Line/Mic in on PMac G4 QS



Could someone tell me if it is true that the Power Mac G4 "QuickSilver" line has no Audio line/microphone input? What is the reasoning behind this if it is true?

Further, are there any ways around this (CD connector on sound card, et cetera?).

Finally, as all I do with the Macintosh (and going to with this machine I am getting) is audio work, I need a good sound card. Which do you recommend?

Best wishes,
Apple dispensed witrh sound in on their new machines a while back - the Powerbook G4 doesn't have one either.

The best/cheapest solution for this is the Griffin iMic , which connects to your USB port. It's $35, and I've found it really useful. It has an audio out as well, which is better quality than the headphone out socket.

That reminds me, I was going to write a How-To for using it under OSX. must get round to that....
That reminds me, I was going to write a How-To for using it under OSX. must get round to that....

Please do. I'm planning to buy an iMic, so I've been squirreling away various comments people have made about using iMic under OS X. It would be great to have all the info in one place though.

I'm not sure. I am going to be using this machine for semi-professional hard disk recording, and that iMic thing looks suspicious. And I really don't like USB. Is it fast enough for audio transfers? I guess it is for just a stereo input...

However, I might go for a card with 4 inputs, so I can record drums in stereo, guitar and bass on the other two channels.

Also, it must work flawlessly in Emagic Logic Audio.

(I know these are strict demands, but...)
I have MacAlly's USB mic, and I love it. I copied a tape to a CD once (an experience I have documented in another thread) using this mic, and I must say the recording quality is great and USB is plenty fast enough for quality audio recording. I don't know about the built-in microphone, as I have limited experience with mics and I don't use that feature all that much (when I have time I want to play with MacOS X's built-in voice recognition, so I don't have to touch the computer to do basic tasks, just sit back and relax to the blasting of "I'm A Believer" by Smashmouth)
Originally posted by peppo
I'm not sure. I am going to be using this machine for semi-professional hard disk recording
And I really don't like USB. Is it fast enough for audio transfers?

USB is plenty fast enough (it's certainly better quality than the built-in line-ins of earlier Macs) and I can get perfectly good quality out of my iMic for what I want to use it for (recording mixes to put on CD, basically). But as Griffin point out themselves, it's only a $35 bit of kit to get around the lack of an audio-in - it sounds to me like you wouldn't have used an audio-in on your Quicksilver anyway, as the quality would be nowhere near good enough. If you want something more professional, you're going to have to pay professional prices, especially if you want multiple inputs.
There was no signal noise on the old G3. It picked up frequencies good enough...

But if I want multiple inputs, there aren't really any other options than semi- or professional cards.
one more note on using the iMic...

Currently there's no playthrough under OS X.

Sometimes I would use the line-in on the iMic to listen to sound from an external source to my wireless speakers (via the iMic lineout) or my SoundSticks. The iMic does not support this under OS X. When I talked to the folks at Griffin I got the impression that they were expecting it in OS X and were surprised that it was not there. In any case, they stated that they are working on drivers to fix this problem.

Like other drivers, they can't be released soon enough!
I think that that's OS X's fault. There's also no 'sound input' controls in the Sound prefpane like there is in OS9 - Apple hasn't implemented any way of controlling sound input from the OS, so there's no way to enable playthrough.
Mind you I think you CAN enable playthrough from within certain apps. I think Amadeus does it.

Peppo - if the sound in on the old Macs was a high enough quality for what you wnat to do, then the iMic is better than that was by a long chalk. But again, it's by no means aimed at a professional market.

Have you tried contacting someon elike Emagic and finding out what they recommend?
what software do you use for audio capture? i used to use SoundJam on my old mac. but now my old mac and soundjam are gone (...sniff...), so what do we use? iTunes doesn t have it, does it?
I was using SoundStudio, but found some problems with playback of edited files. I'm now using Amadeus 2, which appears to be far more powerful for $10 shareware less.
... there IS a way to control the sound input -- but I think it's only for spoken commands. It's just in a non-intuitive place: the Speech pane of System Preferences.

Go to the Speech pane, and then go to the Listening tab. At the bottom, there should be a "Microphone" pop-up. That's where you select your microphone. Granted, that's the extent of it. You can't set the sound input level or anything like that, and I don't know if it controls audio input from applications that do things other than listen to spoken commands -- it doesn't seem like it. It certainly doesn't work with Classic applications, and I tried it with PlayerPRO for Mac OS X, and it couldn't record (it crashes every time, so it might be just the app, though). :(

UPDATE: After reading the post about SoundJam, I remembered (aha! moment :) ) that a Mac OS X native application file was released for SoundJam a few months before iTunes took its place. So I opened it up and tried the "Play from sound input" option, and it recognized that I had a "Telex USB Microphone" that the Speech pane says. However, no sound came through.

So it seems that OS X applications CAN recognize the microphone from the Speech pane settings. However, I have yet to see one that works.
yeah, I'd seen that. However, when I tried fiddling, my computer started making this mad whiney noise, which I'm a little concerned was feedback. So I ain't touching that again!
The program I use (Audiocorder) lets you choose the input source, as do other programs. This does not have to be a system preference, though it would be nice to choose that in the audio pref pane. Of course, as I have said several times elsewhere on this site, I want to be able to use multiple USB speaker sets at the same time.
Originally posted by sheepguy42
The program I use (Audiocorder) lets you choose the input source, as do other programs.

If a sound recording app runing on OSX didn't let you choose the input source, I don't think it'd work very well!!

My comment further up re: the lack of a sound input in OSX was directly replying to the comment about the lack of playthrough using the iMic and OSX, which I attributed to the fact that you can't control the sound In from a prefpane (which more than just being 'nice', would let you control it fromthe place you control every other thing in the whole OS). As I said, some 3rd party apps WILL let you enable playthrough. And yes, they'll all let you choose the sound input, so then you can record it.
just thought I'd stick my head in:

imic works fine with my g4 as well. However, it isn't quite up to spec imo:
When you listen carefully to the output, you can hear data transfers taking place - try playing quake 3 and cranking the volume up all the way. then feed it into a mixer and a good amp. you'll hear it.

If you want pro, you'll need something with balanced inputs. Anything with a 1/8" connector is going to be kinda finiky. (Or RCA jacks for that matter). Balanced signals don't rely on chassi ground.

I hear the SoundBlaster Pro they sell at the apple store for $99 is a good mixture - its pci, pretty fast and all, sounds good (but its not balanced), etc.

btw it is possable to get audio input via the cdrom - I've seen it. There's a nice little dockling called 'AudioCD Player' that uses the traditional cdrom playback function (iTunes plays them as aiff files).