10 of the best microphones for Garageband 2022

Table of Contents

Introduction

10 of the best microphones for Garageband: The Garageband software is a great tool for those looking to record music, podcasts or voiceovers. The only problem with Garageband is that it does not come with any input hardware so you have to supply your own microphone.

This article will go over ten of the best microphones designed for use with Garageband among other software. The microphones I list here are a mixture of usb microphones, dynamic microphones and condenser microphones.

What is a microphone?

A microphone, also know as a mic is an electronic device that turns sound into electric signals. It has two main parts: the diaphragm and the magnet. When sound waves hit the diaphragm, it sends an electric signal through a wire coil. This happens when there is pressure on the diaphragm (for example, when someone talks or sings into the microphone.). Microphones are used to record sounds, make telephone calls and even create music.

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Types of Microphones

Usb microphone 

A USB mic is a microphone that has usb connectivity. This means they plug directly into your usb port and then you can use them on any programme with usb audio input compatibility.

Dynamic microphone

A dynamic microphone is a microphone that does not require batteries or usb power. Dynamic mics are usually used in live settings, especially with guitars and drums – they pick up all the sounds of an instrument but won’t feed back when it’s too loud (thereby ruining your performance).

Condenser microphone

A condenser microphone is a microphone that requires power, known as phantom power. A condenser mic needs this power so it can amplify the sound of whatever is being recorded by the mic. It is used for recording vocals and instruments in the studio. Some singers prefer it over the dynamic microphone because it gives their voice more depth and richness. Condenser mics are also popular when recording instruments such as acoustic guitar because they pick up all the subtle aspects of an instrument.

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What is Garageband?

Garageband is a music creation software for Mac computers. It has many different instruments and voice effects that can be used to create music. Garageband also allows you to have multiple virtual instruments being played at once so long as your computer can handle it. In addition, Garageband allows you to mix your music so it sounds clear and professional.

Why you should use a microphone for Garageband

Using a microphone is a must if you want to record vocals or an instrument on Garageband. If you have a guitar, keyboard or electronic drums, they can be connected to your computer via usb so there is no need for any extra equipment. A microphone is the only thing that you need as long as it has an input cable that matches your computer.

What equipment do I need to use a microphone with Garageband?

Audio interface

An audio interface is a device that can take the electric signal from your microphone and make it audible. It requires a usb connection to plug directly into your computer. In most cases, an audio interface comes with built in preamplifiers so you don’t have to buy one separately if that’s what you’re looking for. I have had many audio interfaces over the years from a Focusrite scarlett to a Presonus 2i2.

Headphones

Any old set of headphones will do. You can use either earbuds or over-ear headphones, you decide!

Shock mount

A shock mount is a device that suspends the microphone in a rubber-y cover. This prevents any vibrations from the floor from feeding into your mic and creating unwanted noise. It also keeps your mic stationary when you’re recording so it does not move, even if you play loud instruments near the microphone.

XLR connector

An XLR connector is the part that plugs XLR microphones into your audio interface. It’s an important part to consider when buying a microphone because you want to make sure it has the correct connection for your computer.

Pop filter

A pop filter is a piece of equipment that sits between your mouth and the microphone. It prevents any explosive sounds (p’s, t’s, b’s etc) from reaching the diaphragm. This means you can sing into the mic at close range without worrying about the sound of your consonants coming through on playback.

USB Cable

For a USB mic you will need a USB cable to plug it into your computer. Make sure it’s the correct one so you don’t have any compatibility errors!

Mic stand

If you are not using a boom mic, you will need to get a microphone stand of some sort. You can buy cheap desktop stands or more expensive floor stands.

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Headphone jack

If your mic does not come with headphones it is necessary to have a headphone jack on your interface for monitoring while recording. This prevents any latency issues that may arise when monitoring sound in your headphones.

Nice to have….

Reflexion filter

The problem with most microphones is that they pick up everything in your recording space – not just the vocals. A reflexion filter allows the vocalist to sit between two layers of acoustically transparent material. This allows the performer to place their mouth closer to the mic without creating a lumpy/bumpy sound from too much proximity effect.

Things to consider

Sound quality

Not all microphones sound the same. They each pick up different frequencies and may distort or enhance certain audio qualities that you want to hear in your recordings. For example, if you’re recording an acoustic guitar, a large diaphragm mic is best because it will pick up more of the low-end frequency of the instrument which provides a nice warm tone.

Budget

Microphones range in prices from $15 all the way up to $1000s. Make sure to budget accordingly! If you want a high quality mic, expect to pay between $50 and $200.

Vocals or instruments

You need to know if you’re recording vocals or another instrument. For example, a large diaphragm condenser mic sounds great for picking up vocals and acoustic guitars because it is designed to capture the full range of frequencies so they sound warm and crisp.

Recording space – Home studio or studio

Depending on what type of recording space you have will make a difference in sound quality. Live rooms or studios usually give you a better sound quality than an untreated room. Treating your room is always a nice touch, but it requires extra money and time. Background noise can cause issues when recording. It is best to record in an environment with minimal noise from the outside.

Recording studio

Wired or wireless

If you are going to be recording yourself singing, a wired microphone is not very useful because it limits where you can move around and reduces your ability to dance or jump around while singing! A wireless mic is a nice option if you have the money to invest in one.

Ease of use

Do you want to spend hours and hours setting up your gear? Probably not. Make sure all the pieces will work together within a reasonable amount of time so you can start recording as soon as possible!

Connections required

Are you going to be using something like an auxiliary cable, USB cable or XLR cable? Make sure those are compatible with your interface. Some microphones require special connections, so make sure you get the correct cables to hook everything up!

How to set up your mic for GarageBand

Once you get your microphone, hook it up to your interface and do some testing before you record anything. Make sure that the mic is picking up what you want it to pick up.

1) Go into GarageBand

2) Click on Track 1 in the project window (blue box with piano keys). This will create a new track for you to record on.

3) Click the “I” button next to track 1 (it’s an input selector). It should say Line In: Audio Interface. If it says something else, you need to change your input so GarageBand can use it!

4) Make sure your headphone volume is turned up so you can hear what you are recording.

5) After every time you record, check the audio files by clicking on Window in the menu bar and click on Show Project Audio.

6) Check if you are happy with the sound of your recording by clicking play on track 1!

The best microphones for Garageband

Best USB Microphone for Garageband TL:DR: The Blue Yeti

Blue Yeti – $113.98

The blue yeti is the best selling USB microphone on Amazon with great reviews and comes in 4 different colors! It is an industry standard microphone and it has multiple pattern settings, allowing you to record from more than one source. You can record vocals or audio from your computer by switching between cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional and stereo. It is a popular mic which works as a great podcasting mic, making it easy for anyone to start recording audio from their computer!

blue yeti

Features: Multiple pattern selection—cardioid pattern, bidirectional, omnidirectional and stereo, Multiple Colors, volume control, headphone jack and an easy set up.

Shure MV7 – $99.00

The Shure MV7 is great because of the price and its ability to capture more than just vocals. It has an easy-to-use mount so you can attach it to your computer monitor or laptop, allowing you to record yourself while sitting in front of your computer! You can also change the patterns on this mic, allowing you to record from a few different distances. I recommend this mic for anyone that wants to do YouTube videos or start their own podcast.

Audio-Technica AT2020USB $130

The Audio-Technica AT2020USB is a great microphone for Garageband. It plugs directly into your computer and has a built-in headphone jack for monitoring your recordings. It also has a built-in volume knob, which is nice because you don’t have to mess with your computer’s settings to get the levels just right. This mic is especially good for recording vocals and acoustic instruments.

Best dynamic Microphone for Garageband TL:DR: The Shure SM58

Shure SM58 – $99.00

This mic is the “unofficial” industry standard for live vocal performance! The Shure SM58 works on vocals and also on acoustic and electric guitar, drums and amps like the Shure sm57. The only difference is that the SM58 is a more durable mic with a ball grille top; making it perfect for live shows!

Features: Frequency response: 50-15,000 Hz, Unidirectional polar pattern, works on nearly anything you can think of!

Shure Sm58

Shure SM57 microphone – $85.00

The Shure sm57 has multiple uses and works well on vocals, drums, guitar cabinets and amps. This dynamic microphone is also very durable! You can use it in the studio or on stage to get a good sound out of your instruments or vocals.

Features: frequency response: 40-15,000 Hz, Unidirectional polar pattern, Dynamic, 50+ years in music industry, durable, great sound quality and works well on nearly everything!

Sennheiser MD 421-II – $395

The Sennheiser MD 421-II is a cardioid pattern directional microphone, known for its ability to handle high sound pressure levels and it is also good for musical instruments. It is great if you want to get a more professional sound out of your recording and is one of the most popular mics for bass and drums!

Features: Frequency response: 30-17,000 Hz, Unidirectional polar pattern, Durable with great sound quality.

Best condenser Microphone for Garageband TL:DR: Rode NT1-A

Rode NT1-A – $269.00

The Rode NT1-A is a large diaphragm cardioid condenser studio microphone, making it perfect for vocals and acoustic instruments. This mic is very sensitive and has a great quality build. I recommend getting this mic if you record a lot of acoustic guitar or vocal tracks.

Features: frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz, Unidirectional polar pattern, Large diaphragm condenser studio microphone with great sound quality!

rode nt1a

Neumann TLM 103 – $849.00

The Neumann TLM 103 is a large diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone, known for its great sound and versatility. I recommend this mic if you want to record more than just vocals or acoustic instruments! The neumann TLM 103 can handle high SPLs making it perfect for drums, guitar cabinets, bass cabs and more. SPL stands for Sound Pressure Limit which measures how much volume the mic can take before distorting.

Features: Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz, Unidirectional polar pattern, Large diaphragm condenser microphone with great sound quality and works well on nearly everything!

Spirit – Aston Microphones – $450

The Spirit – Aston Microphones are the newest brand to be reviewed on this list. I have heard great things about these mics, great value for money and great sound, I recommend this mic for anyone who wants a good microphone on a budget.

Features: Frequency Response: 20-20,000 Hz, Unidirectional polar pattern, dynamic cardioid microphone with great sound quality.

Blue Snowball Ice Condenser Microphone – $49.99

The Blue snowball ice is for anyone who would like to use Garageband but doesn’t want to spend more than $50, perfect for a starter microphone or a back up! This mic is very small and portable, so it works well if you need to travel with your set up.

Features: Frequency Response: 40 -18,000 Hz, Polar Pattern: cardioid, works on just about anything as long as its close up. Great for traveling as it doesn’t take up much room and has a great sound quality.

Blue snowball – $100

The Blue snowball is the best mic to use if you want a cheap USB solution for your recordings. It works great in Garageband and only requires one usb cord to plug into your computer, making it easier than ever to record in-home studio sessions! It’s unique design is also aesthetically pleasing, so if you are working on your latest musical masterpiece it will look great sitting on top of your iMac!

If you want to use the Blue Snowball USB mic for GarageBand, connect it to a usb port with the included cable.

Rode PodMic -$200

The Rode PodMic mic is a great alternative to the Blue Snowball. It’s built in amp and condenser capsules make it an all-in-one solution for all of your recordings, but still has a price point below most other microphones! The included mount means you can attach this badboy to any standard microphone stand

Shure MV7 – $200

The Shure MV7 is the first portable mic on this list, and it’s one of the best! This mic is perfect for singers who need to move around the stage during live performances. It has a cardioid pick-up pattern which means that it will mostly be recording the singer only, cutting out any background noise.

Recording tips and tricks

  • For a high-quality recording and better results in Garageband, use a pop filter. This will reduce audio artifacts such as popping Ps and Bs, making it sound more crisp and clear!
  • Use headphones so you can monitor your audio while recording to avoid clashing with backing audio or not hearing audio at all.
  • Record audio in mono (record only one channel of audio) for better sound quality and audio clarity.
  • Always use a audio interface when recording audio (if you are using a microphone, plug it in) to cut down on audio latency.
  • Make sure you have the latest drivers for your computer audio input/output devices (it will say on the device itself), this ensures that no audio issues occur during recording.
  • It’s good to record audio at a 44100 hz sample rate because it’s CD quality audio.
  • It’s also important to know that audio will always sound different after it has been recorded, so play around with the audio before you decide if it sounds good or not!

Conclusion

In conclusion, the best microphones for Garageband are ones that will sound good with a wide range of sources. If you have a low budget the Blue Yeti is a great option, and if you can afford more than one mic then it’s a good idea to get a condenser mic like what I have, the Rode Nt-1A as well as a dynamic or ribbon mic! Recording good audio is key to having great recordings in Garageband, and if you follow these tips then you will be on the right track!

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