Audio interface for guitarist using garageband 9

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Villane, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. Villane macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    #1
    Hi guys,
    I've recently purchased a spanking new macbook pro and am keen to lay some tracks down in garageband. I need a cheap but good quality audio interface so's I get get my guitar riffs onto the mac.

    Any suggestions will be gratefully received.

    Cheers all in advance.
    Sean
     
  2. Kirk macrumors regular

    Kirk

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    Jan 6, 2004
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    Norway
  3. Villane thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    #3
    hey Kirk,
    thanks for that dude...I will check it out one time!

    Peace brother
    Sean
     
  4. shreddy macrumors regular

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    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    I've a Line6 UX1 - their kit is pretty good. Definitely checkout the model packs - especially Metal Shop :D

    Maybe outside your budget but if you want great quality then maybe take a look at the Apogee Duet. You'd probably need something like Amplitube too though, which'll push the cost up further.
    http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/duet.php

    If you're happy with more entry level, then you can't go wrong with Line6.
     
  5. Villane thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 23, 2009
    #5
    thanks for that Shreddy.

    Happy shredding!

    Sean
     
  6. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    Hell, AL
    #6
    What's your budget?

    For the price, if you can afford to get into it, take a look at the Mbox 2 Mini. Pro Tools LE 8 is fabulous and included in the price. People will have preferences for DAWs, but every professional studio (save one) I have been in uses Pro Tools HD and the vast majority of home-studios I deal with are using Pro Tools LE at this point. Market-share makes for nice stuff, like useful and helpful communities and lots of compatibility.

    A lot of the idiotic UI and interface issues Pro Tools had have been dealt with since version 7.3.

    I am not saying Pro Tools is better than (insert DAW here). There is more than one way to skin a cat, and I know plenty of folks that love Logic and Digital Performer.
     
  7. ssdar macrumors member

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    Netherlands
    #7
  8. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

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    Jun 15, 2009
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    #8
    Just remember that the Apogee Duet and One are not equivalent to the classic Apogee converters that they are known for. Both the Duet and the One are single IC units; nothing discrete used. They are similar in design to the rest of the similar units out there. I have heard the Duet and was not terribly impressed. I think a lot of the price has to do with the branding on that unit.

    A telltale sign is that it gets great reviews on gadget sites while pro-audio sites and TapeOp pan it as overpriced.
     
  9. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    #9
    Don't overspend.

    You can do this for very little money and get high quality results or you can spend more money and get slightly better results.

    You can get by with just a simple mono 1/4" to 1/8" inch adapter .99 cents on Ebay (assuming your using an electric with pickups)

    They will try to sell you a speciallized "Guitar adapter for Garageband" for $20 which is just the .99c adapter ;)

    Mind you this is one area were you can get by very cheaply without sacrificing anything.

    If you want lots of distortion "while you record" you might try the (relatively) cheap Line-6 stuff, but you can always add effects after you record a clean signal (perhaps a better idea in the end) just with Garageband alone ( I believe)

    Of course i wouldn't be surprised if you can add (monitor) effects in real-time with just Garageband given a fast enough machine...don't know though.

    The 1/4" adapter just takes the low level pickup signal into the mic jack (also low level). The signals are similar (not exact but that's ok) so with a little adjustment you have a great setup.
     
  10. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    Hell, AL
    #10
    Agreed.

    High quality? No. Maybe acceptable for scratch recordings. Mind you, guitar pickups are high impedance and to properly drive the 1/8" input on any notebook computer you will need some type of preamplifier.

    Agreed. Utter crap.

    Not true. The A/D and D/A in the Macbook is crap for this application. Acceptable for scratch recording and songwriting? Sure. But you are sacrificing a lot.
     
  11. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

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    #11
    Not ideal. The built in A/D + D/A is crap. The latency would be terrible.
     
  12. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    #12
    This all may be true. But I would think that the A/D ICs they have these days would have a decent noise floor.

    Maybe they don't. (at least in Apples machines)

    I don't know

    EDIT:

    Thinking about this, make sure to get a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter that also has a cable. There's a lot of stess with those bulky adapters that you don't want to inflict on either your guitar of , especially your computer.

    (I probably should have stayed out of this :D )
     
  13. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

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    #13
    No way! These discussions are great. Hope I did not come across as condescending.

    Generally, built in A/D or D/A is crap. Noisy (artifacts and errors) and generally terrible sounding.

    Even the A/D in my digidesign stuff (003 Rack, Mbox 2) is not great. It is good enough for independent distribution, but if I had the budget I would be on some Apogee or RME converters.

    However, the digidesign (Pro Tools) stuff is reasonably priced, considering you get the DAW included. You can find an Mbox 2 Mini on eBay for under $100. Pro Tools and the interface is lightyears ahead of Garage Band and the built in interface. Again, people love and hate Pro Tools and the digidesign hardware, but they have big marketshare across the market segments. Lots of accessories, plug-ins, tutorials, and communities to help you along your music production journey.

    I wish someone gave me the above advice years ago. I moved from a Cubase SX and MOTU rig; on paper, it smokes anything Pro Tools LE throws together. However, in practice, Cubase SX 3 was an abortion of an update and the MOTU 828mkII had its own problems.
     
  14. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816

    sporadicMotion

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    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    Your girlfriends place
    #14
    The MBox series is pretty great. It's pretty amazing what type of difference you get in sound between using the line in on a macbook vs a pre of some kind. I have a couple different audio files made in garageband that I could send you that demo the difference between mic'd, mbox and macbook line in.
     
  15. daisky macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    #15
    hey sporadic, I am interested in listening to these files. can you send them my way? thanks!
     
  16. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

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    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #16
    impedance matching, asio low-latency drivers and the bundled software makes usb interfaces worth it. The sound you get from any onboard soundcard just isn't adequate. I use an M-audio fast track pro and highly recommend it.
     
  17. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816

    sporadicMotion

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
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    Your girlfriends place
    #17
    For sure. I'll send you a yousendit.com link later on tonight.
     
  18. Villane thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 23, 2009
    #18
    yeh send me them for sure, that would be great!

    Thanks amigo

    Sean
     
  19. Villane thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    #19
    just to clarify though, i'm seriously not looking to spend a fortune here. All I need is to lay down some guitar tracks and have a port for a mic incase I fancied putting some vocals on something too. Hopefully then garageband will do the rest!

    thanks again for a cool thread chaps

    S
     

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