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View Full Version : Noob, wanting to start making music...




Yumunum
Aug 11, 2011, 06:03 PM
I just got a 2011 MacBook Air, and I've decided I want to make music with Garageband. MBAs don't have audio-in ports though... But isn't it true that audio-in ports don't have as good of quality as, let's say, audio coming in through USB?

I have an electric guitar I want to hook up to the computer.

I also will be singing, so I'm guessing I'll have to buy an external mic. (Is the one that came on my computer crappy?)

I also have a.. about 5 year old piano that I see has a MIDI-out port. I don't understand much about MIDI-things except for the fact that it will allow me to use the piano to play sounds and stuff on Garageband. I play piano but I've never used it to record anything.

So, what will I need? I'm guessing I'll need a "hub" of some sort that will let me plug in guitar cords/microphones? And what about the MIDI port? Do I need a MIDI to USB cord?

As you can tell, I know basically nothing. I'm needing your help to see what I'm going to need. I also want to spend as little as possible, without getting complete crud. If I need really nice equipment later down the rode I'll pony up the cash, but right now, this is just the beginning for me.

Thanks in advance! I'd appreciate help, so much.



ChrisA
Aug 11, 2011, 07:25 PM
So, what will I need? I'm guessing I'll need a "hub" of some sort that will let me plug in guitar cords/microphones? And what about the MIDI port? Do I need a MIDI to USB cord?

You need a USB audio interface. Many of these also have a MIDI interface in the same box. Get one of those and then everything connects to the macbook with one USB cable.

There are many brands. Prices start at $100. This is one that I like:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AudioBoxUSB
I like the reseller too. They are a real store and a working studio and are staffed by musicians and engineers so you can ask questions. They offer lifetime tech suport via phone and email. The guitar, vocal mic and piano all plug into this box and the quaity is very good

You wil also need a good vocal mic, mic cable and stand, headphones and a pair of monitor speakers.

Most vocalists know what mic they like. The above "audiobox can suport a condensor mic like an AT2020. or a dynamic one like the sure sm58.

Garage Band software is a good place to start.

GB has some decent and easy to so guitar amp and effects modeling So you can plug an elect. guitar straight in and then choose your "tone". Also look at "Amplitude"... It's free and slightly better then GBs but harder to use. (It's free but they offer endless add-on plug-ns for $5 to $20 each.)

How to learn? spend $1 on a three day subscription to this site and spend a weekend watching this. Later if you like by a full month subscription.
http://www.nonlineareducating.com/tutorial/garageband-11-101

This is so much better than YouTube it's worth the $25 easy

Papanate
Aug 11, 2011, 07:43 PM
I also have a......5 year old piano
So, what will I need?
As you can tell, I know basically nothing. right now, this is just the beginning for me.
.

For you I would get an Apogee One (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/632519-REG/Apogee_Electronics_ONE_ONE_USB_Audio.html).

It has a decent mic on board and a instrument input.

I would also update your keyboard to something like a M-Audio Keystation ES (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/353767-REG/M_Audio_9900_50832_00_KEYSTATION_88ES_88_Key.html)

Both are an excellent starter recording setups that will serve you well and you will learn a lot from before you have to upgrade.