Best GarageBand Settings for Podcast

The settings you want to focus on GarageBand for a podcast include EQ, compression, and reverb. Adjusting all of these can significantly impact how your podcasts sound. Microphone choice and placement are other factors outside of the app itself.

My name is Donovan, and I’ve been writing, recording, and producing music for most of my professional life. I’ve recorded many podcasts over the years, and I know what settings help make this type of recording shine. 

This post will show you the best GarageBand settings for a podcast. I’ll tell you why each of these settings is important and how they can play a role in your podcast’s sound. I aim to help you make a better podcast by understanding how these settings work. 

Let’s get after it. 

Key Takeaways

  • The most common settings podcasters use to adjust the vocals and mix are EQ, compression, and reverb. 
  • Every recording project, podcasts included, will have unique settings, but you can use certain guidelines to help you get started. 
  • There are also factors to consider outside the GarageBand app when recording, like microphone choice and placement.

GarageBand Settings for Podcast

You want to consider several settings when recording a podcast in GarageBand or with any other app or software. Knowing a bit about these settings will help you achieve a better recording and allow you to dial in your mix. 

Before diving into the exact settings you want to pay attention to when recording a podcast, it’s essential to know how to access these. Basically, all the effects you can add to a track are known as plug-ins

Plug-ins are software effects that adjust how the track sounds after it’s been recorded. You can achieve different sounds, feels, and effects by using various plug-ins. You can access the plug-ins in GarageBand by using the Smart Controls button to find the plug-ins.  

If you use the built-in mics in GarageBand when trying to record a podcast, I recommend using the Narrator or Natural microphone options over anything else. These are better for recording spoken vocals tracks than the other options you’ll find. 

Here are some of the settings to look for when recording a podcast and a brief description of what they do and how they can affect your recorded track.

Compression

Compression is a common setting to use on nearly every type of recorded vocals. This effect compresses the waveform of a track to smooth it out and limit any spikes in volume. It makes the overall recording feel more stable, which is ideal. 

Compression can also help the vocals sound clearer in the overall mix. It just makes them a little more punchy and clear. There are various types of compressors you can use in GarageBand or other apps, and I’ll address that in the sections below. 

EQ

EQ stands for equalization, and it’s a way to adjust certain aspects of the pitch in the recorded track. You can adjust the high or low end of the track to limit boomy-sounding bass tones or remove high-end hiss. 

EQ ranges from very basic to pretty complex. You can use built-in preset EQ and just hit a button to make adjustments, or you can use a manual EQ to adjust the levels of a track or section of a track however you want to. 

Reverb

Reverb is also sometimes known as Echo, which is short for reverberation. It is basically various amounts of echo, whether real or simulated, added onto a track to give it different sounds and feels. 

Reverb can add depth and texture to your tracks, but you don’t want to overdo it when working in GarageBand. A little reverb goes a long way when you are working with natural-sounding vocals, and it’s more common to put   

Best EQ Settings for Podcast on GarageBand

In GarageBand, you have two different types of EQ settings you can use for podcasts. These are the Channel EQ and the Single Band EQ. They can both be pretty effective, depending on what sort of sound or control you are looking for. 

If you want to create a high-pass or low-pass filter, you can hit a few buttons in the Single Band EQ and make this happen quickly. If you want a bit more control, the Channel EQ will let you make more precise adjustments. 

Best Compressor Settings for Podcast on GarageBand

There is only one specific compressor built into GarageBand, but there are a few other similar settings that you can use to help balance your podcast and make it sound better. You can access these from the Dynamics plug-in settings in track controls. 

You can tweak the built-in compressor quite a bit to get a sound that you really like and that works well with your podcast. Play with the knobs on the compressor to see how they affect the track and your vocals until you find something you like. 

How to Make You Podcast Sound Better in GarageBand 

I think a podcast sounds better with limited effects on the vocal track. If you overdo it with in-the-box effects and features, your podcast won’t sound natural. Keep that in mind as you learn how to record podcasts and work with GarageBand in general. 

Another important thing to consider when recording a podcast is that you will get a much better vocal track if you invest some money in a good microphone. You can use the built-in mics on your Mac or iPhone, but you won’t get as good of quality as with a real microphone. 

The settings listed in this post will also help you dial in your podcasts, so keep all of them in mind as you are mixing your vocal tracks. Ultimately, gaining experience with mixing and recording is probably the best way to improve the sound of your podcasts. 

FAQs

Here are a few quick answers to some of the most popular questions relating to the best GarageBand settings for a podcast. 

Is GarageBand good for podcasting?

GarageBand is a good option for podcasting, especially for anyone with little audio recording experience who doesn’t want to spend a bunch of money on recording software. GarageBand has all the features and tools you need to make a decent podcast.  

What audio level should a podcast be? 

Generally, you want to keep a podcast’s audio level reasonably low. There won’t be as many elements in the mix as with other recording projects. You need the level to be loud enough to hear clearly, but you don’t want to overdo it. 

How do I make my podcast sound natural?

If you want to make your podcast sound more natural, you’ll want to ensure you don’t use too many effects on your voice. If you get too much reverb or other effects, the podcast won’t sound as natural as if you keep the recording relatively dry. 

Final Thoughts

The main settings you want to use when working on a podcast in GarageBand are compression, EQ, and reverb. These are all accessed within the plug-ins section of the track settings, and you can see them by turning on the smart controls. 

If you plan on recording podcasts regularly, you should get a decent microphone to improve the audio quality. This will help with the overall quality of everything you record and comes into play when recording anything, podcasts included. 

Do you have any favorite settings in GarageBand for podcasts that I didn’t mention in this post? Let me know in the comments below.

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