Audio recording help!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by decapitacion, Jun 8, 2004.

  1. decapitacion macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2004
    I am planning on turning my powerbook into a portable recording station asap. Is it possible to run a mixer into the powerbook audio in using a 1/8 converter for the rca chord? If so, will there be any difference in quality between this and using a USB midi/audio interface with a mixer running into it? Just curious, as I am on a budget (just purchased a laptop) and running the mixer directly into the audio in would save me roughly $200 (and I would just use a simple midi interface which I already own for midi recording). thanks in advance.
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    the built-in mic has a cheap a/d converter. you can spend any amount of money you want on a/d converters, going into the tens of thousands of dollars. you get what you pay for.

    this is a huge subject. lots of info here:
  3. Crikey macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2004
    Spencer's Butte, Oregon
    I recall when the Griffin iMic (not a microphone, but a $40 low-end USB audio interface) first came out, the (Macworld?) reviewer was particularly interested in whether it sounded any better than the built-in audio port on his Mac. His verdict was that it very clearly sounded better.

    Seems like the price for a MobilePre or similar somewhat nicer audio interface would be worth it. It would let you easily handle line level signals, mic-level signals (even XLR type mics that require phantom power), guitar/instrument level signals, etc. If you're a guitar player, check out what the Edirol UA-700 can do; it's kind of like a MobilePre with built-in effects and amp-modeling. DigiTech just came out with something similar, the RPx400, but I don't know if there are Mac drivers.

    On the other hand, somewhere I heard some cool GarageBand music recorded by a guy who multitracked his clarinet over Apple Loops through the built-in mic in his iMac. It sounded amazingly good; it was hard to believe that was the hardware he used.

    Have fun with recording!

  4. LeeTom macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    If I were you, I wouldn't waste my time getting a cheaper USB solution. It won't sound that much better than the built-in audio. If you are to get anything, wait and save up for one of the cheaper protools solutions, or something with at least 96khz inputs.

    I use the built-in audio to record stuff in a pinch, and it sounds great... just don't let your levels peak! better too quiet than too loud, you can always max the levels out later with software.

    Lee Tom
  5. Metatron macrumors 6502


    Jul 2, 2002
    Use Firewire....

    I have a Canon ZR65 camera. I plug the recording outputs of the yamaha 01v into the a/v in port of the canon zr65 in VCR mode. Plug the firwire cable into your mac, and let the music pass through it. Use any softwear that lets you record sound from firewire, or when i want to do a quick record, I use quicktime broadcaster (its free), record to disk with MPEG4 at 192kbps. The recording is flawless, unless your mix sucks. If you have a camera with an av to dv pass through option, use it. Canon cameras have great analog to digital convertors, as for other cameras, i dont know. Just a thought. Anywho, it will kicks the crap out of any usb or line in option you are talking about and most people have dv cameras now.
  6. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    everything's relative. as i said, you get what you pay for. i doubt that the mic pres and converters in your camera are more than $40 of the total cost. i imagine a dedicated product, even something as lowly as an M-Audio pre/converter, would outclass it in not a small way.

    decapitacion - i don't know what level of home recording you're shooting for. you'll be limited by your budget. figure on spending at least $500 to start just to approach what would be considered a prosumer system. that $500 wouldn't even cover things like mics, dynamics and monitoring.

    this stuff is debated endlessly at places like and

    when you're ready to drop $30k on it, stop by the gearslutz high-end forum. in the meantime, check out the osxaudio site.

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