Anyone have or know where I can go to get lots of answers?

I”m a former PC user and am used to using Acid Pro loop based mixing software. But only for wave file and effects mixing. Completely lost with garage band. Also have no clue on how to get a mic or guitar hooked up. Like I said. I need LOTS of help. LOL 

I can tell now the more answers I get the more questions I’ll have. Right now I don’t even know what to ask. 


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steep learning curve, I feel your pain.

I have no experience with GB specifically, (But I hear good things).

I would suggest a few things. One would be the combination of a GB user group, probably a Apple website, and look for some independant home recording groups as well. There you can read the FAQ's, find various discussion threads on various topics etc, much as here. (By the way, just a reminder, there is a group here at the nation with discussions on home recording too. Please participate there as well and share what you learn!) I will come back to this with some other specific site recomendations once I am at my other computer, but Google is your friend.

You should also find and print out a specific Garage Band user manual. It will likely be a big (mind numbing) book.     

Here are just a few examples: 

Second, depending on how you learn best, some books on home recording, and specifically GB. I have "home recording for dummies". "Recording software and plug-ins" from the Hal Leonard series, and several other titles I keep for reference books. I think there is a specific "Garage Band for dummies" book as well. Usually these are pretty good books for getting a good overview and as reference books as you begin to figure some things out.


As far as your question on "hooking up a guitar and mic", You will need some kind of interface. There are a lot of options here and you might want to wait until you have done some of the above, as some work better with specific recording software than others. Also there is new stuff coming out all the time, and there are software bundles with interfaces to consider as well.

In considering an interface you will want to consider these things among others; do you want to be able to input an instrument and mic at the same time, multiple instruments and mics at the same time? Do you want to communicate MIDI data?

I would guide you to evaluating simple interfaces from Tascam, M-audio, Look at bundles from line-6, Amplitube. Take a peek at the Jam Vox as well as the pedal controller for Amplitube (they both also work as basic interfaces).

Since it sounds as though you are just getting your feet wet with this, and given the overwhelming nature of this topic and the many choices, I would suggest starting out with something as basic as will work and expand later as you develop the need. Find someone who uses GB and find out what works for them, and get the advise of multiple users. Warning, they will all disagree on what is best to start out with.

A modest computer with a reasonably fast processor (multi-tracking with effects and such applied really needs some processing speed) and a large hard drive (the data files are space hogs) combined with garage band or similar, a basic interface and some entry level near range monitors will get you a long ways, and are very capable of great things in the right hands.

Oh, and as always,

Have fun!

like all Apple software, the documentation for Garage Band is extensive and straight forward.   Open the application.  Up the top in the menu bar (file/edit/view etc etc) the last item in the menu is HELP.   (this is an Apple protocol and u'll find it last in the menu bar for just about any app you can run on the machine)  click help and the second item down is 'welcome to garage band'  click on that and it'll lead you to a 'getting started ' document.  Read through that.  Any problems beyond that, also under the help menu is 'garage band help', where you can search the documentation for you problem.  Good luck.  I use Logic, and have done for a long long time.  Apple acquired the code for Logic in about 2000 from Emagic, and made garage band from it as their entry level free sequencer, hoping to channel users to logic rather than its competitors.  Im sorry i cant be of more help, Ive had a little look at garage band a few times, but im more than comfortable with logic's usually trickier way of doing things..

I got clipped off while trying to edit in more suggestions, (Timed out) but here is a couple more.


thanks folks for the quick response. Lots to chew on.

Thanks for the links Mark. Be spending some time on them. I'd like to be able to hook multiple things up at the same time. A single input would be limiting. I'll get into the group here about home recording as well. This place has everything! Totally cool.

Jef, I'm used to Acid pro. Unlimited tracks with multiple busses and effects. I think the most tracks I used was 78. When I was still using a PC I also had Audacity. But only used it for adding effects and some simple processing to wave files. I've never connected any instrument or mic to a computer. Always worked with digital files. Logic sounds like a program I need to check into after I get the hang of GB. Thanks for the heads up!

I've found Garageband to be fairly intuitive. The Help menu as mentioned is a good reference.

If you just want to record something quick and dirty to get your feet wet, anything that can be reduced down to a 1/8" jack and plugged into the microphone input of the computer will work.

In other words, you can use a computer microphone with a 1/8" jack, or get a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter for your guitar cable.

I opened up a new project and noticed it's set to a Software Instrument (Grand Piano). The first thing is to go to Tracks in the top menu and create a new Basic Track. You can also click on the Piano track and Delete Track from the Tracks menu. If you double click on the new Basic Track, a menu will pop up showing that it's a Real Instrument track vs. a Software Instrument track.

A Real Instrument track is for your guitar and microphone. The Software Instrument tracks are for Garageband generated instruments. You can control those with the little piano keyboard (also the first thing that pops up) your computer keyboard, or a real life keyboard if you hook one up to the computer.

This is what I'm going to get for an interface someday when I have the money:

Hey Paul, I am really a builder first and player second however I own a mac. Here is a link to a site I found on youtube that has been very helpful to me.  (again I am starting from ground zero). Maybe you should start a Garage Band group here.  Sounds like you might get some good discussions going.

I have found some sound cards work FAIRly well with the guitar directly into the mic input, others horribly.


I like the look and specs of Alesis interface mentioned, if you are on a tight budget I just noticed in a sneak preview of the latest Guitar Center ad flier there is a similar 2 channel USB interface offered by ART at about $20 less with very similar specs.


When I first looked at Garage Band software, the thing that stood out to me was the possibility of collaboration with other people via the internet, but I havent seen the huge popularity of it that I would have expected. I guess I would ask, does it not work quite as hoped, does it require too much broadband, or is it just not as popular as I expected? I see GB is available for PC now. And yes, it would be cool to see a GB users group take off here. Might make me consider switching over to it.

Thanks again folks! Starting a Garage Band group hear sounds like a cool idea. I'd be the guy asking 'what? How? can you help me find it? ...can you come over and show me..' Ya'll would be my own personal self help group. LOL
Tanks for the link Jim! totally cool. Watched a few this morning and have learned a few tricks already!
Skeesix THANK YOU! I'd been thinking of getting an old fashion tape recored. You know, something this old guy is used to. LOL

I've started a Garage Band Group!

Thanks for the idea! Much better than just a single thread on the subject. This way everyone will be able to find and have a place to get great ideas and help from. 


I've added a link to this thread and all the links you've given me to the helpful links discussion with your names to give credit to you for your input and help!

I use the Presonis One Box audio interface with Garage Band and like it so far. I'm not very deep into it yet, but what I've done so far has been very easy. the Presonis One Box comes with a nice condenser mic and an audio interface box to connect instruments or mic jacks to the computer and it comes with a version of Studio One software, which is nice.... I've had no problems connecting with it and the quality is really good. The biggest problem I've found is just trying to eek out the time to record when I am building and do a lot of other stuff....


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