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Emailing GarageBand Files March 16, 2008

Posted by PJ in : Digital Audio Workstations, GarageBand, Troubleshooting , trackback

Here’s a helpful hint for anyone wanting to know how to email a GarageBand project. GarageBand files are saved as .band files, but when you try to attach this type of file to an email, the file will be grayed out and you will not be able to select it. The reason this does not work is that .band files are actually saved as folders. So to successfully send a GarageBand file, you would do the same thing you would with a folder – archive it. Simply right click the .band file and select “Create Archive.” This will create a .zip file in the same directory, which can then be attached to an email. That’s it!

If you have any questions about GarageBand, leave a comment below or email me.

Update: Here is a short video showing the process described above:

YouTube Preview Image




1. Bill Kelly - June 27, 2008

I’m trying to figure out how to assign effects to tracks. Question is when I choose a kind of reverb to track one, then assign reverb to say track 5, am I automatically given the same verb or can I put different verbs on different tracks. And if so, how do I do that…Also, is there an effect that gives me the same sort of affect as having a nice outboard tube emulator for my vocal mic? Thank you, BK

2. PJ - June 27, 2008

Hi Bill! Welcome to the site. In GarageBand you have two different reverbs to work with. One is the basic reverb (just 1 slider 0-100) and the AU MatrixReverb which can be selected from the drop down menu under Audio Unit effect. The latter will give you a ton more parameters to control like dry/wet, room size, density etc. When you assign one of effects to a track (say track 1) it will only apply to the selected track and will not carry over to track 5 for example. I didn’t find any AU plugins for a tube emulator but check out this article for a great deal on the ART Tube Mic Pre-Amp. Hope this helps and check back very soon for a video on assigning effects in GarageBand.


3. Damon Sink - June 28, 2008

Hey guys–

just a thought, but you might try doubling the vocal track and applying the clean “British” amp setting on one of them. Dial the volume of the effected track in until you feel a little crunchy warmness.

Never tried it myself in GB, but it is a way of parallel processing an effect without a wet/dry mix setting.

The Studio Files

4. cy - August 13, 2008

I’m going to visit a friend who has a pro studio where I can add live tracks and drums to my music. He requests that I send each track from my songs seperate in order to make new arrangements with his gear, or make it all one stereo track. How and what is the best way for me to get my tracks to him to finish my music at his studio and add tracks there?

5. ConnorSmith - August 13, 2008

If he has Logic studio, you can open the garageband file and make it a lot easier.

If not, its a slight pain, but I describe how to do it here:


6. PJ - August 13, 2008

Hi CY, welcome to the Studio Files. If you are using Garageband, check out Connor’s article above. There is some great information about exactly what you are trying to do. Let us know how it works out.

Thanks Connor!

7. Rob - August 19, 2008

After I create archive the file is still grayed out, is there an additiona step I’m missing?

8. CAJ - August 23, 2008

I am having the same problem as Rob! Please help. There is no right click on a mac of course so simply going to Save As and selecting Save As Archive is the same, correct? I hope that’s incorrect because that is what I did, with an unsuccessful result. :(

9. PJ - August 24, 2008

Hi Rob and CAJ thanks for checking out the site. I added a video to the article above that should clarify how to email a GarageBand file. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks!

10. adam - November 1, 2008

I archived the file like you said, but it’s 29 MB. My yahoo account can only email 10 MB or smaller. How can I make the file smaller, but still send it so my friend can open it in his garageband and mess with it? I tried making it an mp4, but then you can’t open it in garageband (which defeats the purpose of me sending it). Any help is appreciated! – Adam

11. PJ - November 4, 2008

Hi Adam, thanks for checking out the site. For a file that size I would definitely take Connor’s advice in this article:


The free account will let you send up to 100 MB. You can also transfer files through through an IM service like AIM. Good luck and let us know how it works out!


12. Wasabi - December 1, 2008

I hope you can help me I have been looking but not finding any answers. I recorded a couple of guitar tracks and saved the project so I could switch to a usb mic for some vocals and I get a message .aif not found. The files don’t seem to exist anymore, am I boned? I don’t want to re-record it sounded good and took a long time.

13. Wasabi - December 1, 2008

on the newest Blackbook I should mention :)

14. ConnorSmith - December 1, 2008

Did you move the project (or do a Save As in a different location?)

The Garageband audio files should all be there.

Perhaps use spotlight to try to search for them, and relocate them to their correct spots. (I assume their file names would contain the track name from Garageband, so I would start there)

15. Damon Sink - December 2, 2008


Garageband is looking for separate aif files? Just making sure I understand your situation. Let us know.


16. Danny - March 30, 2009


I’m trying to save as an archive / zip file but I can’t. The only options i get when I right click are the following:

Open / Open with / Show package contents / move to trash / get info / compress / duplicate / make alias / quick look / copy / clean up selection / label / more.

Not sure how to create archive. My Macbook is fairly new, is there something I’m not doing?

Thanks so much for the help!

17. amanda - April 1, 2009

Danny- on newer Macbooks the option for archiving is listed as “Compress”. That will create your zip file.

Hope that helps!

I also had a question about emailing garageband files…

Once you send the file as a zip would the person receiving the email need garageband to open and listen to the track?

18. ConnorSmith - April 1, 2009

Yep, just choose “Compress”

Yes, to open a Garageband file, they will need Garageband. The zip file is just a container to shrink and hold the Garageband file. You’ll have to send them an audio file (wav, mp3, etc) for them to listen to if they don’t have Garageband.

19. Luis C. - April 12, 2009

hi, i am trying to email a garage band file to a friend so he can mix and master it but he has logic pro, is there a way that he can recieve it and open it with logic pro?

20. Damon Sink - April 12, 2009

Good news, Luis. All you have to do is email the .band file. Not only can Logic open the file, but it creates effects inserts and instrument tracks that can be edited in detail. GB is a great way to start a project that will be finished in Logic Pro.

The Studio Files

21. Mark U. - May 28, 2009

I figured out how to e-mail my garage band project as a .zip. how does the receiver of this e-mail play it on a PC?

22. ConnorSmith - May 29, 2009


If you are sending them a Garageband file, you can only open it with Garageband (which is a Mac only program)

If you want to send a song to someone to listen to on a windows machine, you’ll have to export your song to an audio file (wav, mp3, etc.) and send them that (rather than the Garageband project file)

23. Sher Khan - August 9, 2009

hey im using a brand new macbook pro, and when i right click on the .band file i dont see an option for “create archive” is there another way to create the zip file? im trying to send it to my fellow Mac user btw.

24. wilsonian - September 2, 2009

Yay! Thank you :)

25. Damon Sink - September 3, 2009

Hey Sher Khan (sorry we missed you on this one) but it is called “Compress” now in the menu.


26. bilal Khan - October 17, 2009

Hello! i was wondering about mark smith’s coment.. could you please explain more in detail how to make a garageband file playable on a mac? how can you convert it to an mp3 file and etc.?

27. bilal Khan - October 17, 2009

im sorry mark u’s comment thx!

28. bilal Khan - October 17, 2009

and playable on a pc not a mac im srry about that

29. ConnorSmith - October 28, 2009

Garageband files cannot be opened on a PC. However, you can bounce out an audio file of your song (which will be playable).

This post http://thestudiofiles.com/?p=204
will show you how to bounce files (just don’t do individual mutes as this article describes, bounce it all at once)

30. Casey Young - November 15, 2009

My friend and I have been sending files back and forth to eachother without any problem…until now. Both of us have updated our Macs, so its not a compatibility issue. But now when I send a file that has been compressed, it says the file is “corrupt, truncated, etc.” and again we havent been doing anything different….any ideas?

31. ConnorSmith - November 15, 2009


A few things –

1) Can you check out this page – http://thestudiofiles.com/?p=848 and give us some more information on your system (and your friend’s if you can get that info). Specifically we’ll need to know what OS, what computer/specs, version of garageband, etc.

2) When you say that the file is coming up as corrupt, what is saying that (Finder? Garageband? etc.)

32. Chris - December 23, 2009

How about sending logi to logic? I created the zip file and was able to successfully send. The regions were there but the waves were gone? Any advice there?

33. ConnorSmith - January 2, 2010

Sorry – I don’t understand the “sending logi to logic” part of your question. Can you rephrase?

34. Joel Mason - March 12, 2010

The “compress” option is greyed out on my new macbook pro. Also, when I try to compress it while “saving as,” the compress option is also greyed out. I feel like I’m playing by the rules, but it just won’t allow me to compress it. Any suggestions?

btw, thanks for creating this site and keeping it updated!

35. SamuelL - March 29, 2010

I have a small problem, and was wondering if you guys could offer your input. I’ve been recording an album on my brother’s laptop for a few months now, and as of yesterday I have finished the instrumentation, and now all that’s left is to do vocals. The thing is, I won’t have access to his laptop for vocal recordings, but I -will- have access to my sister’s laptop for a few days.

So, would I be able to record vocal tracks on my sister’s laptop and then transfer them individually for editing to my brother’s laptop (as in, record vocals in one Garageband and import them into another as separate tracks)?


36. carlos - April 15, 2010

THANK you very much.

Carlos, (Spain)

37. Poppomatic64 - July 27, 2010

It wont Let me make the file a zip file….. Can you help by emailing me
Please I need to send this file by august sometime!!!!! The sooner the better

38. Poppomatic64 - July 27, 2010

Or just tell me on here
I will check every so often

39. Koreena - August 6, 2010

hi i want to be able to send a song to a friend but it is a wav file and it is really bit, any ideas on how i might be able to send it to him?

40. Anon - August 27, 2010

For converting to mp3 etc., go to:

41. Kura - October 31, 2010

It doesnt give me the option to zip it or the archive thingy ): and if I send the zipped file in my email and opened it up on my PC would I be able to use it in windows movie maker?? Please email me, thank you.

42. Cole - November 4, 2010

I am having trouble getting a garage band file to my friend overseas. we are trying to make an album, so i am trying to send her the file. it’s too big to email, so i opened a dropbox account and put it in there. the problem is that when i put it in there, zipped or unzipped, it doesn’t come through on her end. all she gets is a folder with the different tracks i’ve created, and they’re not in order, and some of them she can’t open. i’m fairly new to garage band, so i may not be using it correctly. in either case, can someone help? thanks…trying to put something together before christmas, so the sooner i hear back the better. appreciate the help on this site!

43. Andrew - June 11, 2011

I hope you are still answering these questions.

I am using drop box to exchange garage band files between my girlfriend, and she can open them fine (she has the newer version of garage band, while I am stuck with whatever version comes with the 10.4.11). My computer will not allow me to open hers because I need to update, but I sures don’t have the money to update to a a whole new operating system.
Is there any way she can save her garage band files in a simpler format? One that I could open?

44. Leah Clark - June 21, 2011

Thanks for the tip about achiving! Awesome!!! :)

45. DR - August 10, 2011

I right click but archive isnt even an option

46. Jeff - August 30, 2011

I received a zip.file containing a garageband project. after i receive the zip.file in e-mail, what do i do next

47. Jose V Franco - November 30, 2011

I recorded a song with garageband, I can not play it in my pc, I put the song on a Lexar hard file but my pc does not support songs with a .band format. How can I convert this song to a windows media player format

48. Drea - December 13, 2011

How do you open a garageband session in Logic Studio. I recorded a song in Garageband and want to open the session in Logic to mix and master and add drums.

49. nick - February 22, 2012

I made a track in Garage Band on my iPad 2 and am trying to transfer it to my Mac Mini. Any clues how to do this? It gives the option to “send to iTunes” or “send to Garage Band on Mac Mini”, but using either option, I can’t find it on the Mini. Any easy ways to transfer songs from the iPad to the Mac Mini??

50. Me - February 25, 2012

I tried to follow the steps above, but I couldn’t find the part where you archive it. I have a Mac OS X Version 10.5.8.

51. Me - February 25, 2012

Never mind. Problem solved. You press “Compress”

52. tom - March 14, 2012

how do i record acoustic piano? I clicked on new project & get set up in a screen that doesn’t seem record.

53. j-matic - March 29, 2012

this is so helpfl my friend. it took me almost a year to actually understand how to do it. it is easy breezy i’m shock no one knows how to. thanks alot for that video

54. Danielle Barrett - April 15, 2012

It won’t even let me right click. I tried saving the music in a folder, then with it separate from a folder and nothing would let me right click and even see an option of “archiving”….

55. Todd - April 18, 2012

If my friend records a song in GarageBand and sends it to me, is there a way I could add music to his song and send it back? How can I open it to add vocals or more guitar and then email him the finished project?

56. Mike t - July 6, 2012

Hey, can you tell me if there is an easy way to send GarageBand files between iPad users. I can’t seem to figure it out, I can only send m4a files… Thanks

57. Shavon - November 24, 2012

Went I right click on the file I dont see anything saying “Compress” or “Archives”

58. Garageband emulators | Lipotrez - January 31, 2013

[...] The Studio Files » Emailing GarageBand FilesGarageBand files are saved as .band files, but when you try to attach this type of … I didn’t find any AU plugins for a tube emulator but check out this article for a … [...]

59. Candace Wakefield - July 4, 2013

How do I separate each vocal so that I can send the audio files to my engineer for mixing??

60. Dylan Jones - July 20, 2013

How do u do this on an Ipad

61. Jess Rettig - September 4, 2013

Hi PJ,

Your directions and video were so helpful. My son (a 9th grader) was required to send a digital file of him playing sax to his band teacher. Never done this before, barely know how to use Garage Band, but we made the recording and with your help were able to compress it and send it via email. Big Thanks!

62. Don - October 7, 2013

I would like to send one or several recordings i made in garageband to
a friend by E mail

please advise

Thank you

63. stanley gorczynski - February 16, 2014

My GB projects mixes don”t save. I save thruout the project but when I come back and open it all the volume levels have changed, and the instruments have changed.

I use Native Instruments Kontakt instruments and save instrument but it doesn’t load upon reopening.

If I may impose on you for another question, the GB. Instrumenst load with low volume levels and when I create a Volume Curve I can only go up to 6 db. Is that normal?

Thanks a lot,

64. Damon Sink - March 12, 2014

Hi Stan,

Sorry this is kind of an old article. Kontakt settings should be saved with GB, but there is a setting within Kontakt prefs that allows you to load instruments at either -6 dB or 0 dB–I suspect yours are loading at a lower volume.

Sorry for the late reply. Follow up with your current situif we might be able to help you.

65. Larry Ford - February 15, 2015

I want to record my voice, guitar and an electronic drummer through a mixer into garageband. When I click on “new project” I am not sure what template (piano, voice, etc.) I should be using. Can you steer me in the right direction? Thanks. Larry.

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