Its a given that the mic input on PCs is the least best input for connecting a mic to. Can you Mac operators tell me if it is the same for Mac systems?
Havent been here for a while…great to see M alive and well.
The same logic applies. First, the inside of a computer is a very difficult environment for a mic preamp, which has to have very high gain to amplify the very weak signals coming from a mic. Second, the mic inputs on a computer are designed for inexpensive high-impedance microphones, and almost all the mics you’d want to use for recording are low impedance. (I don’t believe there is a technical reason for this; I suspect it has to do more with market factors and other issues.) Third, a good preamp would not be an inexpensive part; so they design for the typical consumer and save cost for the vast majority of the end users.
Based on benchmark results, the Mac G4 line inputs aren’t even as good as any I’ve done for Windows laptops. My sample of Windows laptops is small though, so this isn’t necessarily a good generalization. But I believe I can say that the line input on Macs is not quite as good as those on the better Windows laptops. I do believe they’re good enough to make fine recordings, and not good enough for someone who’s really serious. (I’d say the same for the better built-ins on Windows PCs).
But, if it’s all you have, go for it! And meanwhile, look into figuring out what the best next step would be for you, based on your budget and goals. There are so many options, and so many ways to spend money, it’s not an easy choice.
BTW, my opinion is that the most important place to spend money (after good instruments) is on studio monitors – assuming you have a decent microphone and decent input path. For example, the cheapest “decent” solution I know of for Mac is a Griffin iMic with a little $50 Behringer mixer, and a Sure SM-57 or equivalent. (Decent equivalents can be had for under $50, but unfortunately I don’t know any brand names). AFTER you get good monitors, you can spend countless hours and dollars finding other microphones, preamps, and audio interfaces to improve the sound. There are lots of affordable options for all these.