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Recording Audio & Video: Recording with GarageBand (Mac)

A guide for audio and visual recording projects.

GarageBand Instructions

For Simple Voice Recording

Configure Podcast Settings

1.) Open GarageBand (a software only available on Mac computers).

2.) Expand the details section at the bottom of the window to set your input and output settings.

input output settings

3.) Choose the Audio Input, which could be the computer's internal microphone or one you have plugged in. Then choose the Audio Output, which could be the computer's default speakers or headphones. It is recommended that you use headphones to avoid recording feedback.

4.) Open a new "Empty Project" by selecting the white music sheet. A dropdown menu should appear with track options. Select "Record using a microphone or line input." Choose "Input 1" under Details to use the microphone just set up. 

track options

 

5.) Click "Create" when you are done.

6.) Change some of the default settings that are more suited to musical recording than a podcast. At the top of the screen, turn off "1234" and the metronome. Change the display from "Beats & Project" to "Time" to can keep track of the length of your recording.

display options

 

7.) Before recording, check the audio input levels. Speak into the microphone as you would while recording, and watch the green meter rise and fall. Green means the level is good, while red means that it is too loud. Adjust the levels by dragging the button up and down, or by turning the dial on your USB microphone.

audio levels

 

8.) Lastly, you may want to add an effect to the track. Select "Voice" in the left hand pane. Click on the track to select it, and then click on an effect to change the sound of your recording. For podcasting, use "Narration Vocal" or "Natural Vocal."

voice effect

 

9.) Go to File > Save and save your progress to your H drive or removable flash drive. Keep ".band" at the end of the file name to open it again in GarageBand.

 

Recording & Editing

1.) You are now ready to record! Press the red circle to start. Press the square to stop. You can also use Edit > Undo Recording to delete what you have just recorded. 

2.) Press the triangle to listen to your playback. Click anywhere in the track to play from a specific point.

3.) Edit your track as needed, to remove long silences or mistakes in the narration. Use the slider at the top right of the window to zoom in or out (which will make it easier to edit just a few seconds in a long track).

zoom tool

To delete sections of the track: Click where the section begins so that your cursor is in place. Go to Edit > Split Regions at Playhead to sever the track. Place your cursor at the other end of the section you want deleted, and split again.

You should have a segmented track now. Select any piece to erase, and press Delete key on the keyboard. 

delete track

To reconnect the pieces of track: Click and drag the pieces together so that no space is left between them (unless you want a gap in the recording). Click and drag your mouse to select all pieces, or click one and hold down the Shift key while clicking the others. Go to Edit > Join Regions to create one continuous track.

 

4.) GarageBand provides a library of royalty-free songs and clips known as "loops" that can be used for background music. Click on the loop icon in the top right of the screen.

Select a category to browse, such as "Jingles" or "Country." Click on any loop to listen. If you click and drag one over to your project, it will fall on a new line below the other track. Rearrange your tracks as needed so that the music does not overlap the voice recording.

loops

 

Exporting

1.) Choose Share > Export Song to Disk to save the project to your H drive or removable flash drive. Save your podcast as an MP3 file for best results. The MP3 file can be added to your choice of hosting website later on.

GarageBand Tutorial - Record Audio Vocals, Edit, and Export to MP3

Available from Youtube, this video walks through "the steps of showing you how to setup GarageBand, record your audio vocals, edit the audio/voice/vocal files, and then export to an MP3 file format."

GarageBand: Podcasting

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