If you are thinking about getting an external microphone for your Mac, there are many things to consider. Most people need a bsic USB microphone and those vary in price but are easy to use. You can also connect an analog microphone. For some uses a headset is better.
There are many ways to record audio from your Mac's built-in microphone or a mic you have connected. You can use the Voice Memos app or the QuickTime Player app to record quickly into a file you can use in another app or send online. You can use GarageBand for more complex recordings and editing. You can also record audio directly into some apps like iMovie, Keynote and Pages.
You can use more than one microphone or input device with GarageBand on your Mac. Instead of buying more hardware, you can configure your Audio MIDI Setup utility to create an aggregate device that treats each mic like a track in a single input. Then you can set up multiple tracks in GarageBand to use those tracks so each mic records to a different track.
It is important to check and adjust your recording level before recording audio for a voice memo, audio file, video, presentation narration or anything that uses your microphone. Your Mac has an overall system setting for recording level, but some apps also have their own recording level adjustments.
You can quickly and easily record voice memos on your Mac with the built-in QuickTime Player app. Once you launch QuickTime Player, you can use keyboard shortcuts to create a new audio recording and start recording. Then you can stop and save the recording in a format that will work in most places.
You can have your Mac speak text to you and also have it save that audio as a file that you can listen to later or even on your iPhone after syncing the file via iTunes. Learn how to take a text file and convert it to a spoken word audio file using the Terminal.
You can use your own sounds for alerts in macOS Sierra and Mail. You'll need to convert the sounds to AIF format and put them in the Library folder. Then these custom sounds will show up after restarting System Preferences or Mail.
You have to ability to convert audio files to a variety of formats from iTunes. The conversion leaves a duplicate in your iTunes library, but you can also locate the file. It can be useful, for instance, to convert AAC files to MP3 if you need to play them back in players that only support MP3. You can also convert video to formats supported by iOS devices and Apple TV.
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.
The OS X Finder offers simple options to compress video and audio files. You can use this to quickly re-compress these files before archiving them or sending them to others. These simple functions only work with some file types and offer limited options.
You can use QuickTime Player in Lion to edit audio files as well as video. You can trim down the audio, getting rid of unwanted sections at the beginning and end. You can also use the same technique to divide an audio file into several parts.
Automation curves are what let you control volume over time for an individual track or an entire song in GarageBand. In addition to volume, you can also control panning and sound effects. Master Track automation curves let you control pitch and tempo as well.
It is difficult to change the tempo of an individual track in GarageBand because all tracks will match the tempo of the song by default. But if you copy tracks into new loops, you can hold the speed of those tracks steady as you adjust the tempo of the song.
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.
Learn how to record audio coming from applications using SoundFlower and WireTap Studio. SoundFlower acts as alternative sound input and output devices on your Mac. WireTap Studio lets you record and edit sound coming from all internal sources.
You can record multiple microphones each into its own track in GarageBand. First you must set up an aggregate device using the Audio MIDI Setup utility. Then you need to enable multitrack recording in GarageBand and give each track a channel from the aggregate device. To get all microphones working well it takes some trial and error.
Learn about GarageBand 11's new features that help you adjust the timing of recorded tracks. You can force one track to match the beat of another, adjust individual notes or force a track to adhere to consistent timing.
iMovie 11 allows you to set the volume for specific portions of the audio track. You can adjust the sections of volume control and set fade in and out times for each section. You can also apply audio effects, filter sound using an equalizer and layer multiple tracks of audio.
iTunes lets you use a variety of file formats for ripping CDs or converting music. Learn about each one: AIFF, WAV, MP3, AAC and Apple Lossless. Decide which format might work best for your music collection.
Audacity is a free open source sound editor that anyone who edits audio should have on their Mac. It allows you to record, edit, alter and export sounds. It can be much easier to use than GarageBand for simple tasks.