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Old Feb 18, 2010, 05:53 AM   #1
gordiegords
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Newbie advice pro tools/logic course.

Hey Folks, Ive just joined this forum so pleased to meet you all, I'm hoping some of you experts can help m eout a little, I would like to get started with a home studio, I have been in a band for a number of years now but i would like to try my own thing so for this i have been doing reasearch.

The only live instruments i will be recording is vocal, guitar (with amp and effects), digital drums and bass, i dont have much experience with recording although i'm not a total newbie, i have done some recording in the past but i'm not familiar with Plug ins, Soft synths etc, I would like to of course add all these things to my music projects so what I'm asking i guess is should i use pro tools or logic, i have done various internet searches but i find alot of the answers confusing so laymans terms would be good haha, I was looking at the mbox2 pro to get me up and running but this comes with pro tools, I also have the oppurtunity to attend a pro tools course for free in a couple of months, if i decided on logic then would the pro tools course be of any benifit to me at all? the answers i got about logic being better for adding plug ins/synths etc were all from about 4 years ago so i know alot can happen in that time, one more thing, i dont have a mac yet but i will get one, Any ideas what kind of spec i would need to do this project, even a ball park figure.

Any help or advice will be appreciated guys.

Thanks

Gordie.
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Old Feb 18, 2010, 07:05 AM   #2
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try both and use the one that makes the most sense to you.
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Old Feb 18, 2010, 08:33 AM   #3
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If the ProTools course is free, I would take it. Even if you go with Logic instead, any basic DAW experience will be helpful. I originally started with Sonar on a PC. Switching over to Logic was fairly easy since I already had some basic DAW skills.

When choosing a Mac, I would look for something with firewire. This will give you the most options for the audio interface. More memory (4GB) is better. I would get a fast hard drive (7200 RPM) too. I think ProTools may also require an external drive. I get by okay using an internal 7200 RPM HD on my MBP running Logic Studio 8.
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Old Feb 18, 2010, 08:55 AM   #4
gordiegords
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Thanks, I dono why but i like the look of the logic interface over pro tools although that isnt a reason to go with one over the other, I applied for funding to do a course so thats how i got it for nothing, unfortunately i couldnt find a course for Logic, only pro tools but as you say any experience in DAW is good experience right?

Yeah i would get a mac with firewire but i know not a lot about macs, any other specs i should look out for?

I hear that getting an external hard drive was essential but it would appear not? my budget would be around 800 for it.

Last edited by gordiegords; Feb 18, 2010 at 09:09 AM.
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Old Feb 18, 2010, 12:17 PM   #5
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I also have the oppurtunity to attend a pro tools course for free in a couple of months, if i decided on logic then would the pro tools course be of any benifit to me at all? the answers i got about logic being better for adding plug ins/synths etc were all from about 4 years ago so i know alot can happen in that time, one more thing, i dont have a mac yet but i will get one, Any ideas what kind of spec i would need to do this project, even a ball park figure.

Yes take the PT class. The concepts you need to learn are the same. Details are different but onece you know the concepts the details you can figure out.

There are some good on-line cousres at http://www.macprovideo.com/
Buy a $1 3-day subscription look at a sampling of what they have. In 3 days you can do one of the "intro". Good deal for $1. If you like it spend $25 for a month. Watch both the PT and Logic stuff.

What spec computer? First if you need to be portable then get the MacBookPro. If not the iMacs are good deals. You will find that you want a big screen. The 27" iMac would be ideal. If you did not need to move it.

You needs are modest. a half dozen instruemtns will not tax any current Mac. Using MIDI drums is a huge help, much easier to record
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Old Feb 18, 2010, 04:34 PM   #6
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Ah cool, thanks for the info, I dont need to be portable, 27 inch seems massive but i'll look into that, I dont think my needs are great, i would be using soft synths and plug ins more than instruments and i will more than likely not record more than one instrument at one time, I'm a total novice when it comes to mac, i have used pc for years but i want to make the change, it seems i might not need a very high spec one for my needs do you think?
the bundle i was looing at was the mbox 2 pro, i only chose this over the mbox 2 because it has firewire connection which i hear is better, also even though i dont know much about the pro tools software theis bundle comes with a lot of added extra instruments which is what i need.
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Old Feb 18, 2010, 07:23 PM   #7
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Ah cool, thanks for the info, I dont need to be portable, 27 inch seems massive but i'll look into that, I dont think my needs are great, i would be using soft synths and plug ins more than instruments and i will more than likely not record more than one instrument at one time, I'm a total novice when it comes to mac, i have used pc for years but i want to make the change, it seems i might not need a very high spec one for my needs do you think?
the bundle i was looing at was the mbox 2 pro, i only chose this over the mbox 2 because it has firewire connection which i hear is better, also even though i dont know much about the pro tools software theis bundle comes with a lot of added extra instruments which is what i need.
Logic also comes with a tom ov stuff. I think more then PT. I think Logic comes on 7 or 8 DVDs and it might work a lttle beter for the stuff you plan to do. PT has a better reputation with audio recording. But really both a gross over kill.

What I recommend isthat you statr with Garag Band. It's free when you buy the Mac. It will likely do everything you need and is a thousand times quicker to learn. Later upgrade if you need to.

Firewire would be the thing to get if you wee recording with more tha a handfull of microphones or guitars at once.

If all you are doing is MIDI then all you need is the Mac and the softwatre it comes with.
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 02:23 AM   #8
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ah aye that sounds like a good idea, garageband seems like a good introduction, I can be more specific with what i'll be recording, the drums is an electronic kit, I'm not sure if it sends midi signals, i'll have to check, its the roland v drums series, live instruments will be bass, guitar and vocals then I will want to add synths and other vst's after, Sounds like a plan to start with garageband although i know if bought the mbox 2 pro it comes with pro tools and temptation would take over and i would want to use that, unless i can buy another interface that doesnt come with software

what do you think?
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 08:57 PM   #9
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ah aye that sounds like a good idea, garageband seems like a good introduction, I can be more specific with what i'll be recording, the drums is an electronic kit, I'm not sure if it sends midi signals, i'll have to check, its the roland v drums series, live instruments will be bass, guitar and vocals then I will want to add synths and other vst's after, Sounds like a plan to start with garageband although i know if bought the mbox 2 pro it comes with pro tools and temptation would take over and i would want to use that, unless i can buy another interface that doesnt come with software

what do you think?
Just as a heads-up, if you do go with the Mbox, you could also use it with GarageBand and/or Logic. It's not exactly the best interface you can get for your money, but do know that you won't be limited to just Pro Tools if you get the Mbox.
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 09:25 PM   #10
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If you plan on doing much MIDI editing, I would stay away from protools. It wouldn't hurt you to learn it, as Protools is pretty much the standard in any professional audio recording or mixing situation and it is definitely deserving of this, but it does lack when it comes to editing MIDI. It's a pain in the ass having to scroll, zoom, edit, zoom out, scroll, zoom, yadayada. Logic is a lot more enjoyable to use for this.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 05:45 AM   #11
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Just as a heads-up, if you do go with the Mbox, you could also use it with GarageBand and/or Logic. It's not exactly the best interface you can get for your money, but do know that you won't be limited to just Pro Tools if you get the Mbox.

What are the alternatives for the interface then mate? I thought it was a good deal but if i was better off buying an independent interface and seperate software i would do that, I dont know much about them to be honest, I'll have to do some digging.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 10:02 AM   #12
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What are the alternatives for the interface then mate? I thought it was a good deal but if i was better off buying an independent interface and seperate software i would do that, I dont know much about them to be honest, I'll have to do some digging.
Sorry, I worded my post rather poorly. The Mbox 2 Pro is actually a pretty good deal if you plan to use Pro Tools, especially if you're affiliated with an educational institution and get the discount, since it includes software (as you point out).

The basic problem is this: there's no way to get an Mbox without Pro Tools, and you need specific hardware (mostly made by Digidesign) to even run Pro Tools. So the Mbox is only a good deal if you plan to use Pro Tools, since otherwise you've basically paid a $300 premium for some useless software.

Others who have pointed out that Logic is probably better for your needs but that Pro Tools is worth learning are right. In this case, the Mbox would be perfectly serviceable in your situation. If you want to be able to use Pro Tools at some point in the future, but don't want to make the full investment right now, one option would be for you to buy an interface that's compatible with Pro Tools M-Powered:

http://www.digidesign.com/index.cfm?...36610&langid=1

You'd have to buy Pro Tools software (about $300) later on, but this is the only way to use it without Digidesign hardware.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 10:39 AM   #13
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I'll have to do some digging.
imho, the only thing you should be doing is trying out various applications and finding the one you like working with.

if you make a decision solely by comparing features (and the feature overlap for things like PT and Logic is nearly 100%) and letting others tell you what you need, you could very well end up with something you're unhappy using.

no one here can tell you how you like to work, and only by trying before you buy will you be sure to end up with something you can work with, rather than fighting against while you're trying to make music.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 12:51 PM   #14
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yeah i see what you are saying, everyone has there own preference etc, i think to get the hardware right first would be good, my gut feeling tells me i will try logic first, but then that leaves me thinking that i need a different interface than mbox, unless the mbox works with logic, if it did then i would go with that,take the pro tools software, try it and if i didnt like it i would go with logic, i will though take the pro tools course as i dont have much experience in this field so it will certainly do me no harm, i guess alot of it is trial and error, i have read good and bad reports about the mbox but i dont have enough know how to go for something else :confused so the only reason i'm temptet by that is the software it comes with and also the reports about it being quite easty to use/install.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 01:55 PM   #15
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It is also worth noting that iTunes contains many free podcasts tutorials on both Logic Pro and Pro Tools.

As far as hardware go, an alternative that I would recommend to the MBox is buying a firewire interface from M-Audio, as they are of good quality and quite reasonable. This way you can install Pro Tools M-Powered, which, for a beginner, is essentialy the same as Pro Tools LE, but for M-Audio gear.

What's important to note in the Logic vs. Pro Tools argument is that Pro Tools doesn't handle MIDI too well, and you most certainly would use Logic over Pro Tools for any MIDI/Software Synthesisers which you may want to use. Pro Tools is very strong at audio, weak on MIDI whereas Logic is strong on MIDI, but not as strong as Pro Tools for audio - but that is not to say that Logic is weak with audio. I use Logic for all my MIDI and Audio work over Pro Tools. That said, it's horses for courses!

As for spec, the best you can get is the real answer. I am using a 17" MacBook Pro 2.8ghz with 8gb Ram and an Intel 160GB SSD and everything runs nicely. I often have 20+ orchestral MIDI parts which failed to run on my old PC on 2gb RAM but the MacBook can handle most things I throw at it. I saved myself about 1000 by buying the RAM and SSD from places other than Apple.

Just so you know, soft synths use MIDI to trigger samples, often recorded samples, of instruments and patches. So, instead of hiring a violinist, you could write the MIDI part for a synthesised instrument (VSTi) and it'll sound realistic. For an idea of this, check out www.soundsonline.com

Last edited by angusmcfisher; Feb 20, 2010 at 02:05 PM. Reason: Answered his question about soft synths
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 05:32 PM   #16
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i think to get the hardware right first would be good
pick your software first, since not all s/w runs on all h/w. take that PT course, then head over to the Apple store and play with Logic. hit up friends to try out their setups.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 05:34 PM   #17
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Pro Tools doesn't handle MIDI too well
stuff like this drives me a little nuts. What exactly doesn't PT handle well about midi? And what has the OP said about his workflow that indicates PT can't handle it?
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 05:57 PM   #18
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yeah i see what you are saying, everyone has there own preference etc, i think to get the hardware right first would be good, my gut feeling tells me i will try logic first, but then that leaves me thinking that i need a different interface than mbox, unless the mbox works with logic, if it did then i would go with that,take the pro tools software, try it and if i didnt like it i would go with logic, i will though take the pro tools course as i dont have much experience in this field so it will certainly do me no harm, i guess alot of it is trial and error, i have read good and bad reports about the mbox but i dont have enough know how to go for something else :confused so the only reason i'm temptet by that is the software it comes with and also the reports about it being quite easty to use/install.
I don't want to push you towards one solution over another, and I honestly don't mean to be rude, but I have mentioned several times that the Mbox WILL work with Logic. Whether it's the best option for you is another question, but the part I bolded really shouldn't still be a question in your mind.
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Old Feb 21, 2010, 02:18 AM   #19
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Protools can handle midi fine, but Logic does it better. I've sequenced entire songs in Protools alone and its just not very pleasant. Its awkward and unintuitive. There are too many steps just to situate your workspace into a manageable view, among other issues. Logic is fluid and much less of a hassle.
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Old Feb 21, 2010, 05:33 AM   #20
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I don't want to push you towards one solution over another, and I honestly don't mean to be rude, but I have mentioned several times that the Mbox WILL work with Logic. Whether it's the best option for you is another question, but the part I bolded really shouldn't still be a question in your mind.

sorry i didnt notice that, well going on that i should just get an mbox 2 pro which is firwire, take the pro tool software and if i dont like it i would try logic, this may sound like a daft question but will the synths and other instruments that come with the pro tools software work with logic? although i notice it was said that logic came with a tonne of stuff anyway.

thanks for all the help.
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Old Feb 21, 2010, 11:13 PM   #21
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The only live instruments i will be recording is vocal, guitar (with amp and effects), digital drums and bass, i dont have much experience with recording although i'm not a total newbie,
Why are we talking about PT and Logic? Sounds like this guy needs to be usig Garage Band. Use GB until you find a good reason not to.
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Old Feb 22, 2010, 06:14 AM   #22
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Why are we talking about PT and Logic? Sounds like this guy needs to be usig Garage Band. Use GB until you find a good reason not to.
Yeah! Exactly! If the OP has straight forward needs why recommend PT or Logic? Plenty of time in the future to upgrade if needed.

For now use Garageband. If it works for you, great, if not, no problem you may have a better idea of what you want to get. Logic Express is very cheap for what it is. Logic Studio is an amazing deal.

There are plenty of free/preview videos at macprovideo.com on GB, Logic and PT you can check out which are impartial and will give you a good idea of what each app looks like and what might suit your needs better.

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Old Feb 22, 2010, 06:26 AM   #23
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Yeah! Exactly! If the OP has straight forward needs why recommend PT or Logic? Plenty of time in the future to upgrade if needed.

For now use Garageband. If it works for you, great, if not, no problem you may have a better idea of what you want to get. Logic Express is very cheap for what it is. Logic Studio is an amazing deal.

There are plenty of free/preview videos at macprovideo.com on GB, Logic and PT you can check out which are impartial and will give you a good idea of what each app looks like and what might suit your needs better.

deej

yes i have been looking at the videos and they have been very helpfull, I will start with garagband and see how i get on, so therfore i dont think it is worth buyin an expensive interface such as the mbox that comes with the pro tools software, i would rather buy a better interface that doesn't charge more because it comes with software, so i guess i need something like the m box, but not the m box as i see you cant buy it as a stand alone package
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Old Feb 22, 2010, 11:58 AM   #24
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yes i have been looking at the videos and they have been very helpfull, I will start with garagband and see how i get on, so therfore i dont think it is worth buyin an expensive interface such as the mbox that comes with the pro tools software, i would rather buy a better interface that doesn't charge more because it comes with software, so i guess i need something like the m box, but not the m box as i see you cant buy it as a stand alone package
I agree 100%. How many inputs/outputs do you need? (How many instruments will you be recording simultaneously?)

If maximum of two, the Apogee Duet is a very very good interface. The Apogee Uno can record one input at a time and like the Duet has professional quality D/A preamp(s).
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Old Feb 22, 2010, 03:51 PM   #25
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I agree 100%. How many inputs/outputs do you need? (How many instruments will you be recording simultaneously?)

If maximum of two, the Apogee Duet is a very very good interface. The Apogee Uno can record one input at a time and like the Duet has professional quality D/A preamp(s).
Hey yeah I'll have a look at the duet, I wont be recording any more than 2 instruments at any one time so maybe that one could be worht going for although i see it comes with Logic 9, that was just a quick browse i had there at it, maybe i can get it without software.
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