Editing Podcasts with GarageBand

In this guide we’ll cover how to import and edit your podcasts using Apple’s GarageBand. We’ll also show you how you can make your podcast sound even better using CrumplePop’s AudioDenoise 2™ and EchoRemover 2™.

Equipment

  • Apple MacBook or iMac 
  • Headphones (high quality ones) 
  • GarageBand

Optional Equipment

  • CrumplePop AudioDenoise 2™
  • CrumplePop EchoRemover 2™

OVERVIEW

This step-by-step guide will teach you how to create folders to store the audio files from your interview, create a new GarageBand Project, import your media, edit your project, and then export it.

STEP 1

Create a file on your desktop or an external hard drive with your project name.

In that folder, you’ll create a few others: One for Media, one for Project Files, and one for Exports.

STEP 2

Go into the Media folder and create another folder with the title of the episode.

Maybe that’s the interview title; the interviewee’s name or the topic of the interview. Here is where you’ll put the audio files from the interview. Transfer your audio files into the Media folder.

STEP 3

Open up GarageBand.

When you first open Garage Band, you’ll need to open an Empty Project. It will then open a window prompting you to choose a recording device. You can just select the microphone here and then go down and change the input to No Input, since we won’t be recording anything.

Now that your project is open, turn off the metronome and bars — the two purple buttons on the upper right side — then change the counter from Beats and Time to just Time.

Next open a finder window and find the audio you recorded in the Media Folder. Then select all of those files and drag them into your Garage Band project.

NOTE: Depending on how many tracks you just imported, you’ll need to turn off the computer mic by going down to Recording Settings and changing the input to No Input. Do that for each of your tracks.


OPTIONAL STEPS

If you want to clean up your audio a little, there are two amazing plugins from CrumplePop — AudioDenoise 2™ and EchoRemover 2™. Each of these plugins costs about $100, so if you’re on a budget, then I suggest just grabbing the AudioDenoise 2™.

STEP 1

Select one of the tracks on your timeline.

You’ll see that it is highlighted when selected. Next, down below you’ll see a button called Track. Make sure it is selected, like this.

STEP 2

Scroll down and you’ll see an arrow next to Plugins. Press the arrow.

This leads to a new dropdown menu. If you scroll to the right box, you’ll see that you can select it to add a plugin. From there scroll down, and under Audio Units you’ll find CrumplePop, and from there you’ll find Audio Denoise 2™ and EchoRemover 2™.

STEP 3

Select AudioDenoise 2™. Then the plugin interface pops up.

Move the playhead to the section of the audio track where you recorded silence. Once your playhead is over the part of the track that has the noise you want to remove, press the Sample button. When you do that, you should see the AudioDenoise 2™ interface jump to life.

You should hear a difference in the amount of room sound compared to what you heard before applying the plugin. For instance, that noisy refrigerator or hum from some other electronic doodad that’s in your house is gone. But if it’s still there, you can turn the Strength dial to the right to remove more of it.

WARNING! Depending on the frequency of whatever it is that you’re removing, you might end up distorting the person’s voice. This is a balancing act. You’re removing that noise in the background to make it easier for your audience to focus on what is being said, but if you distort the person’s voice in the process you might actually make it harder for your audience to focus on the content.

STEP 4

Repeat Steps 1 – 3 for each of your audio tracks.

The second plugin is called EchoRemover 2™. And guess what this does? If you recorded in a quiet room, but it was a kitchen or dining room or other space where you were surrounded by hard surfaces, you probably noticed that you had a decent amount of echo after you did the denoising. It happens:You fix one thing and then notice a new issue. 

EchoRemover 2™ is pretty awesome. So, we do the same steps as before with AudioDenoise 2 ™. Except this time, we apply EchoRemover 2™.

STEP 5

Select one of the tracks on your timeline.

You’ll see that it is highlighted when selected. Next, you’ll see a button called Track. Make sure it is selected.

STEP 6

Scroll down and you’ll find an arrow next to Plugins. Press the arrow.

This leads you back to the dropdown menu. If you scroll to the box on the right, you’ll see that you can select it to add a plugin. From there scroll down. and under Audio Units you’ll find CrumplePop and from there you’ll find Audio Denoise 2™ and EchoRemover 2™.

STEP 7

Select EchoRemover 2™.

Go up to the upper right corner of the interface and turn it on. We recommend adjusting the fine tuning dials at the bottom as follows: Turn the middle dial to the half-way point, Low to twenty-five percent, and leave the High dial alone. Then adjust the Strength dial until the majority of the echo is gone, but the speaker’s voice is still clear — and not robotic!


Enhancing the Audio with GarageBand (continued)

STEP 4

Select a track.

STEP 5

Open Plugins.

Open channel EQ off to the right.

Open to EQ Tools, then select Bass Boost

Congratulations!  You’ve successfully enhanced your podcast’s audio!

Editing with GarageBand

GarageBand Tools

  • Playhead Cut (Command + T)
  • Arrow/Move Tool (A)
  • Undo (Command + Z)
  • Delete (Delete)
  • Play/Stop (Spacebar)

Getting Everything in Sync

Now that you’ve sweetened your audio a bit, you’re almost ready to edit.  But first, you need to sync your tracks up.

Here’s how to sync up multiple audio tracks. Leave the top track where it is and only move any additional tracks. On each track you want to line up with the top track, find those three claps that you did before you plugged in your headphones.

STEP 1

Move the second audio file (by simply dragging it) until the audio peaks of the three claps are in line with those on your top track. See image below.

If the second audio track is longer than the first and you’re not able to sync the tracks, then you can always grab the edge of the second audio track and drag it to shorten it. That will give you the room to move the track around and match the audio peaks to the audio file above it.

TIP: You can zoom in to make sure the tracks are lined up by using the little scroll bar in the upper right hand part of the screen. Moving it to the right zooms in — which is what you’ll want to do here — and moving it to the left zooms out. See the image below.

Note that once these three claps sync up, then the audio from all of the voices you recorded will be in sync.

Cutting, Adjusting, and Deleting

Now you’re ready to start cutting!

The little line you see in the image below is called the playhead.

Playhead image here

The playhead serves as your cutting tool when you place it where you want to make your edit and press command T. After you split your track using the playhead and command T, then you can delete the part of the audio track you want to get rid of by highlighting it and pressing delete. 

Make a mistake along the way? Not to worry!  Just press command Z (undo) and it’s like it never happened. Phew! 

This section will cover the technical aspects of how to edit the content of your podcast.

STEP 2

Select both clips.

Drag the playhead to a space where you want to cut something out (for example, maybe someone stumbled or coughed).

Press Command T to cut both tracks on either side of the part you want removed.

Select the part you want to remove and then press delete.

STEP 3

Grab the two clips you have on the right.

Drag them to meet the rest of your audio to eliminate the dead space where the mistake or cough used to be. See image below.

Repeat Step 2 & 3 for the entire project.

How to Adjust Audio Levels with ‘Nodes’

STEP 4

Go up to Mix and select Show Automation.

Or you can do it the easy way and just press the A key. 

You can fade your audio’s volume using little nodes called keyframes. See the image below. 

Keyframes allow you to smoothly transition from one speaker to another and add music without it starting and stopping abruptly or being too loud or quiet. You’ll add these little nodes by clicking on the track at the point around where you want to adjust the volume and then adjusting the volume level of each node to create a smooth fade in or fade out.

Create 2 nodes by clicking twice on the audio level line.

One node is your anchor, keeping the audio level where it is and the other node is for adjustment –just grab the adjustment node and drag it up or down if you want to fade in or fade out.The longer the distance between the nodes, the slower the audio fade will be. Make sure to space the nodes far enough apart to create a smooth transition; we recommend allowing fades to last between two to three seconds.

NOTE: If the node is in the wrong position, you can either drag it to reposition it, or double click it to delete it.

Sharing Your Project

STEP 5

Open Share and go down to Export Song to Disk.

STEP 6

Export your podcast as an MP3 file.

And that’s it! You’ve recorded and edited your very own podcast! Congratulations!