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How to record audio on MacBook in 5 different ways

Here are the best audio recorders you can install on your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air so you can record your voice and computer audio in high quality and then share recordings.

Lucas Seltzer Updated on Feb 15, 2023 4:12 PM

With the built-in microphone or an external microphone connected, it's really easy to record audio on MacBooks for creating recordings of your podcasts, music, YouTube video background sound, meetings, and more. All you need is a solid audio recorder for a MacBook to help record sound at its best.

There are a plethora of audio recording software applications available for your recording purposes. But where do you start when trying to decide which MacBook recorder to use? We've selected five best ways to record sound on a MacBook, whether you want a simple audio/ voice recording, or an advanced recording with your voice, internal system audio, and screencast.

If you're looking for an all-in-one tool that records the audio and/ or video on your Apple MacBook, and that features with editing options and controls over exported audio file formats, consider AppGeeker Screen Recorder.

You can make your macOS audio recorder get the sound from the built-in mic or use computer audio from MacBook.

Scroll down to see how to record audio on your MacBook:

Before you start: audio recording requires a microphone and recorder

MacBook makes it breeze to take audio recordings. The most important device is microphone. You can record from either the built-in microphone, or an attached external microphone. Using the external mic should make your audio crystal clear compared to using the one that comes included with your MacBook.

Another essential thing is to arm yourself with the decent audio recording software. Voice Memos and QuickTime Player are two easy macOS-preinstalled apps to make basic voice recordings with any MacBook. Once these recording apps are set to capture from the microphone, the audio recording process should kick off effectively. GarageBand, similar to the Audacity audio recorder free, is an excellent tool for music production with editing and mixing functions. Third-party Screen Recorder eases the recording procedure by giving the options to get microphone audio or/ and internal computer sound recorded in a same file.

How to use Voice Memos voice recorder on MacBook

The simple Voice Memos built into MacBooks acts as a voice recorder for capturing audio recordings in a way to keep audio events in an audio clip like meetings, lectures, interviews, conversations, ideas, etc. It could record and save the audio files in compressed or lossless quality depending on your settings for Voice Memos.

To get Voice Memos to record any sound coming from the microphone, open the app and click the red Record button. Once your recording comes to an end, it should automatically save within the app as an M4A audio file on the MacBook, then you can do some basic editing jobs or sync the recording via iCloud across all Apple devices logging with the same Apple ID.

Here's step-by-step guide to record voice for free on a MacBook with Voice Memos.

1. Open the Voice Memos app on your laptop.

2. On its intuitive interface, click red Record button at the bottom to start recording the audio from the audio event you're in. You can use the Touch Bar if you have a newer MacBook Pro.

Hit the red circle to initiate the audio-only recording with the best Voice Memos recorder app.

3. To pause the recording, click the Stop button at the lower left position.

You can Resume the process whenever you want. The app supports for unlimited recording time which makes it easy to make a long audio recording.

Use your built-in microphone or an external mic to capture your voice and save to MacBook.

4. When finished recording, click Done button.

The sound recording will be immediately accessible with the name "New Recording" (or based on your location) on the left pane of the Voice Memos app. You can rename it.

Click on the recording to playback and use the Edit function in the top-right corner to make some edits like cropping, or re-recording a part of the clip. You can share the recorded file as well by hitting the Share icon next to the Edit button.

How to use QuickTime audio recorder on a MacBook

Another free audio recording route is QuickTime Player.

Despite its name for video playing, QuickTime Player is a versatile built-in Mac program that is readily available for video recording (with sound) and audio recording. As for it being a great Mac audio recorder, it offers a simple and user-friendly layout that even beginners can audio record on MacBook without fiddling with too much.

One caveat: QT restricts itself to record audio from the built-in microphone or external microphone if there's one added to your MacBook, which means that it's not possible to record the system sound playing on the computer - unless you're willing to install an additional audio driver like Soundflower and make QuickTime to capture the internal macOS playback.

  • Launch QuickTime Player, click File > New Audio Recording. The Audio Recording window should open with red Record button and Options menu for selecting audio output sources and sound quality.
  • Recording sounds in QuickTime on MacBooks is damn easy after File > New Audio Recording is selected.

  • In the Options pop-up menu, choose "Internal Microphone" and "Maximum" under Quality section. If you want adequate quality sound in your recording, plug in an external microphone to your MacBook and select it here.
  • Drag the volume slider until the sound is in a comfortable level.
  • Hit the red Record button and QT Player starts recording your audio. You can pause and resume recording by using Option-click function.
  • When you are done, click the Stop button in the Audio Recording window.
  • Play the recording within the player and listen to the sound that has been captured.
  • To save your recording, click File > Save. Rename the recording and choose a location for it. You can then share the sound file to wherever you want.

How to record computer audio from MacBook with AppGeeker Screen Recorder

Voice Memos and QuickTime Player do a good job at recording your own voice and surrounding audio using the internal and external microphone, but offer no built-in feature to record MacBook system sound inside. If you're seeking an actual audio recorder for MacBook's internal audio, AppGeeker Screen Recorder is worth a try.

As an overall recording platform to offer local video and audio recording, Screen Recorder delivers quality screen videos (with sound), voice and/ or computer sounds, webcam video & audio with customizable formats. You're able to record audio on the MacBook that's coming through a microphone or the system sound function, like live audio performance, podcast, online meeting, and more. After the audio is recorded, you can edit your voice recording or audio recording, save it onto Mac's drive, or share it.

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Follow the steps 1-2-3 on how to record computer audio on your MacBook using this screen recording software. The recording process is super easy, thanks to its user-friendly interface and clear buttons.

Step 1- Open the software on your MacBook, and the choose Audio Recorder tab.

Step 2- Enable the audio recording options for System sound or/ and Microphone. This depends on your sound output where the audio comes from to capture.

An extra step. The software allows you to customize the format and quality of the recording. Click on the tiny gear icon right above Microphone and access Preference window to complete this. This is useful if you need to record MP3 audio.

Step 3- Click REC button to begin recording audio or voice. There is no limit on how long you record. To stop recording, press red Stop button on the floating bar.

After the audio recording is completed, preview the clip, trim it as needed, and save it onto macOS system. That's done.

How to voice record MacBook via GarageBand

If you have a macOS machine, you probably have GarageBand. The free recording & editing program facilitates professional-quality audio recordings on the MacBooks. You can audio record podcast, music, voiceover and many more.

This native free Apple app works as a Digital Audio Workstation for music production. It comes with a variety of virtual instruments like guitars, pianos, and keyboards, vocals and genres that render it painless to create music yourself. Related: How to Record Music on Mac Computer

1. On MacBook, click System Preferences > Sound. The select Input and choose either internal microphone or external mic.

2. Start GarageBand app. 'Choose a Project window' opens. In the Details section, the Input Device should be your MacBook's Microphone or the external microphone you've configured in Sound settings.

3. Choose to create an Empty Project.

4. On the screen of 'Choose a track type' window, select Audio (Record using a microphone or line input - or drag and drop audio files.), then click Create button at the lower-right corner.

5. When the 'Tacks' window pops up, double-check the Input audio source is your mic. This is under Recording Settings section at the bottom.

6. When you are ready to record audio file, click the red Record button at the top.

7. To stop the recording with all sounds captured, hit the Play button next to the Record button.

8. Play the sound file and test the recorded audio. You can edit it as well.

9. Save the file to GarageBand by going to File > Save. Or click Share > Send Songs to iTunes in order to export soundtracks to iTunes in a direct manner.

So that's all about how to record sound from computer on a MacBook. Overall, GarageBand is one of the best audio recording software for Mac users to begin to create a studio-quality recording.

Read Also: How to Transfer Music to iPhone without iTunes

Recording sounds in Audacity with MacBook

By default, it's a tricky affair that Audacity lacks the built-in ability to record system audio on any MacBook. In an effort to get your MacBook to record your voice from computer, Audacity remains the way you could go with. To make a voice recording with Audacity recorder function:

  • After download and installation, open Audacity.
  • Click Audio Setup, and form its drop-down menu, choose Recording Devices > your microphone (internal/ external.)
  • At the top menu, choose Tracks > Add New > Stereo Track.
  • To start recording audio from your microphone, click the red Record button in the recording controls at the top.
  • When it's ended, stop the recording and playback the audio file.
  • To save the sound track onto MacBook's drive for easy access, select File > Export. You could choose to export the recording file to MP3, OGG, WAV, etc.

Although the interface seems less intuitive than other audio/ voice recorders mentioned above, Audacity does not compromise the powerful recording and editing tools.

The final words - Which audio recorder for MacBooks should you choose?

There's no clear cut answer for which audio recording software is best for MacBook. It's based on what benefits you want from the tools.

Out of our list above, most of the audio recorders are compatible with macOS. For basic voice recordings or audio recordings done from a MacBook, Voice Memos, QuickTime Player and GarageBand are your choices, which are completely free Mac apps and for beginners.

If you want to make a recording with both computer system sounds and external sounds from microphone audio outputs, then AppGeeker Screen Recorder is your best bet. The software is also able to screen record with video and audio on your computer. QuickTime Player and Audacity cannot capture the internal audio until you have Soundflower installed.

MacBook audio record FAQs

Does MacBook have a built-in audio recorder?

MacBook serves itself a good audio recording device. The preinstalled microphone, a supported external headset, or an external mic could help you recording audio without any hassle.

You could take advantage of the MacBook free built-in apps - Voice Memos or QuickTime Player, to record meetings, discussions, podcasts, memos, ideas, etc., and save these recorded audio-only events as a sound file for viewing later. They are featuring basic editing functionalities to make your recordings polished.

How to record internal audio on MacBook?

You may be confused that the audio that gets recorded with the native Voice Memos and QuickTime Player is the audio from microphone, not from the laptop itself. In fact, Voice Memos is a voice recorder working with the mic; and QuickTime Player could work with an additional audio drive like Soundflower to record system sound - though you need some setups.

AppGeeker Screen Recorder comes with computer audio recorder MacBook software that lets user to record internal audio on MacBooks with ease. Any audio you could hear from apps or websites on your computer could be captured in the recording. It offers options to record microphone and system audio at the same time. After achieve an internal audio recording, you can save it to your laptop or share it to YouTube, Facebook or any other online platforms.

Step 1: Launch Screen Recorder on MacBook.

Step 2: Click on Audio Recorder.

Step 3: Turn on System Sound toggle to activate internal sound output.

Step 4: Hit REC button to begin recording.

How to record audio on MacBook (Pro, Air) from YouTube?

You will need to consider the legality before recording YouTube audio on your MacBook. Then grab AppGeeker Screen Recorder to record from YouTube.

After you start Screen Recorder tool, choose Audio Recorder, and then enable to System Sound. Press Control + Command + S to start recording. As soon as the recording process kicks off, go to YouTube and play the media from which you want to record the audio, and any audio from YouTube should be captured. Then press Control + Command + S again to end the process.

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