Not for the first time, I have tried to get my music onto my Mac. I originally used an old DJ mixer that my son owned but that now seems to have failed! So I went straight in through the sound card simply using a plug adaptor to scale down form 1/4 to 1/8th. However, the noise was pretty poor. I also wanted to record an acoustic guitar through a mic but that was just no use.

So what I need, is some advice on what kind of gear I need to get both electric guitar and acoustic in to the Mac. I use Logic and have Garageband on the Mac. Along with some apps - Guitar Rig, Amplitube and Slayer plug.

I want to keep this as simple and cheap as possible - a) because I am an amateur doing this for fun; b) I am dense; and, c) I don't want to spend a fortune on gear!

Oh, and I only have a couple of dynamic mics and want to avoid buying a condenser if possible
good condenser microphone

audacity or whatever programme you use

regular microphone for miking your amps

acoustic pickup and acoustic amp if you want to mic up your acoustic, but if you have a condenser near your soundhole you should be fine.

Epiphone Hummingbird
Epiphone Futura Custom Prophecy (Twin EMG)
Vox Valvetronix VT20+
Vox Wah
Boss MD-2
Danelectro Cool Cat Drive
Boss EQ

you need an audio interface
check out m-audio and edirol
Fender American Deluxe Strat, Epiphone Firebird Studio Worn Cherry, Adam Black S5ce

Dunlop Crybaby, Korg Pitchblack, Keeley BD-2, Proco Vintage Rat, MXR Script Phase 90, Danelectro Chorus, Marshall Echohead

Peavey Classic 30
Thanks, I had a quick look earlier at m-audio but they have a bewildering number of options available. Any suggestions?
Their lowest-end interface, the FastTrack, is fairly dodgy - I wouldn't buy one again. The guitar input doesn't work, and I think the mic input may be going as well. Then again, I bought mine used, so...
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Greg what did you send me??
I see that they do something called Audio Buddy. Any knowledge of that one? Seems pretty basic but seems also to be as much as I need.............or maybe it isn't?
the audio interface you may need will be the one that meets your needs. is the only thing you are trying to do is get stuff you already recorded onto your computer? are you actually trying to record on the computer? how many tracks would you like to be able to record at once? do you care about sound quality, i know you are doing it for fun, but would you like to be able to eventually make demo quality material with this setup?

m-audio is fine for beginners getting their feet wet, but is not too practical beyond that. mainly cuz the preamps aren't that good and you catch 'white noise' through the preamp. same thing with lexicon interfaces. if this is not an issue for you then get an interface with 2 1/4" inputs so you can run line level inputs to port your music, and also get 2 xlr inputs so you can use your mics.

if you are planning on getting more formal with the recording then something like presonus may be more what you may want. the preamps on presonus products are not the best, but i find they are good enough for most the applications a 'non-pro' will need. if you want to record live rooms you may need a 8 xlr setup so you can do more instruments at once.

edit: the audio buddy will probably work for ya. just don't expect any exception quality of recording
Last edited by gumbilicious at Jun 28, 2009,
Quote by gumbilicious

if you are planning on getting more formal with the recording then something like presonus may be more what you may want. the preamps on presonus products are not the best, but i find they are good enough for most the applications a 'non-pro' will need. if you want to record live rooms you may need a 8 xlr setup so you can do more instruments at once.

+1 on the Presonus, it's pretty damn good for the pricek, maybe not the best preamp, but those things are solid and very welll built
i think the presonus will be out his range though, but i got tired of buying new recording devices and so i finally found this presonus and i am happy, it'll grow with me for a long time to come.
I am wanting to record some guitars onto the computer and would use Logic to create multiple track recordings. I doubt if I would want to mike the amp and record from that - I want to record directly from the guitar in to the computer. I would simply want to use a mike for the acoustic guitar and not take that input from a miked amp either. So everything goes directly into the Mac.

Noise really irritates me and so I would want to get as best as I can afford. If you were to tell me that I would get hiss or white noise from a cheeper product, then I wouldn't buy it. Whether that means that my demands are for demo quality or not.......I don't know. But it is beginning to sound as if the bottom end of the ranges may be out?

I have not looked at Presonus yet but will do.

Thanks for the help.

How about the Presonus Blue Tube DP............any views?
to tell truth, you seem like you might just benefit from a good enough mixer, like 2 or 4 channel, then run that out to the mic in on the mac. i actually get an acceptable result just running a mono to stereo 1/4 -> 1/8(Male/Felmale) converter from my guitar(or theremin) then run an ipod cord to the 'mic in' on my mac. to upgrade the signal and take noise out just run a better preamp infront of the computer's, like that presonus or a 2 channel mixer with good preamps will do the trick.

the reason for running either firewire or usb is to bypass the 'bottle neck' that is the computers low quality on board preamp, using your own preamp before the computer's preamp only significantly reduces the problem, it doesn't eliminate it. so by using an interface wire like usb or firewire you can just altogether bypass the crappy on board preamp.

there are benefits and drawbacks to both systems:
+ usb bypasses onboard preamp
+ enables high definition recording if desired
+ allows for dynamic multi tracking
- external, not onboard, so it lags at times
- requires power
- more interface required to work with
- setting up inputs
- selecting from different inputs
- fine tuning synch with external device
bottom line it allows more options but requires more intimate knowledge and more interface to get desired effects.

+ use of external preamp greatly improves sound quality
+ usually default on recording software, less interface time
+/- allow for stereo I/O & only allow for stereo I/O
- no potential for high def recordings
- groups tracks into stereo
easier to record buy not convenient when wanting to use a seperate track per instrument when recording a live room, but ideal when recording one instrument at a time sequentially.

right now, i would get a cheap 2/8 channel mixer that will suit your needs and run the stereo out on the mixer to the 'line-in' on the mac, this will get you a cheap fix now until you're ready for a firewire or usb device, then you can save about 500-700 for a good one with 8 inputs or something. the mixer will always be useful so it won't be a waste of money for ya.

edit: that'll do ya good sound for price, very minimalist though
Last edited by gumbilicious at Jun 28, 2009,
Many thanks, gumbilicious. I had been using a DJ mixer (Numark) some time ago. But it was my son's 'old' one. He lent it out and when it came back, it had no power adaptor and the 1/4 audio in no longer worked!

What you suggest sounds like the same idea.