How to create a ringtone or text tone in GarageBand


Between purchasing ready-made ringtones for your iPhone on iTunes and converting songs on your computer, GarageBand on iOS is the least talked about alternative to adding more ringtone choices to your iPhone’s soundbite repertoire.

We’re intending to change that by presenting two GarageBand-powered methods that will teach you how to create your own ringtones or text tones directly from your iPhone, for free. One method involves your fingertips and a wee bit of musical wit, the other one your favorite songs and instructions on how to convert them into your daily ringer. 
To help you navigate our guide as fast as possible, we have been so circumspect as to chop the tutorial into three parts. You will probably want to pick between section 1 and 2 first, then proceed to the final stage.

How to compose your ringtone from scratch on iPhone

1) First things first, you are going to need GarageBand on your iPhone.

2) Hit the in your top left corner and confirm that you want to Create a New Song.

3) Talking you through the entire creative process would burst the limits of this tutorial, so let’s just say that the time has come to unchain your inner musical genius.

By way of example, why not start with the onscreen Piano keyboard and record a 30-second melody (there are some fun but basic piano tabs on YouTube). Ringtones are capped at the half minute mark, so don’t bother beyond that, instead ensure that the 30-second track is looped seamlessly. As an accompanying sound line, any melody is easily complemented with some smart drums. In the same vein, we have a great tutorial on Live Loops available for you if you feel more comfortable about stitching together prerecorded samples.

ringtone garageband
Keep tweaking and adding to your project until your song looks somewhat like the screenshot below and you believe a ringtone-worthy melody has emerged. In consideration of the low bar people have to clear today, you’re by all accounts an artist now, mad respect!

ringtone garageband
As soon as you are ready to ship your masterpiece ringtone, touch the triangular icon in the top left corner of the interface. Select My Songs to save the progress and return to your GarageBand home screen.

ringtone garageband


How to create ringtones using an existing song

One of the biggest nuisances in today’s music industry is without a question DRM protection, which are enough strikes again when it comes to converting your tunes into ringtones. In other words, songs you technically do not own and for instance stream through Apple Music or Spotify are exempt from this tutorial.

Any song you have purchased through iTunes though or gotten ahold of otherwise are fair game. Either way, importing those on GarageBand is a breeze. If your song of choice already resides in your iPhone’s Music app, you’re good. If it happens to be stored on your Mac or any third-party iOS app, just transfer the file into the iCloud Drive folder or iCloud Drive app respectively.

1) Create a new song by selecting the in the top corner of the GarageBand app and doubling down on the song creation tab.

2) The choice of audio input isn’t necessarily a matter of sink or swim – just for the sake of this tutorial select the Audio Recorder card first.

ringtone garageband

3) Once the buttons, flicks and knobs of your recording board have loaded, poke the little square icon depicting three sound lines. 

ringtone garageband

4) Import time! Look to the right to spot the loop icon and tap.

ringtone garageband

5) As touched on in the intro of our chapter, select the origin of your song file next. Audio Files is your go to tab if the MP3/AAC/WAV/AIFF/CAF file is stored in iCloud Drive. In that event, select Import from iCloud Drive at the bottom and track it down inside Drive. If the song is not DRM protected and mingling with all the other songs in your Music library, hit up the Music tab and import from there.

ringtone garageband

6) Hold your finger down on the file and drag it to the left track in GarageBand.

7) On the off chance that the imported song is forcibly cut short right out of the gate, hit the small + icon beneath the tool button in the top right of your screen, followed by Section A, then switch on Automatic.

8) Fiddle about with the song until you have found the 30 seconds (15 tacts) comprising your new ringtone. Cut the remainder on both ends of the track and make sure to drag the sound track all the way to the left.

ringtone garageband

9) Trimmed the song to thirty catchy seconds? Alright then, your work is done. Hit the downward pointing triangular and select My Songs to save your creation.

ringtone garageband

How to export and use your new ringtone

1) To save your new ringtone, music recording or home-made piece of art, touch Select in the top right bar. Your item(s) are going to start wiggling in typical Apple fashion.

ringtone garageband

2) Tap the now jerking box to mark it blue, thereafter hit up the top left share icon.

ringtone garageband

3) Wait to be greeted by Apple’s default share sheet, however this time find a bell-shaped Ringtone icon in the bottom row of icons. Confirm!

ringtone garageband

4) There are a few more steps to take and we’ll talk you through them, although things are pretty straightforward from here. Name your ringtone as you please, followed by hitting Export.

ringtone garageband

5) Wait up for your device to finish the export. Moments after, the following text box is going to pop up:

ringtone garageband

6) Provided you want to make the sound your new ringtone or message alert on the spot, touch Use sound as… and choose one of the three options given: Standard Ringtone, Standard Text Tone, Assign to contact. Done and done! You can now bask in the glory of knowing that nobody’s iPhone out there will ever ring like yours.

Finally, if you do grow tired of your composition and want to revert to default ringtones, Settings> Sounds & Haptics> Ringtone stores all the choices available at your disposal. The list is headed by your own GarageBand exports and succeeded by the usual suspects.

ringtone garageband

And that’s a wrap! Grab GarageBand for free on iPhone or iPad today, create something epic and let loose next time your phone rings.