How to Record Audio With Line In on a Mac Pro

by Alexander Poirier

The audio line-in ports on Mac Pros come equipped with an analog-to-digital converter that allows you to record and convert analog sound into digital sound files. By connecting an input device such as a microphone or analog device (such as a tape deck or turntable) to your line-in jack, you can use the GarageBand software that came installed on your Mac Pro to record audio. Whether you want to record your own performance or the recordings in your vinyl collection, Mac Pro computers come with most of the tools required to fulfill your line-in recording needs.

Plug the audio input device into the audio line-in port on your Mac Pro computer. Located on the back side of the Mac Pro tower, below the USB ports and just above the Ethernet ports, the audio line-in port is signified by a small microphone icon above the port. Plug the headphones into the audio line-out port on the back of the computer. The audio line-out port is located to the right of the audio line-in port and is signified by a small headphone icon. The headphones will allow you to hear the audio being recorded by the line-in port.

Click the System Preferences icon to open the System Preferences window if you have a Power PC-based Mac. Click the Sound icon, followed by the Input tab. Click the "Line-In" option under the "Choose a Device for Sound Input" subheading. Click the "Input Volume" slider and adjust the volume level until it is at about 80 percent of maximum. Close the System Preferences window to save the changes. If you have an Intel-based Mac, you don't need to make any adjustments to the system's System Preferences.

Click the GarageBand application icon to launch the GarageBand application. Click the "GarageBand" tab and select the "Preferences" option from the drop-down menu. Click the "Audio/Midi" tab in the Preferences menu. Select "Built-in Audio" from the "Audio Output" subheading if you have a Power PC-based Mac and "Built-in Input" if you have an Intel-based Mac. Close the Preferences window to save the changes.

Put on the headphones and click the "Record" button in the GarageBand application window. Speak or play into the microphone if you're recording your own audio track, or press the "Play" button on the analog input device to begin recording the audio stored on its media. In either case, you'll hear the audio in the headphones. When the audio is finished, click the "Record" button again to stop the recording.

Click the "File" tab and select the "Save" option to save the track. Enter a name for the track in the space provided and click the "Save" button to save the audio recording.

Items you will need

  • Headphones

About the Author

Alexander Poirier began writing professionally in 2005. He worked as the editor-in-chief of the literary magazine "Calliope," garnering the magazine two APEX Awards for excellence in publication. Poirer graduated from the University of the Pacific with a Bachelor of Arts in English.

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