Best, Reasonably priced way to connect guitar to iMac and MBP

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by maf2k8, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. maf2k8 macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2009
    I am a guitar player and getting into recording. At the moment i am using Garageband on my Imac and MBP ( both are i7 models, 8GB ram )

    I record using 2 methods...

    1) i have a Blue Yeti USB mic that i use to mic my guitar cab. It sounds "ok" but its a pain having to keep adjusting and moving it ( i have a little guy so it can not stay on the floor ) plus for late night jams, its not a option.

    2) i have a Digitech RP355 which has USB and can stream and record via USB right into garage band without any issues. Though i am not a HUGE fan of the amp models on the unit. (

    So, i have been reading and trying software based guitar amp modelers ( Guitar Rig 4, Amplitube, etc, etc and i am REALLY loving the sounds i get from there as opposed to the ones on my RP355.

    What i am doing is turning off ALL effects, Preamps, Cabs, etc, etc on the RP355 and just running in directly clean ( pretty much just using it for its USB/preamp feature ) and that plugs into my iMac via USB and i use Ampiltube or guitar rig to dial in my tones and then record thru garage band.

    My question is, Is the RP355 good for this purpose? Because i am not really using its amps, effects, modelers or anything..It pretty much sits there and is just used for its USB purpose to run to my Imac and on top of that, its a floor board modeler which isnt a big deal but i much rather have a desktop preamp or what not.

    What is out there? I dont want to spend more then 200-300 on something. All i need is something simple that i can use to plug my guitar into so that i can use all these software based guitar modelers and my iMac as the hardware.. but at the same time, i want something that sounds good!

    or is the RP355 just as good as everything else out there? i paid 200.00 for it and can still return it. As i said, the main reason why i am looking to get rid of it is because i have found that the software amp modelers sound better to me, so all i need is a preamp, The RP355 has way to many options then what i need.

    I have a small Behringer mixer XENYX 802 that has 2 preamp inputs, not sure how well that works though..

    Does USB give you better sound quality?

    I tried those small iRig adapters once before and i need something thats better quality, not a huge fan of those adapter types...

    I have been looking at something like a Line 6 POD UX1 ( it uses POD Farm which is software based )

    Just curious what would be my best option, or is the RP355 good ( even though i am completely bypassing it )

    any advice would be great, thanks
  2. M87 macrumors 65816

    Jul 18, 2009
  3. OS X Dude macrumors 6502a

    OS X Dude

    Jun 30, 2007
    I got my Line 6 UX2 on eBay for a bargain price, and it's wicked. It included the software, but Logic Pro's guitar effects and amps are much better.

    That said, I use POD Farm virtually exclusively as a plug-in inside of Logic, and combine some of it's features with my existing Logic set-up. It works really well, and you can link the POD effects up via MIDI to control surfaces because it's in Logic :)

    Word of warning, if you get the UX2, for the love of God get the Snow Leopard drivers from their website and not the install CD. I had three kernal panics when trying to install the included drivers!
  4. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    The RP355 will certainly do what you want, and with all the effects and models turned off, it should be pretty transparent. You could try running it with a noise gate and/or compressor effect to get a better quality signal into Garageband too.

    Is it the best audio interface? No. It's fine if you want to use it for other stuff, but if you only bought it to interface into GarageBand then other options are better. It would be good for instance if you had the opition to plug a microphone in - either to capture your singing or to mic up a guitar amp loudspeaker.

    There are lots of good low end audio interfaces around. I like the Mackie Blackjack, but M audio, Edirol etc. all have good solutions. The Apogee One is good, since it has a built in microphone and a guitar jack input, so for most people it's everything they need in a 1-channel setup.

    Personally I don't particularly like GarageBand's amp models. I like Native Instruments 'Guitar Rig' better, but my favourite is Tech 21's SansAmp Blonde pedal - which is an all-analog amp emulator. I feed this in to the Mac by hooking it through a MOTU Ultralite.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Buy a "real" audio interface. I like the Presonus "audio box". It's about $150 and has two good preamps with gain control knobs and headphone and monitor outputs. Just plug the guitar into one of the inputs and you are set.

    Try and give the Behringer mixer away, that is if you can find anyone who'd take it. That thing is just a source of noise and "hiss". Low quality preamps inside.

    You can also some day plug in a good quality microphone to the Audiobox. It has phantom power for condenser mics.

    There are others boxes as good. Just get one with same specs from a "better" company.

    I like garageband's amp models. They are easy to use. I think they are less noisy and better sounding then the real amps. So maybe not such exact copies. Some I'm sure might prefer an exact replication.
  6. maf2k8 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2009
    I finally settled on a RP155....

    I actually heard that the Presonus doesn't play to well with Guitars with hotter pickups ( clipping even with the gain cut )

    I bought a RP355, 199.00 and used that for a while.. Its awesome! Its a simple plug and play and works perfectly in garage band. I really did not want the exp. pedal and needed all the other features, so i returned it and picked up the RP155, 99.00. Pretty much the same thing but can be used on your desk and no exp. pedal.

    ALSO, both units work perfectly with the iPad ( no USB power hub needed or any of that ) of course you need the Camera connection USB dongle....

    Also the RP works perfectly with other modelers. ( i sometimes set it to ByPass and use Guitar Rig 4 or other software modelers and there amps ) and its sounds awesome.. Not a HUGE fan of Garageband amps...

    I was thinking about getting a Apogee One but with their NO RETURN POLICY once its open ( i think due to the fact it comes with recording software ) , its a bit much to lay down 250. If it does the same thing the RP does and sounds the same, then its a no brainer. Plus all i need is one guitar input. IF i happen to need vocals for anything, I use my Blue Yeti ( which i sometimes use to mic my cab and its sounds great )

    Keep in mind i recorded distorted guitars, No vocals and only do 1 track at a time. I am using Garageband as its easier at the moment.

    There is also no latency with the RP also..

    So all these PROs and for 99.00 it cannot be beat. I just really think the fact that it works perfectly with the iPad also is another selling point. ( a lot of other devices also work with the iPad but you have to daisy chain in a powered USB hub )

    I record vis USB and simply output to my behringer mixer and monitors ( no noise or hissing on this end ) since i am recording thru USB and simply using the Behringer as a monitor source.

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