How to Cut a Track in GarageBand

GarageBand is an easy-to-use audio production app that allows you to get started recording very quickly. You can cut an entire track without a lot of production experience, which is great for any beginners just learning the process. 

I’m Donovan, and I’ve been involved with music on many levels since I was a kid. I’ve worked in the music industry and have a lot of experience using GarageBand and other music production apps and software. 

This post will walk you through the basics of how to cut a track in GarageBand. I’ll give you step-by-step instructions for getting started with the recording process and also provide you with some other tips along the way. 

Let’s start recording. 

Initial Thoughts

Cutting a Track” is kind of like music industry slang for recording a song or part of a song. This has been used for years, and even though the phrase might be a bit dated, you’ll still hear it often if you’re a musician or producer. 

But cutting a track can also be confused with an editing process that splits the track within a recording project. If you are looking for how to do that, check out my other post on how to cut music in GarageBand

I’ll provide you with some basic steps to trim or split a track in GarageBand here, but check out that full post for more details. 

How to Cut a Track in GarageBand

To record a track in GarageBand, otherwise known as cutting a track, you need to start with an empty project and set up a track for recording. Follow the steps below to get started. 

1. Open up a new project in GarageBand on your Mac or iPhone. You can choose either an empty project, an existing one, or select vocals or instruments from the options the app gives you when you launch it. 

2. Create a new track by either opening a new vocal or instrument project or selecting the + sign in the top left of the recording window. 

3. Open the Track controls by clicking on the Smart Controls button in the top left window of GarageBand. 

4. Select the correct input for the source of the audio you want to record. This could be an external microphone or an instrument connected to your setup.

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

5. Position the playhead at the beginning of the track. This will be the place where the track will start to record. If you are cutting a brand new track, you can start things right from the top. If you are recording over an existing project, position the playhead accordingly. 

6.  Hit the Record button. You might hear the Metronome count in if you have it turned on. The recording will be live right after this count-in. 

7. Play, sing, or make your track however you want. You can see the audio waveform record in the window on GarageBand. Click on the Stop button when you are finished. 

8. Move the playhead back to the beginning of the track and hit the Play button to hear what you just recorded. 

If you like the track you recorded, you can save it and keep working on the rest of your song. If it was a bad take, you can click on the track, delete it, and try again. It doesn’t hurt to save multiple takes, so you have options when you fully edit. 

Once you have a track you like, you can continue to build the song by making more tracks on top of it. This is more related to cutting a song than cutting a single track, but know you should have a good idea of how the entire process works. 

Note that cutting the track is just the basic recording process. It will get you started with recording and familiarize you with what’s involved with doing this on GarageBand. But there are also other editing tools and features to explore as you fully produce it. 

How to Cut Vocals in GarageBand

Cutting vocals in GarageBand is the same as cutting or recording any other type of track. You’ll need to get your track set up with the proper input for where your vocal source is coming from. 

If you are using the built-in mics on your Mac or iPhone, you don’t need to get much set up. But if you are using an external microphone, ensure that you have the correct input set up to record it properly. 

Once you are ready to cut your vocal track, all you need to do is press record and let things rip. If you are singing the vocals yourself, you’ll need to take a few passes to ensure the levels are right. 

You will also need to use headphones if you are recording vocals on top of existing tracks. This prevents the music from playing back and getting into your vocal track. A good pair of studio or tracking headphones is essential for everyone reading this to have. 

How Do You Split a Track in GarageBand Mac? 

If you want to split a track in GarageBand on your Mac, you are thinking of a different type of cut. This process is easy, and you should check out my post on cutting music in GarageBand for a complete walkthrough. 

You are going to use the Split feature on GarageBand for your Mac. Essentially, all you need to do is position the playhead at the desired location for the split and hit or select the command to cut a single track into multiple tracks. 

Splitting a track is a useful editing tool you can use as part of the production process. It’s good to know how to do this if you are using GarageBand or any other type of audio recording app or software.

Final Thoughts

Cutting a track has multiple meanings, so it’s important to know that this phrase refers to both the recording and editing process. The information above is intended to help you cut a track relating to recording it in GarageBand. 

If you want to know how to split or trim a track, check out the related post that I also wrote about that task. This is linked in the sections above and will help you with that simple but essential editing task. 

Do you have any good tips for beginners regarding recording basics in GarageBand? Let me know in the comments below.

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