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View Full Version : Connecting a Guitar Amp to my MacBook Pro




bli625
Mar 18, 2010, 09:55 PM
I have to do a show in a few days and I have a MIDI keyboard in Mainstage. I need to output to speakers. Would it be possible to get a 3.5mm to 1/4" converter jack and plug a guitar amp into the 1/4" side so I could use the amp as the speaker. Would this blow the soundcard? I've been searching around but most things I have read just talks about plugging in a guitar and not an amp.



NoSmokingBandit
Mar 18, 2010, 10:02 PM
So you want to plug a cable into the headphone jack of your macbook and send the audio to your amp? That would be fine, though i dont think a guitar amp would sound best for a midi keyboard. It would be best to plug into the PA system if you can.

bli625
Mar 18, 2010, 10:26 PM
So you want to plug a cable into the headphone jack of your macbook and send the audio to your amp? That would be fine, though i dont think a guitar amp would sound best for a midi keyboard. It would be best to plug into the PA system if you can.

Thanks for the quick reply! Yeah. So, PA system or guitar amp. I would just use the converter jack right?

NoSmokingBandit
Mar 18, 2010, 10:31 PM
Yep, just a 1/8 to 1/4 will do it.
If you are buying a new cable to do this i'd suggest Monoprice. They have the best prices around and have always been very good quality from what i've seen.

sporadicMotion
Mar 19, 2010, 12:47 AM
Thanks for the quick reply! Yeah. So, PA system or guitar amp. I would just use the converter jack right?

I've tried using a guitar amp in a pinch and while it worked, it sounded like utter crap. Just a heads up.

A cleaner solid state amp will work better.

bli625
Mar 19, 2010, 05:32 AM
I've tried using a guitar amp in a pinch and while it worked, it sounded like utter crap. Just a heads up.

A cleaner solid state amp will work better.

Woule a PA system sound just as bad? I also have a pair of M-Audio AV40's. Do you think those are loud enough to play in a pit orchestra in an auditorium?

NoSmokingBandit
Mar 19, 2010, 10:02 AM
A PA system will be the best thing you could use other than a keyboard amp. Guitar amps are built to make guitars sound great, nothing else. PA systems have to be able to make everything sound great.

sporadicMotion
Mar 19, 2010, 03:57 PM
Woule a PA system sound just as bad? I also have a pair of M-Audio AV40's. Do you think those are loud enough to play in a pit orchestra in an auditorium?

A pa system will sound ok but really you should invest in a device designed for such setups. A good firewire device is your best bet. It will give you an output that is impedance and signal level matched to what a PA would need for the best possible sound.

ChrisA
Mar 19, 2010, 09:50 PM
I also have a pair of M-Audio AV40's. Do you think those are loud enough to play in a pit orchestra in an auditorium?

Not for a solo performance, not even close. What you want is a pair of speakers that have 12" bass and a horn tweeters. Each backed up with about 100W amp. And yes I said "two" the keyboard is likely stereo. But if you are not playing solo and will be down in a mix then you don't want to be loud. It all depends on the goal.