PDA

View Full Version : Record Cello Music and use Garageband???




buffalo
Jun 19, 2005, 09:13 PM
I tried to put this in an appropriate forum but if it's not could someone please point me toward the right place...

I don't know anything about recordings and Garageband so this isn't a big deal if it doesn’t work.

Ok, I'm thinking about a switch to a Mac (probably an iMac or iBook once they get updated). I play the cello and I was thinking it would be cool if I could record myself playing and then use Garageband and put the music on a CD.

Is this possible to do with a cello? Are there any recorders that would get decent sound (if so what kind and about how much would I spend)? If this is even possible, how would I put the recordings onto the computer?

I appreciate your help.



GimmeSlack12
Jun 19, 2005, 10:36 PM
I'm a fellow musician. A hobby at least, but alas my guitar has been recorded many many times through garageband. The biggest factor right off the bat is what kind of microphone are you planning on using. This will be the point that will cost you the most ($30-$150).

Importing sound into a Mac laptop is based on getting sound inputted to the machine. The easiest/cost-efficient way is the iMic ($20). Its a USB sound input device and is very easy to use. Through a cello, unless you have a electric pickup in the instrument, then I'd imagine you will be playing into a mic. Garageband is a sinch, simple yet powerful.

Also note, I don't see the Mac laptops being updated anytime soon.

superbovine
Jun 19, 2005, 10:41 PM
if you want to drop a lot of cash http://www.digidesign.com/products/mbox/

Duff-Man
Jun 19, 2005, 11:04 PM
Duff-Man says...there are a lot of solutions for getting your Cello (and other instruments) into your Mac...look at the USB and Firewire audio devices from Edirol (http://www.edirol.com/products/audio.html), M-Audio (http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=products.list&ID=mobileinterfaces) and even Presonus (http://www.presonus.com/products.html) - you'll see a wide range of input recording devices to fit just about any budget - they all have their pros and cons of course...so just decide on what your budget is and look at the specs and reviews from there...no doubt you will find something to suit your needs.

Once you decide and make your purchase, post in the new Digital Audio Forum (http://forums.macrumors.com/forumdisplay.php?f=81) here if you need more help and/or advice....oh yeah!

CanadaRAM
Jun 20, 2005, 12:43 AM
if you want to drop a lot of cash http://www.digidesign.com/products/mbox/
There's not a lot of point to MBox for a Garage band user, because you are paying for the ProTools LE software. An M-Audio or Edirol interface would be better value unless you want to make the jump to ProTools.

katie ta achoo
Jun 20, 2005, 12:43 AM
I've recorded before on my PowerBook with my violin and viola.
I didn't even use an external microphone (yeah, I'm cheap! :D) and it sounded pretty good. I put on huge studio headphones to check on the monitor and I rocked out.
when I exported to iTunes, it sounded pretty nice...



I started looking into pickups to attach to my bridge, so I could get a more direct sound (is that the word?.. probably not!) and plug straight into my PowerBook, but when I got to googling, it was like attaching a chinrest to my violin/viola, and there was not a bridge-clamp thing to be found... even though my cellist friend has one and uses it with his tuner all the time. :rolleyes:
Not made for viola or violin *grumble, grumble*

But yeah, Macs and GarageBand are awesome for musicians. Unless you are planning to professionally record and release yourself, I don't think you'll need an external mic... if you're just recording yourself to check tuning, tempo, etc, then the internal mic should rock sufficiently. :)

CanadaRAM
Jun 20, 2005, 12:44 AM
The biggest factor right off the bat is what kind of microphone are you planning on using. This will be the point that will cost you the most ($30-$150).

Importing sound into a Mac laptop is based on getting sound inputted to the machine. The easiest/cost-efficient way is the iMic ($20). Its a USB sound input device and is very easy to use. Through a cello, unless you have a electric pickup in the instrument, then I'd imagine you will be playing into a mic. Garageband is a sinch, simple yet powerful.

I would double all of these prices, realistically. The iMic is about US$40/CAN$59, microphones worth looking at go from US$60 to $thousands.

To clarify, the iMic isn't a sound input device per se (it is not a transducer) it is an analog to USB convertor for microphone and line level signals. Because it doesn't have "pro" type connectors (1/4" unbalanced or XLR balanced) you will need to use adaptors to connect better quality microphones. It will not provide phantom power to studio condensor mics. You may want to look at a higher-end analog/digital interface, or an outboard preamp-mixer.

I recommend that you study up on some of the basics with books and magazines before making a decision. Hit the library and read anything written by Craig Anderton. Good magazines to read are: Sound on Sound, Recording, Electronic Musician, Keyboard, Future Music, Computer Music, Mix. They often have articles on how to record acouostic instruments, and microphone selection.

For more information specifically on Mac audio applications, see the excellent forum MacMusic http://www.macmusic.org/

buffalo
Jun 20, 2005, 10:33 AM
Thanks for all the help everyone... I'm not looking for anything major (or really expensive), just something to have some fun with.

numediaman
Jun 20, 2005, 10:34 AM
I have an iMic and it works fine. But a few months ago I upgraded to Audiophile USB. Same manufacturer: M-Audio. Very satisfied. (Also, I got it through Digidesign.com)

EDIT: darn! It's not M-Audio -- see below.

buffalo
Jun 20, 2005, 10:42 AM
iMic puts recordings from another device onto the Mac, correct? iMic won't take the auctual recordings, will it?

If possible I would be looking to spend <$100.

numediaman
Jun 20, 2005, 11:13 AM
You can plug your mic directly into the iMic and record using GarageBand or any other recording software. The iMic comes with two inputs -- one amplified, and other not. (The Audiophile USB does not have unamplified input -- meaning you need a pre-amp for input. I bought a real cheap amp from Radio Shack which does the trick. You won't need this with the iMic.)

Its very inexpensive and an easy way to get sound into your Mac.

CanadaRAM
Jun 20, 2005, 11:18 AM
I have an iMic and it works fine. But a few months ago I upgraded to Audiophile USB. Same manufacturer: M-Audio. Very satisfied. (Also, I got it through Digidesign.com)
The iMic is made by Griffin, not M-Audio

http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/imic/

it uses a stereo 1/8" minijack as either microphone or line level input. Because most mics don't have 1/8" conectors you will need some adaptors to make them work.

The M-Audio Audiophile has line level inputs only, not microphone inputs

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/AudiophileUSB-main.html

The M-Audio FastTrack USB has a single mic/line/guitar level input - so it won't do stereo input but it will do dynamic mics and guitars.

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/FastTrackUSB-main.html

numediaman
Jun 20, 2005, 02:17 PM
Oops, he's right -- Griffin not M-Audio. Nonetheless, the solution is the probably the same: for under $100 go with the iMic -- besides, you can find it at most Apple stores (assuming there is one near you).

(Actually, all my mics are 1/8 minijacks that came with optional adapters. In any case, you can buy an adapter at Radio Shack for about $3-4.

spinne1
Jun 21, 2005, 01:22 AM
If you are serious about making CDs, you need at least a semi-professional setup. The iMic really isn't that. My recommendation would be a very sparse Firewire Audio interface, such as the M-Audio Firewire Solo ($249). If that is way too much, consider a used USB based unit, such as the M-Audio Duo (check ebay). It has hookups for two microphones and/or line inputs. I have one and find it works fine at 48 or 44.1 Mhz. As for microphones, if you are on a serious budget but want pretty good sound, consider the MXL V67. I just got one and am VERY impressed with the sound for the price ($60-$80 on ebay). It is a condensor mic, and you really should not consider a dynamic mic for serious recording. It will sound vastly worse (generally). I have experience with Neumann TLM-103s and 170s and frankly don't find a HUGE difference in the quality of the sound in the MXL. For that, it is a bargain. You will probably want three more things.

One, some kind of decent noise gate. Honestly, you are talking some bucks here, but they are SO useful for good recordings. Focusrite is a good name. Save up for something like this, it won't be cheap. One weakness of a cheap mic is more static or noise. Even on an expensive mic, the room noise will add up to a loud hiss or rumble after several tracks. To overcome this and make your mic sound more like a thousand bucks, use a noise gate to prevent any sound from being passed to your recording device that is below a certain threshold which you set. You could set it to pick up a whisper, or to prevent all but the loudest sounds through, or anywhere in between.

Two, some kind of decent effects unit (eventually) This will give you nice reverb, echo, etc. etc. You COULD rely on software effects, but you will quickly bog down your computer if you do too much of that. On the other hand, cello recordings would likely be sparse and not too taxing, so you may not need an effects unit. Expect to pay at least $500 for anything to do serious recordings with.

And Third, you MAY eventually want a decent compressor to even out the loud and soft parts of your playing to make them easier to record. Note that you would only want light compression because classical instruments are very dynamic by nature and you would not want to ruin them with squished dynamic range, which is what compression is. This one is very optional for your use.

buffalo
Jun 21, 2005, 09:13 AM
Thanks for the advice spinne, but I'm really not looking to do serious recording. I'm in high school and was thinking that if/when I make the switch to a mac it would be cool to use the Garageband software. Like I said, I'm not trying to sound like Yo-Yo Ma, just something to have some fun with.

I've also never done any reording of any kind so I'd be looking for something that is easy to figure out and expriment with.

benbrignell
Jul 12, 2005, 06:44 AM
Well, Garage Band would be perfect for those requirements. It's easy to figure out and work with and integrated into the OSX environment so well you don't have any glitches you may have to spend hours working round with third party software.

If you need somethign cost effective to get your ideas down before going to a studio to do some serious recording then Garage Band is ideal.

But with some care you can generate something pretty serious from your own machine at home.

Cheers

Ben

Garage Band Forum (http://www.garagebandforum.net)

http://www.garagebandforum.net