Can't hear my Electric guitar through Garageband...

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Wordy Dirts, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Picked this up from the Apple Store in London a few day ago and I've been having some trouble getting my electric guitar to work with my mbp. When I plug everything up and try and play it records through the mic on the mbp and not through the pickups. In system pref>sound>input I have line out selected along with the volume all they way to the write. What am I missing here?
  2. macrumors Core

    Jun 16, 2004
    You've selected Line Out for the input?

    Do you mean Line In?

    Or is it Built-in audio selected.

    Also is the monitoring turned on?
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Ah yes I meant line in/audio line-in port. And yes monitoring is on.
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Anyone else? I would really like to get this working.
  5. macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    I don't understand how that cord is supposed to work if it doesn't amplify the sound. Personally, I run my guitar into my amp and my amp into my computer.
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2007
    Seattle, WA
  7. macrumors regular


    Aug 17, 2006
    Exactly! An electric guitar is useless without amplification. That's why you play it into an amp. I'm not 100% positive, but you should be able to run the headphone out from your amp to the audio in on your MBP.

    BTW, let me know how that turns out, because I just ordered my first electric guitar and it would be cool to be able to record.
  8. Guest


    Dec 12, 2005
    There is no need to use an amplifier, you can plug your guitar straight in - just make sure that you have selected line in (both in garageband and on 'sound' in system preferences).
  9. macrumors 65816


    May 23, 2005
    Great White North
    This is what I use and it works for me.
    Sounds like you're doing pretty much the same.
    I circled the key points that can make it so that no sound comes out, so look into those options.
    Maybe the patch cord is fried?
    Good luck

    I sold my Fender Amp after getting Garage Band.
    Sound is so much better with GB

    Attached Files:

  10. macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    Yes- that's what I do. The system 'amplification' doesn't quite cut it.

    But you've got to have good sound coming back out of your system too, or it's all kinda lame.
  11. runebinder, Nov 24, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010

    macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2009
    Nottingham, UK
    Hi came across this and figured it'd be better to resurrect this thread rather than starting a new one.

    My girlfriend wants to play her guitar through GarageBand, so bought a 3.5mm Mono to 1/4 inch stereo adaptor. We plugged it into the audio in port on the Mac and followed the online instructions. Not get anything with the guitar. Tried a 3.5mm to 3.5mm jack lead attached to my iphone and GarageBand is picking that up fine, so know it's not the input jack. All the dials are on full on the guitar.

    Would the fact that the adaptor is stereo on the 1/4 inch end be causing the problem? Have tried both line one and two on the input source selection.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2010
    Guitar Input To MBP

    Some have said that with the MBP configured correctly, one can jack-in with just the guitar. One must also consider if your guitar has active or passive pickups. If passive, you'll need to feed the guitar into a pre-amp first to generate a line level that can then be input to the mac. If you have active pickups, the signal should be hot enough to drive the mac input without a pre-amp.
  13. macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2005
    You've probably already checked this but make sure the volume on the guitar is turned all the way up too.

    I have a 1/4" -> 1/8" plug which then runs into the line in on my mac, works fine.
  14. Quacky Doodle, Apr 11, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012

    macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2011
    This is not correct. A guitar regardless of active/passive pickups is equal to the microphones used with computers. Both have weak signals. The mic jack is designed to accept devices with weak signals. The thing you do not ever want to do is amplify the signal that is plugged into the mic jack of a computer. At the least you will end up with clipping and a useless sound.

    BTW, the "active" aspect of certain guitar pickups is designed to modify sound from the strings not so much amplify it. The output signal is still relatively weak when it reaches an amplifier. The active pickups in no way replace a guitar amplifier.

    The only time you might want to use a preamp with a computer is if you use high-end headphones. The output at the headphone jack would need to be boosted to get the robust sound they are capable of producing. The typical signal from the headphone jack is not enough to provide more than a relatively flat audio landscape.

    As stated in an earlier post all you need is a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter to fit a standard guitar cable into the mic jack to play the guitar through the soundcard of the computer. It is better to use an audio interface for several reasons, one being that the mic jack is not sturdy enough to handle the bulk of the adapters if you do this often. An audio interface has sturdy jacks like those on an actual guitar amp.

    If you are using an interface the key to getting sound through Garageband with a guitar is to tell GB to listen with the internal card not the interface. It is unlike amp software and I have no idea why GB wants it this way but it will not work selecting the interface as the input. I have several versions of amp software. All of those need to be set up with the interface as the input. Most do not have an option to select separate input and output devices so everything comes and goes through the interface. Yet GB only picks up the guitar signal if you tell it to look for the internal system source instead of the interface. You do have the option of selecting something else as the output, either the interface or the computer headphone jack.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2012
    I AM HERE TO THE RESCUE i feel sorry for you all, i have it working perfectly

    My guitar is plugged directly into the macbook input port no amp

    it is very very simple i will tell you the secret

    step 1 under preferences/audio make sure system input is selected

    now make a new basic track

    here is the important step under track info, turn monitor 'on'


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