View Full Version : Logic - Hardware needed for Multi-track recording?

Sep 13, 2008, 12:18 PM
Hey all,

I've been semi confused about multi track recording in Logic. Like, I know I can record one instrument at a time with my band, on multiple tracks, and mix it down later. But what kind of hardware would I want to use if I wanted to record us all at once, and have each instrument mapped to a seperate track?

For example, say its guitar/bass/drums/vocals, what kind of input would I need to have if I wanted the guitar on its own track, the bass on its own track, etc. Because right now I have no clue how to do that.

Thanks in advance for any help

K. Nova

Big Boss Man
Sep 13, 2008, 12:40 PM
You would need a multi channel interface. Something like a MOTU 8pre for example. There are many options here. You will probably get a better quality recording if you record each instrument individually though, especially the vocals.

Sep 13, 2008, 05:16 PM
What kind of quality difference are we talking about? I mean, I'm talking about just recording some tracks as like a demo or something, that way we dont need to record each instrument one at a time. I'm not looking for album quality here.

Most likely I'd do instruments together with vocals separate. Also, are the hardware interfaces that use Pro Tools compatable with logic?

Big Boss Man
Sep 13, 2008, 06:55 PM
If you record everything together using mics, each mic will have the primary instrument along with the other instruments in the background. The instruments in the background will not be picked up directly by the mic. They will be picked up as sound reflections off walls and other objects. They will sound like a poorly miced recording with bad reverb. If you want to record everything together, I would use room mics. Then you don't really need a separate channel for each instrument though.

Sep 14, 2008, 08:58 AM
For demos I'd grab a ZOOM H2 unit and run it in 4 speaker mode. Point the front at the drummer (its 2 mics at a 90 degree angle) and the rear at the bass & guitar (2 mics @ 120 degree angle). You can do it in 2 or 4 tracks depending on what you want but you're going to get bleeding obviously. What more do you need for demos imo. You can throw the singer in the mix there or just record the vox after the fact. You can record to an SD card in full audio or MP3....or use the H2 as an interface & record on your sequencing software.

Sep 15, 2008, 12:45 AM
Well, I mean why pay for that when I have my macbook to use as a recorder with Logic? And I have condenser mics which need phantom power, and from what I've seen, stuff like the Firepod and other Firewire inputs provide phantom power.

Sep 15, 2008, 06:47 AM
Because you can get this unit for $2-300 and you can use it as an interface w/ your Mac or as a standalone unit. As a standalone it can go on a mic stand or use it w/ its own mini-tripod. Its quick and easy...or you can buy a firewire audio interface that has phantom power and then deal w/ mics & setup etc. How much are you going to pay for the interface? I have the Duet, it runs $500 alone and will do 2 channels. If you want more than 2 channels the price goes up from there. You could get the 003 but you're looking at over a grand easy.

I read an article that did a comparison of the same recording through the H2 and an $8,000 mic going through a state of the art DAW. They found the H2 was basically just as good when they did an analysis. Sold me on it. In the future I'm going to be using it w/ my band when we demo songs & songwrite....naturally we'll use a better system w/ more mics when doing pre-production and stuff like that. I'm also using it for field recording right now, its amazing...as good as any setup I had w/ a Tascam DAT recorder & mic...and way less hassle. Fits in a camera case.

Also keep in mind, even if used as a standalone recording device you can still upload the files into your Mac and do some tweaking & editing there.

So thats why you should at least consider it.

I've heard M-Audio has some firewire units that might suit your needs as well. Iknow someone going that route.

003s aside, Digi's m-boxes don't have the best rep from what I've been told.

Sep 15, 2008, 06:56 AM
The old "firepod" now named the fp10 looks like a decent unit, not sure how good the converters are...they've basically cut the price in half w/ the new name. You could definitely multi-track your band w/ that gear.

Peter, man
Oct 20, 2008, 04:55 PM
Zeroblitzt, don't go with the Zoom idea Mowing talked about. The Presonus Firestudio or Presonus FP10 are obviously tailor-made solutions for the application you're working with.

I'm currently using an M-Audio Firewire 410 for multi-track recording, but it's only capable of 2 channels (from microphones or instruments, at least) at a time. I've done a lot of research and you'd do well with a Presonus FP10, as Mowing later suggested (http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/PreSonus-FireStudio-Project?sku=241723).

The $400 is a great investment as this unit will serve you well from demos all the way up to more serious album recording. The preamps (amplifying the sound from your mics from low-level to workable line-level) and converters (converting the line-level analog signal into a digital signal for recording in Logic) are of high-quality and I've read nothing but good reviews. If you're looking to record more than 2 tracks at once in Logic, this is the most cost-effective one-step solution.

Yes, in any live-recording situation, you'll have to deal with/work around "mic bleed" from one instrument showing up on the others' tracks, but this issue can be minimized or avoided altogether with the right room, sound treatment, mic placement and Logic EQing/mixing. It's certainly no reason to go with a worse solution like using a Zoom H2. You'd be dropping $300 on a solution that doesn't fit your needs -- just spend the additional $100 that does!

I know I sound like a sales rep here, but I promise I don't work for Presonus or anything. I just read MowingDevil's initial recommendations and felt I had to get in here and offer a second opinion!! I literally made a MacRumors account specifically to make sure you checked out multi-channel firewire recording interfaces, because using the H2 in your situation would be like using a blowtorch to cook your scrambled eggs. Sure, it would work, but the results would be less than desirable and there are much better tools available for not much more money.

Oct 20, 2008, 08:34 PM
Have you ever used the H2? For one thing its only a bit more than $200...and it actually sounds great! It all comes down to what exactly the recordings are for. If you want something to multi-track and play around in Logic or ProTools yes I agree the H2 isn't for that. HOWEVER, if you don't want to be screwing around w/ cables & mics etc and just want to capture a session for songwriting/demoing purposes the H2 can't be beat. You can plug it into your MacBook and use it as an interface or record directly to an SD card. Trust me, there have been many a time I wish I had tape running when our band was jamming and its not always practical to set up an 8 channel recording setup. Some people don't take the H2 seriously but thats because they've probably never used one. The sound quality blows my mind for the money.

Don't take my word for it. This study came in to show very little difference in quality between the H2 and an $8,000 mic. Certainly not $7,800 worth. This page shows the setup they used to capture & analyze the audio:

I also recommended going w/ something larger for multi-tracking...but I know some guys overspend on gear (I often do myself) when something smaller is all they really need and will USE. Is the OP making an album to release to the public? Are they just looking to quickly capture recordings for songwriting purposes? Are they looking to record live gigs? Sounds to me like demos in a jam space are what he's getting at.

For the record I don't work for Presonus or Zoom. :D
For home recordings I'm going to be using the Duet but for rehearsals the H2 and if we want better sounding demos then we'll go w/ something w/ multitracking capabilities.

Peter, man
Oct 20, 2008, 09:51 PM
It all comes down to what exactly the recordings are for.

I agree. I think the reason I came out so strongly in favor of a multi-track firewire interface is because I assumed Zeroblitzt would eventually want to operate the way I do: lots of post-production work on each track individually with effects, panning and EQ. I figured something like the FP10 would provide him with the ability to record his band as an ensemble without losing the control over each individual instrument that makes Logic so appealing in the first place.

Admittedly, I've never used an H2. I definitely believe what you're saying about the sound quality, though. Your post and the article it linked to have certainly picqued my interest about the H2's capabilities in other applications for which it would be well-suited.

Trust me, there have been many a time I wish I had tape running when our band was jamming and its not always practical to set up an 8 channel recording setup.

Ain't that the truth. I'm sure everybody here has jumped right into rehearsal with their band not realizing that they'd be spontaneously stumbling into their own version of "Only in Dreams."

But that's neither here nor there ... why do I let myself get online after margaritas?? ;)

Jun 24, 2011, 05:06 PM
A good suggestion is the desk i have at home, was fairly reasonably priced. mine is the helix board 24 but there are different sizes available. http://www.phonic.com/en/audio-interface/ <- see this site, the helix board ones are at the bottom.