How to Record Audio With a Microphone on a MacBook Pro

Updated April 17, 2017

When you record audio on your Mac you are not confined to using a microphone that came with the computer. These microphones are often not positioned ideally for picking up your voice. Instead, you can use a USB-powered microphone that will allow you to record your voice in high fidelity at an optimal distance. You can use the software that came with your MacBook Pro to record audio tracks and you can even apply special effects to your vocals.

Plug your USB-powered microphone into any available USB port.

Point the mouse cursor to the Applications Folder and right click.

Hover over "Music and Audio" and then click "Garage Band."

Click "Create New Song" when the "Welcome to Garage Band" dialogue box opens.

Type a name for your audio track in the box to the left of the "Save As" entry. Select a directory to save the track to from the drop-down menu that appears and then click "OK."

Activate your USB microphone by clicking Garage Band's "Preferences" menu and then clicking the "Audio/MIDI" tab.

Click the "Audio Input" entry and then select your microphone from the drop-down list. Close this box by clicking the button in its upper right-hand side.

Click Garage Band's "Track" menu and then click "New Track."

Click "Real Instrument," "Vocals" and then "OK."

Begin recording by clicking the large red button at the bottom of the user interface. Click the record button again to stop recording.


If Garage Band still does not accept input from your mic after setting it up in the "Preferences" menu, go to the Dock and open System Preferences. Click "Sound," "Input" and then select your USB mic by clicking it. Increase the input volume until the Mac receives your input clearly. You can add effects to your vocals in the "New Track" dialogue menu. This is where you specify "Voice" as the primary audio that will be on the track. The effects you can add are "Ambient Vocals," "Female Basic," "Live Performance," "Male Basic" and "Pop Vocals."

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Tommy Charles is a professional writer and researcher for several websites. Focusing primarily on financial markets, he also writes for broader arenas and has written several articles focusing on general interest topics such as secure Web browsing, coin collecting and computer science. His ongoing series of articles concerning the FOREX market and game theory have received a wide readership.