Accoustic electric guitar

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by smilinmonki666, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. smilinmonki666 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    #1
    I want to coonect my electric & electric accoustic to my imac. Can I just connect it to my mic input or do I need an adaptor I don't really want to spend any money but will if needed.

    Cheers
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    All you need is a cable like this. Don't expect studio quality, but it is good.
     
  3. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #3
    Your best bet really is to get some kind of Firewire or USB preamp device. If you don't want to do that, I would suggest getting a cheap mixer.

    Most electric guitars are passive and the signal you get will probably be weak if you plug it right into the computer. Most acoustic/electric guitars are active and are likely to overdrive the input on the computer. A mixer or preamp will allow you to adjust for both and get a better result.

    You should also be aware that, generally speaking, acoustic/electric guitars don't sound all that great when recorded through their pickup. A cheap USB mic (like the Blue Snowflake) will give a much better sound.
     
  4. MTI macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    #4
    Does Line 6 still make the USB port and is it Mac compatible?
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    They have things like the TonePort that pair some digital effects processing and amp modeling with digitizing.

    M-Audio, Edirol/Roland, and a bunch of other companies also make more straightforward digitizers / external audio cards. Pricing is generally between about $70-150 for most of them.

    Since the OP is of few words...

    The big question for the OP is... are you trying to record only, or record and amplify?

    If you convert from 1/4" TRS to 1/8" TRS (like the cable Jessica linked) and plug it from your guitar straight into the mic port of the computer, you won't get very usable results because your guitar doesn't output line level. The cable is actually designed, AFAIK, for use with the Griffin iMic or whatever it's called, which has a preamp in it.

    If, however, you convert from 1/4" TRS to 1/8" TRS and plug the cable from the amplifier's line out to the computer, the results will not be too bad. As others said, it won't be studio quality -- it will have some noise. But it will be fairly usable for garageband type projects.

    So basically, if you have an amp, you can just do this with the 1/4" to 1/8" converter. If you don't have an amp, then you really should buy another piece of hardware -- either an amp or something like the toneport.
     
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #6
    FWIW, if they're unwilling to really spend the money the direct cable is the only way to go or use their Mac's built in Mic. You get exactly what you pay for.
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    Yeah, true. If you have patch cables around, and it really comes to doing this (or if you have an amp, in which case you really get not half bad results from doing this) then an adapter from 1/4" to 1/8" is only $2-4 (example).

    The Toneport is actually kind of cool, though. I'm actually thinking of getting one myself over other USB audio interfaces because it does some fun stuff like microphone preamp modeling. :)
     
  8. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #8
    I've been using a Presonus Firebox. First, it's Firewire, which I prefer over USB. It gives me four inputs, two of which can provide phantom power. Plus, it gives me MIDI in/out. It's pretty sweet.
     
  9. smilinmonki666 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    #9
    I was meant to inform you that I have a guitar amp so it would be coming from that. Sorry. My general thoughts are guitar to amp, amp to iMac?
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    Then read my post again. ;) You should get reasonably good (non-studio) quality just by runnning a cable from the line out of the amp to the mic port on the iMac. Depending on what you do and don't have, you need some combination of...

    - 1/4" cable and a 1/4"-1/8" adapter (like I linked)
    - Dedicated 1/4" to 1/8" cable (like Jessica linked)
    - 1/8" cable and/or adapter (one of my amps has a 1/8" output port)
     
  11. Bobbi Flekman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #11
    And, also depending on what you want to do, you may want to consider a dedicated Audio interface. Personally I do not like the sound quality of the built-in sound interface. I can't think of another reason to input the output from a guitar amp, apart from recording.
     
  12. jodelli macrumors 65816

    jodelli

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    Windsor, ON, Canada
    #12
    I have an adapter for 1/4 to 1/8, which in effect is similar to the cord Jessica pointed out. But I run it through an iMic, the Griffin device that mkrishnan mentioned, that runs through a USB port. Of course the Sound input would have to be set for that in System Preferences.

    Also, my only amped guitar is a solid body electric; my acoustic has no pickup, so it's strictly mike.
     
  13. dutchchilly macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #13
    I've got a Toneport UX1 too, works excellent with my Vista PC as with my MacBook!
    Electric guitar, acoustisc guitar, vocals, no problem.
     
  14. pionata macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Location:
    Montreal
    #14
    If you have a good amplifier you'll get a much warmer sound with a good microphone than a direct line in, even more so if your using some distortion like the one on a marshall, where it's the speaker quality that makes all the difference.

    Instruments sound better with microphones anyway; except those using digital sounds like keyboards.

    Speaking from my on experiences in studio recording.
     

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