How to Record Audio on an iPad

Use these instructions and apps to record sound with your iPad

An iPad using used in a coffee shop

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All iPads come with a microphone, and all of them can record audio right out of the box. Apple includes a free app to get you started. Voice Memos comes on every new iPad and iPhone, and it is a free download at the App Store. You can also record audio inside several other Apple apps and a collection of third-party apps.

Information in this article applies to the iPads running iOS 13 or iOS 12.

How to Record Audio on iPad Using Voice Memos App

The Voice Memos app has been around since iOS 3, but it was redesigned in iOS 12. The easiest way to record audio on the iPad is to use the Voice Memos app. Voice Memos makes it exceedingly easy for you to record audio. Open the app and make sure your iPad is close to the sound source you want to capture.

To make a new recording in the Voice Memos app:

  1. Tap the red Record button in the sidebar of the Voice Memos app.

    Opening screen for Voice Memos app on iPad
  2. Tap the Pause icon to pause the recording and Resume to continue recording. Use the play controls to listen, move forward or backward in the recording.

    Recording screen of Voice Memos app on iPad
  3. Tap Done to finish.

Voice Memos allows you to do a few things to the recording after you finish recording it. You can name it and edit the recording itself, although your editing options are limited to shortening the recording or recording over a portion.

How to Edit a Voice Memos App Recording

  1. In the Voice Memos app sidebar, tap the recording you want to edit.

  2. Tap Edit at the top of the recording area.

    Voice Memos screen on iPad
  3. Tap the Crop icon at the top of the Edit screen.

    Voice Memos editing screen

    To record over a section, move the slider to the area you want to replace and tap Replace at the bottom of the screen. Follow with the replacement audio.

  4. Tap and hold either the beginning or end of the recording and then drag the beginning or endpoint to the desired location to crop the recording.

  5. Tap Trim at the bottom of the screen.

    The trim screen of Voice Memos app on iPad
  6. Tap Save and Done.

Change the name of a recording by selecting its current name in the sidebar and tapping the name at the top of the recording screen to select it. Type a replacement name.

Send a completed recording to someone by tapping its name in the Voice Memos sidebar and selecting the Share icon, which is located above the recording's name on the screen.

How to Record Audio on iPad Using Pages, Numbers, or Keynote

In addition to using Voice Memos to record audio, other native Apple apps also enable you to record audio and then add it to a document or project you're working on. Here's how to record audio using Pages, Numbers, or Keynote. These free apps are included with your iOS device purchase, although you may need to download them from the App Store.

  1. Open a Keynote document, for example. Tap the + icon, which is located in the top right corner of the screen.

    Keynote screen
  2. Tap Record Audio in the drop-down menu. (In the Numbers app, tap the Photos icon first; then choose Record Audio).

    Keynote Record Audio option on drop-down menu
  3. Tap the Record button at the bottom of the screen and begin recording.

    Keynote screen with audio icon
  4. Press the Stop icon when you finish recording.

    Recording screen in Keynote for iPad
  5. Tap Insert in the top-right corner to add a recording icon to your document. Anyone who receives the document can tap the icon to hear your voice if you are narrating the presentation or any other sound you record.

    Recording icon on a Keynote slide

These same instructions apply to the Pages and Numbers apps.

Third-Party App Options

The App Store is full of audio apps that offer more features than the free Apple apps, including these highly rated free apps:

About Audio Quality on the iPad

If you only use Voice Memos to make notes to yourself, the default audio quality setting of the iPad may be sufficient to meet your needs. However, you can change the default to improve the quality by tapping Settings > Voice Memos and changing the setting from Compressed to Lossless.

Voice Memos Settings on iPad

If you need high-quality recordings, use an external iOS-compatible or wireless microphone with your iPad.