is pretty handy if you own a guitar. First of all, it's
FREE with your computer. Free is good. But there are a couple
of things that make it very useful with your guitar. Here
is some information on what I have done, through trial and
error over the years. Hopefully it will help you. :-)
you need a device, basically a pre amp, to bridge the gap
and make the guitar loud enough to mix in Garageband. Can
you just plug your guitar into your Mac with just a cord
adaptor? Yes. But it will not have enough power to be heard?
Not really. (I experimented with this myself).
are a host of devices, but I use (for simplicity) an M-Audio
Fast Track. Since the version I have, there are some
newer ones out, but they should all essentially do the same
thing. Also, it included a software program, which I never
installed, since it's already compatible with Garageband
out of the box. (Oh yeah!)
device is USB. Once plugged into your computer, open
Systems Preferences, choose
the Sound icon, and choose
the Input tab. Choose M-Audio
Fast Track. This will tell the computer to use the
M-Audio device, instead of the built in microphone on your
computer. (it's easy to change back the same way for other
projects, or normal everyday use).
worry that it says "The selected device has no input
controls" It automatically works with Garageband.
I recommend you plug in your guitar to the M-Audio, and
be ready to play around with Garageband and record if you
want. Once the guitar is plugged in, and the M-Audio device
is plugged in with the USB, a blue
light on the front will let you know it is now powered.
you strum the guitar, you will see the green
lights flash on the front of the M-Audio device. It
recognizes your instrument.
go ahead and open Garageband.
should see a screen like below:
trust me, there is a ton of very cool stuff this software
can do. And I will go over much of that later. But for now,
let's cover getting your guitar hooked up so you can start
playing, rocking, and later, recording. :-)
you open Garageband, you will see a screen like this below.
Notice I have clicked on and hi lighted the Guitar
Icon. (Hmm, looks like a Les Paul)
click on the Guitar Icon, and you will see a new window
like below. In the "Save As":
field, you can name your new project whatever you want.
(the "Where" only determines where you want to
save the project, and in my case, I like to save files to
Tempo (of your project)
is set by you. In this example, it's at 120 bpm (beats per
minute). You can change it by moving the slider. (don't
worry, you can change the tempo later on your project if
you want to).
key is set as well, in the case, "C",
and in Major. If you don't
know what key you want, just start it with this setup, you
can change it later as well.
the Create button to
should now see a screen similar to this. Notice in the upper
right corner two buttons, the one in blue is labeled GUITAR
TRACK, the other is MASTER TRACK. When
you click on the Guitar Track, you should see the
front of an amplifier. Clicking on the Master Track
will show you the back of the amp. I've added two extra
closeup images below to help see what we are doing.
where the red arrow
is pointing. That is a pull down menu, that lists some preset
guitar / amp setups for various guitar sound / tones. I
have chosen "Clean Combo" her, just to play with
for our example. Choosing a setup will automatically
show a specific amp selection, and the pedals to go with
this setup, we have a small all-in-one guitar amp (reminds
me of a Vox) and two pedals, a Sustain and a Delay pedal.
If you click on the foot pedals, you can adjust them. But
before we play with that, let's make sure you can hear your
guitar, and can record.
in the image below, you can see what is going on with the
guitar track. Notice it is labeled with the Clean Combo
tag also. There is a small dial for balance, and a volume
control for this specific track.
this point, you are probably strumming your guitar and going
WTF, I don't hear anything. So let's take care of that now.