Mac Pro Line In / Mic In

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rebels23, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. rebels23 macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2009
    I bought a Mac Pro (2007) and I understand that it does not come with a mic in port. It comes with a stereo analog line in port. I see this also when I go into System Preferences --> Sound


    I've tried plugging in my acoustic electric guitar to the line in directly, but get nothing. I tried this because everyone has told me I could, including Apple. People are doing it with their iMacs and Mac Books, but it doesnt work on my Mac Pro. Are the ports on a Mac Book a combined mic in and line in port? Thats what I am lead to believe.

    What is even more interesting is that I went to the Apple store yesterday and look at a 2009 Mac Pro. I went to System Preferences --> Sound --> Input and actually saw an entry for "Built In Mic". Can anyone with a 2009 Mac Pro confirm that? Does that mean the new Mac Pros have dual functionality in these ports (like a Mac Book)? Can anyone confirm this?
  2. Bat Commander macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2009
    No, the 2006-2007 Mac Pro does not have a mic-in port. It's strictly line in and you need to use an external amp to amp up the signal first.

    I would suggest buying a FireWire or USB audio box. They usually have a guitar input and a mic input on them. Check out M-Audio, they have some multi-channel units that are nice. I have the FireWire solo.
  3. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Electric guitar requires an amp.

    You should buy an external sound card with line in and out.
  4. rebels23 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2009
    Yes, I am looking at a Presonus or M-Audio audio interface. Even if I could do it through the line in on the Mac Pro, the sound wouldn't be optimal.

    But can someone who has a 2009 Mac Pro verify this for me. Go into your System Preferences --> Sound --> Input and verify whether you see an item that says "Built in Mic". This would indicate there is a built in "mic in" in the new Mac Pros. Which would mean you could plug a microphone (1/8") into the Mac Pro now????
  5. zachsilvey macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2008
    Battle Ground
    Like the other two said, guitar requires an amp. I would suggest the M-Audio Fasttrack Pro. We have been using it to record guitar and vocals when at events, in combination with a macbook and get great results.
  6. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    I don't have a 2009 MacPro, so I can't check what you're asking about. However, I do know that it is very unlikely that you will get a good sound plugging a guitar directly into the input.

    You're trying to plug in an acoustic-electric guitar. Does it have an active preamp? (In other words, does it need a battery)? If so, it should work, but I doubt you'd be very happy with the result. If your acoustic-electric does not have a battery (in other words, is passive), it will not work without an external preamp of some sort.

    Regardless, you will be much better off if you get some kind of Firewire or USB I/O device. An active acoustic-electric plugged directly in is likely to overdrive the input and cause distortion (and possible damage) if you're not careful.
  7. lbodnar macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2004
    Could this have been a 24" display's built in mic?
  8. rebels23 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2009
    mchalebk, my guitar has a pre-amp built into it. It is also an active pre-amp (it uses a 9V battery). Yesterday I tried again, and this time it worked. But I had to keep my toe on the 1/8" to 1/4" stereo adapter while it was plugged into the Mac Pro line in. I guess the contact inside isn't too good. :( But at least it worked. Anyone have any ideas what I can do about a line in port that that is not making good contact? Surprisingly, the sound wasn't that bad at all in Garage Band. Any who, I am still going to buy a Fire wire audio interface. :cool:

    lbodnar, you make an excellent point. I think the monitor was an Apple 30" (with a built in Isight?). It could be because of that?
  9. Bat Commander macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2009
    The 30" doesn't have a built in iSight.
  10. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    Something to consider if you're going to get a Firewire I/O is whether or not you'll ever want a MIDI interface. Some come with both MIDI and audio and you can kill two birds with one stone.

    I've been using a Presonus Firebox, which has both audio and MIDI. It does a nice job. They've got a more affordable box (Inspire) that's audio only. It's pretty cheap at Amazon right now.
  11. Bat Commander macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2009
    MIDI to USB adapters are really cheap though. It's just a cable. That's what I use for my electronic drums.
  12. rebels23 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2009
    Okay, so I went to the Apple store today and took some screen shots on the 2009 Mac Pros . It looks like it has a built in mic in (they were no help in explaining if this was the case compared to old Mac Pros).

    And Bat Commander, you are correct. There is no iSight built into the 30" HD display (which it was)

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