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6 Reasons Your Voices Are Distorted in GarageBand (And How to Fix It)

GarageBand is one of the most user-friendly music production software to date. After only a few minutes of testing, you already know the essentials. However, even though it is easy to use, you may still encounter a complication here and there, and one of the most common issues is voice distortion. So how do we fix it?

Read on and we’ll tell you the most common reasons why your voice is distorted and how to fix it.


1. The gain is too high on the audio interface

To record with external equipment on GarageBand, you must connect an interface. Sometimes the interface settings don’t match what you’re trying to achieve, and the most common mistake people make is setting the gain too high.

How to fix gain

Gain correction is easy. Most interfaces will have a rotary knob to increase or decrease the gain, with a light ring around the knob that lights up when sound passes through. When your mic is connected, try singing or speaking into the microphone (depending on what you intend to do for the recording) and watch the light ring: does it light up green or turn – it red?

If the LED turns red, the gain is set too high and too much volume is coming through the mic, distorting the sound. All you have to do is adjust the gain by turning it down slightly, but remember to do this while you’re singing or talking into the mic, to make sure you’re getting the right volume. Once it turns green, you’re good to go.

2. You’re standing too close to the mic

Sometimes the reason for distortion is simply your position relative to the mic. If you’re not experienced in studio recording, you may not know how close or how far you need to be from the mic.

How to correct your position

Correcting your position depends on whether you’re narrating or recording vocals for singing. If you’re telling, correcting the distortion is pretty easy because once you find the sweet spot, you can keep your position static and record from that distance all the way. However, if you sing, adjusting your position will be an ongoing task.

Since you can’t adjust the gain knob while recording alone (unless you want to spend substantial time recording each section individually), you’ll need to move closer to the mic when singing softer frequencies. or lower; when your voice becomes higher and louder, especially when playing from the belt, you will need to move away from the microphone. This might take some practice.

These adjustments don’t have to be substantial, and if you need to take a big step backwards or forwards, there are likely other settings that need to be adjusted as well.

If you’re recording vocals, read our beginner’s guide to composing vocals in GarageBand.

3. You are using the wrong effect

GarageBand is integrated with a variety of voice sounds which can easily change the effect according to your specific needs. Sometimes we can pick an effect that doesn’t go well with what we’re trying to achieve, and our voice ends up distorted.

How to choose the right effect

We recommend that you record your voice using the default sound before switching to an effect. However, if you prefer to use the right effect from the start to adjust your voice accordingly, try the following:

  • Make sure you are using vocal effects and not instrument effects

GarageBand offers effects not only for vocals, but also for instruments, and these are carefully selected to mimic real-life circumstances. Therefore, using an effect on your voice intended to aid a guitar can adversely affect the sound.

  • Be sure to choose an effect that suits the style of the voice

There are different vocal effects that suit different styles. If you’re recording a song, for example, you’ll want to use effects intended for the music, and you can also be specific about genre. However, if you’re doing it for a podcast, you’ll need a different set of effects, like Narratorso make sure your goal is clear.

Don’t have the basics yet? Check out our guide on how to make a song in GarageBand.

4. Your GarageBand settings are wrong

GarageBand settings can greatly affect the sound you hear.

How to Fix GarageBand Settings

First, look at the controls: does the compression too high? East echo lit, and how much is added? Too much or too little of a specific element can completely change the sound as it clashes with other components.

Take a look at the equalizer. As a general rule, if you are recording vocals, turn the triple up and the low low, but it all depends on your unique voice, the equipment you have, and the genre you’re recording. If you want your vocal style to match the song, you may need to do some research and figure out what works best for you.

Check that the output parameters are correct. You can try enabling some switches and disabling others, while adjusting the down, environmentand high frequencies.

5. The software is outdated

A surprisingly common problem people have is their software not updating, whether it’s their device software or the GarageBand software. If one is outdated, it may no longer be compatible with the other. The solution is simple: update your software.

If you want to switch to another software entirely, find out why you should switch from GarageBand to Logic Pro X.

6. Your equipment is faulty

Unfortunately, sometimes the problem is not an easy fix; Sometimes the problem is in the equipment you’re using, and figuring out which part is the problem takes some work. If you tried to fix the distortion with the steps above but were unsuccessful, the most likely problem is faulty equipment.

How to check your equipment

First check your cables. The likely cause is a faulty wire in the cable that connects your mic to the interface, or the interface to your device. If you have other cables that you could use, test them and see if your problem is solved or not.

If the cables are in good condition, make sure there is nothing wrong with your microphone. You can do this by unplugging your mic and speaking directly into your device, or you can swap it out for another mic if you have one. Also, make sure you use noise canceling to avoid any unwanted sound that might interfere with your voice.

If the cables are OK and the mic is OK, the interface is probably the problem. Sometimes the interface is too old and does not have enough power to support your other equipment, or there is a broken component. You can check online to make sure all the gear you’re using is compatible, and if so, consider having the interface checked by a professional.

Take control of your voice in GarageBand

Even with user-friendly software like GarageBand, the technology can still be confusing. But once you get the hang of it, it becomes like riding a bike and you’ll be recording vocals like a pro in no time.