How to Record Audio on Mac

Do you want to record audio on your Mac? Or a voice Memo? Follow these easy and simple steps to record Audio or voice memo on Mac.
How to Record Audio on Mac

With a Mac, you have a handy tool for recording audio anywhere, anyhow. Do you want to record audio or a voice memo on your Mac computer? It is easy and simple.

Mac OS comes with a built-in audio recording tool that will allow you to make basic audio recordings. The two built-in tools are:

  • Voice Memos app.
  • QuickTime Player.

You can find both tools using the Finder or Launchpad or download for free on the App Store for you to record a voice memo or use Quick Time recorder audio on your Mac. These tools enable you to record audio from your Mac’s built-in microphone and allow simple editing. 

However, if you want more advanced audio recording on your Mac, try using third-party programs. There are many Mac compatible third party audio recording tools such as:

  • GarageBand (often comes preinstalled in Mac).
  • Audacity
  • n-Track Studio
  • WavePad
  • iSteady.

Prepare to record audio on Mac

Before you proceed to record audio on Mac you need to prepare. Here is how:

  • Get a quality microphone for audio recording on Mac, compatible with Mac OS. Mac’s built-in microphone might not capture ultra high fidelity sound. If you can’t get a microphone just use the built-in one to record sound on a Mac.
  • Consider a USB audio interface to help you record quality audio.
  • Choose a good recording environment, away from other noise distractions. 

Remember: getting a microphone important because MacBooks and most Apple-brand monitors come with preinstalled microphones. However, if you're running your Mac with a third-party monitor, you'll need to use an external microphone.

Record audio with voice memos on your Mac

Use the Voice Memos on your Mac as a recording device. You will use your built-in microphone to record voice memos on Mac, a supported headset, or an external mic. 

You can then listen to your voice memos on any device where you’re signed in using the same Apple ID and Voice Memos is turned on in iCloud preferences. 

To record audio with voice memos on your Mac:

  1. Open the Voice Memos app Voice Memos appon your Mac,
  2. Click the Record buttonRecord Button(the large red circle),
  3. To pause, click the Pause buttonPause Button
  4. To continue, click the same pause Resume button Resume.
  5. When you finish, click Done in the lower-right corner then click on the words "New Recording" to name the file.
    Rename file

After the recording is saved, you can access your recorded files any time when you open the Voice Memos app. You can select it to play or make edits, such as trimming or renaming. You can crop or re-record segments of the clip from within the Voice Memos app. 

You can also share the audio recording when you click the share button then select how you want to send it.

Record audio on Mac using QuickTime Player

Contrary to popular belief, you can make an audio-only recording on your Mac with QuickTime Player.

QuickTime offers one essential benefit over Voice Memos: it's much easier to pick where you save the audio and to share the files.

To record audio in QuickTime player: 

  1. In the QuickTime Player app QuickTime Player app on your Mac,
  2. Choose File then select New Audio Recording,
    New Audio Recording

  3. Click the Options pop-up menu, to choose the following recording options:
    1. Microphone: Choose a microphone (if you have more than one available).
    2. Quality: Choose the recording quality. Maximum-quality recordings produce uncompressed files, which can use large amounts of storage space.
  4. Adjust your Mac’s volume control so that you hear the audio you’re recording.
  5. Click the Record button Recording Button to start recording
  6. If you want to pause recording, Option-click the Record button Pause Recording ; click it again to resume recording.
  7. When you’re done, click the Stop button Stop.
  8. Choose File then Save to save and name the recording.


Once you have an audio recording, you can edit it, trim or split your audio recording into clips, replace part of the audio, rearrange the clips, or add other audio clips. 

You can also share this file through email or other programs that allow you to upload files.

Edit a voice memo on your Mac

Now that you have a voice memo, you may want to make changes to it. Learn how to trim it down, overwrite part of a recording, duplicate it, or rename it. 

Replace part of a voice memo

If you want to replace or overwrite some existing audio, use Replace audio.

  1. Open the Voice Memos appVoice Memos App on your Mac, then select the recording in the sidebar.
  2. On the upper right corner, click the Edit button to open the recording in the Edit window. (If you have a trackpad or a Magic Mouse, click or tap with two fingers on the recording in the sidebar, then choose Edit Recording.).
  3. Drag the blue vertical line (playhead) in the waveform overview left or right. (If you have a trackpad or a Magic Mouse, you can also swipe left or right with two fingers in the waveform detail to position the playhead.)
  4. Click the Replace button, then record the new audio (Click the Pause buttonPause to stop recording. Click Replace or Resume to continue recording.) 
  5. Click Done to save the recording.

Trim a Voice Memo

If you want to delete some excess audio, use Trim.

  1. In your Mac’s Voice Memos app Voice Memos on your Mac, select the recording in the sidebar.
  2. Click the Edit button to open the recording in the Edit window
  3. Click the Trim button Trim, then drag the yellow trim handles to set the range to trim.
  4. Click the Play Play button to check your edit, then adjust the trim handles if necessary.
    Trim Voice Memo

  5. Do one of the following:
    1. Click Trim to remove the recording outside the trim handles.
    2. Click Delete to remove the recording between the trim handles.
  6. Click Save to save the change, then click Done.

Rename a voice memo

By default, Mac is set to name a recording based on your location. But you can rename it.

  1. In the Voice Memos appVoice Memos app select the recording in the sidebar.
  2. Click the name in the sidebar, enter a new name, then press Return.

You can set a generic name instead of the location. 

  1. Choose Voice Memos
  2. Click Preferences
  3. Deselect “Location-based naming.

Winding Up

There is a lot more you can do on your Mac with the Voice Memo or Quick TimePlayer. We believe these tips were able to help you record audio on Mac. 

Are you interested in learning more about Mac tips and tricks? Do you want to find out more about how to be productive on your Mac? Browse our blog and help center section and find articles about everything related to Mac tips and tricks. Click here to proceed.