Using GarageBand Normalization to Correct Your Low Audio Inputs

podcast garageband normalization

We’ve built out an incredible podcast studio in Indianapolis with state-of-the-art digital mixers and studio quality microphones. I’m not running any special software, though. I just bring the mixer output directly into Garageband where I record each mic input to an independent track.

But, even with my mixer output via USB maximized, the audio simply doesn’t come in at a good volume. And within Garageband I can increase the volumes of each track, but then I don’t have room to adjust each in relation to one another in my post-production process.

Here’s what the audio looks like when it’s recorded. You can see the extreme difference between the two audio tracks up top and our professionally produced intros, ads, and outros below. There simply isn’t enough room in the settings to make adjustments.

garageband normalization

Garageband has a feature that I both love and hate – normalization. If you love controlling the output volume of your podcast using Garageband, you’re going to hate it. Normalization takes over on export and adjusts your volumes to optimize (questionable) for playback.

In the case above, though, we can use normalization to our advantage. If you mute all but a single track, export the individual track (aiff so you don’t lose quality like with an mp3) and do that for each track they will be normalized on export. Then you can delete your audio within each track in your project, and re-import the outputted, normalized audio file.

Here’s the result:


Now take a look a the audio on each of the vocal tracks (the first two). They now match one another’s volume and can be adjusted easy in relation to the intros, ads, outros and each other. Hope this helps you as much as it’s helped me! If you have additional ways to help with this issue, let me know.

One comment

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      I totally agree, Bram. Given the popularity of podcasting and the fact that you may need to adjust volumes beyond the limits of Garageband, it’s frustrating they don’t give you more control. We recently started utilizing Auphonic to master the audio files. It’s not inexpensive, but it works great.

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