Recording Audio With GarageBand

You can use GarageBand as a way to record your voice or anything with your Mac's microphone. You can record bits and pieces and rearrange and edit them. You can also overlay tracks. Each track can be altered with editable filters. You can then export your audio as a standard file to share or use in other software.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Recording Audio With GarageBand.

Hi this is Gary with Let me show you how to record audio using GarageBand.

I'm using GarageBand version 10 and we are going to do one of the simplest things you can do with GarageBand which is just to simply record some audio from the microphone.

Let's start off by choosing an empty project and we're going to get asked a few things here. One of the choices that we want to make is that we want to do an audio project and record using a microphone as a line input.

It gives me some choices here for my input. It tells me here I've got this microphone selected. I'm using a MacPro so I'm using a USB microphone selected. If you are using an iMac or a MacBook Pro then you probably just have the microphone selected there. I've got some choices here about which input. I can do stereo. I'm just going to stick with the default and hit Create. It will create the GarageBand project for me and I'm ready to go. You can even see here under Audio it is listening in on my microphone. So it is reacting to my voice.

Before I start recording I want to make sure I turn off the Metronome and also I want to make sure I turn off the Count In so it just starts recording as soon as I hit the record button. Then I hit Stop when I'm done.

Hello, this is a test of recording on GarageBand. Hit stop and I can rewind the playhead and I can play it back. Now I can keep recording here. I've got this playback head and I can position it wherever I want. So I can put it here at the end and I can record some more. Some more. It puts it in there. So this is kind of one track here and I keep adding to it.

I can also select these and remove them by just hitting the Delete key or I can move them around. So I can push this one further out. I can rearrange them like so. So there is a lot I can do.

If you want to edit these further you can. You can actually go here and increase the magnification so I can see the wave form in here. I can hear what parts these are. If I want to I can actually break pieces out so I can put the playhead right here for instance and right where I want I can hit Split Regions, Command T will do that. You can see I split this into two pieces. So I can select this one and delete it or I can move it around. There is a lot of different things I can do just by splitting up pieces I have done and moving them around and rearranging them and deleting them and of course positioning the playhead and start recording new things wherever I want.

You can also filter the voice. So I select the whole track here just by clicking here and there are all sorts of things I can do over here in the Library. I can bring this up or close this by hitting the button here and I can say change the type of vocal to basically kind of brighten it up, make it different, make it edgy. All sorts of things that I can do to work with vocals. There are some more in here for instance. So a lot you can do and you can further customize these if you want. You can download more.

To further edit these controls I can hit the button over here and bring up all these different controls here that allow me to further customize how my voice is going to sound in this track. I can adjust these pretty easily and I can switch to an equalizer view of it if I want. So there is a lot I can do to control these and depending on what filter you have selected as to what options you are going to see here.

So I should also add that you are also not limited to one track. You can add another track. It brings back all of this and we can create another microphone track there. You can see I've got this first one and a second one. I can have the second one selected, I've just clicked on it there, and if I record more audio I'll be able to just add it here as another track as I record and I'll even hear my voice from the first track playback.

So now we hear a combination of these voices and there is all sorts of different things that we could do. We could actually bring these segments from one track to another track. Have them overlap. So you can do a lot of different things in terms of editing and putting together audio just from recording on the microphone.

Now that you've got something recorded you probably want to export it into an audio file. Of course you want to save this as a GarageBand project so you keep all the tracks and everything there and you can go back in and edit it. But you also want to export it to a standard sound file. You can just go directly and send it to iTunes if you want. Or you can use the Export Song to Disk option. This will allow you to save out the file to your Documents folder or wherever.

You can choose from a few different quality measurements here. You can choose something lower quality if it is just voice or hight quality if there is singing involved. You can also choose the AIFF standard file format which is lossless rather than the MP4 audio format here which will be a smaller file size so more ideal for sending over email or something like that.

Then you can export that file out and that file can then be used elsewhere in other programs, video editing, all sorts of different places.

Comments: 14 Responses to “Recording Audio With GarageBand”

    Todd Daniel
    5 years ago

    Any way to get the Podcast kit back? That was the main feature I used and it’s frustrating not to have it.

      5 years ago

      It was really just a pre-filled template. You can start with a blank project and use GarageBand in the same way as you did before for most podcasting purposes.

    Jai Uttal
    5 years ago

    Hey Gary, I’ve made many albums (one Grammy nomination) using Digital Performer on my Mac, but since getting into my iPad I hardly ever use my computer. So I’ve been working with GarageBand mobile. I find the apple loops, though pretty cool, to be very limited. Is there any way to get access to more loops for my iPad? Also, what do you think is the best microphone adapter/preamp for the ipad?
    Thanks so much for all of your help. I love your videos.
    Warm wishes,

      5 years ago

      I don’t think there are any third-party loops for GarageBand for iOS. As for the hardware, I’m not the person to ask. I don’t use my iPad for recording. I’m not really an expert on recording equipment since I’m not in the music biz. I’d ask in an audio tech forum.

    5 years ago

    Thanks very much–you tried hard but it is still too complicated for this novice. Is there a training program you can recommend for a slow learner?!

      5 years ago

      Sorry, I don’t know about any training programs. Perhaps sign up for a session at the Apple Store for one-on-one training, or hire someone from a local user group to give you a live tutorial.

    5 years ago

    Hi, Gary, do you know if there is a way to show only the editable loops in the GarageBand loop browser?

      5 years ago

      Not sure what you mean by “editable” — all loops are editable in one way or another.

    5 years ago

    How do I overlay vocal loops? Say I record one piece, then I want to do harmony to that piece. How do I do it? Thanks for your time.

      5 years ago

      You basically do just that. Record one track. Create another track and record that. You’ll hear the first track while recording the second. Ideally you want to use headphones, of course.

    5 years ago

    Gary, I’m on GB ’11 (6.0.5). I’m wondering if there is a way to create a “marker” on a track that will allow me to rewind to that point in lieu of rewinding all the way to the beginning. I can’t find any way to perform this task and it just consumes a lot of time. Sounds simple enough, but I can’t find an answer anywhere.

      5 years ago

      Perhaps look into the Arrangement Track and see if that help. I’ve never needed it, so I don’t know if there is something to help you.

    5 years ago

    Hey Gary. I’m trying to find the keyboard equivalents to the simple transport functions: rewind, forward, rewind to beginning. Seems like an oversite to omit them on this version.
    Also, do you know anything about multi monitor support?

      5 years ago

      The Return key does a rewind. Not sure of the others. You’ll need to experiment to see. FN+left and FN+right (Home and End) go to the beginning or end of the song.
      Not sure what you mean by multi-monitor support. GarageBand is a single window, and you can stretch it across multiple screens if you like.

Comments Closed.