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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!

I want to make a basic mac recording setup..


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iRock

 
Member Since: Feb 09, 2005
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Hey everyone...

Im considering getting a basic mac recording setup for my room.

Im not playing in a band at the moment...so Im mainly playing acoustic guitar, but I would like a setup capable of both.

To give you an idea I have some tracks on my acoustic page that I recorded in Garageband on an ibook G4 using just garageband here- acousticsessions.bebo.com (Im sorry.. I know its bebo!)

I have since sold my mac and do not own one so I am looking to get something on a budget! Just for recording and Internet. Im talking as cheap as possible! (please keep in mind I live in Ireland and some macs on ebay etc dont ship to here... if they do it is at high cost.)

I dont know anything about recording whatsoever.


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sluzniak

 
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A mac mini if you have a monitor and USB Keyboard/mouse laying around. I took a look and you can get one at 629 EU. but if you need more budget you'll have to look for either ebay( I know the shipping) or find a shop that sells refurbished macs to Ireland.
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Jem

 
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Well, a shop that sells refurbed macs to ireland would be the apple store I guess, I'm in the North of Ireland and got a refurbed iMac about 6 months ago from the Apple store and it's been great.

I also bought a Tascam US-122L that's a combined dual channel audio input (one instrument level, one for normal or phantom powered Mics) plus MIDI input and it's been great. I bought it while over in the US and it only cost about 80GBP and works nicely with Garageband and Logic Express.

I'm still learning the basics but one day I'll work out how to use logic....
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minigurl

 
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If you're looking to record an acoustic guitar, you'll likely need a pre-amp of some sort. I recently purchased a "17 Core 2 Duo myself for recording music. I picked up a condensor mic, and a Mobile Pre-USB interface which has been flawless. It's got a built in pre-amp so both the acoustic that I'm using, and the mic are powered and I get very good levels from both.
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Jem

 
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What sort of budget do I need for a semi-decent condensor mic? I find the acoustic guitar levels a bit too low but I only have a Sure vocal mike at the moment and don't want to spend the earth.
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EDIT-XTREEM

 
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i am looking to do the same... i found this cheap mic.. good bad...?http://www.zzounds.com/item--AKGD60S

I also saw this http://www.zzounds.com/item--ALEMULTIMIX8USB

is it good? how do you record from it... just like the interal mic via quicktime?

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iRock

 
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I was thinking maybe a G4 Quiksilver?
Would that be any good for recording?

I consider 629euro to be overpriced for the MacMini... convert that to USD.

The Mic that I have my eye on is (i think... hope I dont get the name wrong) Shure M57.


I was also considering using a preamp on my electric guitar and going straight into the Mac - I have a few questions about this:

1. If I was to do this and use a guitar modelling software (which I have never used before) e.g. Amplitube... will I get realistic sound and sustain when it comes to Metal (say for example Iron Maiden) and how about some thing like Hendrix' Hey Joe?

2. Would it be possible to use this setup live to shape the sound of my guitar?

3. I am not 100% sure what a midi controller is for (LOL- dont laugh) , as I have never used one...... can someone explain please? I was assuming that maybe it controls aspects of the sound/settings/effects?


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EDIT-XTREEM

 
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How about getting a normal mixer and running it through a imic? would that work?

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cjay

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDIT-XTREEM View Post
How about getting a normal mixer and running it through a imic? would that work?
Yeah that does work and is one of the cheapest ways of getting decent sound into a Mac. The mixer will have some sort of preamp as well so you'll get a decent signal going in.
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Jem

 
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iRock - I agree with you, that Mac Mini price does look a bit over the top, especially considering the current dollar rate. Looks to me like it's $200 over the same thing in the US Apple Store, I'd be reluctant to spend that much as well... I'd have thought a G4 was perfectly adequate for what you want. Whereabouts are you in Ireland? Could find a willing volunteer and get it shipped to the North perhaps and collect it?

I don't know how good the effects are for the guitar yet as I've only got an acoustic and a bass at the moment but I can make the acoustic sound dirty and overdriven, in a grungey kinda style, just with the Garageband effects and these effects really help the bass sound along as well so I think it's quite likely you'd be able to find a decent sound without a live mic on an amp.

I'm no MIDI expert but to my knowledge a MIDI controller is simply a device that you play to create a MIDI signal - e.g. a MIDI keyboard, or MIDI drum pads or MIDI guitar. I've got a Yamaha PSR-520 (or something, you can tell I'm really focused on my keyboards ) and use it as a MIDI controller for adding tracks to Garageband.

As to shaping your sound live - the only problem I see is that you get a very slight latency for the processing and although this doesn't cause a problem recording (as you can monitor the input rather than the output) it will doubtless cause you issues live.

Hope this helps... Oh by the way, I was on the apple site yesterday watching the Logic Express demo quicktime movie, verrrrrry impressive, I must play with this tonight!
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EDIT-XTREEM

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjay View Post
Yeah that does work and is one of the cheapest ways of getting decent sound into a Mac. The mixer will have some sort of preamp as well so you'll get a decent signal going in.
but would it not sound as good? also, what would you do.. run a cable from the xrl outputs (right and left) to ...

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amdxmania

 
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Hm.. interesting topics haha
First of all, yes, you can use mixer to your mac. the quality of the sound wouldn't be good. Probably what you need is 1/8"(3.5mm) to XLR or 1/4" Y-Cable.
Amplitube is good for electric guitar. I thought you are playing acoustic guitar.. It'll do the job, and live situation i'd say it'll be depend on your computer and interface you are using it. That could be some latency issue.

If you are thinking about getting AKG D60s, get little bit more money and get either AUDIX OM2, Shure SM58, or AKG D790. That'd give better sound for it.

Multimix USB, if you are thinking about multi tracking, don't go with USB at all. USB can only handle two tracks at a time. So even u r using the mixer and all, all you could get out is stereo L&R mix. Go with FIREWIRE!!!

MIDI basically work as you are sending and receiving data signals (no sound involved what so ever). So you need a sound module (it could be your computer) and a midi controller and send signal back and forth between two of them.

Sorry to write a reply messy reply guys
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Jem

 
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I'll look out for those mics, cheers amdxmania.

Just to clarify what you've said about USB though... USB-2 handles plenty more than 2 tracks, Tascams US-122 (USB-1) handles 2 audio channels + midi channel, so if this is possible over USB-1 I'm sure there's devices out there that will handle several times that number on the more usual USB-2. Although I do agree that firewire is the way to go if you have the money.

Hmmm the first link I've found for the SM58 says it's a vocal mike that has difficulty picking up acoustic guitars - it advises going for the SM57 (at www.dolphinmusic.co.uk).
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amdxmania

 
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i believe usb2 can handle up to 6 or 8 tracks at max
oh yeah.. forgot about its for acoustic guitar.
well, its a lot better to go w/ condenser mic, but if u want to stay $100 range, i'd say sm57 or audix i5
both of them are good dynamic mic, just i5 can handle better SPL.. so it can go louder, but since you are using acoustic, it shouldn't be a problem
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EDIT-XTREEM

 
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how do u record from a usb or firewire mixer on a mac?

Mac Pro (Early 2009) 8 Core 2.26 GHz, 6 GB Ram, 640 GB Drive. Dell 2408WFP.
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