Guitar with Garageband???

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by edge9in, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. edge9in macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 11, 2003
    #1
    I do not have an audio input port in the back of my 900Mhz iMac. So i was wondering, is there a way to plug in my guitar to the computer and use all of the effects in garageband without having an "audio input" port??
     
  2. arn macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2001
    #2
    Re: Guitar with Garageband???

    My guess is you'd need a USB Audio input

    http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/imic/

    arn
     
  3. jayg macrumors newbie

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    Jan 11, 2004
    #3
  4. crees! macrumors 68000

    crees!

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    #4
    That is the type of adapter you would need, but if $20 is too much run to Radioshack and pick the same thing up for around $5.
     
  5. g30ffr3y macrumors 6502a

    g30ffr3y

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    buffalo ny
    #5
    the apple store is selling an M audio USB interface which should do the trick quite nicely...
     
  6. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #6
    That m-audio box is nice, but at $150 it's probably out of range for casual users.

    The $60 ($40 iMic + $20 1/4 to 1/8 adapter) combo is a littler easier to swallow.
     
  7. edge9in thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 11, 2003
    #7
    Will that work for sure getting the iMic and the connector cable?
     
  8. ihobson macrumors newbie

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    Nov 12, 2003
    Location:
    London
    #8
    iMic

    I have asked a similar question over on the Apple Discussions forum.

    The iMic DOES seem possible, though there were some negative posts about it (for instance on a powerbook which is what I have). Someone said it makes a popping noise occasionally.

    Another suggestion is the Powerwave, also from Griffin. This is not supposed to have those problems (though surely as the technoglogy is similar it might - Griffin's support page treats the products similarly!?). It is however more expensive.

    Like you, I don't fancy $150 just to connect my guitar when the rest of the stuff comes for $49. I'm already looking at a total spend of $200 to include an ok keyboard. Steve made it seem like connecting a guitar was a piece of cake. For some of us, it obviously isn't!

    Also, we may have to beware latency. I have not got a reliable answer in this regard, but the specific devices (M-Audio and one from Edirol) may be better in this regard. I do not know how serious this would be to most of us amateurs though.

    Let me know your experiences either way, and I'll post mine.
     
  9. Kirk macrumors regular

    Kirk

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  10. ihobson macrumors newbie

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    Nov 12, 2003
    Location:
    London
    #10
    Not if you don't have an audio-input port you can't!
    Not all models do.

    I have a 4 year old Pismo (G3 Powerbook) with one. My 2 year old PB G4 Gigabit Ethernet does NOT have one. My partner's PB G4 DVI from a few months later DOES have one.

    Not sure about other powerbooks/ibooks, or the iMac/eMac families either.
     
  11. Kirk macrumors regular

    Kirk

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    Location:
    Norway
    #11
    But can you use it on the "Audio Line in Jack" on the newest models or am I way off here . . ? :rolleyes:
    http://www.apple.com/emac/specs.html
     
  12. ihobson macrumors newbie

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    Nov 12, 2003
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    London
    #12
    My understanding is that you can and indeed that is it's purpose (to take the 1/4" guitar plug down to the 1/8" socket).

    If I had an audio-in port, I would probably try this out first.

    From what I have also seen on discussion forums, there MAY be issues with this approach in terms of latency and quality, though not all suggest this is a major problem for anyone at the newbie level. Latency for example would be the time betwee you plucking a string on the guitar and the sound being processed by GB. If it was bad, it would sound like you were always behind the beat!

    I am not an expert in sound or music, so please treat this advice with caution!
     
  13. Kirk macrumors regular

    Kirk

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    Jan 6, 2004
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    Norway
    #13
    Okay, thanks! :)

    Guess we all will know how it works in a couple of days . . !

    Just thought it was strange that a 900 Mhz iMac didn’t have an audio-in port.
     
  14. ihobson macrumors newbie

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    Nov 12, 2003
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    London
    #14
    Yes, I wasn't too pleased that a $3,000 Powerbook didn't have one either!
     
  15. taran macrumors newbie

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    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    If your Mac has a line-in socket, you can plug your guitar straight into the machine. All you require is a simple 1/4" to 1/8" adaptor (which I bought for about £2 from Maplin Electronics).

    I tested the guitar levels in Cubase, and there was no noticable latency at all, even with some effects layered on. That's on a stock single processor G5.

    I didn't think it would work, but it did...

    So you can use your existing cable, just buy an adaptor (it works for me).

    A small mixer, such as the Soundcraft Spirit Notebook (about £90), might make things a bit quicker and easier to control. You could then plug a mic into it as well, inputting guitar and vocals at the same time. It's stereo line in, so you can record guitar on the left channel, and vocals on the right. Then remix them back into the centre on the Mac.

    It's all a bit of fun really :)

    T
     
  16. soundmanager macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    #16
    On latency:

    It's a non-issue. OS X was designed for audio latency in the single-digit milliseconds, comparable to dedicated music hardware devices like synths and hard disk recorders. The big problem on older Macs was the OS (specifically, the Sound Manager part of the OS), not the hardware. You can now install OS X on a four year-old tangerine iMac and play it like a big distortion pedal -- in real time. D-Sound's GT Player application works well for this, as does IK Multimedia's Amplitube Live. Garage Band should work similarly in this regard.

    On plugging in:

    If you buy the 1/4"-to-1/8" Radio Shack adapter and plug straight into the analog audio port on your Mac, the volume will be low. The Mac's audio-in jack was designed for low-impedance, line-level signals, not high-impedance, instrument-level signals, so your guitar output will have only barely enough juice. This will be fine for most things, but dirty tones, like amp simulators on overdrive, will not be as overdriven. The impedance mismatch plays a role in this as well. If the new Monster Cable that Apple is marketing for use with Garage Band has an impedance matching transformer, this would likely improve this situation. Worth a try.
     
  17. horhey23 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2004
    Location:
    Kent, OH
    #17
    iMic & guitar

    I've been using the iMic and a $5 radio shack 1/4" to 1/8" adapter to record on my mac for quite some time now, with a variety of software (ProTools Free, Deck, even SpinDoctor (comes w/Toast) for recording quick riffs.

    I use the line out jack on my practice amp to do this. iMic suoort says there is a wrokaround if you do not have line level outputs on your amp, but it is vague about how to do this.

    Here is the Support page for the iMic: http://www.griffintechnology.com/support/imic

    Works fine, save for having stutter problems during record and playback occasionally, which I think is due to having an old iMac. But maybe not. Interestingly enough, it records fine even though it sounds bad. Kinda frustrating, but usable.

    Always mute as many tracks as possible and don't monitor while recording when working with processor and memory intensive stuff like this.

    As usual, it depends on the quality you are willing to shell out the $$$ for. Want it perfect? Spend the money. OK with just enough to save cash? Don't expect the greatest results.
     
  18. pugnus maximus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    #18
    I just got the Tascam US-122. It is a USB midi and audio input device. It has midi in/out, and two audio inputs - with these inputs you can choose the two XLR (3-pronged mic) inputs, guitar inputs, or line inputs. It has level controls with light indicators for each input, as well as controls for headphone mix and monitor mix. Two features that I am excited about are the direct monitor feature which allows you to mute the signal to the computer and listen to the true signal from the instrument/mic (zero latency) and it has phantom power so that I can use high quality condensor mics after I borrow them from people:D

    It's $199, but it's one unit that provides both midi and audio input, support for high quality mics, and settings especially for guitar input.
    For more info check out:
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7...rec/s=computer/search/detail/base_pid/240868/
     
  19. odenshaw macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2002
    #19
    iMic is good and cheap

    I've had the iMic for a while and had no problems whatsoever with it. It's cheap and sounds good. Sometimes my cell phone will send out a signal that gets recorded on the computer. So I think that the iMic is sensitive to some external RF radiation. This might be why people have experienced some clicks and pops while recording.
     

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