MacMost Now 558: Recording Voice in GarageBand

Learn how to record your voice in GarageBand. You can record in segments, replacing and removing as you go along. You can also add intro music and background music. See how to export the final product as an audio file.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 558: Recording Voice in GarageBand.

Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let me show you how to record voice on garageband.So when you want to record your own voice with Garageband start off using the voice template.You get two tracks by default. One set for a male voice, one set for a female voice. So, select the one you are not going to use and use command and delete to remove it.Next you want to choose your microphone. Go to garageband preferences and look under audio midi for the audio input setting. System setting means it is going to use the setting in system preferences sound input. In this case this blue snowball microphone here.Now you can also have garageband do something that is not in the system setting by selecting audio input here and choosing another microphone perhaps the built in mic on your Mac.
Now a mic built into your Macbook or IMac is fine just for having a little fun or doing something personal, but if you are going to do anything professional you are going to want to get an external mic. You can use a usb microphone like this, uh, you can get a regular microphone and use an audio interface to connect it to usb to your Mac.Basically even a very cheap microphone is better than the one built into our Mac because that is a very tiny microphone and it is suseptable to sounds like your hard drive spinning and taps on your keyboard. So, get a cheap microphone a least and spend a little bit more of you are going to be doing it professionally.
Now once you have selected the input source you can also go over here on the right and further modify the input source if there are multiple channels. For instance this microphone has a left and right channel. Or I can get both in stereo here. Now you can turn the monitor on or off, uh, what this will do is play the audio through the speakers. This is very useful for using a usb headset and you want to hear your own voice through the headset. Other wise when using speakers you probably don't want to hear your own voice echoed back to you. You can also set to the recording level. Notice here you can see, uh, my audio coming in, and if I wanted to increase the level I could actually build it up right here. Uh, I could also decrease it if it's a little too loud. Otherwise you probably want to leave it somewhere right around here.
So to start recording what I do is hit the red record button here. This is a test of audio recording in garageband. The you can see I hit the stop button her, the stop button stops the recording. Now if I don't like the take I can get rid of it very quickly by either selecting and hitting delete or pressing command c for undo. Notice that the arrow is still at that time when I finished recording so I hit just z by itself, no command key which brings it all the way back to the beginning. So a quick command z and then z and it will allow me to do my recording again. Now otherwise could hit record and pick up right where I left off.So i could do recording in segments. Um, when I want to think about what i want to say I just stop t and then I think about it and then I hit record again and it records some more. Then stop. I could also reposition the if I want to record over something I have done. So I can put it here, hit the space bar or play and listen. [recording] I can stop here and right in the middle of this track if I hit record I will start recording right over what I had there. So just another piece of the recording right here. And now you can see it replaced the end of this segment with this new segment. Now I can change the effect that I want and do that for the entire track with the track selected I can look over here to the right to the real instrument modifiers. And you can see I have vocal selected, male base selected .I can change it to no effects. Uh, I can go to podcasting and change to a male radio, male noisy. Ther's a lot of different settings here and you can just try them all out and see which ones you like best. Now you can also easily add some music this. So for instance I'm going to grab all of the segments hereby clicking on the track and moving it over a bit. Then I am going to go to the loop browser. Click here for the jingles and grab something very short. Here is something that is five seconds long, so we drag that over here and put it in place and then maybe adjust the volume down a little bit. Move the tracks over so the ykind of overlap a little and now I get some music when I play.[recording playing] And you can ad a similar thing to the end. You could also ad some say underlining music. So lets take a longer track and ad it here underneath and have it start out just when the intro music is over. Bring the line way down on that so it very just quiet behind you.[recording playing] When you are done you can export using the share menu. You can send it right to ITunes or, more likely, you want to export song to disk. Do that and you can select your options. Turn off compression and it will export it in full uncompressed quality as in AIF lab. Turn on compress file and then you can choose here if you want to do an mp3 or aac. Choose a quality or choose a custom quality setting. CHoose the exact mp3 setting there and export it as a file. So there is the general idea of how to do a basic voice recording in garageband.Hope you found this useful. Til next time this is Gary with MacMost Now"

Comments: 11 Responses to “MacMost Now 558: Recording Voice in GarageBand”

    8 years ago

    nice job! his saves me a lot of time.

    8 years ago

    There is sooo much information here. Are these videos available on DVD?

      8 years ago

      Thanks! No, these videos are only available online. If I were to make a DVD collection, there would be more than 47 hours worth of video, so it would be about 10-20 DVDs in the set, I think. Even as compressed computer video to watch on a Mac, it would still take about 7 or 8 dual-layer DVDs.

    8 years ago

    Great job on the instructional videos! Some Photoshop tutorials would be nice, but I realize that this is an Adobe product… Automator is good, and it reminds me of the old “Mac QuickKeys”. What’s the difference between the two? Keep up the good work!

      8 years ago

      QuickKeys is more about setting up shortcuts and tying them to repeatable actions. They have some in common, but Automator goes deeper and actually has ties into actual functions that OS X and other applications perform.

    Nancy O'Donohue
    8 years ago

    Thank you so much. Best tutorial I’ve found on Garageband. You made my day!!

    bedo sofi
    8 years ago

    thnx gary
    god bless u

    7 years ago

    Hi, I’m trying to record audio voice files on my iphone 3GS. I have downloaded garageband and got it working etc., except the files are all being exported as mp4 or something else. No one I send them to (for work purposes) can open them? I need to convert to mp3. Could you help?

      7 years ago

      They are exported as m4a files (not mp4, which would be video). That is a file with encoded aac audio. It has wide support on both Mac and Windows platforms (see so I’m not sure why people are having trouble playing it.
      If you just want to record voice memos and need it to be a different format, perhaps try looking for another app then — there are tons of audio recording apps and perhaps one offers mp3 output to email.

    T. Dixon
    7 years ago

    Great help Gary. You have the best videos for all things Mac. Thanks!

    6 years ago

    You can’t record stereo with one mic, even if your mic has 2 channels.
    In fact, you will waste HDD space as the mono signal that is picked up will be written twice on your drive

Comments Closed.