Top tips on recording music on your Mac

As some of you may know I have a little hobby: I love playing on the piano, singing and writing music. One of my other passions is tech. So merging these 2 together was fun. There are lots of factors that go into recording your own music and since I have had a Mac I have found it much easier. Here are my top tips on how to record your own music on a Mac, including what kind of products you will need, software and of course the set up.

Using Apple GarageBand

This is a free tool with the Mac and it’s incredible for making music. You can make music really quickly using the pre-sets or you can plug your own equipment into the software and make up your own sounds. I am really lucky to have an electric piano that can easily be hooked up to GarageBand via USB. So as soon as I hook it up – whatever I play on the piano is recorded in GarageBand. I find it so clever and intuitive. Once you have recorded your piano track, you can add other tracks on top as layers – this is how I record voice.

Finding the right microphone

Getting a microphone that is compact, easy to use and super cool is essential. I have been sent this Blue’s Raspberry USB microphone and I love it. It’s USB and simple to use, you simply plug it in to the Mac and GarageBand picks it up. It has a cool little stand too which means I can place it wherever I am recording. I record my vocals over the piano track and I use headphones so that I can listen to both at the same time without recording the piano with the microphone. I hope that makes sense! This is also a fab microphone for doing the voiceovers for my YouTube and IGTV videos too as you can plug it in to your iPhone and record your voice quickly too. It really is super portable.

Setting up your recording studio

Ok it’s not quite a recording studio but you do need to consider your environment when recording music. I have to make sure the dogs are calm and settled somewhere, in our old house the piano was in the hallway by the front door and this caused problems when the dogs would walk up and down the tiled flooring. Now, the piano is in the dining area and it’s carpeted. The acoustics are not as great, I liked the echo from the hallway, but it still works. I have the Mac set up on top of the piano, headphones plugged into the Mac and Microphone set up next to it. When I am singing I sing closely into the microphone and adjust the volume if it’s too loud.

Editing your music

The good thing about editing your own music is that if you do not like the way something sounds, you can stop it and start again. Sometimes I record entire songs in one go and am happy. Other times I break it down and record bit by bit so I can redo it. Making sure that the volume of the microphone is the same and you are same distance away from the microphone each time you start/stop. A lot to think about! You can trim the music after you have recorded it and you can adjust the volumes too – post editing is a great way of perfecting your recordings.

Have some fun!

One of the other things I like to do with recording music is to be the lead vocal and backing vocals too. Basically you record all the parts of the song, the harmonies yourself. I love harmonies and playing around with different keys of music – it’s a fun way of making something sound a little different. I used to have a lot of my music on MySpace but I have lost access to my account so not sure how long they will stay there.

What are your favourite hobbies? Do you love singing or playing the piano? I would love to chat on social media if you do!

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