iChat multi-track recording

Reader Dwayne Lansing needs a little extra boost to make his recorded iChats more useful. He writes:

I purchased Leopard this weekend and like a lot of it, but I’m confused about iChat. I understand I can record audio chats and this will help me with my podcast when recording interviews. But I experimented with this feature and iChat saves the recording as a single mono AAC file. I’d like to be able to split the recording into separate tracks, one for each person being recorded. Is there a way to do that?

Not in iChat alone. However, there’s a way to accomplish this with another application you likely own—GarageBand. Here’s how:

Initiate the audio chat and launch GarageBand. In GarageBand create a music project. With the audio chat up and running, click GarageBand’s Record button. You’ll see an alert that asks if you’d like to record the chat. Indicate you would by clicking the appropriate button. Each person participating in the chat gains their own real instrument track, labeled with their name, in GarageBand and the recording begins. Once the chat is recorded you can do what you like with each track—adjust volume, apply effects, and export individual tracks by muting other tracks.

Note that recording with this method creates a “stealth recording,” meaning that while it’s the right and honest thing to do to tell the chat’s participants that you’re recording them, unlike iChat’s recording feature, you can record the chat without others knowing you’re doing it.

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