My Setup – How I Record Guitars, Vox, and Drums in Garageband

I usually use one of two chains to get sound from my head to the computer. If you’ve checked out my gear gallery, then you might want to see how I go about recording. I don’t have much gear-wise, but way more than when I first started. So let’s go!


I either use my mic or USB interface to plug my guitar into my computer. If I use my mic, I set it in front of my amp and use Garageband X to record whatever sounds I get to come out of my amp. Alternately, I plug my guitar directly into the UX1 interface and record into Garageband 5.1.

That simple.

If you choose to use multiple input sources in Garageband, don’t forget to change your input in Preferences.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 1.41.04 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 1.41.33 PM

Why the distinction between 5.1 and X? Well… Garageband X doesn’t realize that I’ve registered my POD Farm for this computer, and won’t let me use POD Farm sounds in its interface. So I just use Garageband 5.1 if I don’t want to mic my amp. Works like a charm.


I do have a cheapo $15 pop filter that I got for Christmas. So I set that up in front of my mic, plug it into the computer, and sing. I prefer using Garageband X for recording vocals, as the little Note pad is great to put lyrics in. Simple.Lyrics to Disciple's "Invisible"


To be honest, I usually arrange my drums by hand in the MIDI editor. I prefer EzDrummer to Garageband’s MIDI drums, so it doesn’t make sense to use Garageband X’s Drummer feature.

It’s a pain in the butt, and takes forever. Worth it? In my opinion as a novice drummer, yes. I can’t play very many advanced beats, so it totally works for my intents and purposes.

One of the perks of Roland’s brain is that it does a quick record in MIDI information. So if I don’t arrange a drum track by hand, I play it on the electric drum set, take the USB with the .mid file to my computer, drag the file into the project, and voila! I have decent drums to play to.

If I play the drums for myself, I have to use X, because 5.1 doesn’t open .mid files. Which is fine. Another thing to note is that you have to set the tempo on the drums to match your project tempo, or else everything goes wonky. (Or you could just set your project tempo to the tempo on your drums. But that doesn’t work so well if you’ve already recorded audio in X.)

That’s it! If you have any questions, let me know in the comments. You can always send thoughts, suggestions, and questions to as well 🙂 Thanks for reading!


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Musician, writer, sophomore in college extraordinaire, Just Another Halfling is... actually quite your average kid, and content to remain so.

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