How to Use Two Mics on GarageBand

To use two mics on GarageBand, you’ll need either an audio interface with multiple inputs or two mics with USB inputs that you can plug into an expander on your Mac. You can’t really use two mics on the iOS version of the app. 

I’m Donovan, and I’ve spent over a decade writing, recording, and producing music. I have a lot of experience with GarageBand and several other audio production apps and know how to use various pieces of equipment and instruments with the app. 

This post will show you how to use two mics on GarageBand. I’ll walk you through the necessary steps to set up GarageBand on your Mac with two mic inputs and provide you with some other information to help out. 

Let’s start recording. 

Key Takeaways

  • You control the input source in GarageBand for Mac through the Smart Controls window. This is the main access point for setting up multiple microphones. 
  • Using an external audio interface is the best way to record multiple microphones, so you’ll need one of these if you want to record more than two mics. 
  • It is possible to record two mics through two USB inputs and not use an interface, but you won’t be able to record them at the same time. 
  • You can’t use two mics at once on GarageBand iOS, so this task applies to your Mac and not your iPhone or iPad.

How to Use Two Mics on GarageBand Mac

In this section, I’ll give step-by-step instructions for using two mics in GarageBand for your Mac. This only applies to the macOS version of the app because you’ll need to use an external audio interface to provide multiple mic inputs. 

So first things first, you need to get an audio interface to record multiple mics. There are many different types of interfaces out there, ranging from two inputs to eight or more. Find one that you like that meets your needs and preferences as a producer. 

Using two different USB mics to record in GarageBand is technically possible. But you can’t record both of these at the same time and will need a USB hub to connect them to a Mac model from recent years. I’ll address this more later on in the post. 

Follow these steps to use two mics on GarageBand for your Mac. 

1. Connect your audio interface to your Mac using the required cables. 

2. Connect your microphones to your audio interface using the required cables. 

3. Make sure your audio interface is connected to a power source if necessary and turned on. 

4. Open the GarageBand app on your Mac. 

5. Start a new GarageBand project. You can open an empty project or choose the Voice template if you are recording vocals with multiple microphones. 

6. Click on the first track in your project. 

7. Select the Smart Controls button from the top of the project window. This button looks like a control knob. It will open the smart controls window at the bottom of the screen. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

8. In the Smart Controls window, make sure that the Track tab is selected. This will give you access to the input controls. 

9. Click on the input options box to open the input selection window. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

10. Select the input source for your first microphone from the drop-down list of available inputs. Note that every interface will have a different name or amount of available inputs. 

Typically, your first input or mic will be in channel one, the second in channel two, etc. 

(Screenshot taken in GarageBand on my Mac)

11. Your first microphone is now connected to GarageBand. 

12. Click on the second track in your project that you want to set up another mic on. 

13. Repeat steps 7 to 10 above.

14. When you get to the input selection step, make sure to choose a different channel from the input where your first mic is set up. Selecting channel 2 will keep things simple. 

You now have two mics connected to GarageBand and can make a recording using them however you wish.

How to Record 3 Mics on GarageBand

You can record as many different mics in GarageBand as your external interface will allow. And since many interfaces have four or more channels, recording 3 mics is pretty easy. 

To record 3 mics on GarageBand, follow the steps in the section above for recording two microphones. Follow the process again for setting up your third mic, making sure to choose a third channel for the mic from the available input list. 

If your audio interface only has two channels, you won’t be able able to record three mics at once on GarageBand. But you could remove one mic when you are done recording with it, hookup up a different mic, and then record three mics that way. 

And if you want to record more than three mics at once, the same process applies to recording four or more. You can connect as many microphones as you have inputs for, and GarageBand will allow you to have hundreds of different input sources. 

How to Use 2 USB Microphones at Once Mac

You probably use a USB mic to work with GarageBand on your Mac if you don’t have an audio interface. Unfortunately, you can’t use multiple USB mics at the same time with GarageBand because your mac won’t recognize the two USB microphones at once. 

This can be frustrating if you are trying to record a project with multiple instruments or voices, but there really isn’t any way around it other than to get an external audio interface. If you plan on doing a lot of recording, this is a good investment anyway. 

If you want to use two USB mics in GarageBand because they have different sound qualities, you can use them separately simply by interchanging them into the system one at a time. 

You’ll also need a USB hub to connect standard USB chords to a modern Mac with Thunderbolt inputs. These hubs expand the amount and type of inputs your computer has. 

FAQs

Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to how to use two mics on GarageBand. 

Can you use multiple mics on GarageBand? 

Yes, you can use multiple mics on GarageBand, as long as you have an audio interface with multiple channels. You can’t record multiple USB mics at the same time, but you can record as many mics at once if they are all plugged into an interface connected to your Mac. 

Can you use 2 mics at once? 

You can use 2 mics at once in GarageBand or other audio production apps. You just need to make sure they have separate tracks and inputs set up to do so. You also want to consider bleed over from the other mic and make sure they are somewhat isolated from each other. 

Final Thoughts

The best way to use two mics on GarageBand is to use an audio interface with multiple inputs. This will allow you to connect as many microphones as the interface has inputs for directly to your Mac. Then you just need to set up the proper inputs in the Smart Controls of the app. 

I highly recommend using the macOS version of GarageBand for larger, multi-track recording projects. You can’t really hook up multiple mics at once in the iOS version of the app, but you can easily do this on your Mac if you have a multi-channel interface. 

Hove you ever used multiple microphones in a GarageBand project? What type of mics were they, and did you use an audio interface? Let me know in the comments below.

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