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Music, Audio, and Podcasting Do you use your Mac to create music? This is the place for discussions on creating and editing music on the Mac!

Solutions & Equipment Required for home recording?


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TwoToneAlex

 
Member Since: Apr 29, 2010
Location: South Wales, UK
Posts: 48
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Mac Specs: Macbook 2.0GHz - Intel Core 2 Duo - 1GB RAM - 10.6 SL & Powermac G4 - 1.8GHz Sonnet Dual Processor

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Hey folks.
It seems all I have been doing recently is posting threads asking tedious questions, and not really making much of a contribution towards this place

I have a Macbook:It's currently running version: 10.4.11
Processor: 2GHz Intel Core Duo
Memory: 1 GB 667MHz SDRAM
HDD: 74.53 GB

I'm going to upgrade the RAM on it, and possibly go down the route of alternative sound card, although if anyone could clue me up on the interchangeability of components like sound cards that would be great!

Basically, I realise I could do with a small mixing desk, I have used several small desks before, nothing too big, but I basically could do with about 4 inputs, for 2 mics, an electro-acoustic guitar, and a violin.

What would be the best interface as far as connections go (eg usb, firewire) to connect it all up the mac?

I realise I would be doing alot of layers, and recording one track at a time, but what would be the best program to use?

Sorry for my lack of knowledge on this subject, i'm pretty new to Macs so go easy on me!
Hope this helps.
Cheers
Alex
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Zoolook

 
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Member Since: Sep 24, 2006
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OK, this depends on how much you want to spend...

Forget about a 'sound-card', Core Audio does everything on the CPU and there is really no need for a sound card at all. The best interface would almost certainly be a Firewire audio device. There are lots on the market, such as this

M-AUDIO - FireWire Solo - FireWire Mobile Audio Interface for Songwriter/Guitarists

Shop around, you'll find something. Firewire is the best interface with an older MacBook though.

As for software... well so much choice for a wide range of budgets:

- Garageband is the obvious starting point. It shoul dhave been free with your Mac, but if not you can get it in iLfe for about $80

- Logic Express is the next step up, and a huge step up. It's about $199 or you might be able to find a deal somewhere. Get version 8 or 9.

- Logic Studio is the real pro level. You probably don't need this.

There is a lot of other software, Ableton Live, Cubase and others and some freeware, but for multi-track recording I'd say try Garageband first, if you outgrow it, get Logic Express.

One more thing... if possible, install Snow Leopard. There are a lot of benefits to doing so, not least of all the latest versions of Logic and Garageband require at leat Leopard, and SL is a lot faster on your machine than Leopard (or Tiger).

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
- Joan D. Vinge

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TwoToneAlex

 
Member Since: Apr 29, 2010
Location: South Wales, UK
Posts: 48
TwoToneAlex is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: Macbook 2.0GHz - Intel Core 2 Duo - 1GB RAM - 10.6 SL & Powermac G4 - 1.8GHz Sonnet Dual Processor

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Excellent, Cheers!

Would this be any good:
BEHRINGER F CONTROL FCA202 - FIREWIRE AUDIO INTERFACE on eBay (end time 31-May-10 10:11:20 BST)

Also, I have a small Behringer mixer, would this be ok to use with the above:
Behringer VMX100 Mixer. VMX 100 for DJs, Discos, Bars on eBay (end time 06-May-10 15:30:58 BST)

Would these be any good?

Thankyou very much for clearing the above up, I will upgrade to SL asap!
Alex
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TwoToneAlex

 
Member Since: Apr 29, 2010
Location: South Wales, UK
Posts: 48
TwoToneAlex is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: Macbook 2.0GHz - Intel Core 2 Duo - 1GB RAM - 10.6 SL & Powermac G4 - 1.8GHz Sonnet Dual Processor

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Also, is there really much difference in quality as far as USB2 VS Firewire goes?
Cheers
Alex
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Zoolook

 
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Member Since: Sep 24, 2006
Location: Brooklyn, New York
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Mac Specs: 15" MacBook Pro, i7 2.66Ghz, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD; iPad 3, iPhone 5

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On your last question, Firewire is far superior. It has faster sustained data rates, is less CPU intensive and the devices tend to be more stable.

As for the two eBay items, I don't think the 2nd one is suitable, it's for DJ mixing. Try and get to an audio shop and try some things out before getting something on eBay.

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
- Joan D. Vinge

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