How to Use GarageBand on a Mac
Have you been wondering about how you can record your voice with Apple’s GarageBand?GarageBand is a great way to produce your finished product, whether that be a demo or audition. This article will lead you through the process of how to use GarageBand on a Mac.
This tutorial shows you how to do everything from creating the initial project to ensuring that you have the right settings for your microphone in preparation to record! GarageBand is an easy to use audio recording software Before getting into the GarageBand tutorial there are some things you will want to understand about how your auditions should sound.
How To Use GarageBand on a Mac
Let’s take a look at audio on Mac computers and how to configure GarageBand on a Mac
Macs come with built in audio cards. Compared to some consumer computers, they are very high quality, but they’re not sufficient for most professional voice over applications.
Fortunately, there are many audio interfaces from varying manufacturers available for your Mac.
Note: Internal audio cards on current consumer level Macs are quite good for recording while you practice, and with options such as USB microphones, they are a good choice for beginners.
Of the three brands of audio interface that I have used; Apogee, Focusrite and Tascam, all used their own software, but still require configuring in the “Sound” System Preference when using GarageBand. So let’s begin by looking at the “Sound” preference pane in System Preference.
Click and hold on the Apple icon in the upper left hand corner of your screen and scroll down to “System Preferences.” Look for the “Sound” icon and click on this to open the preference pane.
It should look like this….
Under the “input” tab you will see any microphones that you have connected and you can select the one you want to record with from the list.internal microphone or “line in.” On some of the new Macs this is both an analog and digital input. Conceivably, you could connect an inexpensive microphone through this line in and record practice takes, but it wouldn’t present much of an advantage.
Alternatively, you could buy a USB microphone and connect it to one of the USB ports. There are USB microphones available from manufacturers such as Alesis, Blue and Samson beginning at an affordable price point (e.g. below $100). In the following illustration you can see how they might appear in the sound system preference pane. In this case, we were using a Blue Snowball microphone.
Below the input selection window, you can see the slider to adjust the input level and an input level indicator.
Note: If you can see through the indicators that there is a sufficient input level but no output (sound) then you may have forgotten to set the output to the audio interface.
The next step will be to open GarageBand by double clicking on the icon on your dock. Begin by selecting “new project from template” and select “voice.”
It will then ask you to name and create the project, simply begin by typing “voice demo” (or whatever you choose!) and then click “choose.”
The main interface will appear. You will see options on the left hand panel that allow you to choose different voice types (ie. bright vocal, classic vocal).
The next step, the point that most often confuses people is selecting the input for each channel. In the lower left hand corner of the screen you will see the interface for selecting the input for each channel.
As you will most likely be using only one channel for your microphone (not using a stereo microphone) select the channel in which you have connected the microphone cable to the audio interface.
Be sure to turn off any powered speakers connected to the audio interface and listen using headphones or feedback will occur. Feedback is a high pitched howling sound that occurs when the microphone picks up the amplified sound of itself.
Now you are ready to record!