but it does have a free trial. You can download it, use it until the trial ends and then decide if you want to pony up the $100 to keep it full time, or if you want to trash it. For users who only have a day or two of need, the trial should be more than enough.

Working In Garage Band

Of course, if you already have a Midi file, then you can skip this download process. Now, we will move on to what we need to do in garage band.

1. Open GarageBand. You can do this by double clicking on the icon in your applications folder.


2. Your GarageBand software will ask you what you want to do. Choose “Open Existing File” and you will be able to choose your file and import.


3. Once the software has imported the file, you will be able to select your instrument in the track. The software will have automatically separated the track into instruments.

4. Once you have made a selection, press the button that has a circle around an “i”. This will give you a list of instrument options. Choose a new instrument by clicking on it.

Now, you can play your track with the new sound. Enjoy your new sound.

Katie Gatto

Katie Gatto is a technology writer with seven years of experience, and a native Mac user. She has previously written for Apple related site such as Appletell and Mac Apper.

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