Creating Ringtones With GarageBand

You can use GarageBand on your Mac to create custom ringtones for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. You can combine your voice, GarageBand loops, instruments and external files to create almost anything you want. Then you can export them to iTunes and use iTunes to sync the ringtones to your iOS device. They can be assigned to ringtones, message tones, alerts or anywhere tones are used.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Creating Ringtones With GarageBand.

Hi, this is Gary with Let me show you how to create an iPhone ringtone using GarageBand.

I'm using GarageBand version 10 and I'm going to show you how to create a ringtone. A ringtone is actually one of the default project types when you start a new project. So we're just going to select that and start a ringtone project.

A ringtone project is not really fundamentally different than most others. You've got tracks and you've got loops. Let's go and record some audio, for instance, with the microphone here. Ring, Ring. So I've got that in there. Let's actually add just maybe a little bit of music here. Just something with strings and put that in the background.

So now we've got music and my voice. Of course you can customize this. You can record anything you want with your voice. You can combine all sorts of loops to make a song. You can import audio from another track and bring it all in here and create this ringtone.

A ringtone is essentially a loop. You can see it is set with a loop here with this yellow area. We want to tighten that loop up because it is going to play the entire loop out as a ringtone. We want it to repeat the ringtone, as ringtones do, after a short period of time.

So let's have it go this far. It will play this. We will make this part a loop like that and then it will return and play it again if it is a ringtone.

Generally the idea is that you can put anything you want here. Any number of loops. You can record with the microphone. You can record from other inputs. Anything to do with GarageBand. Even dragging and dropping other audio files in here and taking sections of them. As long as you end up with a track that has a looping section with cycling turned on of forty seconds or less.

Once you've got that you are ready to send the ringtone over to iTunes.

So make sure you have saved the file first. I've saved the project as My Ringtone. Now it has a name. I can go Share ringtone to iTunes and it will open up iTunes and the file will be in there. You have to switch your Library to look at Tones and then you will see your ringtone appear there in the list. You can create more and fill this Tones section up with all sorts of different tones.

Now when you connect an iOS device, like for instance I've connected an iPad here, I can go into the Sync settings, select Tones, select Sync Tones, and select that tone or all the tones that I've got to sync and the next time I sync that device they will then appear in the list for things like ringtones, text tones, and all sorts of messages and alerts.

So you can really create an entire soundscape for your iOS device by using GarageBand on your Mac to create all sorts of interesting ringtones.

Comments: 6 Responses to “Creating Ringtones With GarageBand”

    5 years ago

    Thanks Gary for this ringtone tutorial using the latest garage band!

    How did you navigate to the end of the timeline quickly to grab the end of the yellow loop bar? Is there a way to clear out that tool that rests on top at the end of the loop bar?

      5 years ago

      At which time in the video do you mean? A ringtone timeline is very short, so a quick flick on trackpad takes you to either end. As for the tool, do you mean the Horizontal Zoom control? I don’t think that can be hidden.

        5 years ago

        In the video it is around 1:08. I suppose using a mouse I can click and drag to the end. Navigating, for me anyway, seemed a bit different in this new version of garage band.

        Thanks again!

          5 years ago

          Yes, that’s using the trackpad to scroll to the right.

    5 years ago

    I just tried this and my itunes “library” doesn’t list “tones” as a choice. Any suggestions. I have itunes 11.1.5. ??

      5 years ago

      You may have it turned off. Go to iTunes, Preferences, General and make sure Tones is checked.

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