Recording Studio Tutorials

The Info Commons recording studio offers equipment and software for creating and editing audio and video projects.  Info Commons staff cannot provide one-on-one assistance on demand in the recording studio, so we have compiled this list of tutorials and guides to help get you started.


All the files you create using the recording studio iMac will be erased after you log out of your work session. To save your work, you will need to bring your own external drive. To save audio or video files, you will need a large-capacity drive (16 GB or more).

Formatting your drive: Many drives are formatted for the Windows operating system. You may need to reformat your drive for Mac OS X or another file format in order to use it to store and work on multimedia projects.

Warning: Reformatting an external drive will completely erase all the files on the drive. Before you begin, you should make sure that all your files on your drive are backed up or stored someplace else, such as on your personal computer, in an email account, or on a cloud drive. The library is not responsible for any files lost during the reformatting process.

Which drive format to use? There are different options, depending on the type of project:

  • Mac OSX Extended (Journaled): This drive format works with Mac devices. PCs can read the files, but will not be able to write (add) new files to the drive.
    • Note: The Avid company (the maker of Pro Tools) recommends using drives formatted as Mac OSX Extended (Journaled) when working on Mac computers. See their explanation here.
  • exFAT: This drive format is compatible with both Mac and PC computers.
    • Note: In order to use iMovie or Final Cut Pro on the Recording Studio iMac, you will need an external drive formatted as exFAT.

Help with formatting your drive:

  • To reformat a Windows drive for Max OS X, follow the instructions found here.
  • To reformat your drive as exFAT, ask an Info Commons staff member for assistance.
  • If you have files on your external drive that you do not want to erase in the reformatting, you may be able to borrow a USB drive from us to temporarily save your iMovie or Final Cut Pro project. Once you are finished working, you can use the recording studio iMac to transfer your files from our drive to your own external drive. Check with a staff member for details.
General Tutorials

PSU Media Commons

The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) Media Commons site is a great place to start for tech tutorials. You can search for tutorials by software, by equipment you want to use (microphone, camera), or by platform (Mac, Windows, mobile).

The website offers dozens of training videos to learn audio and video recording skills.

Brooklyn Public Library card holders can access training courses from any computer with an Internet connection. Start by visiting this page on the library's website.

Other useful sites:


Canon EOS Rebel T4i camera:

AKG Perception 400 Microphone:

Avid MBox Mini
The MBox is a device for digital recording that provides two audio inputs and mixing capabilities.

Green Screen with iMovie 11:

Green Screen with Final Cut Pro:


Pro Tools Express:

 GarageBand 11:

  • GarageBand Tutorials from PSU Media Commons
  • GarageBand: Basic Editing tutorial from Berkeley Advanced Media Institute
  • To clean up audio a bit in GarageBand, try the following steps in the Edit menu effects:
    • Increase Noise Gate to cut out low-level noises. If you increase it too much, it can potentially cut out softer vocals.
    • Speech Enhancer can also help reduce noise. Set it to Manual and then you can slide the Reduce Noise button between Quiet Noise and Loud Noise.
    • Visual EQ set to Vocals Soft Background helps cut out and soften background noises.

Final Cut Pro X: