3 Ways to Connect Your Guitar To GarageBand (Mac)
3 Ways to Connect Your Guitar To GarageBand (Mac)

hey it’s Patrick here from the
GarageBand guide.com in this video I’m going to take you through some different
ways you can connect your guitar to your Mac so that you can record it in
GarageBand first things first though by far the
quickest and easiest way to record your guitar into GarageBand is to position
your Mac’s built-in microphone in front of an amplifier hit record and start
rocking out the results however will be less than stellar and pretty much
useless for all but the roughest of the rough demos you absolutely can an
external microphone in front of your amp hit records and get much much better
results but in this video I’m going to focus on some different gear that allows
you to plug your guitar directly into your Mac the cheapest way that I could find to di
or directly empu your guitar to a Mac is via one of these quarter inch jack two
USB cables I got this one for around six quid on Amazon but you can find better
quality examples of them from other brands and sellers it’s dead easy use
just plug one end into your guitar the other end into your Mac and pervaded you
already have an open garage band will automatically recognize it as an input
unless you you may run into especially if you’re using a cheaper em solution
like this quarter inch Jack the USB plug is latency no latency essentially is the
length of time between when you would play a notes on your instruments and it
registering inside your door in this case in GarageBand now there’s no way to
change the settings of this and GarageBand so if you find that you are
having very very high levels of latency like I am with this particular cable
here and there’s no way to fix that from Adam GarageBand itself other doors do
have the option you can adjust buffer sizes and things like that so bear that
in mind if you plan on getting a cable that’s as cheap as the one that I got
not only that but when I plug this cable in it seemed to be making some kind of
strange more scored Lakes and either that or you know it was contacting the
mothership to come and collect me one of the two things either way and it
makes the whole thing pretty unusable so make sure that you are getting a good
deal that you’re buying from somewhere that if it doesn’t work with your
version of GarageBand you can always return it so here’s how the quarter inch
jack to USB cable sounds again as I mentioned before bear in mind I was
dealing with quite a bit of latency so that’s why the playing and the recording
is a little bit crap the next step up from that is something
like this small portable interfaces like this one have become incredibly popular
in recent years particularly with those using iPads and iPhones that’s not to
say super portable interfaces aren’t suited to Mac users as well in fact if
you’re only looking to di a single instrument at a time they make a great
budget alternative to a fully fledged audio interface I’m using an eye rig Pro
aisle from Ikea multimedia in this case which also has an XLR and poot for
attaching a microphone but units like I case eirick HD and Apogee Jam series
include a single quarter inch Jack input that’s perfect for recording guitars
these interfaces often come with several connection types allowing you to use
them with a variety of different devices to attach the iRig I have here to my Mac
I’ll need to use the USB connection GarageBand will again automatically
recognize that an audio interface has been attached and as long as track
monitoring is enabled you’ll be able to hear yourself play sound quality is also
greatly improved with clean sounds actually sounding clean and driven tones
much clearer and control here’s an idea of how one of these interfaces sends you finally the pro way but also more
expensive way to di your guitars into GarageBand is to use an audio interface
if you want the best possible quality recording of your guitar or any
instrument for that matter then using an audio interface is the way to go from
cheaper single input interfaces to professional-grade firewire units with
dozens of input and output options there’s definitely a lot of choice when
it comes to choosing an audio interface I’m using a focusrite scarlett 2i2
interface here which runs for about 100 quid new but other popular interfaces
like the Presonus audio box or M audio fast track are great options to enter
faces like these are pretty straightforward to use connect the
interface using the USB plug and GarageBand will once again automatically
recognize that an external audio interface has been connected plug the
guitar into the desired input and away you go
a quick tip here I find with my interface that GarageBand will
automatically assume that I want to use the interface as both an input and an
output source now that is handy if you have studio monitors attached but not
that handy if you want to listen to what’s being played through headphones
that are attached to the max headphone jack heading to garage bands preferences
menu selecting audio / MIDI and then selecting built-in output from
the output drop-down menu fixes this so here’s an idea of how audio recorded
through an audio interface sounds so there you have it that’s three ways
you can connect your guitar to your Mac so that you can record it in GarageBand
if you found this video helpful then hit the like button I really do appreciate
it and it lets me know that you want to see more videos just like this one if
you’re not subscribed already then now’s a great time to do so and don’t forget
to hit the notification bell there to make sure that you don’t miss a thing
I’ve been Patrick from the GarageBandGuide.com and I’ll see you next time
bye for now

89 thoughts on “3 Ways to Connect Your Guitar To GarageBand (Mac)”

  1. Jacob McGregor says:

    I love your vids man, keep it up!

  2. Jimmy Rodriguez says:

    Awesome! Greetings from Puerto Rico!

  3. Eduardo Barbosa says:

    Hi, thank you for the great videos.
    I just got Ipad Pro with GB.
    is the quality of GB good enough for me to record electric bass tracks for professional recordings?
    Thank you.

  4. David Skerritt says:

    Why would you want to connect headphones to the Mac if you can do it from the interface?

  5. Bongonzo says:

    I was literally just thinking about getting the Irig

  6. Pete Johns says:

    Top quality content as always Patrick. I had no idea that guitar to USB cables existed. Based on your experience here maybe I should save my time and cash and not bother checking one out. Did you try it in GarageBand iOS?

  7. Bourne Productions says:

    I have an I-Rig whenever I'm recording guitar. I'm hoping to upgrade to a Focusrite Scarlett in the future.

  8. toobspark says:

    Great Vid thanks Pat. But you missed the 'Extra Super Dooper Uber Cheaper' option. When I first started using GB many years ago, I bought a $3 1/4" to 1/8" connector plug and played straight into the Mac's 1/8" Mic input. Actually worked pretty well, and I recorded some cool songs this way. Not sure that particular 'hole' exists in modern Macs though.

  9. 57RickH says:

    Great tutorial! I surely wish Apple would migrate some of those great-sounding guitar settings over to iOS, “Blue Wave”, “Clean Echoes” to name a couple

  10. Dave Menzies says:

    Great video Patrick, cheers! I use a Focusrite 2i4 which like the 2i2 gives great results with the guitar plugged straight into it using GB's inbuilt amps . I also invested recently in a Boss GT100 which has a direct usb output. I've used that with great results but better still is the GT100's standard output via the Focusrite instead of an amp.

  11. Ian Edwards says:

    I use a Behringer 802 8 Input 2 Bus Mixer £51 from Amazon. No issues with latency and christal clear. This was recorded with it using my accoustic using a Behringer C-1 Studio Condenser Microphone: https://youtu.be/4yYvkjp4bdU

  12. Gino Gamboni says:

    so theoretically, i can plug my digital piano in this way?

  13. HMat says:

    Can "Focusrite Scarlett 2i2" work on Macbook Air?
    macOS High Sierra

  14. prabhat mana says:

    i had bought my focusrite, i had it for 2 years, after seeing your video, i took it out and i was blown away to hear the sound of my guitar. thank you so much this video.

  15. 1dir says:

    Why haven't you talked about the headphone mike input using a headset audio splitter?

  16. John Peña says:

    Great video, I have a question, can I use a Focusride Scarlett 2 on my IPad ?

  17. Janely Sucks says:

    thank you De Nogla 🙏🙏😂

  18. federica balconi says:

    anyone using Yamaha THR 10 with GB? Can't seem to get decent sound, also i have no idea what i'm doing

  19. Dirty Bird says:

    As soon as I connect my audio interface to garageband, the recoding level slider becomes totally disabled. I can't get a signal from the instrument. Isn't there a way I can record a live instrument with Garageband ?

  20. JK Music says:

    Great video but what if I want to hear my own guitar amp?

  21. Ian Prior says:

    Hi Pat…I have just got a Mac High Sierra 10.13.6. There is only a solitary mini jack for headphones. I can't seem to get a sound in Garageband! Any ideas. thanks Ian

  22. Ian Prior says:

    PS…I think I need to plug into Mac usb? Do I need a special piece of kit? or can I get some sort of adapter?

  23. Geetar is life says:

    If you go 1/4 to usb buy a rocksmith cable its like $30 but it has very VERY little latency and it doesn't scream white noise at you all the time like the cheap one the cheap sub $10 ones are crap I bought one and the rocksmith is literally millions of times better I have used this method literally forever its my fav way you can find the on amazon
    (no nobody paid me to type this either)

  24. Charles C Brown III says:

    Thanks Pat
    I’m new to using garage band and your videos are a great help.

  25. Eldias Mahdi Sastra says:

    I'm using old macbook white 2007 and plug my guitar straight to mic port and the headphone to audio output. No need any extension devices. I don't know why Apple doesn't make separated audio port anymore. That was very important and cheap solution.

  26. Dimas Setyawan says:

    I'm using an USB audio interface, and I've set the audio input to the USB audio codec (the USB audio interface), but I still can't record anything. It was like my guitar didn't connect to anything. But, the output sound has working pretty well on my headset. Is that something wrong? Or I was doing a wrong setting? Thank you.

  27. cuda426hemi says:

    Listen to you chuckleheads talking about $30 cables and I wish iOS was a real operating system – COME ON. First of all don't ever expect a toy iOS to run Pro OS apps like Pro Tools or Logic – of course they have to dumb it down (and call it Garageband) for the hobbyist that isn't serious. If you were serious you'd spend the lousy $150 for the USB/Firewire/Thunderbolt interface which immediately gives you PRO I/O with XLR mic inputs and near zero latency to connect your mics and guitars to and use ANY DAW of your choice. On a COMPUTER. But for free you can't beat Logic Jr. aka Garageband – it runs plug-ins from lots of 3rd parties but kids- don't expect your toy iOS to ever compete with Mac OS – not this year anyway..😮

  28. Amitay Merhav says:

    I use iRig 2 and like it

  29. Vince LeJeune says:

    I don’t understand why my guitar sounds terrible in GarageBand. I use the audio box, and I’m no audio engineer so I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to mixing and mastering, but the quality of my sound is terrible and idk what I’m doing wrong

  30. Robert Mailloux says:


  31. Alex says:

    Hey I also experienced latency using the jack to USB cable. Does the small interface you mentioned afterwards have zero latency?
    Nice vid

  32. NO FORGAY JESUS says:

    I just bought a new macbook air and it only has 2 usb-c connectors. How do i hook a guitar to it? Help!!

  33. Ollie_james says:

    So is it possible to hear the amp sound whilst you’re playing?

  34. Andrew Thomas Helliwell says:

    hi just got back in to using garagage band again on my mac and using a roland rubix 44 interface too but when im trying to choose which amp i want on garage band when i come to turn it on so the orange signal thing comes on why does it feed back ?? thanks as i want a nice rocking tone not the tone when i plug it in

  35. joao cebrian says:

    Great video. I have a question : I'm a beginner on this and would like to practice at home without disturbing my family. Could i follow these steps and use headphones to practice more than recording ?. Thanks

  36. couchfort says:

    This video perfectly answered my questions on why GB was making my guitar sound like I’m recording to a tape mixer set up in my neighbors house while I strum in mine with the window open. I bought that EXACT cheap ass jack to USB cable, and minus the weird space sound, that weak tinny quality is EXACTLY the sound I was getting! You saved me from a lot of aggravation by doing such a straight forward video, so thank you!!!!

  37. Anthony Crothers says:

    Hi Patrick, thanks for sharing your excellent content. I have just bought my first Mac and looking at Garageband for the first time on a computer.From my 'band' days I have an M-Audio Fast Track Ultra. Will this work/be ok with my Mac/Garageband? The M-Audio unit is several years old. The technical info says it has High Speed 8 x 8 USB 2.0 Interface with MX Core DSP.
    Keep up the good work,
    Best regards,

  38. Anthony Crothers says:

    Nah! I doesn’t work! Not being recognised by the Mac! Looks like Avid are no longer supporting it, no driver updates since 2014! Oh well, looks like I’ll have to buy something.
    Thinking about the PreSonus Audiobox 96 as it has inputs for midi as well as instruments/mics. Enjoying the channel mate, keep up the good work 👍

  39. evees says:

    super, thanks for the vid and nice jammin' on the backround always 88)

  40. Octavio Mesa says:

    i dont understand, with the usb-plug the record has latency or not ?
    sorry but the way do you speak its not very clear, anyways great video 😉

  41. Augusto Souza says:

    0:14 music !?

  42. keith turbin says:

    WHAT THE HELL IS WITH THIS "LATENCY" CRAP? The word you are looking for is DELAY. I'm not surprised, I bet you call a pound sign a hashtag and I bet you think Hanna Montana and Miley Cyrus are actually two different people.

  43. Heiman Chan says:

    Are you actually able to edit your track after recorded in garage band? Like adding effects?

  44. Dan Vig says:

    The static from the Jack to USB cable is pronounced and detracts from the quality of sound. I have a MacBook Air running Mojave. I am a hobbyist. I have a Yamaha guitar, and I want to plug it into GarageBand and compose custom music. But I want to avoid latency and static sounds at all costs. So based on your experience, the two options are a small portable interface like iRig Pro I/O or an audio interface. What kind of price difference are we talking about?

  45. AnthonyArteaAmerican Artea says:

    They make anything like this for chrome ??

  46. Litty Boi says:

    Thank u Daithi

  47. Steven Edmund says:

    So I have a fender g DEC 30 amp….your telling me I can't just plug in my midi cable which is what it's for? cuz I updated my amp and I'm getting now sound.

  48. Donald Pudas says:

    Awesome. Thanks.

  49. Alex Scott says:

    Plugged my guitar into a Fender Mustang 1 v2 amp and then plugged the amp into my Mac using the supplied usb cable. GB immediately recognised the amp and allows me to record using my amp presets and the GB presets… another DI to use… in addition I finally managed to get my Mac to download Fender Fuse…

  50. Brandon Casia says:

    5:26 Music ???

  51. mojangles28 says:

    do you know if there's a latency issue with all USB cables or was it just the one you tried? I currently plug my guitar into my headphone jack with an adapter(MacBook Pro 2010) and it works just fine. The only time I seem to have latency issues is when I have too many programs running at once. I ask because I'd like to use something with a USB connection so that I can use headphones while recording. Thanks

  52. Musicman The FAM says:

    I got a question: I just bought a Focusrite Scarlet solo interface. I plug in my acoustic guitar into the scarlet. The scarlet recognizes my guitar but GarageBand doesn't. I set up the input and output to recognized scarlet but Garageband is not reading it. Do you know what I did wrong?

  53. Valerie Smith says:


  54. Emily Coulter says:

    At 3:48 are those all just different amps that are included in GarageBand? Can you plug in external pedals?

  55. Zo Kassam says:

    Hello. I was wondering whether you necessarily have to use a software amp? Is another good option to just record the guitar signal clean using an 'Audio' track and then use Garageband's generic (non-guitar specific) effects like 'Drive' and 'Delay' to model the sound you want?

  56. Joseph Shelton says:

    Your videos are amazing, sir… and I'm sorry for the novel, I desperately need your help…

    I recently had to upgrade my laptop, and I haven't messed with a new version of Garageband for 10 years. And when buying a new interface (Behringer UM2 and then Focusrite Scarlett Solo) when I start up a song using a garageband amp that's dirty or heavily distorted, I get this weird feedback when I stop playing. and even so much as touching the strings gives me a loud kinda kickback. It reminds me of those phony smack sounds from old kung fu movies…

    And I messed with the noise gate settings, and I either crank it so the feedback crap stops and get absolutely zero tone or ringout; or I have it set low and get amazing tone when playing but CONSTANT feedback when I switch chords…

    Is there a setting I'm missing or something? Like I said, i've been out of the Garageband game for 10 years… But this is very frustrating as I play mostly rock stuff. And I thought it was the Behringer UM2 that I bought because it was cheap, but the Focusrite Scarlett Solo does exactly the same thing. So it HAS to be in garageband.

    I really hope someone has had this same issue. Would love to mess with all these new things, and be free of frustration…

    Thanks so much in advance! and I really look forward to hearing from you.

  57. max monsta says:

    Mothership: I aM cOmInG. wAiT fOr Me, SoN!

  58. Wet Bandit Studios says:

    Hiya mate,
    I’ve just bought an iMac literally to muck about with GarageBand. I dabbled with a mates GarageBand years ago but things seem to have moved on somewhat. Back then it was literally a jack to minijack.
    I naively bought a guitar jack to usb with no success whatsoever and after a cursory search online, purchased an irig2. Needless to say, I can’t get that to work either?!? Finally I’ve found this video and notice you’re using the irig hd which is usb. Is that where I’m going wrong? I’m an absolute noob. If I read iOS or interface one more time I think I might have a stroke. Please help, I’m as sick as a chip

  59. Cheeseburgerrr says:

    ahhh thanks. Can you recommend a good brand for the interface?

  60. Steven Parente says:

    Excellent video. Thank you! It was a big help.

  61. Ciência Com Edu says:

    thank you for the great videos.

  62. Eric Litho says:

    can use for ipad garageband?

  63. Darren White says:

    The ufo joke had my rollin in laughter thanks for keeping it human

  64. Tommy onYouTube says:

    How can I route the audio signal from my guitar track to my amp. With out the rest of the tracks playing through the amp. But I still want the drums and other tracks to play through my iMac built in speakers. Any advice is definitely appreciated. By the way I’m using an irig hd 2 and using the amp out line.

  65. Steve Applegate says:

    Great vid.

  66. LIL B says:

    My Mac doesn’t have a usb

  67. Chino Tiongson says:

    i've been trying to figure out how to record and going through many videos and i still can't get it to work. can someone help me?

  68. Boston Schroeder says:

    Hello thanks for the video. I have a question though. I have a MacBook but it won’t let me download garage band. The software is up to date and everything.

  69. Sujan Sitaula says:

    Sir can we use garage band on laptop..

  70. James Best Aaron says:

    can i directly plug into my laptops mic input though an aux and record? how will the quality be?

  71. The jupiter says:

    Great video cheers. Gonna be getting 2i2 Focusrite audio interface but b4 then can u tell me why my guitar playing into my iMacs built in mic sounds terribly distorted as I try to simply record new ideas n make mp3s and upload the rough singing n playing into copyrighthouse? I notice on ur video with just a laptop at least it’s NOT sounding distorted. But my new iMac cannot give me that undistorted sound?

  72. André Jean says:

    Bravo et merci pour cette vidéo: très utile!

  73. Devon Palmer says:

    I need help, my irig 2 is not recognized by my macbook air

  74. BW Design says:

    Yeah I tried the USB cable before watching this and it is liquid shit sound and unplayable latency – wouldn't suggest it

  75. Jaume Segovia says:

    Can I use the Focusrite on my bass or its only for the guitar? Thanks!

  76. yan pan says:

    Is iRig available for macbook air?thx

  77. Dhiaan Gandhi says:

    I have the original irig that I use with my iPad .. Would it work with a MacBook too

  78. I LuV Creation says:

    Great vid! Does the focus rite have USB ports too for my USB mic?

  79. TRAVTHERIPPER666 says:

    9:41 to her door by paul kelly?

  80. I-MLena-I says:

    Can I do garageband as a live amp or only for recording?

  81. ROBYNN J. says:

    I just got one of the cables from the beginning and despite the fact that monitoring is on I can't hear anything while I'm recording. Once I finish the recording and play it back, I still can't hear anything- the track I just recorded or previously recorded tracks. I know it recorded because I can hear everything once I've unplugged the cable, and I can hear audio on every other application while it's plugged in. Idk if anyone here has experienced something similar/knows how to fix it, but I figured I'd ask because it's really making recording anything extremely difficult. Thank you

  82. Simon Robinson says:

    You lost me at internal mic

  83. Hack To Scratch Golf says:

    How can I plug in my Rockman into garage band?

  84. BWAK 13 says:

    I had a focusrite and thought it was crap. I only had about 1/4 of the pot switch span to work with. Making setting the levels very delicate.

  85. Wolfy1091 says:

    Why not use the headphone out from an amp to a line in on the computer?

  86. Arené Lomax says:

    Im using a Zoom h4n as an interface and my computer is getting a reading, but I hear no sound coming out of the computer's speakers. Any suggestions?

  87. bob. d.flowerhorn says:

    my audio interface int taking my guitar sound . any solutions>

  88. Shawn Brunelle says:

    Thank you so much this video was very helpful, i am having a issue with my guitar playing clean and i cant get the amp effects sound ? I am using a audio interface Steinburg CI1 USB connection.
    i can record but im just getting the clean straight guitar sound. is there a setting for this?

  89. Eddy Priest says:

    Don’t upgrade to Catalina with the iRig HD2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *