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I recorded my voice with GarageBand but it sounds very dirty and amateur.

I'm looking at a GarageBand tutorial to learn how to make the recording sound a little more professional and clean.

I use this mic: enter image description here

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Don't use your laptop's built-in microphone ;-) – Daniel Beck Dec 29 '11 at 13:05
@DanielBeck Although I have to say, the Mac built-in ones are pretty good in comparison to other laptops. Especially when you mix the voice into music. – slhck Dec 29 '11 at 15:21
Many thanks for the mic advices but I already have a mic. I just need some guide to use GarageBand or Audacity to clear a recording. I just to make the recording a little better. – chefnelone Dec 29 '11 at 18:23

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I use a proper mic and a DAW (specifically an M-Audio FastTrack), and it totally changed the quality of my recordings.There's a big difference between a proper powered mic (even those of slightly dubious providence, but the one I have linked is good and robust), and built in ones, or even those that plug into a computer mic jack.

I also like to run voice clips through Levelator. For pure voice tracks, recorded with decent gear its magic. It does compression and limiting automatically based off some algorithm, and subjectively, it makes a big difference with almost no work.

You can then mix things as you want in Garage Band.

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I changed the link from the SM57 to the SM58, which is a tad better for voice recordings since it minimizes popping noise, but otherwise it's the same as the SM57 anyway. – slhck Dec 29 '11 at 15:19
The M-Audio FastTrack looks pretty interesting. – Melikoth Dec 29 '11 at 17:08
FYI, the SM58 is the standard mic used by audio professionals for many vocal jobs, although it's more often used live than for recording. It's a good reasonably priced choice (unlike the other standard vocal mic, the Neumann U87:…) – Groky Dec 29 '11 at 17:32
I already bought a mic, this one. SE-Electronics/USB-1000a… Which I think is good enough. What do you think? I tried Levelator and I liked, thanks – chefnelone Dec 29 '11 at 18:14
@Groky: Well, the sm57 works for voice as well, and its what i use. Its also supposed to be robust as hell. – Journeyman Geek Dec 29 '11 at 23:13

You will likely need to pick up a better microphone. A decent headset should be quite a step up if you are using a built-in mic. Here is a link to some information about studio quality microphones, a good read that might help you pick out a better piece. Studio Microphone Buying Guide. A lot of mics have a limited range of sound they can pickup, and sometimes this contributes to the 'dirty' sound you get in the recordings since frequncies you hear normally are being chopped out of the recording.

Secondly you will want to check your surrounding environment. If you are in a room with hard walls, such as wood or concrete, the sound can bounce off and interefere with the recording to an extent. Pro studios tend to have the little foam squares covering the walls and ceiling which help reduce the amount of reflected sound.

If you havea tight budget you may want to try surrounding the microphone with some of the sound absorbent foam like in this example. That should get you the best sound quality with the least investment, though it could be somewhat awkward to use depending on the situation.

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As posted in the previous answer I already bought a mic, this one. SE-Electronics/USB-1000a… which I think is good. As you guessed the surrounding is not apropiated. I can't change. Doesn't GarageBand will help to clean my recording. – chefnelone Dec 29 '11 at 18:18
Well, my recordings are done in a bedroom, with foam matresses over the windows.Its not easy to suggest adjustments to a recording space without knowing what it is. – Journeyman Geek Dec 29 '11 at 23:14

So I'm kind of in the same boat. I just got this new mic. The mic doesn't have a whole lot to do with making your voice better; it makes the actual recording crisper.

Mess around with the Compressor and the AUGraphicEQ. When using the GraphicEQ, select "10 band" in the bottom left corner then mess around with the little circular buttons to figure out what you need to do to make your mic work for you in terms of sound.

In order to mess with the settings on any effect in Garage Band, you need to click the picture icon FYI.

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