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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!

Garage Band - Mic


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Harryc
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My son wants to record audio from his acoustic guitar into GarageBand. We have a MacBook Pro. Can I get a Mic similar to the linked one, plug it straight into the MBP, and expect decent results? Do I need a pre-amp? We're not looking for professional here, just good sound and I want something better than the internal Mic. Any other ideas or recommendations? Thanks

http://www.smalldog.com/product/36490

EDit: Ok SmallDog says I need a pre-amp with phantom power. Anyone here use a M-Audio Fast Track Pro ? Good unit? Anything better out there for the same money? Is there a better mic than the M-audio for $100 or less?
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BlindingLights

 
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BlindingLights is a jewel in the roughBlindingLights is a jewel in the rough
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Is his acoustic an acoustic-electric? (meaning does it have a pickup in it that you can plug into an amp?) If so, you can buy this: http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPL...lm=T9106LL%2FA

Plug it into the audio-in line (MAKE SURE IT'S NOT THE HEADPHONE SLOT BUT THE AUDIO IN otherwise you'll just hear feedback when recording), plug a cable from the acoustic to the other end of this, go to preferences>audio/midi>audio input>built in line-in. Then, create a new track, select "real instruent," and you're set to record. For recording audio you can use the mic by selecting a new real track, going to preferences>audio/midi>audio input>built in microphone/ and do the same as recording the guitar part, but with the mic this time. Works like a charm.

the back of our computer looks better than the front of theirs


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Originally Posted by Super_boy22
i can store many dvds on 1 floppy so it's essential to me
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Harryc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindingLights
Is his acoustic an acoustic-electric? (meaning does it have a pickup in it that you can plug into an amp?) If so, you can buy this: http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPL...lm=T9106LL%2FA

Plug it into the audio-in line (MAKE SURE IT'S NOT THE HEADPHONE SLOT BUT THE AUDIO IN otherwise you'll just hear feedback when recording), plug a cable from the acoustic to the other end of this, go to preferences>audio/midi>audio input>built in line-in. Then, create a new track, select "real instruent," and you're set to record. For recording audio you can use the mic by selecting a new real track, going to preferences>audio/midi>audio input>built in microphone/ and do the same as recording the guitar part, but with the mic this time. Works like a charm.
Thanks for the advice, and yes the guitar is an acoustic-electric, so I may end up getting one of those. He wants to record the guitar mic'd because he does not like the sound of the built-in pickups. So with that said, based on advice I've gotten on another forum, I am looking at an m-audio fast track pro (we want to hook up a MIDI also), and at least one MXL 990 Condenser Microphone. At this point I am looking for any advice on condenser mics. He wants to record voice and guitar at the same time. Would (2) mics like the one below do the job, or do I need different mics for recording guitar vs. voice?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...nce&n=11091801
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BlindingLights

 
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Trust me, do the tracks separately. And, a mic will not sound as good as a pickup, even if the pickup isn't the best. A mic won't be able to catch ALL the tonal ranges of the guitar as well as the pickup. And do it separately, that way you can mix the guitar and vocal parts together. I think you're trying WAY too hard on something that's really easy. Just follow what I said, and you'll be surprised at the final product. It's not professional, obviously, but it's pretty darn good. A lot better than anything else I've used. Just make sure you tweak the mic in system preferences so that it's optimal to his distance from the built in mic.

the back of our computer looks better than the front of theirs


Quote:
Originally Posted by Super_boy22
i can store many dvds on 1 floppy so it's essential to me
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Localoid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harryc
Do I need a pre-amp?
On the MacBook Pro... yes. Quoting Apple's specs:

The sound input jack accepts line-level stereo signals up to 24-bit stereo 44.1-192kHz sampling rate. It also accepts a stereo miniplug-to-RCA cable adapter for connecting stereo equipment to the computer.

Since the line input is "line level" you'd need to boost the signal (via a preamp) to get good sound/results. (Yeah, you could crank up the input volume to the max, trying to achieve 30db gain, but it'll sound pretty darn bad... you really need a preamp.)

If you wanted to solve this problem "on the cheap", there's several ways you could go. Each way has it advantages and disadvantages.

(1) You could buy an inexpensive preamp/mixer ($30 and up) and also buy a decent quality condenser mic ($70 and up) , buying/making a few cables to connect the mixer/mic to your MacBook's input...

(2) You could buy a audio interface (usb or firewire) with built-in mixer/preamp (about $100 and up) and buy a condenser mic ($70 and up). ...

(3) buy a "podcasting kit" which consists of a decent-quality condenser mic (battery powered) that hooks up to a preamp-for-mac interface (about $130 or so, I think)...

(4) buy a usb mic w/built-in preamp (about $80 and up)...

(5) really go "on the cheap" and build a small mic/pre-amp from a kit for about $20 or so... the quality would be amazing for the price (compares to $100-200 mics made just a few years ago), but not exactly "studio quality" by today's standards!

I could post URL's linking to examples of each if you like...
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Localoid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harryc
...at least one MXL 990 Condenser Microphone. At this point I am looking for any advice on condenser mics. He wants to record voice and guitar at the same time. Would (2) mics like the one below do the job, or do I need different mics for recording guitar vs. voice?
The MXL 990's don't have much "bottom"... the roll-off starts at something like 250hz or so, if memory serves me correctly. They aren't exactly the quietest mic either, but they are decent. But, most all condenser mics these days (even the $40 a pair variety) are "decent" in terms of sound quality.

For just a little more money you can get a lot more mic... and at better prices than Amazon. I can post links if you like.

Re: you question about different sorts of mics for voice/guitar... that depends on what mics you're taking about. Yeah, in general, to capture the highs of the guitar you'd use a different sort of mic, but... I'd choose using a pair of matching Rode NT1s or NT5's mics over two different cheaper mics... anyday... But, you see this illustrates the point -- the correct answer to that question really depends on your budget.
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Localoid
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Originally Posted by Harryc
I am looking at an m-audio fast track pro (we want to hook up a MIDI also)
Does the FT-Pro use USB 1 or USB 2 ...? If it's "just" USB 1 (12Mbps), I would suggest going with something supporting USB 2 (480Mbps) or Firewire 400Mbps), if you want to use MIDI to any great extent (many parts, etc.)

The FTPro is about $250 street price isn't it? If you're talking "package" of mics + interface, you really should spend more on the mics than the interface... at least at the starting out point. In other words, you should be buying (at least) $300 a pair mics to go with this system, IMHO.
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