How to Record Audio on GarageBand

Recording audio on GarageBand is really simple. You can use the built-in microphones on your Mac or iPhone and can also use an external microphone for better sound quality. After you open a project, recording audio is as simple as pressing record. 

I’ve been writing, recording, and producing music for most of my adult life. I’ve spent a lot of time working with GarageBand, and I know how to record audio of all kinds by using the app. 

This post will show you how to record audio on GarageBand. I’ll show you how to record audio using the app’s basic functions and how to do it by connecting an external microphone. 

Let’s get to it. 

Key Takeaways

  • You can record audio on GarageBand using the built-in mics on your Apple devices or an external mic. 
  • An external mic will give you better audio quality, but the mics on your Mac or iPhone can still record audio well and are a good option for beginners. 
  • Using headphones while recording vocal tracks is always a good idea. 

How to Record Audio on GarageBand without a Microphone

One of the great things about GarageBand is that you don’t need a microphone to record audio. You can use the built-in mics on your Mac or iPhone to record a voice, guitar, or any other live audio you want to add to your project. 

You don’t need to set up anything special to record audio without a microphone. Your Mac or iPhone will automatically use the built-in mics when you set up a project and start recording. 

You can double-check that the audio input is set to the built-in mics, and I’ll walk you through how to do that in the steps laid out in the section below. 

How to Record Audio on GarageBand Mac

Recording audio on GarageBand for Mac is pretty simple. This is one of the reasons it’s such a good app for beginners, and you don’t need to have much technical skill to get started with recording. 

You can record audio on GarageBand by using the built-in speakers on your mac or by connecting an external microphone if you have one.

To record audio on GarageBand for Mac, follow the steps below: 

1. Open GarageBand on your Mac. 

2. Select either an Empty Project or choose the Voice option from the Project Templates window. If you are brand new to using the app, the Project Templates option simplifies the process and makes it very easy to get started. 

3. Select Create. The main GarageBand window will now appear. 

4. Select one of the vocal mic tracks here (if you used the Project Template). Select a microphone option from the Voice section of the Sound Library if you start a new project. 

5. Click the Smart Controls button to show all the controls and settings on your currently selected track. 

6. Select the Track button to display the track controls. 

7. Select the microphone source you want to use. Note that the internal mic on your Mac will be selected automatically if you don’t have an external device or mic connected to your Mac. If you do have an external mic, make sure to select that as the input source. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

8. Click the Record button to start recording audio. Click Stop whenever you are done.  

How to Record Audio on GarageBand iPhone

Recording audio on GarageBand with your iPhone is also really simple. You can also choose to use the built-in mic on your iPhone or connect an external mic. There are a few microphones out there designed to plug directly into an iPhone for better audio quality than the built-in mic. 

Follow these steps to record audio on GarageBand using your iPhone: 

1. Open GarageBand on your iPhone. 

2. Open a new or existing project in the app. 

3. From the software instrument options, choose the Audio Recorder. If you are already working in the main project window, tap the + button to add a track and get directed to the software instrument options. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my iPhone)

4. Tap the Voice or Instrument option depending on what type of audio you want to record. These options change the settings of the audio track slightly. 

5. Adjust any settings you want to before you start recording. 

6. Tap the Record button to begin recording audio. Tap the Stop button when you are done. 

Do I Need to Use an External Mic to Record Audio in GarageBand?

If you are brand new to recording music, you can simply use the built-in mics in GarageBand and learn how to record that way. But if you want to make better-sounding songs overall, you will probably want to invest in a decent microphone or two. 

External microphones will always deliver better audio quality than the built-in mics on your Mac or iPhone. These built-in mics aren’t bad; they just aren’t really studio quality in the eyes of most professional musicians and producers. 

The other aspect of getting an external microphone that you need to understand is that you’ll need to get an audio interface to connect your mic to your computer. These devices can be expensive, but they will really up your audio recording capabilities. 

So even though you don’t technically need an external mic to record audio in GarageBand, it will be beneficial if your goal is to make complete recordings that you want to share with the world. But beginners don’t need to spend the money on one at first.   

FAQs

Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions relating to recording audio on GarageBand. 

Can I record vocals on GarageBand?

Yes, you can easily record vocals in GarageBand on a Mac or iPhone. You can use the built-in mics to record vocals or a better studio mic if you have one. It’s always a good idea to use headphones when tracking vocals to avoid bleeding on the tracks.  

Do you need a mic to record on GarageBand?

You don’t need a mic to record on GarageBand. The built-in mics on your Mac or iPhone are all you need to get started with recording, and these do a pretty decent job. If you want to get better audio quality, you might want to use a better microphone.  

Is GarageBand good for recording?

GarageBand is very easy to use and free, making it an excellent option for recording for anyone using Apple devices. The app can help you create high-quality recordings with ease and gives you a fun and intuitive interface to work with.  

Final Thoughts

You can quickly and easily record audio on GarageBand using the built-in mics on your Mac or iPhone. You can also use an external microphone and audio interface for better audio quality, leading to a more professional-sounding recording. 

External equipment can be expensive, so if you are on a budget, you’ll probably want to stick with using the built-in mics on your Apple devices to record audio. But if you can afford it, I think getting an external mic is a better way to go. 

Do you have any good tips or tricks for recording audio on GarageBand? Let me know in the comments below. 

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