Connecting a bass to Garageband...

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Suatie, Feb 24, 2013.


  1. Suatie

    Suatie Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Location:
    Delray Beach, Florida
    I am certain the answer in in the forums, but I could not find a simple answer I am looking for.

    I want to connect my bass to my macbook pro and record with garageband. I am not clear what I need to use to make the connection? Is there a USB to 1/4" connector, or do I need to use some kind of a interface?

    Does it matter if the bass is active or passive?

    Thanks
  2. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Any audio interface will work.
  3. Suatie

    Suatie Supporting Member

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    Jan 12, 2013
    Location:
    Delray Beach, Florida
    Can someone give me a specific interface recommendation that I can order on amazon?
  4. pizzazombie

    pizzazombie

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    Dec 19, 2012
    Location:
    Switzerland
    You can also use a Zoom B2.1u.
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  6. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Thou shall not F*** up the groove Supporting Member

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    May 19, 2012
  7. Stinger2k

    Stinger2k

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Location:
    California
    If you are using a amp and have a DI Out, you can use this adapter that will give you a USB connection. I use it with reaper and works pretty well.
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4252024
  8. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Location:
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I have a Macbook Pro that has an 1/8" mic input on it. (Yours may not.) I chose to put a cheap mixer in between bass and laptop.

    Bass > pedal board > mixer > stereo RCA to 1/8" mic input on the laptop

    Works pretty well actually. I got the mixer for like $40 on Amazon. It's just a 5-channel Behringer.
  9. Srirachaglo

    Srirachaglo

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    Location:
    New York City
    Apogee One... this also allows you to route in monitors if you chose to do so. It's Mac-freindly and has a great pre-amp to boot. Nothing but win.

    The other posts are sound advice too. Just stay away from M-Audio/Avid. They used to be the top dogs in the interface biz, but their Mac support has dwindled since the Avid takeover. There are other brands, but right now, Apogee is the ONLY 100% Mac certified maker of pro audio interfaces. They even sell them at the Apple Store.
  10. CTC564

    CTC564 Gold Supporting Member

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    Mar 7, 2011
    Location:
    Toms River,NJ
    I just got an iPad for Xmas and have an Apogee ONE that my brother gave me...what other connections would I need to run my bass into my iPad to be able to use with GarageBand?
  11. Suatie

    Suatie Supporting Member

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    Jan 12, 2013
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    Delray Beach, Florida
    Thanks for all the suggestions and links, I am clearer now on what I need.
  12. mrbell321

    mrbell321

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    Mar 26, 2012
    Location:
    N. Colorado

    Your mac should have an line-in, but most modern macs only have a single audio in/out jack, so headphones become problematic.

    Also, I've noticed macs seem to need a fairly high voltage to get any reasonable volume.

    SO, what you NEED, if you don't care about headphones or low volume is a 1/4-1/8" adapter.

    A little better would be to use use a preamp to boost the volume and you can get an adapter/splitter to get headphones on the same jack at the same time.
    That's what you NEED. The audio interface options have more features and may have better quality(I'm skeptical, but I've never heard a side by side comparison), but they also cost more.
  13. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye

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    Feb 21, 2010
    Location:
    St. Louis
    An interface can be had for $100. In fact I have a Presonus Firebox that I will sell for $100 shipped. I used it less than 10 times.
  14. InvertTheIdols

    InvertTheIdols

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    Sep 23, 2012
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I highly recommend, in addition to an interface, an impulse loader. I use LePou's "LeCab" and ampeg SVT WAV files. There are others out there though. These are made to simulate speakers if all you run through is a preamp. Works pretty perfectly for me. May work for you.
  15. bassnyc1

    bassnyc1

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    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    I'm using the Apogee One into GarageBand. It works great on my MacBook with an older edition of GarageBand but on my new iPad, there are only guitar amps to plug into, no bass amps. Anyone know how to be able to use a true bass plug in?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  16. Raymeous

    Raymeous

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego
    Pretty much any interface will work.

    The interface is essentially an outboard sound card that unlike the one built into your computer IS designed to deal with recording audio. What you'll be paying for is the number of inputs, and the quality of the converters, A/D D/A.

    If all you only want is to record yourself or do a track at a time, I would recommend a two chanel interface, that way you can handle stereo keyboard audio. If you're looking at recording your band all at once you will need something bigger, or at least a sub mixer. Interfaces start from around $50 on up to several thousand dollars.

    It can feel a bit daunting but it's not that bad. Currently GC is offering FREE classes on Garage Band and ProTools. I would highly recommend taking advantage of these classes. They don't cost but your time and you will meet a lot of people that are also interested in home recording. The classes run from 10:00 - 11:00 every Saturday. They are 4 weeks long and cover interfaces, mics, audio/MIDI recording, mixing, etc. This month (March '13) is GB and next month will be PT10.

    Regardless of which software you decide to use, they all do the same thing. There is not "Best". The best one is the one you take the time to learn and can use the best.

    I hope this helps.
  17. powerdimer

    powerdimer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Use a cheap USB interface.

    Don't use splitters or adapters or other DIY solutions that often winds up more complex, expensive and inferior sounding. The onboard soundcard of your computer is not made for the task you are describing.
  18. MetroBass

    MetroBass Supporting Member

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    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    South of LA
    Disclosures:
    Hatred obscures all distinctions.
    I wouldn't recommend using the line in - the internal motherboard line in amp is junk. Get a USB interface - it will pay for itself with just personal satisfaction, otherwise you may be frustrated with what you're dealing with.

    The old cliche' "you get what you pay for" is never more true than with audio and recording.
  19. Raymeous

    Raymeous

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    Jul 2, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego
    There are a lot of affordable ($300ish) interfaces available that even come with their respective DAW.

    Just for example PreSonus has an 8 input interface that comes with Studio One for around $500. That's enough inputs to mic the kit and record your band live if you like. It may be more than you need so if that's too much, there's also a two channel version for around $299 that also comes with the "light" version of the software. If you are not particular about which software to use this can be a quick solution. Again this was just an example an not necessarily a "Go with this software, its the best" kind of post.

    The down and dirty about all of this software and recording to a computer thing, is that they all do pretty much the same thng, whether recording audio or dealing with loops, or simple midi implementation. They all can do it. The difference comes to the nit picky stuff and personal preference in how they do the various tasks.

    I would recommend talking to your friends or those you might be collaberating with. Life is much easier if you and your band are using the same software so you don't have to deal with converting files issues. If you don't have to match up with anyone, just get one and learn how to use it to the best of your ability. Invest in the books and DVD's. They are worth it.

    As for which one's better... the one you know how to use the most effectively. Just get an interface, the recording software and simply keep recording until you learn how to make your software do what you need it to do. Enjoy the adventure.
  20. Srirachaglo

    Srirachaglo

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    Location:
    New York City
    See #8

    Love,
    6-year GarageBand user and 3-year Apple employee.

    PS - I'm not saying the other suggestions aren't valid, but this is the only one that interfaces 100% harmoniously with Apple's core audio drivers. It's plug and play.
  21. Duke21

    Duke21

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    Nov 14, 2010
    Location:
    Narvik, Norway
    Disclosures:
    Positive Grid Beta tester
    Apogee Jam is the simplest, sound great and will work with iPhone and iPad as well if you want to run GB on these devices.

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