Connect Guitar To Imac

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by KevinBoland, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. KevinBoland macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2010

    I recently bought an iMac and I'm interested in using Garageband as I play guitar.

    What cables do I need to connect it to my iMac, and do I connect the guitar through the amp or just connect the Guitar straight into the iMac.


  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    There are several ways to do this. The best is to buy a USB audio interface that has at least one "instrument level" input. This would be a 1/4" jack that you plug your guitar cable into. Most decent USb audio interface have this feature. Also they will have good solid audio outs for headphones and monitor speakers.

    Something like this is what you need:

    There are others. This is the lowest priced decent quality unit, others go up to about $200.
  3. KevinBoland thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2010

    Thank you for your reply, I'm sorry I didn't specify but I'm not looking to spend alot, It's not for professional use and preety much just want to play around with GarageBand.

    I think I saw a connector where you plug your lead into one end, and the other end into the sound port? what are these called and will it work,


  4. NeuralControl macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2009
    The cheapest way to play your guitar through your iMac is to buy a 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch cable. It should cost you below $7 USD. It works perfectly for jamming along to iTunes or recording ideas in GarageBand or Logic.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If you don't care much about tone buy a 1/4" to 3.5mm adaptor cable. Hosa makes them for under $5 and any Sam Ash or Guitar Center star will have one. Basically it just makes the 1/4 inch plug on your cable fit into the little hole on the Mac. no need to even buy a cable, just a 1/4" to 3.5mm adaptor.

    then you will have to play with the volume control on the guitar. It depends on what kind of pickups you have.

    But really as gear goes the $80 interface is cheap and you'll get pro level results.
  6. sirN macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2010
    Northern CA

    Don't you need some sort of preamp?
  7. completeidiot23 macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2009
    just like what ChrisA said.

    buy a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter. throw that on the end of your guitar cable. plug it in set up a guitar track on garageband. make sure your input in the preferences is set to audio input. then on the guitar track make sure the input is mono 1. then turn on the monitor. and press the little red circle on the end of your guitar track. works like a charm.

    I know this works, but its all good to jam to itunes with, but for a decent sound get a usb interface.

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