Garageband and electric guitar has too much noise!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by linkandzelda, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. linkandzelda macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2010
    I've linked my guitar up to GarageBand and am trying to get a setting which sounds metal like, but at the same time sounds clear and i'm failing. It produces a good sound but its so full of noise its unbelievable. The guitar has no noise when its on a setting which doesn't have distortion/fuzz or gain on it, but then i don't have a metal sound.

    Does anyone have any idea how i can make such a setting?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. elvtnedge macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2007
    how are you hooking up your guitar to the mac? are you using an audio interface or are you just plugging your 1/4" cable into an adapter 1/8"?

    I always use an interface but I didn't a few weeks ago and since the new update, the guitar sounds are extremely noisy. You have to turn on the noise gate and it sucks the life out of the long notes...

    This wasn't an issue before the update
  3. linkandzelda, Jan 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011

    linkandzelda thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2010
    I use an Griffin iMic. I have an adapter which plugs into the guitar and then a 1/4 cable from that to the iMic.

    I recently ran some tests which concluded the guitar isn't at fault. Its something to do with GB and/or the iMic. I was able to tap the iMic with my finger to produce "sound" into GB.

    I even ran a small test using an old laptop which has a hackintosh and the previous GarageBand without the new update. Notes are much clearer and theres MUCH less noise. Although the sound card can only take a very low input otherwise i get "distortion".

    Also, the noise im getting is like almost 50% of the track volume bar and the main volume bar with some as high as 60%... Which you can imagine is totally unusable.

    I think my problem is thanks to the iMic sucking + the new update having noise problems... :(:( I'm gonna revert to the old one if i can to see if it helps.


    EDIT: I reverted to the old GarageBand and the noise is considerably less now which is good news, but it's still present at about 20% of the volume bar.
  4. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    Most electric guitars have passive pickups, which put out a fairly low level signal. If I remember correctly, the iMic is designed to use either a mic or a line level signal. If you ran the guitar into a preamp first, then selected line level on the iMic, I think you'd get a much cleaner signal. Do you have some kind of a preamp you can use before the iMic? A small mixer perhaps or a line out from a guitar amp?
  5. linkandzelda thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2010
    I knew it was the iMic... Unfortunilty i don't have such a device I don't even have a guitar amp. Ive played Acoustic for most of my life until recently. I was looking at getting a M-Audio Fast track thing would that help? Or is there a better solution im not aware of. If not i can get a small preamp.

  6. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    Something like the M-Audio Fast Track would almost certainly help. I use a Presonus Firebox myself, but have heard good things about M-Audio gear (no personal experience).
  7. Mr. Savage macrumors regular

    Mr. Savage

    Jun 11, 2010
    You should consider the "Apogee One". Aside from being a small, decent quality mic it can also accept inputs such as electric guitar etc.. It also improves the sound quality of your iTunes library considerably.
  8. ACKRITE macrumors member


    May 11, 2008
    West Hartford, CT
    This x100!

    As a slightly more robust alternative, The Duet offers the ability for two simultaneous inputs. The improvement in iTunes output quality (of either One or Duet) is worth the price alone...assuming you have good speakers.
  9. linkandzelda thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2010
    Thanks for the comments guys, I'm probably gonna pick up a Fast Track 2 at some point. The other suggestions are good but can be expensive considering the iMic is £30 compared to £200 ish.
  10. graham1971 macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2010
    I have the same problem with Garageband when using the "metal" settings for the lessons. Too much noise.

    I use a Native Instruments Guitar Rig Mobile to plug the guitar via USB. I've tried using an iMic and using the built in port of my white MacBook but they're all the same. They all make too much noise when the Garageband guitar amp is set for a metal sounding guitar.

    Does anybody actually do this successfully?
  11. indiekiduk macrumors 6502

    Jul 26, 2005
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Same problem here, too much noise using "metal" setting and a USB guitar interface.
  12. MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2007
    I used a PreSonus Firewire box on my last album with Logic Pro 9. The guitar was perfectly clean coming in. That doesn't mean that Logic (or Garage Band) won't muck it up. Some of Apple's effects are simply NOISY PERIOD. There's no getting around a lousy setting and Logic 9 had just about ZERO useful pedals out of the box (without having to change settings, etc.). It took me forever to find a combination that would give me a Pink Floyd-like lead sound (i.e. like you'd hear in Comfortably Numb), but I did eventually find a way to do it. My album is Pink Floyd-like CLEAN sounding too. The only acoustic recordings were of my voice and my acoustic guitar (both via Behringer microphones). Everything else was straight into the Pre-Sonus (Electric guitars, Roland Synthesizers, etc.) The LAST thing you want to do is use a guitar amplifier if you want clean sound. I've got a tube Fender Champ-12, but I didn't touch it for the album or any of my guitar pedals and the result like I said is Pink Floyd-like quality sound.

    Frankly, if you're serious about recording, you want to get a good audio box and for god's sake get Logic. Garage Band is a toy. Logic is dirt cheap compared to what it used to cost once upon a time.

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11 January 10, 2011