You may think of Garageband as an app for music making, but that’s not all it does. You can also harness the powerful multitrack features and audio editing tools in Garageband to make podcasts, audio slideshows and even add soundtracks to video.
In this feature, we show you how to make podcasts with Garageband. Podcasting is a quiet revolution in content creation, enabling enthusiasts of all types and stripes to create audio programmes anyone can listen to. From comedian Richard Herring’s interviewing other funny people to yoga guru Tara Stiles sharing tips about her Downward Dog, any subject is fair game.
You can join in easily. All you need is Garageband, some subject matter to natter about and, perhaps, a friend or two who shares your enthusiasm. Add a trusty mic - or the voice recording capability of your iPhone - and you’re set to go.
Recording, editing, mixing and sharing your podcast is easy once you know the process. We’ve been using Garageband for the task for years - and now we’re passing on our favourite tips and tricks to you.
01 Begin a Project
Open Garageband and choose “New Project”. There are several project types to choose from - each configures Garageband in an optimum way. Choose “Podcast” to get a 4 track workspace, including a special Podcast track where you can add chapters and an image for the episode. You also have, by default, separate tracks for male and female voice and Jingles.
02 Adding content
If you already have audio content, the fastest way to add it is to simply drag and drop it from the Media Browser or Finder to the track you wish to use - then position it. For example, if you have an audio clip from an interview, you would click and drag that to either of the voice tracks. Garageband recognises audio in AIFF, WAV or MP3 formats.
03 Recording Content
To record your own voice over you’ll need to connect a microphone to the mic-in jack on your Mac or use a built in mic (if present). It’s always better to use an external microphone with its own stand if possible. Select a track to begin recording then open the Track Info panel (the “i” icon toggles it open or closed).
04 Recording Content
Select the correct Input Source in the Track Info panel. To check the input level, choose “Monitor: On” and speak into the mic. Adjust the level with the Recording Level slider. By default, Garageband puts a bit of reverb on vocal tracks. You can turn that off by choosing “Vocals > No Effects”. Click the red record button to begin recording.
Your podcast is made in the edit. To trim parts that you don’t need, move the playback head to end of the audio you wish to keep, then hit COMMAND and T to split the audio at that position. Next, move the playback head to the end of the section you wish to remove and hit COMMAND and T again. Select the new clip and hit DELETE.
06 More Editing
We find it handy to cut long sections of audio down into smaller clips by splitting tracks. You can then rearrange the order of the audio or move it to different tracks by selecting (a single click on a clip will do the job) then dragging the clip into its new position. You can also join tracks by CTRL clicking on multiple clips, then hitting COMMAND and J.
07 Add Music
When you’ve recorded and edited the spoken parts of your podcast, Garageband has lots of built in music you can use to soundtrack your work. Open up Garageband’s Loop Browser - the icon’s at the bottom of the window to the right. Click the podcast icon and choose “Jingles”. Drag and drop music snippets to the “Jingles” track.
08 Mastering your Podcast
In general, your podcast shouldn’t need much in the way of mixing. Listen to each track and turn the playback volume up so that it peaks in the orange zone of the volume meter. The “ducking” control is also handy. Set music tracks to “duck” when spoken tracks come in - and the volume will automatically be turned down.
09 Publish to iTunes
When you’ve finished your podcast, you can make it available to listen to at your leisure from your iTunes Library. Go to the Share menu and choose “Send Podcast to iTunes”. From the dialogue that appears you can add author details and a name for your podcast. Finally, choose “Spoken Podcast” from Audio Settings.
10 Publish to your Web Page
To quickly publish your podcast online, use the Share menu again. This time choose “Export Podcast to Disc”. This creates a file with an M4A extension which you can then upload to soundcloud.com - a site that’s like YouTube for audio. Once online you can embed the soundcloud player into any website, or share using Facebook, Twitter and others. Who knows - your podcast could end being as awesome as Richard Herring’s!