10 Tips for Editing a Podcast in GarageBand
Recording and editing your own podcast using Apple’s GarageBand software is easy. In this post, you’ll learn the basics of recording a podcast in GarageBand, how to organize your podcast sessions, simplify your editing, and improve your audio mixes.
Here’s an overview of our 10 tips for editing a podcast in GarageBand:
Although this post includes specific instructions for how to edit a podcast, the same concepts also apply for editing music, voice over recordings, or audio for other multimedia productions, ranging from TV programs to explainer videos.
Let’s get started!
How to Edit a Podcast in GarageBand: Recording Your Audio
1. Open GarageBand
Upon opening GarageBand, you will have the option to select Empty Project. Once you have selected Empty Project, click Choose down at the bottom-right of the window.
2. Select Your Audio Input
In this step, select the Microphone option, and then down at the bottom of the window, ensure that Input 1 is selected. This will ensure that the audio that is coming in is Mono—meaning that both the left and right side of your microphone or headphones will be pulling in the exact same audio at the same time.
There is also an option to select which microphone is set up. In the diagram above, the default audio set up reads Built-in Microphone. However, by clicking on the right-facing arrow, you will see a drop-down menu that allows you to choose the source of your audio.
Once you have chosen your desired audio input source, click Create on the bottom right.
You will be taken to GarageBand’s main window. If you make a sound, you should see the movement of audio being picked up, made evident by the volume bars shrinking and expanding as you speak.
Green indicates that you are in the correct volume range. It’s okay if it dips into the orange space a bit, but you do not want the volume bar to reach all the way to the end and turn red. This is called clipping, and means that a listener playing back the recorded audio will hear distortion. You can adjust your levels by using the controls at the bottom of the page.
3. Set Up Your Workspace
When you are ready to record, you will notice that there are compressor controls down at the bottom of the screen. You don’t have to worry about any of these, as these are primarily for musicians who are recording and mixing music.
The most important element to have a handle on when you’re recording a podcast is time. At the top, you will notice that GarageBand displays both time and beat. You can set up your workspace so that you are only seeing the time.
4. Create Different Audio Tracks
When you create a new project, you’ll notice that by default there is only one track. This track is automatically labeled Audio 1.
You can add multiple tracks to house different components of your podcast. For example, Audio 1 may simply include the track for your intro music, Audio 2 may be the primary speaker’s vocal recording, Audio 3 can be designated for the guest speaker, etc.
You can add new audio tracks by clicking the + symbol on the top left corner.
5. Adjust Your Audio Levels
With GarageBand, you can separately adjust the audio levels of each track. This is helpful if the recorded audio on one of the tracks was a bit quieter than the others.
For instance, if a guest you interviewed for your podcast was a quiet speaker, you may only want to increase the audio levels for their particular track. You can do this by clicking and dragging the level on the individual track to the right (to increase the volume), or to the left (to decrease the volume). Each track has its own volume levels that can be individually adjusted.
Editing Audio in GarageBand
6. Use the Solo Feature
Solo the specific track you’re editing by clicking the Solo button, which mutes every other track except the one you are chosen. By using the Solo feature, you can listen closely and catch unwanted breaths, sniffles, or coughs that you may have otherwise missed while editing voice over with music and sound effects also audible.
You can solo an individual track by clicking the Solo button (headphones) to listen to the individual track by itself:
You can also mute any tracks you don’t want to hear by clicking the Mute button (speaker) of each track:
7. Split Your Tracks
Once you record your audio, the recorded audio will appear as a series of tracks in GarageBand. If you want to make edits to the tracks, you can split the tracks and only keep the specific portions that you want.
To split a track, click the playhead (the line that moves as you are playing your audio), and drag it to the position on the timeline where you would like to split your track.
Then, right-click on the position where the playhead is situated, or open the Edit dropdown and select Split Regions at Playhead. You will then be able to click and drag an excerpt of the track to another point in the timeline, or simply delete it.
8. Add Music and Balance the Volume
When you add a new audio track, you may find that it is louder at certain points than you want it to be.
You can adjust the volume level at different points in the track by first selecting the track you want to edit by highlighting it on your timeline, opening the Mix dropdown, and selecting Show Automation.
You should then see a faded yellow line within your track. Click on the yellow line at the position where you would like to begin fading, and a dot will appear. Adding a second dot to indicate when you want the audio to complete the fade-out will then allow you to drag the volume up or down to an appropriate level.
You can do this with all of your tracks until you are satisfied with all of the volume levels.
9. Set Up a File Structure and Stick With It
Make sure to properly name your folders, subfolders, and GarageBand session files. By keeping a consistent file naming scheme, particularly for podcasts, you will be able to quickly locate all related documents, session notes, and audio files sent in by contributors.
10. Export Your Podcast
Your final step is to export your audio from GarageBand by opening the Share dropdown. From there, you will have the option to share your podcast to your Music library or SoundCloud, send it by email, or export it to a disk.
Work With Creative Talent to Enhance Your Podcast
By following these simple steps, you’ll hopefully come out with higher-quality audio and save a lot of time setting up new podcasting sessions.
For a handy tutorial that covers all the tips we’ve discussed, check out this video:
If you’re in need of a professional voice actor to serve as your podcast host or record your podcast intro script, or if you’re in search of a skilled audio editor or musician to compose original music for your podcast, Voices has you covered. On our creative services marketplace, you can find and hire a from our pool of creative talent made up of experts in voice acting, audio production, music, and more.