How To Record Audio On Your Mac

How To Record Audio On Your Mac

January 6, 2020 11 By Kailee Schamberger


Hi this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today let’s
look at seven different ways that you can record your voice on your Mac.
MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 500 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon.
There you can read more about it, join us, and get exclusive content. So I’m often asked how you can record your
voice on your Mac. Most Macs come with a microphone included or you can get a USB microphone and
then there’s already a bunch of software on your Mac that you can use to record your voice.
The first method is to simply use Voice Memos which is an app specifically built for recording
audio from your microphone. So let’s launch Voice Memos. It comes with your Mac if you
have Mojave or Catalina and you have a simple interface here. A list of current recordings
on the left and a big red record button Now it will determine which microphone is
used, not by any setting here in Voice Memos but by going to to System Preferences. There
you can go to Sound, select Input here and you can choose the microphone if you have
more than one. You may just have the internal Mac microphone. Here I’ve got two webcams
and a USB mic. It’s also very important to set your input volume here. Here I find this
is the best setting for me for my microphone in the setup in my office. But for you it
maybe a little different. So play around with it. Notice how that when I talk you can see
it’s never reaching the peak over here but it certainly is passing halfway at the loudest
point. So I think this is a pretty good setting for me. Now in Voice Memos you can hit Record and
it will start recording from the microphone you’ve chosen. You can see the wave form here
so you confirm that it’s recording and see how much time has elasped . At any time I
can Pause and then I can Resume to continue recording. When I’m paused I can also hit
Done or I can hit Play to playback what’s there. I can move this playhead back and forth
like that as well. Notice that when I go earlier it says Replace instead of Resume because
it’ll replace everything from that point on. If I go to the end that changes to Resume. I can also Crop here. So now I can move the
beginning and end over like that and hit Trim to trim it. Or I can Delete to delete the
section that I have selected there. When I’m done I hit Done and you can see the recording
appears up here on the left. I can even Rename it. I can also drag and drop these outside
of Voice Memos so that it’s a File and now I can use it in another app. I can use the
Share button as well. A big advantage to using Voice Memos is that it syncs using iCloud
with your iPhone and iPad and other devices. So you can record something on your iPhone,
say, and then find it here in Voice Memos on your Mac. Another great app for recording audio that’s
been around for a long time is QuickTime Player. Let’s launch QuickTime Player here. I’m going
to do it with the Spotlight menu. I can do to File and New Audio Recording. This brings
up this Audio Recording interface. You can click this little button here and change the
microphone which, of course, you can’t do that in Voice Memos. You have to do it in
System Preferences. Then you can hit the Record button to start recording. At any point I
can hit Stop and then I get basically a document here that has the voice recording in it. I
can play it back and move back and forth inside here. Now I can go to Edit and I can Split
the clip at a certain point. I can Add to the end and I can also Trim. So there’s somethings
you can do with it. To Save this out you would just go to File, Save or Command S and then
you can Save it out as an audio file to use in another app. Of course you can also use GarageBand to record.
GarageBand is all about audio. You can select an empty project and it will prompt you for
an initial track. You can choose a microphone right there from the start. You can see the
instrument connected is in this case a microphone. You can click here and go to Settings and
change the settings input device. You can do Create. Now you’ve got a track there that
is listening to your microphone you could see the volume meter there listening to my
mic. All I have to do to record is hit Record. I’m going to turn off the metronome and count
in there and just record right away. Now I can record my voice here and you can see it
adding it to the timeline here so I know it’s recording. I also have lots of different settings
here. You can set some things that you definitely can’t do in Voice Memos and QuickTime Player,
to make the recording a little bit better. Of course GarageBand allows you to Edit this
in all sorts of different ways and make adjustments and everything. It’s a much more involved
app than any of those other voice recording apps. Once you have a recording like this
you can trim on either end just by dragging and dropping. There are a ton of options in
GarageBand. When you save you’ll be saving as a GarageBand file .band. This will save
all the data and everything and any other tracks you’ve added. But you could also go
ahead and Export by going to Share, Export Song to Disk, and here is where you can Save
it out as a file to use in other apps. Now some apps let you record audio straight
into the app. So an example here is iMovie. If you want to record your voice over some
existing video or some photos or anything in your iMovie timeline there’s a feature
for that. Under Window you’ll see Record Voiceover. It’s just the V key by itself. It changes
to this interface here so you have this little record button. You’ve got some Settings here.
Then you can just record some audio. You can see it’s counting down. You record this audio
and it will put it over what you’ve got as a separate audio track. So when I’ve gotten
everything there I can hit Stop and you can see now I have this voiceover track here in
iMovie. So if your goal is to record voice to go over your video you could do it right
in iMovie. You don’t need to use another app. Now another app that has a special voice recording
feature is Keynote. It will record your voice. But not just your voice. It will also record
the timing as you move through the slides. So then you can playback with your voice and
the slides advancing at the proper point. So to do this you want to go to the Document
sidebar and then Audio. The there’s the Record button. When I hit record it’s going to show
my presentation on the screen just like I’m presenting. On another screen I’m going to
see the record interface. So a little record button and something monitoring my voice.
I’m going to hit Record and it’s going to countdown. Then I’m going to start talking.
Now that I’m talking it’s recording my voice and whenever I press the arrow key to move
to the next slide. So it’s recording the exact moments of these. It’s going to keep the timing
down and then when I’m done I can hit the Stop button and the Escape key then to exit. Now you can see there’s a recording there.
I can go to Play and then Play Recorded Slide Show. It will play it back with the audio.
Even better than that I can do File and then Export to a movie. One of the options is to
playback the slideshow recording. So it’s going to export it with my voice and the timings
of all the slides. Now Pages, Numbers, and Keynote all have the
ability to record audio just using a regular element on the screen. Just like you might
insert some text or an image. This is under Insert and you can see Record Audio. When
you bring that up you get this little floating window here and I can record some audio right
here in Pages and then hit Stop and I can preview it, I can edit it, so I can trim there,
I can hit Done. I could insert it and I get this little item here. It’s just like a graphic
or piece of Clipart. So it’s not particularly very useful obviously for printing something
out or saving it in a standard format like PDF. But if you’re sharing something in a
Pages format then this audio would be included. So for instance if you’re editing somebody’s
document and you want to talk about a particular part of the document you could insert some
audio here. Then they could play it back. You just click on it and it starts playing.
You could create some multimedia type Pages documents this way or use it for editing.
You can use the same element. It’s present in Numbers and Keynote as well. You can actually get this little audio recording
out of Pages, Numbers or Keynote. If you look under the Format sidebar here and you have
Audio selected with this Audio icon selected here you can see File Info. I can actually
drag that out to the Finder and now I have it as an Audio file that I can use elsewhere.
You could also Control click on it and use Share Recording and here you can Share it
out as a file in Mail and various other methods. The seventh method is, of course, using another
app. So if you search for Audio Recording in the App Store there are tons of stuff that
comes up from the very expensive high end professional Logic Pro to other apps that
support this. So you have a few simple apps here in the App Store. I haven’t really tried
any of these because I don’t see the advantage of using them over say Voice Memos or QuickTime
Player. But you can go and get other apps that will do this. Adobe and other companies
also have their audio software as well which can do voice recording. A popular third party
app that I would normally recommend is Audacity. But right now it’s not working quite right
with the security settings in macOS Catalina. So maybe give their team a little more time
to come out with an update. I hope you found this look at different methods
for recording audio on your Mac useful. Until next time this is Gary at MacMost.com.