How to record sound on a mac.

How to record sound on a mac.If you come a Windows PC background, you may be familiar with a handy little Sound Recorder application. So what options do we have on the mac for free and simple sound recording?

Option 1: The easy option

quicktime

If you have Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later, you may use the built in QuickTime 10 player.

  1. Open QuickTime Player from your Applications folder.
  2. Open the file menu and select New Audio Recording.

    How to record sound on a mac.
  3. You will see a very simple user interface that is similar to Windows Sound Recorder. (Picture above)
  4. You may click on the down arrow to select the microphone input, quality, and save destination.
  5. Microphone volume is adjustable with the slider under the record button.

Note: QuickTime 7 is also built into earlier versions of Mac OS X. However, audio recording was a paid feature of QuickTime Pro.

Option 2: For power users.

Audacity

You can also try the free and open source Audacity sound recorder. It is a powerful recorder, editor, and converter. You can find a version that is backwards compatible with macs running much older versions of OS X. It has a steeper learning curve than QuickTime’s audio recording feature, but it is far more powerful and better suited for longer recordings where editing is needed.

Audacity user interface on a mac.

You may refer to Audacity’s documentation for an explanation of it’s advanced features.

More great mac tips:


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  • =)

    Thanks, was lookin for some sound recorder. Didn’t know this feature was built into quicktime

  • lrosenvall

    Thanks! that was a huge help!

  • spe11s

    While I was trying out loads of different demo versions of software to record sound from Safari, one of them installed a plugin called Greatdy System Audio which now appears in the drop down audio source menu in Quicktime Player.

    i.e. 1st option is:

    Built-in Input: Line In

    2nd option is:

    Built-in Microphone: Internal microphone

    3rd (new option) is:

    Greatdy System Audio

    If I use this extra option I can record anything on the internet (that isn’t copyrighted of course.)

    This isn’t where I got it from but I guess this should work:

    http://www.greatdy.com/mac-os-x/systemaudioplug-in

    If this doesn’t work I can post all the different demos that I tried.

    • Guest1111

      Audacity does the same… just select “What U Hear” from the input dropdown menu
      .

  • Bike Pretty

    Just tested the Quicktime Player on my MacBook pro and it worked perfectly for recording a phone interview.
    I put my phone next to the laptop’s microphone on the left-hand side and hit record.
    The quality was actually really great.
    This is going to make conducting interviews so much easier!

    • Samuel Ashdown

      Also a felony if you don’t tell them first, fyi :)

      • Mateusz82

        That depends on the local laws. Some places have “one party” laws, where it’s legal as long as one party is made aware.

      • http://BikePretty.com/ Bike Pretty

        It was for a magazine profile. Very much on the record.

        • Usedtobe Fishfry

          On the record and very … Hush Hush!

    • Edward Ebersole

      I just tried mine today and works beautiful. God, you got to sometimes love technology, espcially iMac. It is such a simple and flexible computer.

  • iroq

    My iMac, running OS 10.6, has Quicktime and I used it to create audio files. But the resulting files are .mov, and thus not acceptable for Prezi. How do I convert these files to a format that Prezi accepts: MP3, M4A, FLAC, WMA, WAV, OGG, AAC, MP4, or 3GP ?

    • hello

      Are you sure you didn’t do screen recording?
      If not just go to quicktime and do export as WAV.

      • iroq

        I selected “new audio recording.” What is on my iMac OS 10.6 is QuickTime Player version 10.0. It has no way to export as WAV. Do I not have the right software?

        • JIN

          When you close the recording it will give you a option to save as movie, or audio.. Select audio and hit save it will save to desktop really simple it is.. By the way i just recorded a 6min track dam 30 meg file size is but that’s high quality, anyone know i can i compress it down to 5 meg ?

          • iroq

            Sadly, when I close the recording, it does NOT give me the audio option. That is, the word “audio” is there, but grayed out so I cannot choose it. I cannot use Prezi, although I would like to, because it does not work on my Mac OS 10.6 Quick Time. Still seeking an answer.

          • brit

            Are you sure you’re doing it right?

  • King

    Thanks for writing this. Was helpful. Didn’t know the feature was built in.

  • Umair

    Awesome :) thanks

  • pacific

    thank you so much…

  • Horng Jing

    My system is 10.6.8. However when the file save is on .mov extension.
    How can I set to wav or other preference extensions

    • bobjames

      didn’t anybody answer this? How DO you save as wav?

    • kellygreen

      I also want to record sound for mac, and finally i use a tool, Tenorshare iGetting Audio, it is so helpful for me. I get it from http://www.tenorshare.com

  • nickbododo

    Garage band?

  • Eddie Callenberg

    I wanna record drum sound from my drum module, will that work with any of those two applications? Eddie.

  • http://beccaclicks.com/ Jake

    Perfect. Just what I needed.

  • Deb

    my quick time has suddenly reverted to QuickTime PLayer 7. And it’s $30 Canadian. Any solutions?

    • vanessa

      Mine did same…have not found solution and do not want to purchase QT Pro…

  • Chris Cotton

    Hi. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. However, when I click on the down arrow, it only has the ‘Built In Microphone: Internal microphone’ option, not the ‘Built In Input: Line in’ option. Anybody know why that might be?

  • tundern

    I can’t see any save options on my screen, using 10.2 (603.17), or on your screen shot above, and especially in the QuickTime Help. No save = no worth using.

  • Frank

    Audacity is marvelous at one level; a complete pain and irritation at another.

    It does NOT permit spaces in file names– you will forever will be pressing space and the file will start playing! Arrgghh!

    It will repeatedly claim that you have no disk space for saving, even when you have scores of gigs.

    It will balk at exporting files in its different formats–in a seemingly arbitrary fashion.

    It will indicate that a file could not be saved, yet it will change the name of the window you are looking at.

    I finally gave up.

    I had gotten it because I thought I needed some other program to record messages, bird songs, etc.

    No, turns out you do all that through Apple’s own QuickTime Player! Yes, it’s called “player” but it records like a champ. And lets you name files as you want– spaces and all.

    For basic recording, it’s the only way to go.

    For more complex, multi-track adventures, including the ability to trim, etc. Audacity does work, but its peculiarities and irritations outweigh any advantages. I would look elsewhere. I know I will be!

  • John Player

    Thanks :)

  • leslie galvan

    When i was recording on my Mac and i was using QuickTime player and when i stopped recording it kept loading for a day

  • Slender

    It’s said it won’t record