Guitar Recording in Mac

Macintosh computers have always formed the best friends a musician because of reliability and professional applications offered.

Even today the largest studios and artists prefer older PCs and Macintosh applications for recording, editing and production music tracks and albums.

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So several months before we present some applications for musicians in general content of MacUser Picks . Today we will focus on a more specialized piece and will look at two ways we can connect the guitar to our computer and record some tracks.


Before we go into more specialized equipment to mention that we can use what we already have: the guitar to the amplifier and our computer with a microphone. Of course, we must be prepared for the quality that we have in our recordings.

I suggest, therefore, purchase an external sound card. Our choices here are many and cover all budgets. Popular proposals are FastTrack’s M-Audio, the US-100 and Tascam’s One of Apogee.From and beyond you can either connect a microphone to the sound card and record sounds directly turns your amplifier or to connect the guitar to the sound card and use a simulation software (you will see more on this below).

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Apogee One

You will not engage in all cases, however, since I am no expert on this but I want to give some general guidelines and a more comprehensive picture that I would be very useful to the average musician who wants to record his ideas and why not create a few pieces. 
to mention, of course, and my equipment in order to understand what we’re talking about: ESP guitar with custom Häussel passive pickups and MacBook Pro 15 “and the musical direction I lean towards the metal.


JAM I chose the Apogee, an adapter that allows connection of a guitar with Macintosh, iPhone or iPad. Things are very clear and simple and everything work without additional configuration.Unfortunately, in this case, the lack of good sound card appears in the final result.

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Apogee JAM

I tried the JAM with GarageBand, the MainStage and Amplitube 3 on Macintosh and I could not stay satisfied with the simulations of these programs. If you are a beginner would certainly not have a problem with the quality but if you have high aspirations and “taste” sounds from Mesa / Boogie roundtrips afraid that they will avoid buying an external sound card.

Two important notes, however, before we continue: the use guitar with active magnets (eg, EMG) was much better than a guitar with passive for metal sounds. Also, GarageBand and AmpKit + for the iPhone is surprisingly slightly better than the MacBook Pro.


Since, then, it became clear that I needed an external sound card I decided instead to look for solutions to all-in-one hardware simulations. He therefore, on the cheap, reliable and very good solution as shown and Line6 Pod HD.

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Line6 Pod HD

The Pod HD can be used as a separate preamplifier and connected to the computer acting as an external sound card with its own simulations. The result of quality is years ahead of the previous case of JAM while maintaining the simplicity of plug & play. Sure, you need to dedicate enough time to make your own presets and find your own sounds, but the result will surely reward you.


Having “cleared” by selecting the appropriate hardware, what remains is to choose the right program for recording and production of our piece. The simplest is GarageBand, of course, that comes pre-installed on our computer and I imagine that it is enough for most. Take a look also in miraculous and free Audacity is a little gem in itself.

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If you’re more discerning look at the most expensive and quality solutions such as Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Cubase, Audition roundtrips.


Of course, these are two very simple solutions to make your dream. Depending on your budget you can do wonders for the recording computer.

What you should keep in mind is if you want to use existing equipment to get your card solution sounds + microphone or if you want to go digital modelling solution of the sound card + software or special preamp (Pod HD, Axe FX II round trips).

If you are involved with the recording on the computer would be very helpful if you could share your own tips and how to record your guitar to the computer in the comments below.

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