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Hope Library Guides

Podcasting: GarageBand

This guide provides information about getting started with podcasting in programs like Audacity and GarageBand.

Getting Started with GarageBand

1) Determine where you will be using GarageBand. If you don't have a Mac (where it is preloaded on the system), the tech desk on the library's second floor has Macs with GarageBand installed.

2) Launch the app and select "New Project" or "Empty Project," then click "Choose." When the project loads, you will be asked to choose a track type. Click the option that shows the image of a microphone. A menu will appear below, where you can select the input you plan to use. If you are using a microphone, make sure that it is selected instead of the regular Mac microphone. Do not select the input that has two circles next to it instead of only one, as this will create stereo audio which can make your project sound unbalanced.



Hope College's Library Tech Desk regularly rents out audio recording devices that you can use in GarageBand. A list of available devices can be found here. Some of these devices can be used in GarageBand, while others are stand-alone devices from which you can import your content onto your computer.

If you get past this stage and find that your audio is not recording, head up to the top task bar, click GarageBand, then click Preferences. In this menu, you can reselect the correct input device in the Audio tab.

3) Your main project editor should now appear. You can go to the top-middle menu on the screen and select "Time" to focus on the amount of time that passes during each recording you make. To the right of this, there is a button with numbers on it and a button with a metronome on it. These are both helpful in music recording, offering a count-in to start recording and a metronome feature, respectively, so they can be disabled for podcasting purposes by just clicking on them.

4) Just below the top menu, you will see a panel that says Audio 1, which is your first track. It has a color bar that corresponds to the volume of the audio it is picking up. Your audio should always be just on the border between green and yellow. If it is red, or only green, you can move down to the bottom of the screen, to the slider called "Record Level." This will adjust the volume of your voice to be louder or softer as needed.

5)To record, go up to the collection of buttons to the left of the top-middle time-recorder. Press the red circle button, and recording will start. To stop, press the square.  To resume recording from where you left off, just press the red circle again. The other buttons will allow you to fast forward, rewind, go back to the start of the track, and play the recorded track. To import a prerecorded track, you can drag it into GarageBand from wherever you have it saved on your Mac. 

6)  To remove a part of a track that you don't like, you can click on a specific place on the timeline using what is called the playhead. The playhead is a tool that moves across the timeline while a track is playing, and you can drag it to the space that you would like to select. Next, go to Edit, then click "Split Regions at Playhead." You can also click Command - T. You can drag one of the split clips to a different place on the timeline, or to a different track. To delete it, just select it and press delete. You can continue recording from the spot on the timeline where that clip used to be if you need to.

7) To the far left of the screen, there is a group of buttons. The first toggles your Library onto and off of the screen. This is a collection of preloaded tracks that GarageBand provides to editors, which usually aren't needed in podcast creation. Next to that, you have the Quick Help Button, which creates pop-up windows to help explain what different tools are.

8) Your podcast might have intro music, so it is best to create a separate track for that or anything else you might want to add in addition to your own voice. To do this, click on the small + button above the track called "Audio 1." You will go through the same microphone selection process. To change the name of any track, just double click on its label and type whatever you want to call it.

9) To create a fade-in or fade-out effect with your background tracks, go to the top menu bar, Mix > Show Automation. A new drop-down menu appears under the track name, where you need to make sure "Volume" is selected. To create a fade-in, click on a point on the track timeline to make an anchor point where you want the fading to stop, then click and drag at the beginning of the track to create a bar with a gradual slope leading towards this anchor point. You can make anchor points anywhere on the timeline to change how it will fade in or out. 

10) To save, head to the top menu bar, to File > Save As. Name your project and select where you would like to save it. To export, go to the top menu bar, to Share, then choose where you would like to save it from a list of several options. When you select one, you can fill out track info like name and artist, then select the size of the file you want. When your project is done sharing, you can access it wherever you decided to share it, and save it anywhere else from there.

That's it!

How to Use GarageBand

Tips and Tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks to make editing with GarageBand go even easier!

  • To move multiple clips, or "regions" as GarageBand calls them, at the same time, just select them and hold down shift as you drag.
  • To record a track and play it back without listening to the other tracks in the project, you can click the mute button under the track name for each track, or you can press the headphones button under the name of the track you're recording on. This wil mute all other tracks until you deselect the button again.
  • If you try to move the playhead and find that the space above your track is highlighting in yellow/orange, you've accidentally selected a portion of the track to cycle! This means that the specific portion will play over and over again each time you press the play button. To get out of this, just press the button to the right of the record button, or press C.
  • If you forget what a tool does, you can click the question mark button to the top-left, which is called the Quick Help button. It gives a quick summary of the basic GarageBand tools.