Recording guitar to Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by 3FLryan, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. 3FLryan macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2008
    Here is my situation:

    I have a new Macbook Pro (lower end late 2008). My copy of Logic Suite just arrived today. I want to record guitar onto my computer and put it in Logic and play with it.

    What do I need to get my guitar to plug into my computer? Is that completely different from what I need to get my guitar to plug into my wah pedal to plug into my amp to plug into my computer? (EDIT: I just need that last step. ...if that's possible.)

    Apogee seems highly recommended. If I bought Apogee, would I be able to take it out of the box, plug my guitar in and do this? What about Mbox 2? Is there something very simple, like $50-simple, that will allow me to do this without any more bells and whistles, as I'm sure Logic alone will keep me busy for quite a while? (Should I talk about Presonus here?)

    Some other considerations:

    1. I eventually want some kind of midi-guitar interface. No keyboards for me.
    2. I am not a "pro" artist. But right now I am working on music and sound effects for an iPhone game (and already have flash game songs and sfx under my belt), so I'm not clearly an "amateur." I would like to progress.
    3. I will eventually want a good mic for vocals. (Also: Do I want a mic to record guitars instead of going directly into the box/computer?)

    FYI: The most I've ever done with live recording is playing into my built in mic. At this point I am more of a composer, and am proficient in Finale and Guitar Pro.

    I know there are a lot of questions here, but any answers to anything would be much appreciated. I have been doing a fair amount of research, and, quite frankly, my mind is engaged in a very intense game of boggle right now.

    (Further EDIT: And after reading the Logic manual, will some of this be clear?)
  2. KelchM macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2007
    For the moment, if you just want to play around you can plug your guitar (or the line output from your amp) directly into the input on the MBP. If you plug the guitar in directly you obviously will have to simulate an amp in software. I've done this a few times with my BlackBook and have been surprised how good things sounded without doing things the 'right way'.

    You will need some adapters (1/4" to 3.5mm) to do this, but it will work.

    Now, as far as buying an audio interface, the real questions are how much do you want to spend and how many ins/outs do you want?

    Sounds like your needs are pretty basic, so the real decider is how much do you feel comfortable spending?
  3. 3FLryan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2008
    Ok, so it sounds like things are simpler than I was making them out to be. I guess things can be as simple, complicated, expensive, or inexpensive as I want them to be. Let's stick to simple and inexpensive (relatively) for now.

    So, I will now buy a 1/4" to 3.5mm adapter or two.

    As far as audio interface, I really don't know how many ins and outs I want. Two sounds good, but I'm not sure why. I don't want to be limited to only one, but I'm quite certain I won't need more than two if it's just going to be me either on guitar or vocals. And I can't for the life of me do both at once, anyway.

    Maybe this will help me decide what to get:

    What is the advantage of an audio interface over plugging directly in? Though this may be a laughable question, I'm clueless.

    (EDIT: Okay, one I've already thought of: I wouldn't have to keep switching from 3.5mm speaker or headphone output to guitar input. Unless the 3.5mm dock next to the 3.5mm dock with the headphone symbol is the input, in which case I could do both. I'll look that up.)
  4. KelchM macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2007
    Well, I haven't actually bought an interface yet. BUT, a proper interface will give you proper high impedance inputs you need for a guitar and give you the ability to run a proper mic.

    Personally the two interfaces I'm considering are the Apogee Duet and the M-Audio ProFire 610.
  5. HaGG macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2007
    I've just purchased Logic and wanting to do this too, eventually I'm going to buy something like apogee and record my actual amp but I was looking at messing with Logic built in guitar amps for now. One thing I found was "Monster iStudioLink" cable, any experiences with this?
  6. 3FLryan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2008
    Apparently, there are adapters you can buy for 1/4" to 3.5mm input (to plug your guitar cord directly into you computer), but I'm sure the sound quality would be relatively terrible doing it this way (no experience though). Maybe it would sound just fine for messing around. There seem to be a few different kinds but I'm not sure which would be best, google '1/4" to 3.5mm adapter".

    I'm pretty set on buying Apogee Duet now. Just ordered a Western external hard drive that has firewire 400/800/usb connections so that will give me lots of options as far as connectivity goes.

    I really don't know much about this stuff but am looking forward to learning!
  7. leishan macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2005
    M-Audio makes several interfaces that would work recording to your Macbook.

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