Articles, Blog

3 Ways to Connect Your Guitar To GarageBand (Mac)

November 8, 2019

hey it’s Patrick here from the
GarageBand 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 and I’ll see you next time
bye for now


  • Reply Jacob McGregor May 23, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    I love your vids man, keep it up!

  • Reply Jimmy Rodriguez May 23, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Awesome! Greetings from Puerto Rico!

  • Reply Eduardo Barbosa May 23, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    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.

  • Reply David Skerritt May 23, 2018 at 4:59 pm

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

  • Reply Bongonzo May 23, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    I was literally just thinking about getting the Irig

  • Reply Pete Johns May 23, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    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?

  • Reply Bourne Productions May 25, 2018 at 9:51 pm

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

  • Reply toobspark May 29, 2018 at 1:03 am

    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.

  • Reply 57RickH May 29, 2018 at 2:17 am

    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

  • Reply Dave Menzies May 31, 2018 at 9:56 am

    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.

  • Reply Ian Edwards June 11, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    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:

  • Reply Gino Gamboni June 25, 2018 at 5:41 am

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

  • Reply HMat July 3, 2018 at 5:15 am

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

  • Reply prabhat mana July 16, 2018 at 4:40 am

    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.

  • Reply 1dir July 29, 2018 at 8:55 pm

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

  • Reply John Peña July 31, 2018 at 3:47 am

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

  • Reply Janely Sucks August 21, 2018 at 9:28 am

    thank you De Nogla 🙏🙏😂

  • Reply federica balconi August 26, 2018 at 3:31 pm

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

  • Reply Dirty Bird August 28, 2018 at 3:23 am

    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 ?

  • Reply JK Music September 1, 2018 at 3:01 am

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

  • Reply Ian Prior September 1, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    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

  • Reply Ian Prior September 1, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    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?

  • Reply Geetar is life September 15, 2018 at 1:38 am

    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)

  • Reply Charles C Brown III September 20, 2018 at 4:47 pm

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

  • Reply Eldias Mahdi Sastra September 28, 2018 at 1:49 am

    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.

  • Reply Dimas Setyawan September 30, 2018 at 4:36 am

    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.

  • Reply cuda426hemi September 30, 2018 at 8:39 am

    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..😮

  • Reply Amitay Merhav October 20, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    I use iRig 2 and like it

  • Reply Vince LeJeune October 30, 2018 at 1:08 am

    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

  • Reply Robert Mailloux November 4, 2018 at 12:02 pm


  • Reply Alex November 13, 2018 at 8:02 pm

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

  • Reply NO FORGAY JESUS November 25, 2018 at 8:04 pm

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

  • Reply Ollie_james November 26, 2018 at 11:59 pm

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

  • Reply Andrew Thomas Helliwell December 5, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    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

  • Reply joao cebrian December 13, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    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

  • Reply couchfort December 29, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    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!!!!

  • Reply Anthony Crothers December 30, 2018 at 10:54 am

    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,

  • Reply Anthony Crothers January 3, 2019 at 9:42 am

    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 👍

  • Reply evees January 5, 2019 at 10:39 pm

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

  • Reply Octavio Mesa January 7, 2019 at 6:38 am

    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 😉

  • Reply Augusto Souza January 14, 2019 at 3:38 am

    0:14 music !?

  • Reply keith turbin January 20, 2019 at 2:46 am

    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.

  • Reply Heiman Chan February 6, 2019 at 8:23 am

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

  • Reply Dan Vig February 10, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    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?

  • Reply AnthonyArteaAmerican Artea February 11, 2019 at 3:55 am

    They make anything like this for chrome ??

  • Reply Litty Boi February 17, 2019 at 2:01 am

    Thank u Daithi

  • Reply Steven Edmund February 27, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    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.

  • Reply Donald Pudas March 2, 2019 at 1:57 am

    Awesome. Thanks.

  • Reply Alex Scott March 30, 2019 at 5:29 am

    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…

  • Reply Brandon Casia March 30, 2019 at 5:56 am

    5:26 Music ???

  • Reply mojangles28 April 1, 2019 at 9:17 am

    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

  • Reply Musicman The FAM April 14, 2019 at 2:07 am

    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?

  • Reply Valerie Smith April 21, 2019 at 4:55 am


  • Reply Emily Coulter April 25, 2019 at 9:15 pm

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

  • Reply Zo Kassam May 3, 2019 at 10:16 am

    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?

  • Reply Joseph Shelton May 6, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    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.

  • Reply max monsta May 11, 2019 at 7:00 am

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

  • Reply Wet Bandit Studios May 11, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    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

  • Reply Cheeseburgerrr May 17, 2019 at 2:15 pm

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

  • Reply Steven Parente May 19, 2019 at 6:13 pm

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

  • Reply Ciência Com Edu May 27, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    thank you for the great videos.

  • Reply Eric Litho May 28, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    can use for ipad garageband?

  • Reply Darren White May 29, 2019 at 12:41 pm

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

  • Reply Tommy onYouTube June 1, 2019 at 12:40 am

    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.

  • Reply Steve Applegate June 3, 2019 at 2:59 am

    Great vid.

  • Reply LIL B June 10, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    My Mac doesn’t have a usb

  • Reply Chino Tiongson June 12, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    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?

  • Reply Boston Schroeder June 12, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    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.

  • Reply Sujan Sitaula June 28, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    Sir can we use garage band on laptop..

  • Reply James Best Aaron July 5, 2019 at 4:28 am

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

  • Reply The jupiter July 7, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    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?

  • Reply André Jean July 8, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    Bravo et merci pour cette vidéo: très utile!

  • Reply Devon Palmer August 3, 2019 at 2:55 am

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

  • Reply BW Design August 6, 2019 at 9:33 pm

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

  • Reply Jaume Segovia August 15, 2019 at 9:05 pm

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

  • Reply yan pan August 16, 2019 at 1:53 am

    Is iRig available for macbook air?thx

  • Reply Dhiaan Gandhi August 16, 2019 at 2:33 am

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

  • Reply I LuV Creation August 29, 2019 at 4:06 am

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

  • Reply TRAVTHERIPPER666 August 29, 2019 at 10:37 am

    9:41 to her door by paul kelly?

  • Reply I-MLena-I September 1, 2019 at 4:54 pm

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

  • Reply ROBYNN J. September 4, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    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

  • Reply Simon Robinson September 8, 2019 at 9:29 am

    You lost me at internal mic

  • Reply Hack To Scratch Golf September 14, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    How can I plug in my Rockman into garage band?

  • Reply BWAK 13 September 16, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    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.

  • Reply Wolfy1091 October 3, 2019 at 1:20 pm

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

  • Reply Arené Lomax October 11, 2019 at 2:01 am

    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?

  • Reply bob. d.flowerhorn October 11, 2019 at 12:01 pm

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

  • Reply Shawn Brunelle October 26, 2019 at 12:20 am

    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?

  • Reply Eddy Priest October 31, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    Don’t upgrade to Catalina with the iRig HD2

  • Leave a Reply