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View Full Version : Recording, Garageband and Jam Packs




Regular-John
Sep 27, 2006, 05:21 PM
Hi All

I'm fairly new to recording with the mac. I'm thinking of buying a digital recorder like this (http://www.samedaymusic.com/product--BOSBR900CD), or maybe something like this (http://www.guitarampkeyboard.com/en/lexicon/fire_X_wire_soundcards/67050), would I get better quality tracks through something like this or would my iMac [please see sig. for spec.] be better??

Also, are the Jam Packs worth it? I feel like the drum samples currently bundled with Garageband are a bit limited, I need more loops and samples, rock oriented. Does the Rhythm Jam Pack have a lot of drum samples in 'rock' vein?

Thanks in advance.
RJ



lord patton
Sep 27, 2006, 05:30 PM
jam packs aren't your only option for adding drum loops to GarageBand. I've had good luck with this outfit:

http://www.betamonkeymusic.com/

Why pay $100 for a JamPack, when you can spend a fraction of that and get exactly what you need? Have fun.

mooncaine
Sep 27, 2006, 05:33 PM
Always, always, always go with the external recorder instead of recording with your computer. Always. Far fewer probs, headaches, or even minor irritations when you do your recording on a dedicated recording device.

The Boss recorder's your best option of the 2 you showed.

Regular-John
Sep 27, 2006, 05:49 PM
Thanks for those replies!

That loop site is a good find! Thin k I'll wait til their download store is up and running!

I see why you said the Boss is the better option but I just prefer having an on screen display!! I'm kinda steering towards the Lexicon Omega for that very reason.

Any other suggestions are very welcome!!

mooncaine
Sep 27, 2006, 06:01 PM
You did say your criteria for choosing included quality. You'd rather trade away quality [less background noise, for a start] and reliabilty for a large display? Up to you....

scottlinux
Sep 27, 2006, 09:48 PM
Always, always, always go with the external recorder instead of recording with your computer. Always. Far fewer probs, headaches, or even minor irritations when you do your recording on a dedicated recording device.

I couldn't disagree more. $700 for that little recording job box? What a waste of money.

For $700 you could get:

- Firewire 410 ($300) or an Alesis FW mixer
- Pair of ok condenser mics ($200-400+)

And record at 24bit/96k or whatever you want. DIRECTLY into Logic, Garageband, whatever program.

Those little devices are good for on location recording, but all of the recording studios that I know who do on location stuff just use a notebook with a good I/O box.

zimv20
Sep 27, 2006, 09:56 PM
Always, always, always go with the external recorder instead of recording with your computer. Always.
i'm with scott here. you just dismissed the entire DAW industry with a wave of your hand, and i gotta say you're pretty much in the minority there.

BurtonCCC
Sep 27, 2006, 11:55 PM
I couldn't disagree more. $700 for that little recording job box? What a waste of money.

For $700 you could get:

- Firewire 410 ($300) or an Alesis FW mixer
- Pair of ok condenser mics ($200-400+)

And record at 24bit/96k or whatever you want. DIRECTLY into Logic, Garageband, whatever program.

Those little devices are good for on location recording, but all of the recording studios that I know who do on location stuff just use a notebook with a good I/O box.
Exactly.

I think those of you saying always go with an external recorder must have had some fluke bad experience. I find using Logic, Logic Express, and even GarageBand give an infinite amount of control where as an external device is limited. The Alesis FW mixers are incredible and much more versatile than the overpriced boxes you have listed. Also, you could even get a little M-Audio box (which give incredible quality for the price) and save a ton of money, plus have the added control of your computer.

Also, if you do decide to go with an external box, despite our advice, don't get one that has an integrated CD burner or whatever. With external boxes, more features means that each feature is less and less reliable. It's like a cell phone, you can stick a video/still camera and an MP3 player into a phone, but it takes horribly crappy pictures and the MP3 interface sucks.

That's my two cents. Good luck!

Daniel.

EDIT: As for this guys comment about actual recording studios, it's a fact that it's difficult to find a well-known studio that isn't run around a PowerMac G5.

Regular-John
Sep 28, 2006, 05:04 PM
Thanks again for the replies.

So what's the difference between a mixing desk and the Lexicon USB thing? Do they have soundcards built-in or something, ot do they use the existing soundcard but just make 'my sound' more robust?

Do I just plug my guitar into my amp, then from the amp into the mixing desk, then from the mixing desk into my mac? From there can I use Garage band?

Was looking at this (http://www.guitarampkeyboard.com/en/behringer/xenyx_series/70283), it's more in my price range, what are your thoughs about this? Also, what kinds of things should I look for in a mixing desk?

Sorry for all the questions!!!

Cheers in advance!

zimv20
Sep 28, 2006, 05:25 PM
in its purest sense, a mixing board mixes signals together. of course, a bunch of stuff gets added on, like a/d converters w/ firewire cards, etc., but at its core, it takes n tracks and mixes them to a stereo pair.

for home recordists tracking 1 or 2 channels at a time, a mixer is not needed. what is needed is a pre for each mic (which mixers have) and analog->digital conversion (which some mixers have added on).

a mixer is one solution if you have more signals to record simultaneously than you have channels of a/d conversion. and even then, it's a compromise to record in such a fashion.

due to their business practices (stealing designs), i cannot advocate behringer gear. the low quality should be another reason to steer you away. you get what you pay for.