Basic Audio-Video Settings on a Mac

Apple computers are especially well-suited for audio and video projects. But if you’re new to using Macs, changing audio and video settings can be challenging. Here’s a simple guide to changing basic audio and video settings.

Changing the Audio Settings

  1. Click the Apple icon at the top left on the menu bar (if the menu bar is hidden, move the mouse to the top left corner and it will unhide).
  2. Click “System Preferences,” then click “Sound” (the speaker icon).
  3. If you’re sending audio from the computer to another source, change the output setting appropriately (for example, you might be using the headphones jack to send audio to a mixer).
  4. If you’re bringing audio into the computer from another source, change the input setting appropriately (for example, you might be using an audio interface to record audio from a mixer).
  5. The output volume can vary greatly depending on your setup. I typically set it about halfway on the computer and let the source I’m sending audio to handle additional volume adjustments.
  6. If you’d like to access this menu easily in the future, click “Show volume in menu bar.” This puts a speaker icon in the right of the top menu bar that you can single-click to bring up some quick settings and a link to this preference window.

Changing the Video Settings

  1. Click the Apple icon at the top left on the menu bar (if the menu bar is hidden, move the mouse to the top left corner and it will unhide).
  2. Click “System Preferences,” then click “Displays” (the computer screen icon).
  3. To change the display resolution, click “Scaled” and choose the desired resolution.
  4. If you don’t want the screen to “Automatically adjust brightness” then uncheck this option.
  5. If you have a second screen connected, you can the options for both screens to show up on the current display by clicking “Gather Windows” in the bottom right corner of the window.
  6. If you have a second screen connected, you can turn mirroring on and off by clicking the “Arrangement” tab and (un)checking “Mirror Displays” (note: screen resolutions might have to be adjusted after switching this setting).

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