Capturing Electric Instruments (Guitar/Bass)

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Luftwaffles, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Luftwaffles macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    Out of pure boredom and as a small hobby, I want to start producing songs on my MacBook Pro, but the built-in microphone is nowhere near powerful enough to pick up my two Fenders (guitar and bass). There's really no point in having an electric guitar if it's not amplified, so I'm looking for a small, desk-top way to do that.

    I'd like to plug into the mic port and record with GarageBand, but obviously there's the matter of amplifying the signal from the guitar to the computer. I used to use a cheap Altoids pocket amp from ThinkGeek, but that has since crapped out on me. I'm looking for something less jerry-rigged and more permanent. Small and inexpensive are the keywords.

    Any suggestions or recommendations are greatly appreciated.
  2. drichards macrumors 6502a


    Nov 30, 2008
    You could use an adapter like this to take straight input from the guitar or amp-out if your amp has a headphone port, or you could use a headphone amp that you'd practice with and take that output direct to the audio-in port. I gave my brother a stack in a box a year ago and he liked it alot.
  3. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    Usually I have found that trying to come directly out of a guitar head is a waste of time, and that sonically the best way to record the desired effect is to use an instrument mic directly infront of the cabinet, my personal favorite is the Sennheiser e609, and the older MD 409.

    Bass is a little more forgiving, and actually a better oportunity to come right off the head as most mics will roll off faster in the bass range than a good modern transformer will, typically I run a passive radial JDI off of the head.

    So your best results will come from spending about $600 on gear, a decent mic, a good DI (Radial), and a good firewire recording interface with decent mic pre's. I am sure you could find some of this stuff used, or go with a cheaper mic and DI, and cut that cost in half.

    Sorry but there really isn't a good way to go cheap and also get good results, trying to use your MB's mic jack/ preamp will result in a bad experience.
  4. mikeinternet macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2006
    Oaklnad, CA
    You need any kind of amp simulator. Like the line6 pod.

    I have a cheap one made by ZOOM. i got it for like 50 bucks to use to record scratch guitar tracks. surprisingly I often end up using it in the end.

    these boxes all have outputs that you can plug right into your computer and you're good.
  5. McGilli macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    I use a Korg ToneWorks Pandora PX4D for Guitars and Bass.... Google it - nice piece of equipment for the $. (about $100 USD)

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