How to turn a voice memo into a ringtone on iPhone

Are you trying to use your own voice as a ringtone? An iPhone recording? Even a song? Let’s see how to turn a voice memo into a ringtone on iPhone.

Have a voice memo that you want to turn into an iPhone ringtone? If you want to create your own custom ringtones for text messages and phone calls, you can call Garageband. But beyond setting songs as ringtones or creating your own from scratch, you can also use Garageband to turn your voice recordings into a ringtone right on your iPhone and no computer is required.

Any type of sound can be recorded directly on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch using the Voice Memo application that is pre-installed on Apple devices. This allows you to create free custom audio recordings in seconds. With GarageBand, you can cut these voice clips and even set them as default ringtones or contact-specific ringtones directly within the app, as long as they are less than 40 seconds long.

Can’t wait to create your first custom voice memo ringtone on your iPhone or iPad? Great, let’s get to this!

Also, see the best DJ apps for iPhone and iPad.

How to turn a voice memo into an iPhone ringtone?

Before proceeding with the procedure, you will need to download Garage Band from the App Store. To use this technique to turn your audio recording into a ringtone, your device must be running iOS 11 or later. You will also need to record the sound first with voice memos. When you’re done, follow the steps below to create a custom ringtone.

Open the “Voice Notes” application on your iPhone.

Your previous recordings will appear here. Touch the record you want to set as your ringtone and touch the “triple-dot” icon to view more options.


This will open the iOS sharing sheet. Click “Save to Files” to save this record in the Files application.

Choose a favorite directory to save the record and click “Save.”

Then open the GarageBand app on your device.

Choose any available tool. It doesn’t matter which tool you choose, because the procedure will remain the same. In this case, we choose the keyboard.

After opening the tool, tap on the “project” icon as shown in the screenshot below.

Here, tap on the “loop” icon in the upper right corner to open your audio recording.

Make sure you’re in the “Files” section, then choose “Find items in the Files app.”

This will open the Files folder in the GarageBand application. Find and tap the audio recording that you saved in Voice Notes.

In this step, press and hold the file name to open it in the project menu in GarageBand.

Discard the file as the second track, because the first track is reserved by default for the instrument you have chosen.

Now, tap on this track and drag the ends to cut the audio recording according to your preference. You can play it using the “Play” icon at the top, if necessary. However, you may want to turn off the annoying metronome by tapping the icon to the right of the “record” icon.

When you’ve finished adjusting the clip, make sure it’s less than 40 seconds long. Now tap on the “down arrow” icon in the upper left corner and select “My songs”.

Your GarageBand project will appear in Recents as “My Song.” Press and hold to access more options.

Now tap on “Share” as shown below.

In this step, select “Ringtone” to export your project as a ringtone.

Now you can give the ringtone a name of your choice. When you’re done, tap “Export” in the upper right corner of the screen.

Once the export is successful, tap “Use sound as …” to set it as the default ringtone in GarageBand.

Here you can choose to set it as your default ringtone or text tone. Also, you have the option to assign the sound to a specific contact. However, if you just want to add it to your existing ringtone list, tap “Done.”

You have now learned how to set your voice recordings as a custom ringtone using GarageBand on your iPhone.

It takes a few steps to convert a voice memo to a ringtone on iOS or iPadOS, but if you have a particularly valuable saved voice memo that you want to hear as a ringtone or text tone, then it’s worth the effort.

Although this article is mainly focused on the iPhone, you can also use these apps on the iPad to create a custom alert tone for iMessage and FaceTime audio / video calls.

It is important to note that ringtones are limited to 40 seconds. For alert tones or text tones, this limit is even less than 30 seconds. If your GarageBand project is 30-40 seconds long, it will only be available for use as a ringtone. Of course, you can also shorten the ringtone or text tone, for example, if you have a friend or family member who says something like “Heeeeeere Johnny!” then only this can be just the ringtone or the text tone.

It is often easier to check how long the project lasts in the application by exporting it. However, GarageBand will automatically convert your custom ringtone to 40 seconds if it is too long by muting the sound after the 40 second mark. When in doubt, aim for a shorter audio clip.


With this feature in hand, you can record voice memos and assign them to specific contacts so that close friends or family members have their own unique ringtones and alert tones. This makes it easy to identify who’s calling or texting you without looking at your phone, and it’s one of the many wonderful and fun ways to personalize your iPhone experience.

If you find the GarageBand procedure a bit complicated or just not that comfortable on your iPhone or iPad, you can simply import your voice memos to iTunes from your computer and then set it as a custom ringtone and voila. This method is a bit older, but it still works great.

Did you make a custom ringtone with a voice memo using GarageBand? Do you know of another method to convert voice memos into iPhone ringtones or text tones? Tell us your experiences and thoughts in the comments. Thank you.

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