Properly Configuring the Audio Connector on a 13″ MacBook Pro for Recording

In some larger classrooms there are connections for use with external laptop computers (or voice recorders) to record the audio coming from the house sound system. These connections work great for using the recording software on a personal laptop and getting quality audio from the classroom microphones. Often times this is an easy connection: the laptop has an audio input jack on the side (Usually color coded in pink or red). You plug in the cable and audio is running into the recorder and you’re ready to go.

When it comes to Apple’s MacBook Pro this workflow still applies to the 15 and 17 inch models. When it comes to the 13 inch model the design was changed to accommodate the smaller form factor.

So whats the difference?

The difference between a 15 and 13 inch macbook pro

As you can see the 13″ Macbook pro is missing the “Audio in” connector, Apple’s website does state the connection for the 13″ model does both but they do not make that easily known on the laptop itself, by default it is setup to send audio out of the computer for headphones and external speakers. (Note the headphone symbol only)

So how do I make this connection send audio in the opposite direction? Here’s how:

  • First thing we need to do is open the system preferences. There are 2 ways to do this:
    • Find and click this icon in your dock or applications directory MacOSX System Preferences Icon
    • Click on the Apple Logo in the upper left corner of your screen and choose System Preferences
  • Once you have System Preferences open find and click on the Sound icon

Find and click on the Sound Icon

(Your system preference panel may look a bit different then the image above)

  • In the settings preference pane click on the “Input” tab

The locate the “Use audio port for:” drop down box

  • Click the Arrows to open the drop down list and select “Sound Input”

Your 13″ Macbook Pro is now setup to record using its single audio connection! You may close the system preferences and launch the Panopto Recorder. Select “Built in Input” in the audio device drop down to use the audio connection on your computer.


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