UPDATED: 2013.05.22 AED

This tutorial explains both the basics of audio editing in GarageBand as well as how to export finished pieces and the show file. In that sense, it is a reference for reporters creating a piece and for the monthly GarageBand production role.


Open GarageBand. Click “New Project.” Click “Podcast.” This will prompt you to save a “.band” session file.

“Male voice” and “Female Voice” tracks are built into new sessions, indicating only that the equalization has been optimized for voicing typical male for female voices. You can duplicate and delete as needed, although usually it is best to create a ‘New Basic Track,’ which has no optimization.

You will need to see the timeline timer in the blue window at the bottom of the screen.
If you see a musical note, tuning fork or other icon, click the arrows just above of below to scroll to the timer function.

To ensure optimum quality, drag the Garage Band menu down to “Preferences” and click “Advanced.” There, be sure that “Auto Normalize” is checked and “Audio Resolution” is set to “Best.”

Drag mp3 files into the timeline to begin.

To cut a clip, click to highlight the track, move the indicator to the desired point, and click “Command-T.”

To join two or more clips, click to highlight them, and then click ‘Command-J.”

Go to the “Track” menu to add tracks or duplicate tracks.

If you want to delete a segment and move the rest of the timeline to fill the gap, use “Control-Delete”

If you prefer to use – or avoid – “snapping” bite into place, you can turn toggle “Snap to Grid” in the Control menu.

The “Z” key jumps to the 0:00 on the timeline.

Use the bottom-right slider and meter to set show volume and avoid “clipping,” and/or use the slider to set each track’s volume. Strive to fill the green indicators and avoid the red. Low audio will come up with normalization. High audio will not be corrected and may be distorted.

Use the arrows at the bottom-right of track control panels to open the track volume control points, or “envelopes,” to make detailed spot adjustments.

Click on the line to add control points. Drag to move. Typically, you can add a peek or trough by adding four control points, and manipulating the two closest to the center.

“Command-delete” removes all of the control points on a selected track.

The record and player options are pretty straightforward.

*See the GarageBand booth voicing tutorial for more info.


Once you have a finished piece or have lined up the show, you need to export (also called ‘bouncing’ in public radio lingo) the show as an .mp3 and a .aif. Here’s how.

CREATE AN MP3 FOR PODBEAN, YouTube, and SoundCloud:

To export, look to the “Share” menu, go to “Export Podcast to Disk,” “Compress Using” MP3″ and “Spoken Podcast.” (Note’ “Higher” quality makes an unacceptably large file.)


1) You must delete the “Podcast Track” at the top of the screen. Click on the track and simultaneously press the “command” and backspace keys.

2) In the drop-down “Share” menu, un-check the “Compress” box.

The resulting export will be a “.aif”

3) Now you must convert your .aif to a .mp2. (This is a circuitous process, but it is the only radio quality audio file PRX accepts.) If you are working in the Lodge, most desktops already have a PRX mp2 converter.

If you do not find one in the dock or by searching ‘mp2converter’ in Finder, go to and download their Member tools here.

Now that you have the mp2converter, simply drag your .aif file over the mp2converter icon, and it will automatically convert the file to an .mp2 and save it in the same folder as your .aif.


We are still developing best practices for handing things over to the person in the posting role. So far, the easiest thing to do is to create a folder in GoogleDrive or SwatFiles with the individual pieces AND show as .mp3 and .mp2 files. Title this folder yrmodyWarNewsRadio (i.e. 130522WarNewsRadio) and share it with the poster(s).