How to Add a Noise Gate in GarageBand 10

GarageBand is a decent amateur audio editor and is also free. I use it to edit my podcast, which has worked out ok.

Dealing with audio buzzing or humming can be a problem. Sometimes this can be headphone bleed, or ambient noise, or anything. A noise gate can fix that up pretty well if it isn’t too loud1. What a noise gate does is analyze your audio and mutes any sound that is below a certain volume. GarageBand has this built-in but it is a little hard to find. It’s interface has changed over different versions, so googling around for it often yields out of date information. Here is where it is in version 10.

First click this knobby button.

knobby button

This’ll bring up a panel at the bottom with some additional controls. Click the information “i” button, turn off “Master”, and click “Controls” from the segmented control.

controls

Finally, you’ll have a checkbox labeled “Noise Gate” in that info side panel. Check it to turn it on, and use the slider to adjust how big of a gate you want.

noise gate

This will set the gate on the entire track that is selected up in the main UI. You can have different gates for different tracks, but I don’t think you can different ones on a single track in GarageBand.

Once I scrape together a little more cash I might go out and get Logic Pro. For now though, GarageBand works well enough.

  1. Shoutout to Jim Metzendorf for helping me out with this.

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