Which DirectBox Is Compatible with my iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iMacJunkie, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. iMacJunkie macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2011
  2. asknone9, Sep 3, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011

    asknone9 macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2009
    If you are looking to get sound into your iMac, or any computer for that matter, you aren't looking for a direct box. You want converters. Direct boxes are used to modulate impedances from signal processor to signal processor. There are many technical reasons why this is necessary, but it doesn't apply to you unless you are attempting to plug the guitar straight into a mixing console, or something with a similarly low-impedance input.

    May I ask exactly what you are looking to do? I don't want to assume anything and steer you in the wrong direction.

    Also, for the sake of knowledge: An active DI, in the most general terms, has powered electronics in it, typically a preamplifier, which can provide gain for the signal passing through it. A passive DI, generally, lacks these "active" electronics, and, thus, the versatility, but is often considered to be "cleaner." "Active" and "passive" also have different implications regarding the specific components used in the signal path, but it's quite technical and probably not worth noting, since you probably don't need a DI box anyway.
  3. iMacJunkie thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2011
    Ok, here's what I'd like to do:

    1. Get sound from my electric guitar into my iMac without destroying the sound board that's already in it.
    2. Use facetime or photobooth to record video with sound of me playing my guitar.
    3. And also potentially use this for garageband recordings (without video).
  4. asknone9 macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2009
    Okay. What you need are converters, and you will probably have to shell out a little more money than what you would have on a DI box. These converters will come in something called an interface that will either run through USB or Firewire, and it will act as your sound card. Here is a list of USB interfaces sold at Sweetwater:


    I would recommend any of the sub $200 interfaces by Presonus, Line 6, Focusrite, and M-Audio. If you can go up to the $200-$300 range, shoot for an Apogee, Avid, Lexicon, or Native Instruments interface.

    Now, is this an electric guitar or acoustic?
  5. iMacJunkie thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2011

    Electric guitar.

    Everyone I've asked (even on this forum) has told me to accomplish this I'll need a direct box. I can't spend $200 at once now. No way no how. Not for another six months to a year. I was seriously hoping the direct boxes at $30 would solve my problem. :(
  6. Mickey8297 macrumors member


    Jun 12, 2009
    Although you can use an interface as mentioned above you could also just plug your guitar straight into your mac's line in using a 1/4 in to 3.5mm cable.
    Here is an older thread that asks a similar question with some answers.

  7. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2011
    Land of eternal Spring
    i've connected an electric guitar to my iMac just using a reducer with no problems at all, haven't connected an amplified/pedals output directly tho.
  8. asknone9 macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2009
    How about this?:


    I don't know why you were told you needed a direct box. Some of them can act as "amplifiers," but it's typically not the first thing you would try. And if you're using an amp, the direct box would be unnecessary. Mickey8297 also brings up a good point. You can plug directly into your line-in port on your iMac, although I'm generally opposed to this, because that isn't necessarily its intended use, and you would need to be careful of overloading it. High gain guitar signals can potentially blow the input processor.


    This would also work:

  9. iMacJunkie thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2011
    Thank you!!!!!! I think I'm gonna grab the second one, the ART Tconnect. Do I need to worry about my electric guitar destroying the sound board in my iMac through this cable?

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