Audio Input

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by AppleCrisp, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. AppleCrisp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    #1
    Hey, I just purchased a Mid 2011 13 inch Macbook Air, and attempted to plug in my guitar via a Monster 1/4 to 1/8 inch jack plug which I use with my iMac. The Air doesn't appear to recognize the plug as an audio input, and instead thinks it is headphones.

    Anyone able to help?
     
  2. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #2
    How many connections are on the 1/8th inch jack?

    The Air has a combination headphone/mic connector - the same as the iPhone and iPad:

    [​IMG]

    The audio input is implemented using an extra ring (giving it 4 connectors instead of the 3 you usually get on a headphone plug).

    If your adapter cable has only 3 connectors, it isn't going to work as a mic in.

    You can get 4-connector adapters but the audio quality isn't great. For better audio quality check out USB adapters like the Apogee Jam, Peavey Xport, IK MUltimedia Stealth Plug or something like that.
     
  3. unixperience macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    #3
    theres two ways to do this. the first is open system preferences, go to audio tab and input ...or output tab, either will work, and on the bottom there should be a dropdown list that says, use audio jack as....
    My guess is it says output... just change the dropdown list to say input :)

    I'm also assuming you are using garage band? if so go to preferences, and you can change the audi driver there, from system default.. to like line in. if you just do the garage band thing, the next time you use your jack it will revert to the the setting in system preferences (which is probably headphone).

    if you use the first method you'd have to go back to system preferences and switch it again to use it as a headphone jack
     
  4. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #4
    No, that won't work. The hardware doesn't support it.

    Unlike the 1st gen MacBook which used a 2 way software configurable headphone port when it lost it's separate audio input, the MBA uses a 4 connector interface which hooks up to iPhone style headphones with inline mic. You can only input audio in mono on this fourth connector - and that audio input has a limited frequency response. For high quality audio input a proper USB interface is preferable.
     
  5. unixperience macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    #5
    wow I had no idea. But I should add just for informational purposes, the older macbooks (pros) with only one input/output also had the 4 pin connector and supported apple headphones

    I didn't know they got rid of that switching functionality, that was a pretty poor decision
     
  6. Yumunum macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    U.S.
    #6
    Interesting! I thought it didn't have audio-in at all, but I guess it kinda does
     
  7. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #7
    It's difficult getting the actual detailed specs - but the tech spec page (link below) doesn't specify full stereo audio input.

    I do remember the switchable in/out on the older MacBooks - but in retrospect, how useful was this in practice? Pretty much any time you were using the stereo in, you would want a stereo out for monitoring purposes too? At least the 4 pin connector lets you do Skype/FaceTime etc. with both mic in and stereo out.

    Yeah, the spec page says:

     
  8. roccobladr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    #8
  9. mopppish macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    #9
    Hi.
    No offense to the last post, but I would avoid those $1.30 ebay usb audio devices like the plague. My friend has gone through a few of those, and they keep breaking. The only reason he doesn't buy a more expensive one is because he teaches drum lessons and has an unpredictable income level.
    Basically, you get what you pay for.
    If you only need guitar, I would look at the Apogee Jam and maybe the Line 6 usb stuff. If you want more (some mics, etc), then just run down the list of USB audio interfaces at sweetwater.com.
    I'm in a similar situation. I'll be switching from a Macbook Pro to an Air soon, and will have to buy a usb interface as my old firewire one won't be of any use. Personally, I'm going with a MOTU Microbook. It just barely meets my needs, but then I'm planning to get a bigger, nicer bus-powered interface once the thunderbolt interfaces from MOTU and Apogee start coming out. It will tide me over until then.
    Good luck!
     
  10. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #10
    But that's $1.30 with FREE SHIPPING! How can you pass that up? :D
     

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