Recommendations for simple guitar interface for MacBook Air.

Jazzcaster21

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I would like a simple, guitar only (if possible), audio interface to record in Garageband on a MacBook Air. I don't sing and the most complicated I will get is 2-3 tracks. I am trying to keep below $200.

Any suggestions?
 

Call Me Al

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I have this one:
F6D64658-83FE-49B8-8830-3C5E1F6D34FA.jpeg


Which appears to be the older gen of this one:

Built like a tank. I think I’ve had it 10 years now. Great with MacBook Pro and Air, and GarageBand. Easy to use.

But, only 2 channels. If you really want that 3rd, it appears they made a 4 channel; however OOP and only available used:
6ED40872-164B-40F6-B8E3-280AD47A841F.jpeg


I keep hearing great things about Focusrite Scarlet 4i4, but a little over $200. Maybe used would get you there.
 

Rich_S

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For guitar-only the Focusrite Scarlett Solo would be good. I use a 2i2 because I wanted two mics inputs. The 4i4 would be overkill for you, unless you want to get into re-amping.

I’ve never had any problems with Focusrite stuff not working. The drivers have been easy to set up and stable.
 

studio

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Just make sure you have an interface
that can handle 192khz, 24 bit resolution.

even though the decades old standard is
441khz /16 bit, that is slowly dying a slow death.
Most people that work with above consumer product
like those on the corporate AV world have been at
48khz/24 bit for awhile now.

There seems to be another growth spurt in being
able to support high resolution audio beyond the mere
CD crowd. It's time has come.

Even higher than the PCM based resolutions comes
the DSD formats. They've been here for awhile and
have a lot of high end systems incorporating their
use for beautiful high end systems that also
translated extremely well when dummied down
to crappy ear devices using MP3 etc.

I want high end audiophiles to listen to my music.
Those with a great sounding system to be able to
enjoy the hard work we put into our music to also
bop their heads like the rest of us minions! Lol.

Anyway, if the OP wants to look into the future a bit,
then starting off with a cool interface regardless of
channel count but higher rez count will do wonders
for your sound these days.
Thanks.

 

Beebe

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No experience with it, but the Apogee Jam looks promising... For a guitar only interface.
 

Quexoz

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Depends on budget.
$120 Focusrite Scarlet Solo. Quality but a bit pricey for what you get, I think. It's really stripped down for $120.
$49 M-Audio M-Track solo. Good bang for buck.
Both are good for guitar and/or mic. There's a decent Presonus model ~$100 too, but I find it overpriced (reviews say noisy preamps), so would go for one of the other 2.

I have an older Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (now 4i4 is closest to that), and an M-Track solo. The Scarlett is higher spec on paper, but in the real world, they both record just as well. Unless you're all about having the "best" I'd say go for the M-Track solo or M-Track duo ($69) if a few more bells and whistles are needed.
 
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Peegoo

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This is what I use with Garage Band. It has a 1/4" jack for instruments and an XLR jack for microphones with switchable phantom power for mics that need it. Stereo outs for hookup to a monitor system and a headphone jack as well. Zero latency and dead silent operation. Cannot beat the price...about a month ago Sweetwater was blowing these out for $20.

I've been using this for more than six years with no problems at all.

 

Quexoz

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The Behringer is outdated by the newer M-audio stuff in the same +/- $5 price range. Also Behringer does not supply a proper driver and you have to use generic asio-4-all instead. No good! Besides the fact it was always just a cheap clone of the M-Audio FastTrack.
 

tintag27

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The Behringer is outdated by the newer M-audio stuff in the same +/- $5 price range. Also Behringer does not supply a proper driver and you have to use generic asio-4-all instead. No good! Besides the fact it was always just a cheap clone of the M-Audio FastTrack.
The OP is using Garageband with a MacBook - no drivers required!
I agree with Peegoo - I have had a Behringer 202HD for a couple of years - it has done everything I asked of it, it is a very good piece of equipment
 

mexicanyella

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I’ve had good luck with a $40 iRig 2 for recording into my iPhone 6S, using the BandLab app. One track at a time, but that seems to be how I roll these days. Inability to record stereo tracks or multiple simultaneous musicians seemed like a bigger deal when I was younger. Now I’m limited more by available time, focus and inspiration than connectivity!
 

telestratosonic

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I have a MacBook Air. I'm using a now-discontinued 10 year-old Steinberg Cl1. If and when I upgrade, I will be going to a newer Steinberg interface. I've never had an issue with the Cl1.

I'm a wannabee songwriter. Here's a demo I recorded using the Steinberg Cl1. You can hear it on Soundclick in its entirety. I used the acoustic and electric GarageBand plug-ins to record the guitar parts. The guitar I used was a 2015 Gibson Les Paul Special 100.

www.soundclick.com

A Good Day's When I Don't Think About Her by Jim Clayton

You can also hear a snippet on Apple Music and Spotify.

I also have a Mackie PROFX6v3 which doubles as an audio interface.
 
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klasaine

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If you only will be recording one thing at a time and can stretch the budget to $250.00 - I recommend this ... https://www.uaudio.com/audio-interfaces/volt/volt-176-usb.html
Built in (switchable) compressor and preamp based on the 1176 and 610 respectively.

*This isn't an Apollo. It's UAd's entry level interface. No access to the (very expensive) UA plugins.
 

telemnemonics

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I have the original iRig, which I used with GarageBand on my old iPad. Worked pretty good. Ultra portable!

View attachment 942798
I've gotten very close to buying the newest iRig that has USB-C I/O to use with my iPhone 12.

The OP didn't say what gen macbook air?

It really seems to matter when buying an interface, old interfaces seems to not work with new computers and new interfaces only work with computers within a range of ages since the last firmware/ hardware generation changed.

So if the OP has an older macbook a new interface possibly won't work with it?
Or maybe that generation problem I encountered a few years ago no longer exists and all interfaces work with all computers?
Hahahahahahaha right.

Sometimes it's hard to get info on what gen interfaces stopped working with year X computers.
Sweetwater reps that call you up might be able to get that info, or maybe the OP has a new mac.
Seems like interface shoppers on a low budget didn't just spend $1000 on a macbook but are now scrimping on an interface?
So half your (laptops) age plus seven years?
 

nedorama

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Get a used Scarlett 2i2 - works great, built well, and you have an extra input down the road if needed. I bought a used one for my daughter and a B-stock 18i20 3rd gen for me.
 

middy

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If you can swing a UA Apollo it’s well worth it. It runs some killer included plugins, (Marshall plexi modeler, 1176 compressor, reverb, delay) locally on the interface itself. Practically zero latency and they sound amazing!
 

FortyEight

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i use a scarlet 2i2. i like the sound compared to an older 2005 m-audio i was using when i started. (borrowed). that being said, i didnt have the latest drivers installed for it. i was still learning what was what. 🤪.

people are skeptical of the "air" buttons but i do feel like it ups the clarity.
 

dreamingtele

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Been using my focusrite 4i4 into everything.

iPhone
iPad
Macbook
Pc

You need some sort of workaround to get it to work with the iPhone and iPad though. But it works.

Untitled by D Y, on Flickr


For the affordability aspect, i think the focusrite scarlett series are great!
 

maxvintage

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There are a lot of good choices. The basics of analog to digital digital to analog conversion are well established and the level of quality available at the low end is really high. The Audient EVO 4 is simple, inexpensive, compact, has two preamps and a dedicated 1/4 input for guitar.
 

northernguitar

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I just picked up a Yamaha AG-03. 192/24. Has a very cool ‘Loopback’ feature, where if hooked up to a computer, it will play back audio played on the computer, and mix nicely in the broadcast. I’ve used it for Zoom meetings to add music and sound effects to my meets. Has some onboard FX that can be tweaked with software.
 




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