How to Use GarageBand to Create Free Ringtones for Your iPhone 4S - dummies

How to Use GarageBand to Create Free Ringtones for Your iPhone 4S

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

If you have a Mac, you have Apple’s GarageBand application and with that, you can create free ringtones for your iPhone 4S. iOS 5, the system that runs your iPhone 4S, lets you use ringtones as text tones as well, so you can associate custom ringtones with text messages from a specific contact. The procedure is as just described, but you tap text tone instead of ringtone.

If you have a microphone, you can record ringtones featuring voice recordings such as the following: “Yo! It’s your bro!” “This is your mother. Pick up the phone right this moment.” “Incoming! Incoming!” “This is your iPhone and I’m ringing.” And so on. You get the picture.

Creating ringtones is relatively easy. Start by launching GarageBand on your Mac and creating a new Music project. Then:

  1. Click the Media Browser button to reveal the media browser pane.

  2. Click the disclosure triangle to reveal the contents of your iTunes library.

  3. Click your iTunes music library to reveal its contents.

  4. Select the song you want to turn into a ringtone and drag it onto the timeline (Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah! si the featured song in the figure.)


    You can’t use songs purchased from the iTunes Store for ringtones if they are protected by Apple’s digital rights management copy protection. GarageBand won’t let you drag a protected song onto its timeline. The bottom line is that you can make ringtones only from songs you’ve ripped yourself from CD or downloaded without rights management or other copy protection.

    Apple stopped using copy protection for music files in April 2009. If you purchased the song after that, you’re good to go. If you purchased the song before then, you can pay a small upgrade fee (currently 30 cents) to convert the song to iTunes Plus, Apple’s new higher-quality, non-copy-protected format.

  5. Click the cycle region button to enable the cycle region.

  6. Click in the middle of the cycle region and drag it to the portion of the song you want to use as your ringtone.

  7. Fine-tune the start and end points by clicking and dragging the cycle region’s left and right edges, as shown:


    For best results, keep your ringtones under 30 seconds.

  8. Click the play button to hear your work. When you’re satisfied with it, choose Share→Send Ringtone to iTunes.

    The next time you sync, your new ringtone becomes available on your iPhone. To use it as your ringtone, tap Settings, Sounds, Ringtone, and then tap the ringtone in the list of available sounds. To associate the ringtone with a specific contact or contacts, find the contact in either the Contacts app or the Phone app’s Contacts tab, tap ringtone, and then tap the ringtone in the list of available sounds.