Live guitar effects with garageband?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by harrishimo, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. harrishimo macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2009
    hey guys, i couldn't really find anything anywhere else or on any other sites that gave me an answer to this question so here it is, apologies if its been answered before.

    I wont lie, im a bit short on money lately and need some effects pedals for my guitar but obviously cant afford them. I was just wondering if anybody knows, Is there a way to use garageband as an effects pedal while im playing my guitar with my amp? (setup example below)


    Any help with this will be much appreciated, thanks in advance! :D
  2. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    Yes, it's totally doable. You could set up garage band on monitor and put multiple tracks for your different effect presets and change tracks to change your effects. Put your guitar in the mic in and the out will come from the headphone jack, if you have an external sound card you'll probably get much better results, a pre-amp before the mic in or something like the stealth plug.

    Mind you, there's an inherent problem with that setup. The output from your computer will be electrically (voltage, impedance and what not) very different from the one from your guitar. The amp really is what gives your sound life (ever listened to how boring a guitar is plugged straight into a computer). The output from your computer won't get very nice distortion from the amp, also won't play nice with most controls. So, depending on the type of effects you want, I'd try to only use obvious and huge sounding effects from garageband and keep the subtle stuff in the amp, guitar and what every effect you have right now. Either way, try to keep away from distorting the signal in the amp after it went through the macbook. Mind you, that is possibly different with digital modeling amps. Using an A/B box would be a good idea to bypass the macbook when you don't need it.
  3. sgermann macrumors newbie


    Jun 9, 2009
    Chicago, Il
    I play mostly bass, but I've used garage band as an "amp" before. It worked surprisingly well and the effects sounded great, although I was using my surround system for playback instead of an amp.

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