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How to record audio on a MacBook

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Audio software against illustrative background
Illustration by Samar Haddad / The Verge

If you’re interested in recording audio on your MacBook, there are all kinds of ways to do it. There are a number of third-party apps that can record your voice, but macOS also offers several tools that you can use with no installation required.

Before you start recording, make sure whatever mic you’re using is on, connected, and working. The MacBook’s built-in microphones can record as well, but an external microphone may offer better quality.

How to record audio on a MacBook using QuickTime Player

A screenshot of QuickTime Player open in macOS.
Literally all you do is click that button.
  • Open QuickTime Player.
  • Click File > New Audio Recording.
  • Click the record button (it’s the red circle in the middle of the window) to start recording, and click it again to stop your recording.
  • Click File > Save. You’ll get a pop-up — name the recording and choose where you’d like to save it.

In QuickTime, you can also adjust the volume control on the bottom of the window in order to hear the audio you’re recording.

How to record audio on a MacBook using Voice Memos

A screenshot of the Voice Memos app on macOS.
You can sync this with the Voice Memos app on your iPhone.
  • Open the Voice Memos app.
  • Click the record button (it’s the red circle). To pause recording, click it again.
  • When you’re finished, click Done.

You’ll see the recording pop up on the left side of the window. The file will automatically be saved with the name New Recording. There is an alternative — it will save as the name of the location where you made the recording if you select Location-based Naming in Preferences and you’ve given Voice Memos location permissions.

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