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Anyone use an iMac with Garageband?


John Cellario
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I have an new iMac 2.7Ghz Intel with the latest operating system.

When trying to record my bass into Garageband for the first time, I've realised I do not have a built-in input socket, only a headphone out. (All the older tutorials on YouTube, show you just connect to the Mac with a 1/4" jack to mini jack lead, via the headphone input, then record).

Apparently I need a audio interface device, costs around £500, to turn my USB socket into an 'audio in' socket. I can't believe Apple have made this change on their newer Macs, or am I just being a bit thick?!!!

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Try one of these, it's what I use and is great.

[url="http://www.dv247.com/computer-hardware/focusrite-scarlett-2i2-usb-audio-interface--90034"]http://www.dv247.com/computer-hardware/focusrite-scarlett-2i2-usb-audio-interface--90034[/url]

Or try one of the others from there, you don't need to pay anywhere near £500.

I've had Mac's for about 7 years, I've never been able to plug straight into one.

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[quote name='John Cellario' timestamp='1390142052' post='2341835']
Thanks for the info on the Scarlett...so do I connect this with a USB cable into the USB port on the back of the Mac, then select that as my input device?

I thought the whole idea of Garageband was that you can simply plug in and record (even though at a very basic level).
[/quote]

Yes, very easy to use. Your Mac should automatically see the device and use it for input and output.

What I like about it is it's got a headphone output (that sounds far better than the Mac's built in one), and it's got outputs to monitors, you can adjust the level between the two.

You do just plug in and play with garageband, but you need something to change the audio to digital and vice versa.

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I've got a mic input on my old Macbook that allows me to plug a guitar or bass straight in.
Apparently you shouldn't do this because of latency issues but I've never had a problem (not really into home recording anyway so I'm not very fussy).

Edited by RhysP
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Drummer has a new mac don't know the spec but I guess they're all the same. The headphone out and line-in are now combined, so you need a Tip-Ring-Ring-Sleve adapter such as [url="http://www.chaarly.com/cables-connectors-/28931-18m-right-angle-35mm-av-jack-trrs-connector-male-to-rca-audio-video-male-connector-convertor-cable-for-tv-vcr.html"]this[/url]. She picked one up for about a fiver from our version of maplins. Same quality issues as per the old macbooks, but acceptable for simple recording.

Edit - Don't go ordering that one without checking the plug sizes, I just did a quick google for a visual example :)

Edited by SteveO
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My oldest imac is 6 years old so still has a microphone input, and my macbook is 4 years old, so it has one too. Having said that, I have a stealth pedal which I use for the guitar / bass.
There are many many audio interfaces that are cheaper than £500, in fact I would be hard pressed to think of one that was that expensive, for that price I would have thought you could get multi channel lightning socket ones..

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[quote name='John Cellario' timestamp='1390161034' post='2342182']
Someone else pointed me in the direction of an Apogee Jam circa £70 from GAK
[/quote]

Do you think you might want to use external mics for recording at some point? If there's any possibility you will then you really are better off looking at something like the Focusrite Scarlett rather than something like the Apogee Jam or the iRig.

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My mac is almost 4 years old and has the separate input. I record quite a lot without any latency issues without an interface..
I thought the whole point of garage band was to just plug in and play! Very disapointing to think you have to fork out even more cash.

Edited by Stu-khag
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[quote name='Stu-khag' timestamp='1390162449' post='2342215']
I thought the whole point of garage band was to just plug in and play! Very disapointing to think you have to fork out even more cash.
[/quote]

The software IS plug and play, however, you have to get the sound into the device first! That doesn;t mean you have have to get ripepd off/pressured into buying a studio quality USB preamp/interface, there are plenty of affordable quality solutions out there.

Edited by DaytonaRik
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[quote name='Stu-khag' timestamp='1390162449' post='2342215']
My mac is almost 4 years old and has the separate input. I record quite a lot without any latency issues without an interface..
I thought the whole point of garage band was to just plug in and play! Very disapointing to think you have to fork out even more cash.
[/quote]

It is plug in and play, but the audio has to be transferred to digital. For that you need a sound card or interface. They can be bought from £30 up into the thousands of pounds, all depends on your budget and the quality you want :D .

Any digital recording software is the same, it's not a case of Apple ripping you off.

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[quote name='xgsjx' timestamp='1390309699' post='2343804']
Just a thought...

With Garageband open, have you went to "Preferences" > "Audio/Midi" & then selected the Input Device as "Built In Input"?
[/quote]

On mine it doesn't actually say built in input, just built in mic.

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You could always go for a Zoom B3 as it's an interface as well as a DI box and FX

[quote name='xgsjx' timestamp='1390310199' post='2343817'] Most strange. Does your Mac have an audio input (other than the AI unit)? [/quote]

New iMacs don't have an audio in.

Edited by bartelby
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