How to Record Audio on a Mac

By Julius Vandersteen

If an idea occurs to you while you are sitting in front of your Mac, you can make a recording of yourself saying it and save the voice memo to refer to later if you don't feel like typing. You might also have an idea for a song that you don't want to forget, so you sing or strum a guitar and record the audio with QuickTime, a free application that comes installed on every Mac.

Things You'll Need

  • Microphone with a mini-jack connector

Setup

Step 1

Click the "Apple" logo from the Finder menu, and then click "System Preferences."

Step 2

Click the "Sound" tab. Click "Input."

Step 3

Click "Internal Microphone" if you are using a Mac that has a built-in microphone, such as the iMac or a MacBook laptop. Click "Line In" if you are using an Apple computer that lacks a built-in microphone, such as the Mac Mini or the Mac Pro, or if you want to use a plug-in microphone to override your Mac's built-in microphone.

Step 4

Click the red circle at the top of the "Sound" preferences window to close it.

Step 5

Plug a microphone into the mini-jack connector on your Mac if you are not using a built-in microphone.

Record Audio

Step 1

Click the "QuickTime" icon in the Dock on your Mac to launch QuickTime.

Step 2

Click "File" from the QuickTime menu.

Step 3

Click "New Audio Recording." An audio recording window appears.

Step 4

Click the red button to begin recording audio. The elapsed recording time appears in the window, along with how much file space the recording is taking up on the Mac's hard drive.

Step 5

Click the black button to stop recording audio. The recording window displays the play, rewind and fast-forward control buttons. Click "File" from the QuickTime menu and then click "Save As" to name your audio recording.