Editing An Audio File In GarageBand

You can use GarageBand as a basic audio editor. You can import most standard audio formats into a project and then proceed to trim, split or re-arrange the track. You can also use filters and add sound effects and loops. Then you can export the finished product as a new audio file.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Editing An Audio File In GarageBand.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Let me show you how to edit an audio file in GarageBand.

I'm using GarageBand version 10. We're going to look at just editing a simple file. I've got an audio file from somewhere else and I want to just edit it down. I want to take some things away, maybe filter it.

So to do this in GarageBand we're going to create a very simple project. We'll just start off with an empty project here. We'll choose it. It is going to force us to choose an instrument here to begin with. It doesn't really matter. Let's just say microphone and it will create the project for us.

Now the next thing we want to do is we want to drag and drop this file into GarageBand. We're going to do that by dragging it to another track here. You can see it added it here as a second track. Now that there is a second track we can select the first one and use command delete to get rid of it. Then we will take this track and drag it over so it starts at the very beginning there and also get rid of the Library here on the left.

We see now this track of audio just laid right in there as track one. So we have it in GarageBand. We could actually export it right now and we can save it also as a GarageBand project right now which is a good idea to do before we start.

Now we can easily preview what is going on here in the audio file. We can position the playhead anywhere we want and press play and listen to things there. We can also trim it out. So if we decide like in somewhere in the audio we want to actually trim everything from the beginning here there are many different ways to do that.

One way is to split up the song into different sections. So we will do that. We will select it here and we will Split Regions at Playhead. There we go. We've got these two separate areas here and we can simply delete this one if we want and move this over here to the beginning. We can Undo all that and Undo the split there.

Another thing we want to do is probably we want to filter this maybe in some way. So let's bring back the Library here on the left. We've got all of our filters in here. We can filter for voice and select a filter for something else. So we can maybe make this Bright Vocal here and we can further edit the controls by clicking on that button there. Then go in here and use the equalizer. As we are doing this we can listen in to bits and pieces as things change.

We can even get fancy if we want and add other tracks. For instance if we wanted to add a musical loop to this we could select a loop in here and add something. You can even add some sound effects like say this is actually a talk I gave. So I could drop in some applause at some point or some audience background if I wanted to enhance what is going on there.

So you can add other tracks to it. You can trim it. We can cutout pieces of it if we wanted to. We can play with the quality of it using different filters.

Then when we are done we can simply Share it out. We can Export it to Disk or send it to iTunes and share out the new version of this song or speech or whatever the recording is.

Now you can even use this technique to take music from your Library. I'm going to click on that in there and then go to Audio. I can select iTunes Music and I can see the songs in my iTunes Library. I can drag those songs into tracks here in GarageBand and then I can go ahead and edit those as well or add those as background. So, copyright issues not withstanding, you do have the ability to take that music and to use it in GarageBand and edit it in GarageBand.

Comments: 13 Responses to “Editing An Audio File In GarageBand”

    Christopher Malaney
    5 years ago

    So is there a way that you can export from garage band to iTunes as a ringtone, and edited a track from iTunes library (song or sound) for your iPhone ringtone.


    Great video

    Judy Schulz
    5 years ago

    Can you edit an audio track to play faster or slower with GarageBand?

    Jean Hebert
    5 years ago

    Hi Gary,
    Can one import an interview from a cassette player to Garageband? And later export to iMovie or Final Cut?

      5 years ago

      You’ll need the proper hardware. An audio-to-USB interface to connect a cassette player to your Mac. Then set the audio input to that device. Then record in GarageBand as you play the cassette. Stop by a computer store for help picking out a device.

    Jean Hebert
    5 years ago

    Merci beaucoup… will do… jlh

    Jai Uttal
    5 years ago

    Hey Gary, do you have a recommendation for a small midi keyboard that’s compatible with Garage Band IOS on iPad Air?
    Thanks so much,

      5 years ago

      I haven’t tried any but the one I have. I have an older M-Audio keyboard and like it. Their current line looks good.

    Aaron Wilson
    5 years ago

    Hey I’m doing a project. I would like to know How I can convert one of my voice tracks to a demon voice. Any idea on how to do that?

      5 years ago

      Sure. Just create the real instrument (vocal) track and record your voice. Then open the library (button at top left) and add a voice effect, like Fuzz or Compressed or something. Then play with the settings for that effect.

    5 years ago

    So I have adjusted the volume for a quieter region of my audio track but i need more volume. Can I use the EQ (gain) for just a specific track or region of my track? Or is the Gain just for the overall track?
    Thanks for your help!

      5 years ago

      Try it. But you probably won’t get much. You may need to bring the original audio file into a pure audio editor like Audacity first, adjust it there with a filter which will also distort the sound (if the volume is too low, you have no choice). Then bring it into GarageBand.

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