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Learn how to get perfect vocals in GarageBand by adding effects

Follow this step-by-step tutorial to discover GarageBand’s host of pre-loaded voice effects and learn how add them to your vocal takes to create the best sounds.

GarageBand Tutorial - Vocal Effects - Sidebar
GarageBand Tutorial - Vocal Effects - Main
Recording audio in GarageBand is very easy, even if you don’t have a proper microphone
. You can use the built-in mic in every MacBook and iMac to record; what’s more there are tons of effects pre-loaded so you can improve upon the original recording with ease. It only takes a couple of seconds to test an effect, and you can even go into each of these and tweak the settings or add more effects on top to create something unique.

There are a number of vocal presets, each with their own merits. We are going to look at the Radio Effect option, as this one adds a subtle chorus effect and sounds like popular modern radio when used on vocal tracks. Using and altering the Radio Effect setting should hopefully illuminate the breadth of effects available and how even small changes can have a profound effect on the audio you have recorded. So why not load GarageBand, hit record, say something and follow this guide to see just how cool vocal effects can be.

GarageBand Tutorial - Vocal Effects - Step-by-StepGarageBand Tutorial - Vocal Effects - Step 1

Step 1: Get Info

With some audio recorded in GarageBand and the track selected (the purple bars represent audio and the blue square to the left is the selected track), hit the info button in the bottom-right of the screen.

GarageBand Tutorial - Vocal Effects - Step 2

Step 2: Find them all

A new window will appear on the right and you’ll see a range of effect options. Click on Vocals and then click on Radio Effect. Play the clip and you’ll hear the difference in the audio with the effect added.

GarageBand Tutorial - Vocal Effects - Step 3

Step 3: Get testing

Click on the Edit tab at the top of the right-hand pane that appeared, and you’ll see each effect that makes the Radio Effect preset work. You can click them on and off with a double-click on each setting.

GarageBand Tutorial - Vocal Effects - Step 4

Step 4: Play with popups

A pop-up box will appear with the effect settings in it. Adjust sliders for various elements of the effect to create fresh sounds. Play with each or pick from the other presets to see how they affect your audio.

(Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations)

GarageBand Tutorial - Vocal Effects - Annotated2