Narration and Podcast Recording in Garageband

The following provides written instructions on how to use Garagband for narration and podcast recording.

Starting a New Project

1.) Open the GarageBand application and choose the “New Project” tab in the left-hand menu.

2.) Select the “Empty Project” option in the New Project tab.

3.) If you’d like to record your own audio using a microphone or line input, choose a track type, select the first option under the blue “Audio” banner with the microphone icon.

Selecting Your Microphone

1.) Click on “GarageBand” in the upper toolbar.

2.) Once the GarageBand dropdown menu appears, select the “Preferences” option. This window can also be opened with the keyboard shortcut command + comma.

3.) Select the “Audio/MIDI” tab in the Preferences window

4.) Find the Input Devices dropdown menu under the “Devices” section.

5.) Select your preferred microphone or audio interface. If the Input Device is left on “System Setting,” GarageBand will record audio from the built-in microphone on the Mac.

6.) If you plan to master your track and distribute it on online streaming platforms, select the “Advanced” tab in the Preferences window and uncheck “Auto Normalize.”

Recording Audio

1.) To rename an audio track, double click on “Audio 1,” type in the new name, and press enter.

2.) The track icon can also be changed by clicking the blue soundwave icon.

3.) When you are ready to record sound to a track, select the header of the audio track you want to record to.

4.) If you’d like to use a metronome, click the metronome icon located in the control bar in order to turn it on. It will play at the project tempo.

  • To adjust metronome volume, choose “GarageBand” from the upper toolbar.

  • Select “Preferences” from the dropdown menu.

  • Select the “Metronome” tab, and drage the volume slider left or right to lower or raise the volume.

    • The Tone slider in the same tab can be adjusted to adjust the tone of the metronome from softer or duller to a wood block sound.

5.) If you’d like a count-in, select the gradually increasing numbers icon in the control bar next to the metronome icon to play a one- or two-bar count-in before the recording begins.

  • To adjust the number of bars for the count-in, select “Record” from the upper toolbar.

  • Press the “Count-in” option from the dropdown menu.

  • Select the number of bars from the submenu.

6.) To start recording, press the record button (the red circle icon) located in the control bar above the main workspace, or press “R.” The record button will blink red when recording.

7.) Pause the recording by pressing the white square icon. Unpause by pressing the Record button or spacebar again.

Adjusting Audio Levels

Adjusting audio of an entire track

Adjust the volume slider by clicking and dragging the circular toggle from left to right.

Adjusting volume of a region within a clip

1.) Select “Mix” in the upper toolbar.

2.) Click on “Show Automation.”

3.) Click the track of interest, and a horizontal line will appear on the clip.

4.) Drag the playhead (the long vertical slider) to the boundaries of the region you’d like to adjust, double-clicking to add points. The playhead allows you to line up the regions if you are adjusting to a secondary track, but is not necessary in order to add the points.

5.) Add two more dots outside of each one already made so that there is a total of four points.

6.) Click and drag the line between the boundaries of the points, higher if you’d like to raise the volume, and lower if you’d like to decrease the volume.

7.) The points can be adjusted by clicking and dragging them to the preferred point in the track or to the preferred volume.

  • To have multiple volume changes throughout the clip, gradual or abrupt, just add and adjust as many points as needed.

Delete and Move

1.) To delete the beginning of a clip and shift all preceding audio to the left so that there are no gaps, begin by dragging the playhead to the beginning of the region you’d like to keep.

2.) Either right-click and select “Split at Playhead,” or use the keyboard shortcut command + T.

3.) This will create two separate recordings at the point you placed the playhead.

4.) Select “Edit” from the upper toolbar, then select “Delete and Move” from the dropdown menu.

5.) If you’d like to delete a region within a clip, simply perform the “Split at Playhead” function twice, once at the beginning of the region and once at the end of the region.

  • Perform the Delete and Move action.

6.) To make a keyboard shortcut for the Delete and Move function, head to Keyboard settings in the general computer settings section of the Mac.

  • Under Keyboard settings, select the “Shortcuts” tab, and then choose the App Shortcuts option in the left-hand menu.

  • Select the plus sign icon.

  • Select “GarageBand” from the Application dropdown menu.

  • Type in “Delete and Move” in the Menu Title text box. NOTE: This is case-sensitive.

  • Enter your preferred keyboard shortcut in the Keyboard Shortcut text box, then select “Add.”

Fade-ins and Fade-outs

Automatic Fade-outs

1.) Select “Mix” from the upper toolbar.

2.) Click “Create Volume Fade Out on Main Output” from the dropdown menu.

Manual Fade-ins and Fade-outs

1.) Select “Mix” from the upper toolbar and click “Show Automation” from the dropdown menu. Or you can hit “A” on your keyboard.

2.) Select the track of interest and a horizontal line will appear on the clip.

3.) Double-click to place the automation point where you’d like the volume to fade in, and then double-click at the point you’d like the volume to fade out.

4.) Drag the points higher or lower in order to adjust the volume.


5.) GarageBand does not have an automatic crossfade option. Utilizing the fade-in and fade-out technique outlined above, two audio clips can be crossfaded manually.

Saving and exporting as MP3 file


1.) It is recommended to save a project at its start, rather than right before exporting to MP3. Select “File” from the upper toolbar.

2.) From the dropdown menu, select “Save As…” or use keyboard shortcut Shift + command + S

3.) Name your project in the “Save As” text box, and select the folder you’d like it to be saved in.

  • Press “Save.”

  • This will save the project as a .band file.

Exporting to MP3

1.) Select “Share” from the upper toolbar.

2.) Choose “Export Song to Disk” in the dropdown menu.

3.) To rename the exported file select the name in the “Save As” field, then enter a new name.

4.) From the Where pop-up menu, select a location to save the exported file.

5.) Choose the format of the exported file (MP3).

6.) Select the quality setting for the exported file from the Quality pop-up menu.

7.) To export only selected regions of the project or the part of the project covered by the cycle region, select the “Export cycle region only, or length of selected regions” checkbox option.

8.) Click “Export.”

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