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Music, Audio, and Podcasting Do you use your Mac to create music? This is the place for discussions on creating and editing music on the Mac!

Equipment required to record guitar on macbook with garage band

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Member Since: Aug 28, 2008
Posts: 1
nightwishsim is on a distinguished road

nightwishsim is offline
Hey !

I bought a macbook specially to record my guitar on garage band ( i'm playing in a heavy metal band ) and i was wondering what was ALL the equipment i need to do so. i'm thinking about buying one of those fast track things on the apple store but since it's still expensive , i am waiting about informations about Preamps ( which i read about ) like do i need one if i get those fast track inputs or things like that.

Thanks alot
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Member Since: Aug 22, 2008
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soundshaper is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: Power Mac G5 Dual 2.5 | 6 GB OCZ Platinum | RME HDSP9652

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The M-Audio Fasttrack Pro is probably sufficient for your needs. Keep in mind that it is actually extremely inexpensive for what it can do. Some audio interfaces can cost more than the computer!

You can record electric guitar in 3 ways.

1. The first is by plugging the guitar directly into the audio interface via an Instrument Input. This is different than a mic input or line input, as electric guitars and basses output a high impedance signal. The Fasttrack has this type of input. Keep in mind though, this method requires you to use software effects to get the sound you want.

2. You can also use a Line Input as long as the signal has been amplified first. You would use the Line Out on your guitar amplifier's head unit for this. The benefit of this is that you can get the sound of your amp, sounds that you are familiar with already. You can also do this in an apartment late at night using headphones without sending signal to the amp's speaker.

3. Lastly, you can put a microphone in front of the speaker of your guitar amplifier. The FastTrack (and many other interfaces) has a Mic Input with a preamp like you mentioned. If you have a nice amp and speaker cabinet for your guitar, then this is the method I would recommend. It also allows you to experiment with mic selection and placement, and will ultimately sound the most natural. Buy a Shure SM57 (less than $100) and it'll sound awesome. That mic will last a lifetime too (also great for vocals, drums, etc).

You can also combine methods 1 and 3 and get amazing sounds by blending them together and using panning, effects, etc. Hope this helps.
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Member Since: Feb 01, 2009
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supremeguitar is on a distinguished road

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Hi there,

Instead of typing as essay out on here, I'll send you in the direction on two useful sites I found when I was looking to record my guitar at home. They are tweaksguide and Uncleslinky Home Recording - How To Record Guitar At Home - both are jammed pack full of ways to record your guitar aswell as any tips that might make it easier for you

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