GarageBand – Recording your Voice

If you have a Mac then you have GarageBand (part of the iLife suite). It is a pretty awesome piece of software with loads of power. One of its many features is to record voices and since the MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or iMac has a mic, then why not use it?

Recording voices can be used for all sorts of fun stuff, adding a voiceover for a presentation, interview students about what’s happening in the class and post that on a blog or use it as a way to interview experts to gather research. What ever the reason, if you’re going to use it, then read on past the break to get a good idea on how to do it properly.

Enjoy and if you see anything to add or I should change then leave a comment!

GarageBand – Recording your voice

Creating a New Project

When you open GarageBand, click on New Project from the right hand side

Creating a New Project

Select the type of project

For our podcasting project we will want to select Voice. It will then ask you to name and save the project. After that we’re ready to get started.

Select the type of project

Managing tracks

When you open your Voice project you will notice that there are two tracks. We only need one.

To delete one click on it and hit + delete. That will delete the track.

To add a track hit + Shift + N. This will

Managing tracks

Get rid of the reverb

For podcasting we want flat and unaltered sound. GarageBand adds reverb to each vocal track automatically so we need to turn it off. Here is how we do that.

  1. Click on the track you will be recording on.
  2. Click on Edit (on the right hand side).
Get rid of the reverb

Now click on the blue box for the Master Reverb. That will shut it down.

defa1e3f-bf77-42d4-ba48-160761650e68.png

Before we record

GarageBand is set up to count measures (the rhythm of a piece of music). Since we’re recording mainly voices, it is better to know the actual time. Click on the music note and select the watch face. Now it will show us our time instead of the measures.

Before we record
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Microphone sensitivity

GarageBand can let you set the recording level. You will need to click the “i icon in the bottom right hand corner. Then you can select the recording level. I suggest experimenting with it to make sure it is picking up your voice clearly.

Microphone sensitivity

Recording

To record make sure you have the proper track selected and prepare yourself. Then all you have to do is click on the record button at the bottom. Once you click the record button it will record immediately, there is no countdown.

To stop recording simply hit the Space Bar. That will end your recording.

Recording

Editing your track

Sometimes you will need to edit and delete some parts of your tracks. This is pretty simple. First select your track you want to work with (it will turn Orange), then find the part you want to edit.

Now hit + T. This will split the track. Simply select the part you want to delete and hit Delete.

Editing your track

Zooming in and out

If you need a very specific part and are having trouble finding the exact moment, GarageBand can help you. On the left hand side towards the bottom you will see this slider.

If you move it to the left you will zoom out

If you move it to the right you will zoom in

Zooming in and out

Adding effects

If you want to add a little spice to your track, you can occasionally add some effects to your voice. There are more than a few to chose from and used sparingly can be very effective.

First you will need to edit your track to isolate that portion you want the effect on (see instructions above).

Then you will need to get to the effects. Look at the picture below and make sure you follow the markers. This will get you to the effects. Then select your effect and smile.

Adding effects

Exporting your track

You’re done recording and editing and are ready to export your track. GarageBand gives you a few options. To get to the options click on Share in the menu bar (at the very top). Your options are pretty straightforward. If you want to save it somewhere other than iTunes though, select Export Song to Disk…

This will allow you to save it anywhere on the computer or a USB drive.

Exporting your track

GarageBand

When you click Export Song to Disk… this window will open up. You can select MP3 or AAC formats (read about them here or go to http://bit.ly/vuNw9s). Select between Good, High, and Higher quality. Obviously the higher the quality the larger the file size.

If you know what you’re doing then you could also select Custom.

Then hit Export and let GarageBand do its thing.

GarageBand

Congrats!

You’ve recorded, edited and published your first GarageBand project. Nice work! Just an FYI, you now have two files: a GarageBand file and an audio file.

GarageBand files will NOT play on any mp3 player (including iPods/iPhones/iPads). You need to use the exported file for that. Enjoy!

About Patrick Cauley

I teach middle school technology and love to play around with tech and teach students and colleagues alike. You can read my blog at www.itbabble.com
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