How to Export Stems in GarageBand

You can export songs in GarageBand for Mac by soloing each track you want to export and then exporting the file to a specified location on your computer. You can also do this on GarageBand iOS with a few extra steps.

My name is Donovan, and I’ve spent most of my adult life writing and recording music. I have years of experience working in GarageBand and know how to use all of the excellent tools and features of the app. 

This post will show you how to export stems in GarageBand. I’ll walk you through all the steps to do this on your Mac and iPhone and provide you with some other helpful information to consider when you want to export stems. 

Let’s dive in. 

Key Takeaways

  • Exporting stems is easier on GarageBand for Mac than on GarageBand iOS, especially if you want to export multiple track stems. 
  • If you are sending the stems to get mixed or mastered, you’ll probably want to remove any effects on the tracks before exporting. 
  • Knowing how to export stems will allow you to use music you recorded in GarageBand on other DAWs. 

How to Export Stems in GarageBand iPhone

Exporting stems in GarageBand on your iPhone isn’t an entirely straightforward feature of the app. It is possible, but there is no exact “export stems” menu or option. Instead, you’ll need to follow the steps below to complete this task as a workaround.

To export stems in GarageBand on your iPhone, follow these steps. 

1. Open the GarageBand app on your iPhone. 

2. Open the project with the stems you want to export. 

3. Make sure you are in the main project window and slide the track control window open to access the track controls. 

4. Tap the track of one of the stems you want to export. 

5. If you are exporting the track for mixing purposes or to use in another DAW, you might want to remove the effects from the track. If not, skip this step. 

To remove the effects from the track, tap the Mixer icon to show the track settings window. From here, you can remove any compression, reverb, or other effects on the track by exploring this window and turning the effects off by tapping buttons or moving sliders. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my iPhone)

6. Tap the Solo track icon from the track controls window, which looks like a pair of headphones. This will isolate the track as the only one in the project to play, allowing you to export it as a stem when you share it by following the next steps. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my iPhone)

7. Now tap the My Songs icon located in the top left corner of the project window. This will take you to the window with all of your saved projects. 

8. Tap on the song with the stem you want to export. Rename the file, so you recognize it as a stem track. (You can rename it back to the regular version when you are done exporting stems).

9. Long press the file icon of the soloed stem track.

10. Click Share from the available options. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my iPhone)

11. Select Song from the format selection options in the next window. 

12. You can now export your stem to any file location you wish. You can export it onto your iPhone, send the file through any messaging app, or move it to a computer via AirDrop or Bluetooth.

13. Repeat the steps for any other stems you want to move from a project, making sure to solo each track and remove effects if desired before exporting.  

How to Export Stems in GarageBand Mac

Exporting stems in GarageBand on Mac is a bit more direct than doing it on your iPhone. If you have a lot of tracks you want to export or larger projects, I recommend exporting them through the macOS version of the app. 

Follow these steps to export stems in GarageBand on your Mac. 

1. Open the GarageBand app on your Mac. 

2. Open the project with the tracks you want to export. 

3. Click on the track you want to export a stem of. 

4. If you are exporting the track for mixing purposes or to use in another DAW, you might want to remove the effects from the track. If not, skip this step. 

To remove effects from the track, click on the Smart Controls button, which looks like a control knob in the upper left part of the project window. 

Then remove any effects you want to get rid of from the Track or Master settings that appear in the smart controls window at the bottom of the screen. You can turn off plug-in effects by selecting the on/off button that appears when you hover the cursor over the plug-in slot. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

5. Solo the track you want to export by clicking the Solo icon that looks like a pair of headphones in the track controls window. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

6. Move the cursor over the Share tab from the main menu at the top of the screen. 

7. Select Export Song to Disc from the share menu. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

8. The Export menu will appear, giving you the option of what type of file to save the stem as and where to save it on your computer. Choose whatever settings you want here. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

9. Click Export. 

10. Repeat the steps for any additional tracks you want to export as stems.  

How to Batch Export Stems in GarageBand

As you can see by going through the steps in the sections above, it can take a while to export a bunch of stems when you need to do this track by track. But you can batch export stems in GarageBand for Mac if you want to save time and speed up the process. 

To batch export stems in GarageBand, follow these steps. 

1. Open the GarageBand app on your Mac. 

2. Select the project with the tracks you want to batch export. 

3. Move the cursor over the Track tab of the main menu at the top of the screen. 

4. Select Configure Track Header 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

5. Click the Track Lock check box from the window that pops up. This will display the Track Lock button in the track controls window.

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

6. Click the Track Lock button for all the tracks you want to batch export. The track lock button will turn green when turned on. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

7. Move the cursor over the Share tab from the main menu. 

8. Select Export Song to Disc

9. Choose your file location and quality. 

10. Click Export. You will now have a batch of stems that you can export when you open that particular file. 

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to export stems in GarageBand is a good skill to know when you want to move tracks into other DAWs or share them with producers who will help you mix, master, and edit. It’s an essential aspect of sharing in-progress projects. 

GarageBand doesn’t make it entirely straightforward to export stems, especially if you want to export multiple tracks. But if you follow the steps in this post, you’ll be able to export stems in GarageBand on your Mac or iPhone easily. 

Do you export stems with or without effects? Do you know of any other tips for exporting stems in GarageBand that I didn’t mention here? Let me know in the comments below.

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