Blown soundcard once, don't want to do it again

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MichaelBarry, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. MichaelBarry macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #1
    I was recording some guitars, bass guitar and regular electric guitar, by plugging through the headphone-out on the amps and straight into the line-in port on the MacBook. The guitar was absolutely fine but the bass guitar seemed to cause some damage.

    The apple genius said it was the logic board that was broken? anyway, how can i stop this from happening again. If i was to guess, i would say that the signal from the headphone out (on the amp) was "unbalanced" and so that somehow blew the line-in port.

    Would this, http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/product/8531-behringer-ultra-di-di400p.html , stop it from happening again as it outputs a balanced signal.

    if not what would help. I'm on a very slim budget.
     
  2. MichaelBarry thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #2
    oh yeah, I've got the first aluminium macbook. the 2.0ghz one
     
  3. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    America's Third World
    #3
    That device from Dolphin converts unbalanced in to a balanced out. You don't have a balanced input on your Macbook so it won't solve your problem.

    Output from a headphone out jack can vary greatly -- one might provide a signal 1-2 volts while another might put out 15-20 volts or more. Unless you measure the output with a meter or have the actual specs from the manufacturer you could end up frying things unless you're really careful (or lucky).

    The cheapest solution I can think of would be to build a line attenuator, using passive resistors, etc. There are plans online for building such online, but experience with using a volt ohm meter to accurately measure voltages would be highly recommended, or getting help from someone experienced, etc.
     
  4. pablol macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Berlin
    #4
    If you want to do serious recording, why not buy a proper USB soundcard designed for recording mics, guitars, and instruments, rather than the sub-par internal soundcard anyway? Native Instruments make a nice one called Audio Kontrol 1 for about $200. You can get cheaper ones too, but sound quality is probably not as good.
     
  5. chinarider macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    #5
    +1 for the attenuator, or PAD. You can also pick them up starting around $20 used - check Ebay. Sescom and Shure and others make them. The sescom part # will most likely start with "IL-20-something" - They make different ones, but I believe the IL-28 is adjustable. The Shure series will start with "A15" - It think the A15LA is a 50db attenuator. Sorry, I havent used them in a while!

    All of these pads are XLR - You'll need some adapters.

    Good Luck,
    China
     
  6. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #6
    Buy a proper firewire or usb external soundcard for recording and playback.
     
  7. MichaelBarry thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #7
    won't that create some kind of latancey? that's what I'm worried about. I need the recordings to be in different tracks on garageband.

    could i just record each instrument once at a time?
     
  8. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #8
    Good soundcard has extremely low latency that you can actually go through the software filters and output in real time.
     

Share This Page