For guitar audio input: built-in line-in or USB?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by NattyH, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. NattyH macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2009
    I have discovered that when inputting my acoustic electro guitar to my imac onto logic by using the built-in line-in input, it records it with awful quality...

    Will using a USB cable to input the guitar increase sound quality?

    I would like to know this or get peoples opinions before buying a USB cable as they arent especially cheap.

    Thanks :)
  2. iMerlin macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    Personally I wouldnt do a straight USB - jack cable, I would pick up one of these...

    I personally have this and it works like a pro. I had the usb cable to guitar input and it simply sucked.
  3. NattyH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2009
    Thanks, do you know of any cheaper options that will also produce a good sound?
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I record an acoustic/electric using this. It's the Behringer Eurorack UB802 Mixer. It uses the audio in. The difference is that it isn't a digital recording, the USB will be a digital recording as it will convert it. That is $50.

    You can use a USB like the one above or something like an M-Audio. Search USB interfaces at Guitar Center or Musician's Friend.

    Personally I did okay with a guitar to audio line in cable from Monster Cables. It was less than $40 IIRC. I needed something that handled a Mic and I wanted a bit more so the mixer was perfect for me.
  5. iMerlin macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    I think Lexicon makes one starting at 100 bucks. Guitar center had a bunch, I think the cheapest one was like 50 or so but not my Lexicon. Not that it matters.

    Check out GC, those ProAudio guys are usually helpful. Just find one that has a Mac.
  6. NattyH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2009
    Thanks...I'll have to look into these things in more detail as im no music technology genius and all that stuff looks pretty complicated and pro lol, and i would not have any idea what half of those sockets are for, but i will look into them further.

    Thanks guys :)
  7. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Get an USB sound card.

    These things are pretty easy to use on the Mac. That's probably why most musicians use Macs.
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If you are concerned about sound quality then a budget of $125 to $200 is reasonable. It really depends on how good your ears are. Can you hear the difference between new and four month old strings on the guitar? If so then don't go cheap on the audio interface or after a few weeks yuo will learn to hear it's defects and be back n the store buying another one.

    Ideally you need an interface that has a "gain" control on the box. The cheap ones don't and are just basically a cable. You want the abilty to adjust the recording level and at least an LED to show the clipping level.
  9. iMerlin macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    You wont have to worry much about all those jacks and physical connections. Its literally 2 cables for your guitar. Its guitar to Lexicon with a regular amp cable (1/4" - 1/4") then Lexicon to Mac via USB. Its that simple.

    When I first picked up my Lexicon I was also worried, but after about 2 minutes of setup I was recording in Garageband. Dont let all the other connections scare you. I believe those are SLR connections which can accept input from a keyboard and other gear. But like I said, you dont have to worry about those.
  10. 32194 macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2009
  11. 66Replica macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2009
    Plugging an acoustic with a pickup in direct always sound horrible IMO. The only way to get an acoustic guitar into the digital realm is record it with a mic. But then again, I'm a former studio engineer ;)

    But yeah, I'd go USB interface over the 1/8" line in any day.
  12. yourashero macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2009

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