I have an analog modeling synthesizer with cool sounds that I can create myself. I want to record them on my mac. The midi port only transfer midi so that's out of the question. Then there is a usb thunderbolt port but it seems to do the same job as midi... The big jack output is the only one that outputs the sound from the synth (not the midi information). Can I record that sound on my computer without an audion interface?


Nord Lead A1, MacBook Pro 2016

  • A quick google for "macbook pro 2016 audio input" suggests that at least some macbook pro 2016 models can accept audio in via the headphone socket. Have you verified whether this is the case? If so, it should be simple to plug the nord in to record (though I have no idea if there would be any quality / performance issues). Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 12:43
  • I've tried it with my electric guitar and a big to small jack adapter, but thie jack input of the mac only seems to work with audio out (unless it's a pair of headphones with a mic) Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 12:45
  • So does it work as an in when you do use a pair of headphones with a mic? Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 12:46
  • Yes, I managed to play on a classical guitar and sing and it works as audio in Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 12:48
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    In that case, you might just need the right kind of cable with the right contacts to 'expose' the input contacts as a separate socket (it's not enough to just have the right size plug). this article has a picture of what I may be talking about; possibly it's something like this, though I'm not a mac person so you should let someone more maccy confirm! Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 12:51

2 Answers 2


Topo Morto's comment showing the link to the splitter cable that separate the mic from the headphone for a Mac TRRS 3.5mm jack is one solution to your problem. That should work.

If you can save your pennies for an affordable interface, I think you'll find it easier to work with and it will have better sound quality over using the built-in input, but the built-in input will work acceptably.


Yes you probably can find some way to do that but you have a nice synth and a nice computer so kind of a shame to use a crappy interface between them. If you can afford an interface you should absolutely invest in it or your nice synth might end up sounding worse than a free software synth.

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