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iLife Tutorial: Export high-quality audio from GarageBand

The final stage of most GarageBand projects is exporting your finished track as an audio file. But how can you ensure that the quality is as high as it can be?

Due largely to its being a main component of the iLife suite, the audio export options in GarageBand tend to be geared towards sending finished tracks in .mp3 format to your iTunes library. In the majority of cases this makes complete sense, as it means that the audio files you export of your own GarageBand projects line up neatly quality-wise with all the other .mp3 files in your library, despite the trade-off degradation in sound quality that this involves.
The audio will still be of acceptable quality to most listeners, but every so often you will want to make sure that the audio file you are producing is of the highest possible quality, with no data compression whatsoever, for example if you are producing a mix for commercial mastering. It’s a matter of just a few simple steps to make sure that your project is rendered at the highest possible resolution and bit depth to ensure a great-sounding result. So if you want to maximise the quality of your audio output, read on.

1: On the menu
Open the GarageBand project from which you want to export the audio. From the Share menu, select ‘Export Song to Disk…’.

2: Empty the box
You will be presented with a window containing various export options. Ignore them all and just uncheck the ‘Compress’ checkbox.

3: Push the button
The window will now ask if you want to export the file at its original quality setting. Click ‘Export’ to continue.

4: Select destination
Browse to the location on your hard drive that your want to export the file to and type a name for it in the box provided. Then click ‘Save’.