How to record using two different microphones in GarageBand

Does this sound familiar? You want to start a podcast. You are on a budget. You decided to go with GarageBand and found the perfect microphone, but after a bit of research you realized the sound quality would be greatly improved using two microphones instead of one. The problem is that GarageBand won’t recognize the extra input.

It looks like you can easily connect two different microphones to your computer, but it’s not as simple as you might imagine. Even if you connect two separate microphones, you may end up with two individual audio streams.

Here’s how to record input from two separate microphones into a single audio stream. Also, check out my previous post on how to use GarageBand to record a real instrumental play.

How to connect two microphones to GarageBand

GarageBand only recognizes a single input, but can record to two separate devices. You just trick the program into thinking the two connections are one. Here’s how to do it.

1. Open Finder and select To go > Utilitiesor press Command + Shift + U when opening Finder.

2. Open Audio MIDI Setup register.

3. In the bottom left corner of the screen, click the “+. ”

Midi Sound Setup Window in Utilities

4. Select Create a composite device.

5. When you do this, a new composite device will appear in the list above. Double-click the device name to rename it.

Summarize Selected Device and double click to rename it

6. With this device selected, you will see a list of all available audio devices in Audio equipments Windows. Select the input you want to use. You will choose the two microphones you want to use, but be aware of the order in which you choose them. The order in which they are checked determines the order in which the system will view the input.

7. When you select multiple devices, you will have the option to select the clock source. Without getting too technical, this will be a time based audio input. Choose the source with the most reliable clock speed.

8. Once you have selected the two microphones that you intend to use, exit Audio MIDI Setup.

Select composite device in GarageBand

Now that you’ve created a composite device, it’s time to return to GarageBand and select the appropriate device.

1. Go to File > New and select the project type you want to use.

2. Look in the bottom left corner and click the arrow next to it Details.

3. Click Input devices and select the composite device from the list.

Synthesizer 1 is selected in the Input Devices menu

4. Select the output device you want to use. Note: you do not want to use the Integrated Output, as it may cause audio distortion in the recording. Instead, use headphones or another output source.

5. Click Choose.

6. Next, go to Home band > Interests and choose Audio / MIDI.

7. Select Composite input are from Input devices menu.

Select Synthesizer 1 as Input Device in the Audio/MIDI window in GarageBand . preferences

8. From there, navigate back to the GarageBand screen and press the . button Smart control (or just press the B key.)

9. In the Smart Control menu, select Input and select General equipment from the list if it is not already selected.

And with that step, you’ll be set up and ready to record from two microphones. However, there are still some problems that can arise. If you have two identical USB microphones, it can be difficult for the computer to recognize them as individual devices because their digital signatures are identical. This can be easier when using separate types of microphones.

If you try to record and find one of the microphones doesn’t work, don’t make the same mistake we did and repeat every step above — it’s not at first, anyway. The first step is to check if the second microphone is enabled. Congratulations, and good luck with the recording.

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