Connecting my amplifier head to my mac

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by eatmyshade, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. eatmyshade macrumors member


    Mar 14, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Well i just been bored lately so i been thinking if there's a way to connect a Marshall head to a macbook pro so i can use garage band to record some random stuff. Its a old head (1983 JCM 800) so it doesnt have all the fancy extra recording stuff in the back.

    Would i need a apogee solo? or something like that

    Thanks for your time
  2. Destroysall macrumors 65816


    Feb 28, 2012
    United States
    Do you have a cabinet for the head amp? If you do, the best solution would be to record the amp via microphone (which is how studios record electric guitars). In that case, the Apogee One would be the best solution as it has a decent built-in microphone in it.
  3. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    I'm thinking that putting a Marshall head into a macbook pro will blow the lcd across the room at supersonic speeds.

    In seriousness, if you are recording electric guitar I agree about using a mic'd cabinet, maybe using an isolation box for it so you don't get the cops called on you. Lots of online instructions for building your own box.

    I don't see the point of DI a marshall head, might as well use a modelling app
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    As other said you could mic the cabinet but that makes tons of noise and you can't do that at night in an apartment.

    A direct connect works well. You need a dummy speaker load and then you tap off a smaller line level signal from that. You can buy or build a box for this.

    a MUCH simpler solution is to not use the amp. Plug the guitar straigght into the computer audio interface and use one of the amp models in garageband for the tone.

    For tone the only the best sound is a mic'd cab. But you need a decent mic and a box to plug it in to (not the Apogee, not a good mic and to much money. You can do better for less cost)
  5. polaris20 macrumors 68020

    Jul 13, 2008
    Using something like a Palmer DI with the Marshall head will still sound way better than any modeling app, IMO. I've got GuitarRig 5 Pro and Amplitube, and as good as they sound, they still can't touch my Mesa/Boogie through the Palmer.
  6. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    Interesting. I've never heard one of these, I just assumed that you are losing half the sound of the amp by bypassing the speakers. And on the modelling front, I was thinking more high end than iPhone iRigs, like

    But thanks for the tip.
  7. polaris20 macrumors 68020

    Jul 13, 2008
    What you linked is what I have; I wasn't referring to Amplitube on iOS, rather Amplitube on OS X. Not the same thing, and the sound quality is considerably different.

    You need a load of some sort (either speakers or dummy load) but the Palmer DI has filtering in it to simulate speakers. There's also a PDI-03, which is a dummy load and speaker simulation; what you hear if you were to see Rush or Joe Bonamassa live.
  8. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    What is your take on the guitar rig software, do you like it? Would you recommend it, and for recording or live or both?
  9. polaris20 macrumors 68020

    Jul 13, 2008
    I love GR5 Pro, I use it nearly everyday. I have only used it for recording though, because I don't have the pedalboard yet.

    I would be willing to try it out live if I had that, because the latency is so low as to be non-existent.
  10. sagnier macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007
    live no way! for recording its ace though. the trick, i find, is to keep it simple as if you were lining up your own amp and boxes.

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