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  1. #1
    Macbook Air 13" 2018 - Audio Input
    I do a lot of analog recording on various tape machines and need to mix down two stereo tracks L/R via RCA to 1/8" (headphone jack) onto Garageband.

    I hooked up the RCA to 1/8" into my new macbook air and there is no option under "Sound" to toggle the headphone jack to "audio input."

    What's the work-around?

    I've searched all over and haven't been able to find one. Solutions are all about connecting a microphone, but that is not what I am doing. No one seems to be answering this question for connecting a stereo input to the air.

  2. #2
    Macbook Air 13" 2018 - Audio Input
    Slydude's Avatar
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    I think someting like this should get the job done. If the connector you tried did not work make sure that it supports TRRS. I believe these are also referred to a four pole connectors. Notice from the image I linked to there are three black bands on the headphone end. If yours only has two bands it will not work.

    I think there are longer versions of this cable available. If not you can use RCA female to male extension cables on the RCA end.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    I think someting like this should get the job done. If the connector you tried did not work make sure that it supports TRRS. I believe these are also referred to a four pole connectors. Notice from the image I linked to there are three black bands on the headphone end. If yours only has two bands it will not work.

    I think there are longer versions of this cable available. If not you can use RCA female to male extension cables on the RCA end.
    Hello!

    This is not the item, unfortunately. Someone on that Amazon listing asked the seller if this will send RCA signal to the phone, and it will not. Third pole is recognized as a microphone input, the RCAs are NOT recognized as such.

    Does anyone have any other recommendations. I have a VERY hard time believe that no one who owns a Macbook Air is looking for this functionality.

  4. #4
    As far as I know, the 1/8" jack on the MBA is only for audio out, not audio in. I think you would need to purchase an audio interface. Here's the one I have that I use with my iMac and MBA:

    https://www.amazon.com/Focusrite-Sca...s=scarlett+2i2
    -Jonathan
    iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) - 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5
    MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012) - 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5

  5. #5
    I found this on google:
    All of Apple's computers feature a headphone jack or sound output of some kind, but only a few of them offer a recording input. The iMac includes one, as well as the 15-inch MacBook Pro and the Mac Pro desktop, but you won't find one on the MacBook Air , Retina MacBook Pro , or the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

  6. #6
    Macbook Air 13" 2018 - Audio Input
    dtravis7's Avatar
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    KRS, I just found the exact same article. What the OP needs is a USB sound card as the Air has no Audio input but just built in Mics.

  7. #7
    Macbook Air 13" 2018 - Audio Input
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Look here:
    https://www.macworld.com/article/116...cbook-air.html

    The MacBook Air has a single headphone port, which should be more accurately called the “headset” port. Like the headphone port on iOS devices, this jack supports audio input as well as output—with this caveat: The microphone or headset in question must be of the three-ring variety, just like Apple’s headsets (and their compatible brethren).
    I couldn't believe that those with a MacBook Air couldn't have their kids recording sounds of farts and burps. Where would the fun be without that option???


    Here's another solution:
    how to use headphone jack as audio input
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5302235





    - Patrick
    ======
    Last edited by pm-r; 02-15-2019 at 09:05 PM.

  8. #8
    Patrick -
    I read this MacWorld comment as well, but I think it only applies to older MacBook Airs.
    For the 2018 MBa and also for the 2017 MBa which I just bought, you need some sort of audio to USB converter.
    Apple shows one for $10 but it seems to only be one way, ie to replace a headphone jack.
    I bought an iMic years ago which works well; I also see quite a few different versions by Behringer which should be excellent (based on my experience with other audio products from them) and these are pretty inexpensive.
    First one I came across with both mike and line inputs was only $C29.-

    - - - Updated - - -
    Last edited by dtravis7; 02-15-2019 at 10:16 PM.

  9. #9
    So the only option is to buy a USB interface? It's like a king-size dongle. Literally the only thing I want to do is record through the audio input. I don't need a mic interface, or anything complicated to go to pro tools or whatever. I'm very unsatisfied. F*ing Apple as usual.

  10. #10
    Macbook Air 13" 2018 - Audio Input
    dtravis7's Avatar
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    When you get a thin computer like the Air, there are some compromises.

    I just booted up my $500 toshiba laptop with AMD CPU. Its almost as thin as your air and guess what? NO audio input of any kind.
    Last edited by dtravis7; 02-18-2019 at 04:04 PM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
    When you get a thin computer like the Air, there are some compromises.
    This has really nothing to do with the thickness of the computer.
    For a few versions, Apple made double use of the headphone jack with an extra contact that was used as a mike/line input.
    Maybe that is still there - I read that it sometimes takes a while for the Mac to recognize it.

    The bigger problem I find in general is that there is no decent Apple documentation for the Macs any more.
    One now depends on articles on the net, forums like this one or books written by third parties - I would really like documentation by the company which designed the product and knows its capabilities inside out.

    @akpasta
    There may be other options, but they all involve some sort of external device.
    It might be possible to feed audio in via bluetooth; the other connection I found interesting is via an iphone or ipad - all depends what the source of the audio is.
    But nothing as simple as just a cable.

    Here is a pretty detailed discussion about this back in 2012
    https://apple.stackexchange.com/ques...crophone-input

    And here the option via iphone and ipad
    https://www.macobserver.com/tips/qui...dio-input-mac/

  12. #12
    Macbook Air 13" 2018 - Audio Input
    pm-r's Avatar
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    The bigger problem I find in general is that there is no decent Apple documentation for the Macs any more.
    One now depends on articles on the net, forums like this one or books written by third parties - I would really like documentation by the company which designed the product and knows its capabilities inside out.

    Wouldn't that be nice, or at least some sort of effort put into such rather than all their flowery ads that lock any such details.

    But it seems to be the trend lately, just as we bought a newer Samsung TV recently that included no manual and the largest sheet of instructions was how to remove it from the box but the majority of that sheet was how to attach the two legs!! Nowhere, anywhere did it even have instructions of how to turn the thing on!!!

    PS: The manual power button is hidden on the bottom underside edge.





    - Patrick
    ======
    Last edited by Raz0rEdge; 02-18-2019 at 10:04 PM.

  13. #13
    Macbook Air 13" 2018 - Audio Input
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    The bigger problem I find in general is that there is no decent Apple documentation for the Macs any more.
    One now depends on articles on the net, forums like this one or books written by third parties - I would really like documentation by the company which designed the product and knows its capabilities inside out.
    You ask, and Apple has provided. These spec pages are on the Apple website for all current models, including yours. https://www.apple.com/macbook-air/specs/
    Jake

  14. #14
    Macbook Air 13" 2018 - Audio Input
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    You ask, and Apple has provided. These spec pages are on the Apple website for all current models, including yours. https://www.apple.com/macbook-air/specs/


    Holly crow Jake, those are references some Apple fan-boy might provide, but you'll have to admit that everymac.com or MacTracker provides more and better Tech info than those type of Apple's pages do, and what most users are looking for are instructions for exactly how to do things and what they might need to do it with.

    IE: In this case as far as this thread is concerned, is what is needed and if the audio input can be accomplished on a specific Mac model.

    Apple fails very badly with such support, which is frustrating and annoying considering that they prided themselves with being so multimedia progressive with their products, and audio input was such a basic standard for so many years.

    In fact it has been so bad for many years now that some recording studio friends I know finally had to switch over to using Windows machines for some recording stuff, but have still kept their old G4 towers, but basically gave up on Apple and their lack of multimedia support and input ports as I understand their frustration.





    - Patrick
    ======

  15. #15
    Macbook Air 13" 2018 - Audio Input
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
    Holly crow Jake, those are references some Apple fan-boy might provide, but you'll have to admit that everymac.com or MacTracker provides more and better Tech info than those type of Apple's pages do, and what most users are looking for are instructions for exactly how to do things and what they might need to do it with.
    IE: In this case as far as this thread is concerned, is what is needed and if the audio input can be accomplished on a specific Mac model.
    Again, the specs page clearly show no audio input interface. As for users looking for instructions for "how to do things and what they might need to do it with," do you really seriously think that is Apple's responsibility? They have clearly indicated that there are zero audio inputs to the machine on that specs page, so I think it is reasonable to think that anyone wanting to process audio would not buy that machine in the first place, but if they did, that they would do research into what is required to input audio. And that would lead them to discover that it requires third party equipment like some of these: https://www.sweetwater.com/c695--USB_Audio_Interfaces and an adapter to connect to USB-c ports. And maybe more stuff specific to audio that I have no clue about because I am not an audio engineer. But any audio engineer who read that specs page and still bought that machine to process audio without knowing what would be required to do that simply didn't do their homework. I don't expect my automobile dealer to know how to use every third party after-market modification that could possibly be put into my car, so why would I expect Apple to be the expert on every possible third party after-market audio interface? Or any of them, for that matter?

    Apple fails very badly with such support, which is frustrating and annoying considering that they prided themselves with being so multimedia progressive with their products, and audio input was such a basic standard for so many years.
    Apple provides a lot of technical support online, through the support pages, for those who will go read. Try this as a starting point: https://support.apple.com/macos and then work down through the many technical pages Apple offers. Will you find out how to input audio to that particular MBA? No, because Apple didn't build it in and Apple doesn't make an audio input interface. It would be the responsibility of the third party manufacturer to tell the buyer how to use their piece of equipment, not Apple. As I said, Apple is not the world-wide source of how every possible piece of equipment can be attached to an Apple device and used. Apple focuses on Apple, does a pretty good job in their online documentation and Help Menus.

    In fact it has been so bad for many years now that some recording studio friends I know finally had to switch over to using Windows machines for some recording stuff, but have still kept their old G4 towers, but basically gave up on Apple and their lack of multimedia support and input ports as I understand their frustration.





    - Patrick
    ======
    And if Apple wants to cater to that market, they will make devices with audio inputs, but that is their business decision to make. And anybody who keeps a G4 tower working well beyond a reasonable life rather than moving to a system that supports their recording needs with modern technology are the real fan-boys. If I were in that environment I would have moved off that antique onto any modern Windows machine in a heartbeat. And not be frustrated by it, because I'm not a fan-boy, just a user who uses his money to get systems that meets his needs instead of staying with a brand.

    And the day Apple ceases to produce devices that meet my needs, I'll be gone. The computer is a tool, an appliance, not a religion. Stop meeting my needs? Buh-bye.

    But I'm not holding Apple responsible to tell me how every one of those 206 audio interfaces at Sweetwater work. Not their job. Never has been. And if you read the description on the bottom of the page on that link, you'll see Sweetwater agrees. Leave audio to the experts.

    Hey, I understand how some Apple fanboys loved the graphics and audio innovations of the early Apple products. That's what separated Apple from the many brands of Windows machines back in the day. But Apple moved on from that. And because they did, they started to be seen as serious computers for office applications instead of toys for a few graphic designers and audio engineers. They still have really good graphics with the iMac Pro and the eGPU concept, but they apparently have decided that audio input into the Mac is something best left to external, third party devices. In fact, with the newest MBPs, all you get for interfaces are the USB-c ports, so EVERYTHING input is going to have to go through that interface. But it's not reasonable to then ask Apple to describe, or even to keep track of, every third party manufacturer who makes a device with a USB-c connection that might connect to an Apple product. But from the design of the iMac Pro (which also has no audio input) it seems to be clear Apple has left that arena, at least for now. And if you don't like that decision, don't buy Apple products. Or buy Apple with the full understanding that getting the audio in to be processed will require an external device through the ports that are available on the particular machine.
    Jake

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