Not the techiest of tech guys here, so bear with me.
My goal: Play harp into a Mic of some kind along to a track. Both the track and harp need to be patched into headphones. I need to keep my practice volume down as much as possible. Just looking for a clean sound. Dirty bullet/amp tone not necessary.
Gear on hand: -Sm57 and Green Bullet -Various amps -Various ear buds -Old MacBook Pro that works well *willing to make a purchase or two in order to make this happen
Simplest is likely using the MacBook Pro. If you plug into a ‘real’ amp, you’ll have to find a way to shut the speaker down, and that always seems a drag to me.
That said, I’ve never done it. If I was to do it, I suppose I’d probably think about using garage band which I assume is already on the Mac. That gives the possibility to play a track and an instrument and monitor both. To do that, I think you just need a way to plug your mic in. I haven’t done it, and a long time since I thought about it but I’m sure it’s just some sort of interface to plug your XLR into something which then plugs into the computer via usb. You might want a preamp of some sort between the mic and interface, but I reckon that’s how I’d approach it.
A small 4 channel mixer will allow you to plug in mics, instruments and a computer and then out to your headphones for around $100. They all provide some EQ but you can also add pedals to shape your sound.
https://www.long-mcquade.com/44240/Pro_Audio_Recording/Mixers/Mackie/4-Channel_Ultra_Compact_Mixer.htm ---------- MBH member since 2009-03-24
Right now I'm using an interface like rogonzab suggests, but running a Joyo American Sound into a reverb pedal, into it and monitoring with headphones. I've used a 57 and a bullet. They both work. But the amp sim sounds like fun.
I use a Shure 585 into a Digitech RP355 into a computer, but any hi-z mic would serve, or you can use a impedance match if you use a low-z mic. With digitech you'll have plenty of amps and effects. and you can buy second hand models and even patches designed by Richard Hunter
Yeah, pretty sure Garage band has a bunch of effects and amp models too. I can’t comment about whether they are in the same league as these other software amps or how they compare to putting pedals into the signal chain, but since you already have the software on the computer I reckon it’s worth checking out before spending extra.