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GarageBand tutorial: How to quickly record live vocal tracks

Follow this simple, step–by–step guide to find out how to set up GarageBand and record your own live vocal sounds in a matter of minutes – it really is that easy.

GarageBand – Record Live Vocals – Featured

GarageBand – Record Live Vocals – Sidebar
GarageBand – Record Live Vocals – Featured
GarageBand is a highly powerful tool, especially when it comes to recreating amazing instrument sounds in the software itself.
Unfortunately, one instrument you can’t recreate on your Mac is your voice, so when it comes to recording vocals you’ll need to hook up a mic and learn the ropes. It might sound obvious, but ensure you choose a quiet room to record vocals in, preferably small but not too boxy. Any unwanted noises that creep into your vocal will be much harder to remove at a later date. For the best sound, place your mic around five to ten inches away from your vocalist’s head, positioned slightly above their mouth so they need to look up when singing. Once you’re all set, follow our guide below to get recording.

GarageBand – Record Live Vocals – Step–by–Step

GarageBand – Record Live Vocals – Step 1

Step 1: Make some room

Vocals are usually recorded last, so once you have sorted the rest of your song, create a new track by heading to Track>New Track.

GarageBand – Record Live Vocals – Step 2

Step 2: Preset it

Select your newly-created vocal track, bring up its Info pane and select one of the vocal presets. It’s best to stick to one of the basic options. There are different ways to record vocals in GarageBand, so it’s worth knowing the different types of microphones available to you…

GarageBand – Record Live Vocals – Step 3

Step 3: Lose the reverb

GarageBand piles on the reverb here, so drag that slider back or it will be distracting when the vocalist records, and annoying in the final mix.

GarageBand – Record Live Vocals – Step 4

Step 4: Input and go

Finally, select your input source from the drop-down box at the bottom of the Info pane. When you’re ready, hit record and start singing!