How to get started with recording audio on Mac

Whether you’re wanting to become the next Lorde, start your own podcast or recording a tutorial, the Mac has some of the best hardware and software around. We highlight some starters for you to look at to accomplish your next audio recording projects.

Hardware

Mac comes with a built-in microphone that is ideal for Skype call, but might be underwhelmed when it comes to capture the nuances of your voice quality. An external microphone is recommended for capturing best audio quality possible.

You might be tempted to use the EarPods with Remote and Mic that is bundled with your iPhone. That will work but the audio quality is not much better than the Mac’s built-in microphone.

To really boost the audio quality of your end result, consider an investment in an external USB microphone. There are a lot of microphones from which to choose. It can be overwhelming, here are two good ones to look into if your buying your next microphone.

Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone

Blue Microphones’ Yeti USB Microphone is a popular choice among podcasters and YouTube videocasters. It is plug-and-play with your Mac that will get you studio-quality recordings in no time. You can purchase Yeti USB Microphone for about $98 at Amazon and it is an all-rounder for recording interviews, podcasts and music. 

Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Condenser USB Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Condenser USB Microphone is another starter microphone that produces studio-quality audio at a competitive price of about $130.

Software

If you’re coming from MS Windows background, you might be surprised to find out that there is no standalone app in Mac that is similar to Sound Recorder in Windows. Instead, Mac includes QuickTime Player and GarageBand for audio recording without the need of any additional software.

To use QuickTime Player for audio recording, select from menu File > New Audio Recording. A inconspicuous window will appear with few audio recorder controls.

Use QuickTime Player to record audio

Click on the triangle icon on the right corner and select from the list of input sources your microphone. And you can choose to record in “High” or “Maximum” quality. Hit the red button to record while you speak into the microphone.

Apple GarageBand for audio recording

GarageBand is bundled free with each Mac and and is a multitrack music creation app. You can use it to record audio from external source in the same way that we have used QuickTime Player to do so. GarageBand comes with a full fledge editor for you to edit and trim the audio.

Audacity for Mac

Audacity is a free open source sound recorder app. It is also a sound editor and audio format converter. It is not the easiest to use, but beneath the unpolished interface is a powerhouse app for audio recording, editing and format conversion.

Audio HijackPro from Rogue Amoeba

Audio Hijack Pro ($32) from Rogue Amoeba is an audio recorder that can record audio from any input, software and hardware on your Mac. If you can hear it, you can record it. You can even record audio from multiple applications at once, ideal if you’re recording interviews on Skype for example.

The above are some basic software recommendation to get you started. For professional level audio software, you can check out Apple’s Logic Pro X. If you’re Adobe Creative Cloud member, you already have access to Adobe Audition as part of your subscription.

Is there any other great audio recording apps on the Mac? Please leave comments to let us know.