Recording guitar into Garageband

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by ferrara41, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. ferrara41 macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2005
    Hey Folks!

    I'll apologize in advance. This question has surely been asked before, but I searched around extensively and couldn't find any post that answered the question in ways I can understand. So, if it's OK, I'm going to ask again.

    I just purchased my first mac less than a week ago, and couldn't be happier! I am having some trouble with Garageband though. I would love to record my acoustic/electric guitar in, but don't know how to do it.

    My ibook doesn't have an audio input (that I know of) like my IBM did. With my old computer I could plug directly from the guitar into a headphone jack-looking input....I don't think thats the case with my ibook though. So, what are my options for recording in my guitar???

    Good quality would be nice, but because I'm in college and really just want to play around with it...affordability is most important at this point. If I fall in love with the idea, I'll shell out for high-quality stuff.

    Thanks so much for your help!!!

    Sorry if I ramble. Tony.
  2. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    The lack of audio-in on the iBook is one of its downsides, and unfortunately the only reason I can see that Apple left it out is to artificially segment the iBook and PowerBook markets (the PowerBooks all have an audio-in port).

    Your problem is easily solved though. You can purchase a USB audio-in adapter. One of the more well known ones is the Griffin iMic:

    It's RRP is $39.99. I haven't ever used a USB audio adapter, so I can't comment on how well they perform, only that they exist and should solve your problem.
  3. ferrara41 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2005
    - - -

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    The iMic sounds like just what I need. I'm assuming that is something I can't conveniently pick up at Guitar Center, and will probably have to order it from the company. Which is OK I suppose.

    How cheap could a find a microphone that connects via USB? If I could record guitar and vochals and guitar with the same product, I might be willing to spend a little more.

    Thanks again.

  4. James L macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004
    Just a small thing...

    USB is fairly slow, and you might experience latency from time to time when recording through the iMic. If you are not doing anything extremely fancy this probably won't be a big deal. If you require something more "pro" than you will want to go with a firewire input device, though they will most likely be more pricy.

    Remember also that these inputs we are discussing are not powered. Your acoustic / electric may have an on board pre-amp, in which case you will be set. If you not you can also take a line out from your amp (BUT NOT THE SPEAKER OUT WHICH WILL FRY YOUR COMPUTER!!!!!).

    You can record guitars without a preamp, but you have to really boost the input signal in GB to do so, which tends to create a lot of background noise.

    Basically GB expects a line level signal, but your instruments (un pre-amped) tend to be instrument level which is weaker.

    Have fun!!!
  5. Crikey macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2004
    Spencer's Butte, Oregon
    A couple more notes. The Griffin iMic can be found in stock at local Apple-specialist resellers, at least in my town, and you might be able to order online from places like Small Dog Electronics, PowerMax, MacWarehouse/CDW, and so on.

    I heard some people diss the audio quality of the iMic, so I looked up an old review (probably in MacWorld) from when it came out. They A-Bed the sound between the iMic and the built-in audio inputs on a couple different models of Macs and concluded the iMic sounded better than the built-in circuitry.

    If you decide you might want the lower latency of a FireWire audio interface, rumors on this site suggest that Apple may release a new one next Monday called Asteroid that has a fairly limited feature set but a price around $150, which is quite low for a FireWire audio interface.

    And you can plug either a guitar or a mic into an iMic, as long as you have the adapter(s) to match the iMic's 1/8" mini phone plugs. The Asteroid is rumored to have both 1/4" phone and XLR inputs, making it easier to use with high-quality microphones.



Share This Page