How To Quickly Record Audio On Your Mac Using Default Apps

By | May 4, 2022

Need to record some audio on your Mac? Here is the easiest way to do it without any third party apps or external microphone.

Macs can be excellent machines for creative work. Whether you want to record a podcast or create a quick explanation for a presentation, your Mac can handle it. There are various built-in apps that you can use to record crisp audio on your Mac, which we’re going to cover today.

Do You Need An External Microphone

All Macs have a built-in microphone that works well for basic tasks, like FaceTime video calls or Zoom meetings.

However, if you plan to record professional-sounding audio, perhaps for podcasts or voiceovers, an external microphone is recommended. External microphones can cost as little as five hundred thousand today. However, make sure you do your research to choose one that meets your specific recording needs. Microphones designed to record music, instruments, vocals, podcasts, and voiceovers can differ greatly in quality and price.

Recordings made from USB microphones generally sound better than other microphones, unless you have a dedicated audio interface. The reason for this is that the conversion from analog audio to digital audio is done by the USB microphone itself, which results in a smoother and better sound quality.

There are several apps you can use on your Mac to quickly record audio. We have covered some of these applications below.

open System Preferences > Sound > Input to select your internal or external microphone.

Recording Audio Using Voice Memos

Voice Memos is the primary interface for recording audio on your Mac. It works similarly to the Voice Memos app on your iPhone or iPad. To use it:

  • open Finder > Applications on your Mac.
  • Open Voice Memos.
  • If this is your first time opening the app, you can choose whether to turn on Voice Memos for iCloud, which allows you to sync your recordings across your devices.
  • When you are ready, press red button to start recording.
  • You can choose to pause your recording if you need to revise something or repeat something for later.
  • When finished, click pause button followed by Done. This will end the recording.
  • Double click on the record name to rename it according to your preference.

There he is! You can choose to edit or trim the recording later. Option Edit lets you replace certain parts of the audio with new recordings, which is ideal if you make a small mistake and want to change it.

Option Trim, as the name suggests, lets you trim audio from the beginning or the end. Both options can be found by Control-clicking on the recorded audio file.

You can also choose between recording compressed or lossless audio in Voice Memos. To do so, open Voice Memos Preferences from the menu bar and make your selections.

Recording Audio Using QuickTime

The second option for recording audio on your Mac is to use QuickTime Player. QuickTime Player is Apple’s default app for video playback, but it can easily be used to record some quick audio as well.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to record audio with QuickTime on Mac:

  • open QuickTime Player from folder Applications.
  • open File in the menu bar and select New Audio Recording.
  • Select the desired file and microphone quality by pressing down arrow next to button red record.
  • Press red record button to start your recording.
  • After it finishes, press the same button to finish and save your audio.

The advantage of QuickTime Player is that it lets you select the microphone you want from within the app, instead of using the system’s default microphone, like Voice Memos. However, it doesn’t offer to edit audio like Voice Memos does, which can be an important feature.

Recording Audio Using Third Party Software

In addition to this built-in software, there are several third-party options for recording your audio. One example is Audacity if you are interested please see our article How To Use Audacity To Record Audio On Windows And Mac, which provides more advanced tools for recording and editing audio for free.

You can also choose to use GarageBand, which has a bit of a learning curve, but can be very useful once mastered.