Create Ringtones in GarageBand

What can you do with a stock Mac? A whole lot of stuff.

Tonight I took a look at GarageBand 3, part of iLife '06. Specifically, I wanted to play with the new podcast studio. I didn't want to just mess around, so I decided I would try to create a ringtone for my home phone. A ringtone? Yeah, a ringtone. The podcast studio has this great media browser which lets you access your iTunes library and it lets you do some very basic editing, so I figured it could do the task.

The whole process was dead easy. 10 mintues and I was done.

  1. Open GarageBand 3 and choose to make a New Podcast Episode

  2. Using the Media Browser, find the song you want to chop in to a ringtone and drag it to your podcast.

    It doesn't really matter where you put it. We aren't going to do anything but edit it and play it back.

  3. Using the Track Editor at the bottom, find the portion of the track you want to use as your ringtone and cut away the rest. To cut, just select with the mouse and hit Command-x. Use can playback and use the looping feature as necessary to make sure you have the chunk you want.

  4. You should now have just the stuff you want in your ringtone. You can drag it clear to the left, or just position the play cursor at the start of it.

  5. My phone, a Uniden CLX 485, requires that I record the ringtone live, so I prepared it to record.

    I then attached the audio cord from the phone to my audio source. I could have jacked directly in to my Mac mini, but my speaker control block has a headphone out, so I used that.

  6. Next, I hit record on the phone and play in GarageBand. Audio plays, I hit stop on the phone, give it a name and I'm done.

That's it. I now get to hear DJ Shadow playing when the phone rings.

This entire post brought to you with stock software from a 10.4 OS X Mac mini. Screen captures done with Command Shift 4, music from iTunes, editing and playback from GarageBand, photo import and resizing from iPhoto, and blogging from Safari. iLife seems to fit my life.

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