Acoustic/vocal input

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MacDawg, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #1
    I haven't even started up GB yet... but I need some information before I get started.

    I'm totally new to all of this. I play a little acoustic guitar and want to play around with GB with vocals as well.

    I have tried to search and read through the forum to pick up as much info as I can and this is what I have learned so far...

    I have a 17" iMac 800, which I understand does NOT have line in capability.
    I will need a pre-amp for the mic

    So, is there one box I get that will connect to my computer via firewire that I plug in both a mic for the guitar and a mic for vocals? If so, then what box and what mics? Different kind of mic for the guitar and vocals? I am clueless.

    I would go to a music store (Guitar Center) and ask, but I'm afraid they won't be Mac savvy, and won't know what I'm talking about. Anybody have any experience with Guitar Center stores and Macs? Does the Apple store sell what I need?

    The equipment doesn't have to be great, because I'm not :rolleyes:
    I just want to be able to play around.

    Edit: Is the M-Audio MobilePre USB Audio Interface sold on Apple's website sufficient for what I need? If so, what mics do I need?

    Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions.
    Where to buy, model numbers, etc. along with approximate prices would be helpful too...
     
  2. fingers macrumors regular

    fingers

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #2
    Yeah the M-Audio will do the trick.

    Mics - If you want to sing and play at the same time then of course you'll need 2 mics.

    How about a pair of -
    Behringer B1's - haven't tried these but they are very cheap...
    or akg c1000's - I have one of these - good value.
    or Rode NT1000's?

    You might get a good deal on a pair.

    I also have a Blue Baby Bottle which I really love.

    Remember that you need only record one track at a time - as GB is a multitrack recorder - so you could get one good mic and record your guitar then sing over the top of your guitar.

    The better mic you get the more it'll pick up of the room - so deaden the wall behind you (heavy blankets etc)

    I hope this helps.

    Rich
     
  3. margotspop macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    #3
    I have a Tascam 122 which is a little more expensive than the Mobile, but it works great. The advantage over the Mobile is that it has MIDI In/Outs, and even though you may not be interested in MIDI now, you may well be in the future as GB is very much geared toward MIDI.

    I'd recommend it. As for a mic, I bought a cheap one and regret it. The Shure 57/58 get great reviews.
     
  4. fingers macrumors regular

    fingers

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #4
    Yes - good point about midi.
    I love my MBox but that doesn't come with midi :(

    The Shure 57/58 are great for vocals but are not ideal for acoustic guitars. You really need a condenser mic for that.
     
  5. Crikey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Spencer's Butte, Oregon
    #5
    You're getting good advice here. The MobilePre does what you want; the Tascam 122 does what you want plus lets you plug in MIDI gear for not much more money. There are lots of simlar pieces of gear around with more features, or that use FireWire instead of USB to reduce latency, for more money. Some, like the Edirol UA-700, let you apply DSP-based effects to the sound inputs, but it's a question whether you want to record the sounds with effects already locked in, or apply the effects afterwards using software.

    The Shure SM57/58 mics do get good reviews, and have been used on scads of old recordings, but now they are famous primarily as performance (live sound reinforcement) mics. For recording, people tend to prefer condenser mics made specifically for recording. "Fingers" listed some above.

    At my local Guitar Center, I found some sales guys actually know what they are talking about (some don't). The ones that do, tend not to use GarageBand much (they are musicians and invested in higher-end packages years ago), but they know in general what you need to make computer recordings happen.

    Cheers,


    Crikey
     
  6. MacDawg thread starter macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #6
    Thanks a bunch!
    Sounds like I have enough to at least get started looking around now. I really appreciate the info.

    Anyone else that wants to chime in, please do. I'm all ears at this point.

    Is it better to record the tracks separately, guitar, then voice, or do it together at the same time? Advantages, disadvantages.

    Remember, I don't have a clue about what I'm doing.
     
  7. fingers macrumors regular

    fingers

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #7
    If you are writing a song record everything - you can always re-record- but you can just use the built in mic for that. When your being creative - just let it flow - you might just churn out something really cool - which is too easily lost.
    Have a listen to what Billy Reid can do with his iMac mic!

    If you know what you want to record - record seperately - that way the tracks will not bleed into each other. Makes it easier to mix. Record with closed back headphones too.
    I hope this helps.
     
  8. MacDawg thread starter macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #8
    So I can use a built in mic on my iMac? (didn't know I had one)
    I don't need any equipment?

    How do I do that?
    Guess I need to fire up the app and see what's there huh!
    I saw a book at Barnes & Noble, I think it was "Garage Band Sessions" or something like that. Are there any good books to recommend on using GB? Any online tutorials?

    Like I said, I'm clueless. (guess it shows huh)
     
  9. Bruce Lee, PhD macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    #9
    Oktava makes very nice condenser mics for the money. They may be the best deal out there. The mc012 is nice for acoustic guitar and could be used for vocals too. Still, even an inexpensive condenser isn't cheap. You might want to start with some basic cheapo microphone until you get a feel for how you like to record.

    You'd probably only want to record guitar/vocals at the same time if it feels more natural as a performer. Maybe you're used to doing that in concerts and you have trouble just singing or just playing the guitar. Or maybe you're recording a demo or writing a song, and it's not worth the hassle of tracking things separately. If sound quality is the main concern, recording the tracks separately will give you better isolation between tracks, which makes it possible to create better mixes. You can probably find some good audio engineering sites which will give you miking techniques for both situations; people have recorded both ways. If you're like a lot of us and have trouble singing and playing at the same time (this is way harder than walking and chewing gum), then this is no choice at all; it'll be easier and sound better to record tracks separately.
     
  10. fingers macrumors regular

    fingers

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #10
    Yeah - Fire it up! :cool:
    There are lots of great GB sites out there for help (and when you wanna show off your masterpieces ;) )

    The best way is just start doing it - use the built in mic for now - if you like it (you WILL ;) ) then if you want go and get yourself a better mic, interface etc.

    If you like learning from books - I can recommend Mary Plummer's GarageBand title. There is also a new $5 ebook - http://www.tidbits.com/takecontrol/garageband-music.html which might be a cool thing for ya. (I haven't really checked this out yet but there is a free sample available at the link)

    Just start making music - apple have done a great job - click on everything that moves, learn a few key combinations and you'll be rolling.

    Enjoy :)
     

Share This Page