Connecting Music Equipment
to Your Computer
If you sing or play a musical instrument, you can connect
a musical instrument or a microphone to your computer
and record your performances in your GarageBand
Each recording appears as a region in a track in the timeline. You can add effects to the
track, and edit the region in the editor.
Connecting a Microphone or Musical Instrument
You can connect an electric musical instrument or microphone to your computer and
record it in a Real Instrument track.
You can connect a microphone to your computer using the computer’s audio input
port, if your computer has one. You can also connect an audio interface to your
computer, and then connect instruments and microphones to the audio interface for
recording. Audio interfaces are available in a variety of compatible formats, including
USB, FireWire, PCI, and PC card formats. You can also connect an audio mixer or console
to your computer, and record microphones or instruments through the mixer.
If you use an audio interface to connect musical instruments, check the manufacturer’s
specifications to make sure the interface is compatible with Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later.
Also make sure the audio interface uses a format supported by your computer. Follow
the manufacturer’s instructions, which may include installing the correct driver on your
If you connect an instrument or microphone to your computer’s audio input port, open
System Preferences and click Sound, click the Input tab, select Line In in the sound
input list, and then drag the Input volume slider to set the input level.
Connecting Music Equipment to Your Computer
Connecting a Music Keyboard to Your Computer
If you play a keyboard instrument, you can connect a MIDI-compatible music keyboard
to your computer to play and record Software Instruments.
To connect a music keyboard to play Software Instruments:
Â If the keyboard is a USB MIDI keyboard, connect the USB cable to the keyboard and
to your computer.
Â If the keyboard is a standard MIDI keyboard, connect the keyboard to a MIDI
interface using standard MIDI cables, then connect the interface to your computer.
Be sure to follow the instructions that came with the keyboard, which may include
installing the correct driver on your computer.
Connecting Other Music Equipment
You might also want to connect speakers or monitors to your computer to hear your
projects play back with greater audio quality than is possible from your computer’s
speaker. A variety of monitors and speakers is available, including speakers you can
connect directly to your computer's audio out port, through a USB port, or by using an
If you connect an audio interface to your computer, you set the audio interface as the
audio input device for GarageBand. Before setting the audio input device, be sure to
install any necessary driver software for the audio interface.
To set an audio interface as the audio input device:
Choose GarageBand > Preferences, then click Audio/MIDI.
In the Audio/MIDI pane, choose the audio interface from the Audio Input pop-up
If you connect a microphone, an instrument, or other audio device directly to your
computer’s audio input port, you may need to configure the input settings for the
device in the Sound pane of System Preferences.
To configure input settings in System Preferences:
Choose Apple () > System Preferences, then click Sound.
In the Sound pane, click the Input button.
Select Line In from the sound input devices list, then drag the Input volume slider to
set the input level.
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