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GarageBand '11: Connect a microphone

Connect a microphone

You can connect a microphone to your computer to record your voice, an acoustic instrument, or any other sound to a Real Instrument track in GarageBand. You can connect a microphone to your computer’s audio input port, a USB port, or, for better audio quality, an audio interface connected to a FireWire or USB port on your computer. You can also use the built-in microphone in your computer to record sound.

After you connect a microphone, you choose the input source for the track you want to record in, and optionally turn on monitoring to hear your microphone as you play.

To connect a microphone to your computer:

Do one of the following:

  • If you are using your computer’s built-in microphone, be sure to set the input source for the track you want to use to Built-in Microphone. No additional steps are necessary to connect the microphone.

  • If your computer has an audio input port, connect a microphone to the audio input. Be sure to set the input source for the track you want to use to Built-in Input.

    Track Info-Real Instrument
  • Connect a USB microphone to a USB port on your computer. Be sure to choose the USB microphone as the input source for the track you want to use.

    Track Info-Real Instrument
  • Connect an audio interface to your computer’s USB or FireWire port, then connect a microphone to the audio interface for recording.

  • Connect an audio mixer or console to an audio interface, and connect the interface to your computer as described above. This lets you record several microphones at the same time.

To set the input source for a microphone:

  1. Double-click the header of the Real Instrument track you want to record in to open the Track Info pane.

    Track Info-Real Instrument
  2. Choose one of the following from the Input Source pop-up menu:

    • If you are using your computer’s built-in microphone, choose Built-in Microphone.

    • If you are using a microphone connected to your computer’s audio input port, choose Built-in Input.

      If Built-in Input does not appear in the menu, choose GarageBand > Preferences, click Audio/MIDI, and choose Built-in Input from the Audio Input pop-up menu.

    • If you are using a microphone connected to a USB port, choose the microphone.

    • If you are using a microphone connected to an audio interface, choose the channel number for the microphone.

      If the audio interface channels do not appear in the menu, choose GarageBand > Preferences, click Audio/MIDI, then choose the audio interface from the Audio Input pop-up menu.

    Make sure the format matches the microphone or instrument. Choose a mono input source for monophonic instruments (with a single channel), and choose a stereo input source for stereo instruments (with a pair of channels).

  3. Drag the Recording Level slider to change the input volume level for the sound source.

    If the Recording Level slider is dimmed, you can’t change the input volume in GarageBand. In this case, use the device’s own volume control.

To turn on monitoring for a microphone:

  1. Double-click the header of the Real Instrument track you want to record in to open the Track Info pane.

    Track Info-Real Instrument
  2. In the Track Info pane, choose one of the following from the Monitor pop-up menu:

    • Choose On to turn on monitoring and protect against feedback. If feedback occurs, an alert appears, asking if you want to turn monitoring on or off.

    • Choose On (no feedback protection) to turn on monitoring without feedback protection. If the input level is too high, it may cause feedback (especially if you are using a microphone and listening to your project through your computer speakers).

    • Choose Off to turn off monitoring. You can hear your instrument only while you record.

Using an unpowered microphone may result in a low-level input signal. You can use a preamplifier to increase the input signal.

If you use an audio interface to connect musical instruments, check the manufacturer’s specifications to make sure the interface is compatible with Mac OS X. Also make sure the audio interface uses a format supported by your computer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which may include installing the correct driver on your computer.

Last Modified: Mar 13, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Mar 13, 2012
  • Article: PH1822
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