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Hook up electric guitar to mac

You will need to experiment with mic placement, and again the various volumes of the guitar, amp and gain control on the mic input. As well as everything in method 1 above ie audio interface, lead and recording software you will also need an amp simulator such as the Behringer TM Tube Amp Modeler. Or, you could try running your guitar through any of your effects pedals.

Then connect the output from the pedal into the instrument input of your audio interface. This can give you a good guitar recording, and many people love this solution. It works well if you already have pedals that you love. The big disadvantage is you cannot tweak the guitar sound so much after recording.

Getting connected

This is not so much a different method to record your electric guitar. However, you could use any of the above recording methods and combine with a portable digital recorder such as the Zoom H4N Pro , rather than an audio interface. The benefit of this is you do not have to have your computer or tablet switched on and connected to make the recordings. You record then transfer the recordings later into your recording software. The Zoom has built-in high quality mic pre-amps, you can connect your guitar direct, you can record line in too.

And it has built-in mics as an alternative to purchasing a separate microphone. In any case, the Zoom also doubles up as an audio interface, so you can use it that way too.

The devices

You can position the mic in a number of ways. You will have to experiment quite a bit to figure out exactly where to put the mic to get the sound you want. Start by placing the mic about 3 feet away from the instrument and point it directly at the sound hole. At this distance you will capture the rich sound from the sound hole, and the attack of the strings.

Also remember the room plays a role in the sound you end up recording.

Four ways to connect your instrument to GarageBand

So once you have become familiar with your new recording equipment, consider whether you need to think about acoustic treatment. Do this by connecting it to the instrument input on an audio interface. Nor will you capture the sound of your fingers attacking the on the fingerboard. For this method you will need the same equipment as method 1 above:. And it must be at least 2-channel, so you can record both signals at once. The beauty of this method is you capture a nice clean signal direct from your guitar, which you can combine with the tone coming direct from the sound hole, plus you will pick up the sound of the fingerboard.

If you are on a tight budget, then purchasing an audio interface, microphone, cables etc might be too much. In which case you could purchase a good quality USB microphone. So no need for an audio interface etc. The advantage of this is the price, and you should get a decent recording.

Four ways to connect your instrument to GarageBand – Gigaom

The disadvantage is it is not quite so versatile. If this is your first step in recording on your computer, then one of the most cost effective ways to get a complete solution is to go for a complete studio in a box. You get everything you need to record the guitar direct, or to mic up your amp. Plus you can easily overlay vocals with the included microphone, and you get all the software you need. Read our full reviews of the best all-in-one recording software and equipment bundles on the market.

Our top pick for guitar is the Scarlett 2i2 Studio. You can also experiment by plugging your electric guitar directly into the mic-in socket on your sound card or the mic in on your laptop. This will work but it may not give the high quality performance needed for a more professional sound. This lower impedance can result in quality problems. To help you find your way around generally if the sockets on your sound card are colour coded then the microphone will be pink, the standard single channel line-out or headphone will be green, and line-in will be blue.

If you are using a laptop then usually there is a mic input next to the headphone socket. If you have a standard generic sound card, then you may find that the above solution gets you going but the recording quality is not too good.

Ordinary sound cards are better at sound output than recording and will often produce noisy low-quality recordings. If your computer has an audio input port, connect an electric guitar to the audio input port using an adapter cable. To increase the input signal, you can connect the guitar to a preamplifier, and connect the preamplifier to your computer. Click the Smart Controls button to open the Smart Controls pane. Make sure the format matches the input. Choose a mono input for monophonic instruments with a single channel , and choose a stereo input for stereo instruments with a pair of channels.

GarageBand for guitar players

To change the input format, click the Format button to the left of the Input menu. First, you need to understand the difference between MIDI, digital audio and an analogue electrical signal. MIDI is generated by things like keyboards and sequencers, and understood by things like synthesisers and drum machines; what GarageBand calls "software instruments". It's probably not relevant to your guitar.

An analogue electrical signal is what comes out of a microphone, an electric guitar, or the transducer in your electro-acoustic guitar. It's simply a continuously varying voltage, going up and down in the same way as the sound waves that you eventually want to hear.

A digital audio signal is the computer's representation of the analogue signal - the analogue signal "sampled" into a sequence of numbers. What you are asking, is how to convert the analogue signal from your guitar into the digital audio signal your computer needs.

Pro Instrument Tone on your iPhone, Mac or PC

Note that what you have is an electro-acoustic guitar. If it was just an acoustic guitar, it would not have any kind of socket. First, make sure the transducer in your guitar works. A transducer is a lot like a microphone or pickup, except that it detects vibrations in the surface it is attached to, instead of having its own diaphragm or detecting vibrations in metal strings.

Borrow an amplifier, plug your guitar into it, and verify that sound plays from the amp. Like microphones and pickups, some transducers are "active" and need a battery. Others are "passive" and don't need a battery. If there is no obvious battery compartment, it's likely yours is passive.

Before trying to use these inputs in a program such as GarageBand, check that they work in the OS's control panel. This varies depending on your OS, but in both Mac and Windows, there are sound control panels where you can select an input, and watch a signal bar respond to the sound you make. Once you know it is working, and you know the name the OS is using for the input your guitar using, telling your music application to use it should be straightforward.

Hint: in GarageBand, choose either "electric guitar" or "real instrument". Even though your instrument is electro-acoustic, follow the GarageBand help pages for an electric guitar. Acoustic guitars aren't generally MIDI devices, but your computer should recognize that something is connected to the microphone jack.

Mic jacks are amplified so you wouldn't want to amplify the guitar before connecting it to the mic jack. Laptops don't normally have Line In ports, but they are unamplified.

You'll need to have a battery in your guitar, usually there's a slot in the top of the body with a button and LED you can use to test if it's got enough charge. Once that's working you should also ensure that the cable is working and that you properly convert from stereo to mono or vice versa if need be. However it appears that some Macbooks have combined ports , so in that case it's probably stereo. Perhaps that post can help you figure it out.