Play with Sound and Video When Recording Podcasts with Mac’s GarageBand

You don’t need to be a newscaster to make podcasts with GarageBand, but knowing how to play with sound and video can help you produce quality results. When creating podcasts, ducking sound and importing video are two tricks you’ll definitely want to add to your GarageBand tricks bag.

Duck sound in a GarageBand podcast

You can’t always control ambient sound when you are creating a podcast, especially if you are creating a podcast in a less than private location. When you end up recording sounds you’d rather have left out, you may want to decrease the volume of your background tracks so that you can hear spoken dialogue − you are the star of your podcast after all.

The answer to loud background noises is a, um, quack-pot solution called ducking. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)

Choose Control→Ducking. In each track's header, an arrow control appears. Select the up arrow to make a track a lead track and the down arrow to make it a backing track. When ducking is on, the sound on backing tracks is lowered whenever sound is detected on a lead track.

You can adjust the amount of ducking by choosing Track→Show Track Info→Master Track→Edit. At that point you can access a Ducker pop-up menu, which you’ll see on the right side of the screen under Master Effects. You can choose various options, such as Fast − Maximum Music Reduction or Slowest − Modest Music Reduction.

Import video into a GarageBand podcast

As part of your podcast, GarageBand lets you either take advantage of the epic you created in iMovie or bring in some other QuickTime-compatible video file on your computer. Use Media Browser in GarageBand to import files located in the Movies folder.

Such files appear as a movie track at the beginning of your GarageBand project − you cannot change this starting position, nor can you have more than one video or movie file in a project. If a movie track is already in the project, you’ll have the option of replacing it with the new footage.

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